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 Monday, April 06, 2009

­Although the American market did not suffer quite so badly as the Canadian market in the fourth quarter, it did see a disappointing figure for net additions. The quarterly gain of 4.15m represented the lowest increase since 2002, and it was 58% lower than the 6.55m recorded in Q4 07. The total market reached 271m customers, equivalent to a penetration rate of 88.8%. Meanwhile, the inexorable decline in annual growth continued: 2008 saw an uplift of just 6.1%, the lowest figure ever recorded in the market in more than 25 years of service.

Apart from declining growth, the other significant trend in the American market in recent times has been consolidation. In Q4 07 Dobson and Rural Cellular were acquired by AT&T and Verizon Wireless respectively, and SunCom Wireless followed shortly afterwards, T-Mobile snapping it up in Q1 08. Later in the year, AT&T announced that it was to acquire Centennial Communications. However, all of these deals paled in comparison alongside Verizon’s merger with Alltel, which will create the largest mobile company by customer numbers in the country – even after some enforced disposals due to overlapping properties – thereby usurping AT&T.

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Source: Cellular News.