American phone subscribers hanging up on cell contracts
It appears U.S. consumers are beginning to have their fill of expensive, contract-based phone plans. Figures from T-Mobile released this morning at an industry conference in New Orleans add to earlier reports from other companies indicating the U.S. wireless industry lost subscribers from contract-based plans for the first time in this year’s first quarter. Contract-based plans are the most lucrative ones for phone companies. The industry default over the past several decades, they account for the vast majority of revenue at the big phone companies. The seven largest U.S. phone companies—representing more than 95% of the market—lost a combined 52,000 subscribers from contract-based plans in the January to March period, according to a tally by The Associated Press. Since nearly every adult, and many children and teenagers, already have phones, there's little room for growth anymore. But subscribers are also flowing to cheaper, no-contract plans, which showed an increase of at least 2 million. That figure, however, is down from the same quarter a year ago, which saw a 5 million increase. Read the full story from the AP here.
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