Wireless competition should heat up second half of year

The wireless world with AT&T Mobility, Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile and Sprint normally markets hot and heavy, especially in the summer. Let’s take a look at why this industry been quiet so far this year and when we can expect competition to heat up again.

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George Becker (CC0)

Wireless is one of the hottest and most competitive industries. However, during the first half of this year, it has not been as hot and in-your-face as usual. That’s about to change. I predict the second half of this year will see a much louder and hotter competitive playing field. Let me explain why I think this will happen.

AT&T Mobility has been quiet while the company was waiting for the Time Warner merger to be completed. Now that is done. So, I fully expect them to turn the dial back-up to high. I expect to see a higher level of marketing from AT&T on a variety of fronts including wireless, bundled services including pay TV like DirecTV NOW, wireless TV and more, and now with their new asset, WarnerMedia which was called Time Warner.

AT&T Mobility and Verizon Wireless will turn up the marketing volume

T-Mobile is typically a very loud marketer. Especially in the summer. Curiously, they have been quiet during the first half of this year as they contemplate where growth will come from as the industry moves closer to 5G. They may also be quieter as they try and convince regulators to let them merge with Sprint. They announced a mobile TV offering at the end of last year and we are still waiting for that to be introduced.

Sprint is normally the introvert anyway. They have been louder than usual in recent years trying to grow with competition intensifying with T-Mobile. Now that the merger is being considered, the battlegrounds between these two companies may stay quiet through the rest of the year.

T-Mobile and Sprint should start marketing hot and heavy as well

Then again, until they merge, they still are two separate companies. That means it makes sense they continue to compete with each other. With that said, we may see both T-Mobile and Sprint turning up the heat on their competitive activity in the wireless space. Especially during the summer which has been quieter than usual so far.

Two new wireless players come from the world of cable TV. Comcast Xfinity Mobile started last year and has been growing ever since. They are not the same kind of in-your-face, heavy marketers. I don’t think that will change. However, I think they will continue to grow.

Xfinity Mobile, Spectrum Mobile and Altice Mobile in the wireless mix as well

Charter Spectrum Mobile just entered wireless last week. I believe they will take the same path as Xfinity Mobile from Comcast. That’s a path that is working and Charter has never rocked the boat much. So, I see them following Comcast’s lead.

Since they pose a new threat to the traditional wireless industry, you would think existing players would keep the marketing engines turned up on high.

So far, we have heard very little from Altice Mobile. They will be following Xfinity Mobile and Spectrum Mobile into wireless but won’t do so until next year. That does not mean they won’t be making any noise. It would serve them well to let their marketplace know their wireless offering is coming. So, we may see them turn up the volume on their marketing.

Wireless marketing has been quieter than usual first half of 2018

Summer and the holiday shopping season are typically hot in the wireless marketing world. This year the heat has not been turned up yet, but my guess is that the second half of this summer will be quite a bit noisier and busier than the first half.

Either way, wireless continues to change and to grow, year after year and this year is no different. Expect it to continue to grow and to change and to partner with other industries like pay TV, social networks and more.

We are watching the wireless industry continue to expand yet stay at the center of the universe for so many other industries. That will continue and in fact grow. The next wave of wireless growth is the next battleground. So, let’s see if the second half of this summer and of this year see’s wireless marketing come back hot and heavy. I think it will. It always does.

Copyright © 2018 IDG Communications, Inc.

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