T-Mobile feels the heat vs rivals, loses subscribers in second quarter

T-Mobile lost 93,000 net customers in the second quarter as its three main rivals---AT&T, Sprint and Verizon Wireless added subscribers.

T-Mobile lost 93,000 net customers in the second quarter as its three main rivals---AT&T, Sprint and Verizon Wireless added subscribers.

On the customer front, T-Mobile's second quarter results were worrisome (statement). The company's loss of 93,000 customers was a reversal from 325,000 net additions a year ago. In the first quarter, T-Mobile lost 77,000 net customers.

Here's how T-Mobile's customer losses stacked up against rivals:

T-Mobile said the declines were due to a loss of prepaid customers, which could be a good thing since these accounts are typically low margin. The company said it added 106,000 postpaid accounts, or folks that sign up for a contract. That sum reversed a loss from the first quarter and topped the 56,000 postpaid additions a year ago.

The problem is that T-Mobile isn't rapidly adding connected devices like e-readers and is getting creamed on the prepaid front by Sprint. Toss in a lack of hot devices like the Droid X (Verizon), iPhone 4 (AT&T), or HTC Evo (Sprint) and you have a recipe for customer defections.

Total churn at T-Mobile was 3.4 percent, well above the levels reported by rivals. Postpaid churn was 2.2 percent in the second quarter. The company said it is aggressively building out its HSPA+ network, but that's a problem too since Sprint has 4G and Verizon and AT&T are on deck.

T-Mobile reported net income of $404 million in the second quarter, down from $425 million a year ago. Revenue was $5.36 billion, up from $5.34 billion a year ago.

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