In line with increasing volume of smartphones in the country, the number mobile cellular subscription in the United States has been growing as well from nearly 185 million in 2004 to just over 416 million in 2016. The number of mobile cellular subscriptions per 100 inhabitants puts this total figure in perspective. In 2016, there were 127.16 mobile subscriptions registered for every 100 people, a significant increase from the 2004 figure, when this total amounted to 62.55. Between the top six carriers in the country, the number of subscribers to wireless services in the United States, including both retail and wholesale, added up to around 424 million in the fourth quarter of 2017. Both AT&T and Verizon hold around one third of the market share, and are the most dominant players in the market. Next to Verizon and AT&T Sprint and T-Mobile are the major mobile operators in the United States. T-Mobile and Sprint are set to merge into one company according to a merger agreement from April 2018.
AT&T has one of the highest ARPU – the average revenue generated by each user – amongst all wireless carriers in the U.S., and T-Mobile US has one of the lowest. Verizon and AT&T have the lowest churn rates in the American market, that is, the average percentage of subscribers that cease to use the company’s services per month. When looking beyond the U.S., AT&T and Verizon are distant leaders in the global industry as well; these two companies lead the rank of most valuable telecom brands in the world.