Capital investments of the US operators

Excerpts from the Annual Report and Analysis of Competitive Market published by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in September 2016.

The goal of this post is to give a short info from the findings of FCC. In this way you will be able to make better choice when you decide which mobile operator you would choose.

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“Over the past six years, wireless service providers in the United States have made capital investments of approximately $177 billion.”

“AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon Wireless spent a combined $30.3 billion in 2015 and $31.2 billion in 2014, accounting for close to 100 percent of total industry capital investment as tracked by UBS in these time periods.”

“AT&T and Verizon Wireless consistently made more capital investments in absolute CAPEX dollars in each quarter than did either Sprint or T-Mobile.

“The variation in capital expenditures by the four nationwide service providers during the last six years. Chart II.D.2 below presents annual capital expenditures for the four nationwide service providers from 2010 through the end of 2015. From 2010 through the end of 2014, AT&T and Verizon Wireless increased their nominal investment (with the exception of a dip in investment in 2012 for Verizon Wireless). In 2015, Verizon Wireless increased its capital investment, while AT&T’s investment decreased. Sprint increased its capital investment from 2010 to 2013, but decreased its capital investment in 2014 and 2015, while T-Mobile’s capital expenditures decreased between 2010 and 2011, and subsequently increased, with a sharp spike from 2012 to 2015.

Variations in CAPEX may change across service providers for several reasons. First, service providers follow different technological migration paths, which may be on different timeframes. Recently, the industry has followed several technological migration paths for LTE upgrades, with each service provider implementing its own sequence of upgrades. According to analyst William Ho, T-Mobile, for example, had put into place an accelerated schedule on buildout and deploying LTE on its Lower 700 MHz A Block spectrum.”

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