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Verizon snagged highest slice of phone activations last quarter

But third-place T-Mobile saw the biggest improvement among the top US carriers, as seen in survey results from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners.


Verizon outshined its mobile rivals last quarter with the largest share of phone activations, according to a survey report released Thursday by research firm Consumer Intelligence Research Partners.

Among US carriers, Verizon accounted for 35 percent of all activations, followed by AT&T with 28 percent, T-Mobile with 15 percent, and Sprint with 9 percent. Collectively, all other regional and prepaid carriers made up the remaining 13 percent.

Though Verizon and AT&T were on top, neither carrier showed any improvement during the quarter -- Verizon was flat while AT&T dipped. Instead, T-Mobile won the most-improved award with its share rising from 13 percent at the start of the quarter to 15 percent by the end. Sprint's share inched up from 8 percent to 9 percent.

Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint retained the most subscribers last quarter by hanging onto 80 percent of eligible customers, CIRP said. T-Mobile kept only around 70 percent of its existing customers but made up for the lower percentage in other ways.

"We measure retention relative to the customers that a carrier had a chance to keep or lose," CIRP partner and co-founder Josh Lowitz said in a statement. "We define these customers as those that activated a new or used phone in the quarter, so they had the choice to switch or stay with their existing carrier. T-Mobile made up for this lower retention by gaining many more customers from other carriers."

Conducted from April 1 to 6, CIRP's survey reached 500 people in the US who bought a phone during the first quarter.