IDC Says in 4Q06 Sprint Nextel Regained Its Lead in Terms of Blended Data ARPU Among the U.S. Wireless Carriers

FRAMINGHAM, MA – APRIL 4, 2007 – According to the latest IDC research, there were 236 million U.S. wireless subscribers by the end of 2006. Wireless data revenue totaled $4.8 billion for the fourth quarter of 2006 (4Q06), which equates to roughly 13.5% of average revenue per user (ARPU) or $6.74 per subscriber/customer per month. Of the total data revenue, 48.8% came from messaging in comparison to 13.0% from content and simple application downloads and 38.2% from other business- and consumer-oriented services and content. Among the U.S. national carriers, IDC research indicates that Sprint Nextel edged out Verizon in terms of data spending-per-customer basis.

"Our research shows that in terms of blended data ARPU, Sprint Nextel, at $8.32, regained its lead over Verizon, now at $7.91, although Verizon remains the leader in terms of total wireless data revenue and data percentage of ARPU among the U.S. national carriers," said Julien Blin, research analyst in IDC's Wireless and Mobile Communications program. "It is also worth noting that Verizon became the new market leader in terms of total direct retail subscribers/customers, with a total of 56.8 million, against 56.3 million for Cingular."

IDC expects wireless carriers to experience double-digit growth in revenue from email and TV/video services because of the rising availability of easy-to-use and high quality services like mobile TV, growing popularity of flat-rate data plans, improving user interface (UI) technologies, and emergence of add-value features like mobile advertising and user-generated content and services.

This IDC study, U.S. Wireless Carrier Data Services 4Q06-4Q07 Vendor Analysis: QView Summary and Analysis (IDC #205954), presents a competitive analysis and summary of the data services and content types offered to customers by the top 10 wireless carriers with consideration of subscriber/customer base, as well as an aggregated view of the rest of the market for 4Q06-4Q07. This study includes a fairly granular comparison of the data services and content types currently offered by Cingular Wireless, Verizon Wireless, Sprint Nextel, T-Mobile, Alltel, U.S. Cellular, TracFone, Virgin Mobile, Dobson, and Leap Wireless. IDC also provides an estimated aggregated view of tier 2 and tier 3 regional and local carriers such as Qwest and scores of others, as well as industry averages and totals by which the performance of service providers may be objectively compared.

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