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U.S. Mobile Penetration to Top 100 Percent by 2012
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U.S. Mobile Penetration to Top 100 Percent by 2012

By Gary Kim
Contributing Editor

No matter what ultimately might happen with a rumored merger between T-Mobile USA and Sprint (News - Alert) Nextel, consolidation in the U.S. wireless industry is inevitable, say analysts at Informa Telecoms & Media.

"The likelihood of consolidation among U.S. mobile operators is increasing in the nation’s saturated mobile communications market as smaller carriers struggle to find success with revamped pricing schemes and product-positioning strategies," Informa Telecoms & Media (News - Alert) says.

Large mergers will be tricky, says Tammy Parker, principal analyst with Informa Telecoms & Media, but lots of combinations below tier one are possible and likely.

Regional providers involved in the prepaid space are a primary example. MetroPCS Communications and Leap Wireless (News - Alert) International are likely candidates, in part because the maturing business puts higher value on economies of scale, and in part because the tier one providers themselves finally are moving to provide prepaid services.

Informa also predicts U.S. mobile penetration will top 100 percent by the end of 2012, driven by consumers with multiple subscriptions, additional mobile devices acquiring connectivity and new machine-to-machine applications coming to market, Informa predicts.

There were 280.57 million mobile subscriptions in the United States during the second quarter of 2009, and U.S. mobile market penetration in the second quarter reached 90 percent.

Informa expects U.S. penetration to reach nearly 113 percent by 2014.

Gary Kim (News - Alert) is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Gary’s articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Patrick Barnard

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