Verizon Beats out AT&T and Sprint on 4G Network: Piper Jaffray

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Analysts from Piper Jaffray recently conducted an online survey about the upcoming iPhone 5, 4G networks, and wireless carriers.  Their survey results point out that Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) might win this one, and although Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE:S) won’t really offer a substantial 4G LTE network, it really shouldn’t make too much of a negative impact. Here are some of the details in their findings.

Verizon Beats out AT&T and Sprint on 4G Network: Piper Jaffray

The first question in the survey asked people for their opinions on different 4G networks, more specifically, which 4g was better. The possible responses included the following: 1)4G, 2)4G LTE, 3)They’re all the same, or 4)I don’t need 4G. Surprisingly, almost half of the respondents(47%) chose 4, and 26% think all 4G networks are essentially the same.

The second question was “Who Has the Best 4G Network”. 51% of the respondents don’t know which company has the best 4G network. This isn’t surprising as 4G is still relatively new, and most consumers don’t know a whole lot about the technology itself. 48% of respondents who are familiar with 4G choose Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) and 29% choose AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T). T-Mobile and Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE:S) have the lowest numbers at 11% and 12% respectively.

The last and most important question in the survey:   “Which carrier will you choose if you purchase the next generation iPhone (5) when it becomes available?”  55% are considering it, whereas 45% claim they don’t plan on it. For the group who plans on purchasing the iPhone, most plan on purchasing their phone through Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), 29% plan on purchasing through AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T), 14% plan on purchasing through Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE:S), and 13% plan on purchasing through T-Mobile.

Why does Piper Jaffray predict Verizon to come out on top? They report, “The low percentage for Sprint (14% of interested consumers, versus Sprint’s recent postpaid gross, add a market share of approximately 19%) isn’t really that concerning. Sprint has been heavily advertising (and offering discounts on) the current iPhone offerings in August, likely to clear inventory ahead of the iPhone launch. This marketing spend could translate to greater customer awareness of Sprint’s iPhone offer in general. In addition, T-Mobile isn’t expected to officially offer the device, so we think it’s possible that Sprint could pick up some share here from customers who are more value oriented/have a lower credit score. Finally, we continue to believe that Sprint is on track to meet or exceed its near-term contractual obligations for iPhone sales.”

The iPhone 5 is the most anticipated gadget of the year and it’s important for mobile carriers to get on board. Everyone has high expectations for the sixth generation smartphone and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL).

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