With smartphone industry growth in North American now slowing, mobile providers in the U.S. are getting creative to scoop up the last few customers who have yet to sign up for mobile plans and to maintain their large subscriber bases. T-Mobile has been wildly successful at this in the past year, with its market share and subscriber base both growing substantially this summer on the back of its "uncarrier" initiatives such as "Jump!"
As T-Mobile quickly rises from its position as the fourth largest mobile provider in the U.S., third place carrier Sprint is heading the opposite direction. The company saw a $1.6 billion loss during its second quarter this year while also losing 2.7 million subscribers.
This new reality is reflected in a new Consumer Reports survey that shows Sprint is now the lowest-rated carrier out of the big four in the U.S. Though Sprint ranked second in the same survey one year ago, the company has now fallen hard, with consumer ratings of its value, voice network, and 4G service all falling.
“Our latest cell service satisfaction survey revealed a somewhat precipitous decline by Sprint that shuffled the rankings of the major standard service providers,” said Glenn Derene, team leader for Electronics Content Development at Consumer Reports. “And smaller, no-frills, no-contract and prepaid service providers continue to do a better job of satisfying customers, and provide an increasingly viable alternative to some of the expensive, long-term contracts that many consumers find themselves locked into.”
Verizon continued to top the customer satisfaction list for major U.S. carriers on the back of high consumer ratings for its data network and customer support. AT&T and T-Mobile came in second and third with average ratings for their services, though AT&T did get what Consumer Reports describes as a "top rating" for its 4G network.