How Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint and more stacked up in Q4 2016: The top 7 carriers

The fourth-quarter earnings season is now closed, so it's time to see how the nation's top wireless carriers stacked up against each other in terms of key metrics.

In this report you will find a ranking of the top seven U.S. wireless carriers in the fourth quarter of 2016 by subscriber base, according to research firm Strategy Analytics. You'll also find major metrics—such as churn, ARPU and revenue—of each carrier.

This list does not include resellers or MVNOs such as TracFone Wireless. (To see how TracFone did in the fourth quarter, click here.) You might also want to check out our wrap-up of the wireless industry in the fourth quarter of 2016, as well as our look at the wireless capex situation for 2017.

So what are you waiting for? Dig in!

Top US Wireless Carrier Metrics Q4 2016 (ranking by subscribers, retail + wholesale)
    Subscribers (millions) Net Adds (millions) Postpaid Smartphone Net Adds (mil) Blended Churn (Avg Monthly) Service Revenue
(US$ millions)
Blended Retail ARPU
1 Verizon Wireless 145.743 1.882 0.456 1.31% $16,346 $45.54
2 AT&T 134.859 1.522 0.408 1.71% $14,713 $51.12
3 T-Mobile 71.455 2.101 1.153 2.39% $7,245 $43.14
4 Sprint 58.556 0.613 0.526 2.81% $5,763 $43.49
5 US Cellular 5.031 0.001 -0.004 1.84% $737 $43.47
6 C Spire* n/a          
7 Shentel 0.959 -0.036 0.010 1.21% $146 $46.60

Subscribers include retail and wholesale connections of both traditional and new connected device categories (e.g., M2M). 
Verizon Wireless subscribers include Strategy Analytics' estimates for wholesale and connected device volumes. 
Sprint subscribers and net adds exclude affiliate subscribers, but include wholesale.
Blended Retail ARPU is derived from reported postpaid and prepaid retail/branded ARPU, unless reported separately by carrier.
T-Mobile postpaid smartphone net adds, blended churn and blended ARPU are estimated or derived by Strategy Analytics.
*C Spire is a private company and does not reveal its metrics, estimated to have 1 million subscribers.

Source: Strategy Analytics, based on carrier reports