A couple of weeks ago we provided an update on the wireless retail space (Wireless Retail: Results Show No Let Up in the War for Your Home Office), and so an atypical press release from T-Mobile caught our attention this week. The press release noted that “T-Mobile expands 5G network coverage in Pennsylvania...covering nearly 99% of Pennsylvanians. In addition to network enhancements, T-Mobile also opened additional retail stores in Pennsylvania between 2022 and 2023, especially in smaller communities and rural towns across the state. The company now has more than 240 retail locations in Pennsylvania, with more slated to open in 2023 and 2024.” This news is significant because Pennsylvania is Comcast’s home market and that T-Mobile has been gaining share across both wireless and home broadband. For Q2 2023, T-Mobile added +760K postpaid phone subscribers (40% of the industry’s total) and added +509K home broadband subscribers (60% of the industry’s total). By way of contrast, Comcast lost -20K broadband subscribers.
In Pennsylvania, T-Mobile only added twelve new locations this year. This is a low rate of refresh, but that likely reflects that they were waiting to for the 5G light-up of the state. As shown in the table below, in larger states, T-Mobile “captures” over 30% of a state's population in visits per population. Verizon and AT&T roughly do this as well in Pennsylvania. By contrast, T-Mobile only captures 23% in Pennsylvania despite having a similar number of stores. With the new 5G expansion, plus home broad in many underserviced smaller communities and rural towns, we expect to see a sharp increase in the brand’s capture rate over the next year as well as an acceleration in its store openings and refresh rate.