T-Mobile draws back customers, adds half a million subscribers in Q1

T-Mobile draws back customers, adds half a million subscribers in Q1

Summary: Ahead of its first quarter customer results, T-Mobile says it's finally turned itself around and is adding customers again, compared to previous quarterly subscriber losses.

TOPICS: Networking

T-Mobile USA efforts to get back in the cellular game are paying off, according to early first quarter results released overnight.

The fourth largest U.S. cellular network said its net customer base grew by 579,000 unbranded subscribers during the first quarter, compared to a loss of 349,000 during the fourth quarter of 2012, resulting in a total of 34 million customers. 

But here's the kicker: T-Mobile's branded customer base grew by only 3,000 customers.

By comparison, Verizon and AT&T have 115 million and 107 million respectively, while third place holder Sprint has 55 million. MetroPCS, which T-Mobile is gunning for, has just 8.9 million customers.

The carrier said branded postpaid churn declined to 1.9 percent, highlighted as the best branded postpaid churn results since 2008.

The firm reported "meaningful improvement" in its branded postpaid segment — a unit the company has focused on growing over postpaid contract subscribers in recent months — but still hit an overall loss of 199,000 during the first quarter. This is compared to net losses of more than half a million during the fourth quarter, and the same quarter a year ago respectively.

"We have made material progress in stabilizing our branded business in Q1, which provides a solid foundation to build on with the new Un-carrier customer offers we launched last week across America," said T-Mobile chief executive John Legere, who kept his swearing on the down-low following his tirade at a media event last month that irritated prospective MetroPCS shareholders.

Last month, T-Mobile and Legere announced that it would effectively "kill" the traditional cell contract in a bid to boost subscribers overall. Claiming that the "industry is broken," the company also finally brought the iPhone to its service.

Topic: Networking

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  • I'm one of them :)

    I just switched from Sprint to T-Mobile prepaid.
    I now pay $60 per month for 2 lines compared with $150 with Sprint.
    Data speed is so much faster
    Including the cost of buying 2 Nexus 4's I'm saving around $1500 every 2 years and getting a better service.
    Sprint claim they offer unlimited data which is true, what they don't tell you is that for most locations it's unusably slow. It's like offering as much free pizza as you want but the only flavor available is poop flavor.
    • Which plan?

      I'm curious to know how you got 2 lines for $60? Their site shows 2 lines for $80 w/500mb of 4g data, after that is slows to 2G speeds for unlimited data.

      I'm seriously considering switching from AT&T after 8 years and I'll be saving about $30/mo if I go by their official site numbers.
      • $30 plan - fairly well hidden

        Go to http://prepaid-phones.t-mobile.com/prepaid-plans
        Scroll down and on the left it says "$30 per month - Unlimited web and text with 100 minutes talk". It may not be suitable for heave phone users, if you need unlimited minutes then get straight talk for $45 a month. If you go over the 100 minutes they charge 10 cents per minute so even if I use twice as much one month it's only $40 that month. Buy the top up pins from callingmart.com and you pay just $30 with no extra taxes and fees.
        • I'm on the same plan

          best plan in the country for most people I think. some family plans for people with large families might be a better deal for some.
        • and for voice

          just use Google Voice. I talk probably 500 minutes/month and it uses up about 100-200 MB.
  • Waiting on Nokia 521

    I've been with T-Mobile since the first of the year, and I am quite pleased with what I'm getting for $50 a month. Once the Nokia 521 is released, I'll probably move over to GoSmart mobile, a subsidiary, and use their all you can eat talk, text, and 3G web for $45 a month. It's nice to see that T-Mobile was not purchased by AT&T, because we now know that they would have ended any possibility of their being a European like carrier moving headlong towards a hybrid off contract pricing model.