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US Operator Subscriber Growth is "Optimistic"

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A research note from Bernstein Research analyst Craig Moffett has warned that the US operators are being optimistic about their subscriber growth forecasts. He warned that the operators are all anticipating subscriber growth of around 4.6% for 2009, which is lower than the 5.9% achieved in 2008, but is still unlikely to be achieved.

A Barron's blog posting noted that that, for Moffett, the bottom line is that "expectations for wireless subscriber growth in 2009 remain far too high" for all of the telecoms he covers.

Moffett anticipates that the net growth in subscribers to be down 50% from 2008, with Verizon and AT&T combined adding 5.8 million subs, down from 12.5 million in 2008.

He also said that "expectations of a turnaround at Sprint appear wholly unrealistic," adding that if Sprint is able to improve its performance, then it would be at the expense of the other operators. Sprint Nextel managed to lose 1.3 million customers in Q4 '08.

On the web: Barrons

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Tags: sprint nextel  verizon  sprint  nextel