T-Mobile Adds 1M Subs, Plots Faster 4G

T-Mobile's CEO is promising "substantial deployments" of faster 4G service from the operator in 2014.

Talking on its third quarter call Tuesday morning, T-Mobile US Inc. CEO John Legere said that the operator is planning to deploy "20x20" 4G LTE upgrades across top markets in the US through 2014. He cited tests of the 2x20MHz channel technology that showed download peaks of 147 Mbit/s.

CTO Neville Ray said that "successful integration" of the MetroPCS network is what is giving T-Mobile spectrum "fuel in the tank" to deploy wider channels. The carrier already expects to have 2x10MHz channels in 100 hundred markets by the end of the year, including in 90 percent of the top 25 metro areas. T-Mobile's current LTE footprint covers 203 million potential customers in the US.

The operator is also extending the MetroPCS footprint to 15 new markets on November 21. This will take MetroPCS to 45 cities covered all told.

Ray, meanwhile, said the 2x20MHz deployment will be full speed ahead in 2014. "We're going to push very hard in '14. I think there are some markets that will push into 2015," Ray said on the quarterly call.

Ray has previously told Light Reading that he has 2x20MHz LTE tests now running in the labs. He said that the (un)carrier could launch "very small" live tests by the end of the year. (See T-Mobile Eyes Fatter Pipes for 4G LTE .)

CEO Legere cited faster 4G speeds from T-Mobile as one aspect that takes the operator into contention with a slew of rivals in the wireless industry. He also cited the "full device portfolio" T-Mobile now boasts and its multi-stage "uncarrier" strategy. (See Look Inside T-Mobile's 'Uncarrier' Transformation, T-Mobile Zeros In on Tablets, Bills Don't Lie: T-Mobile Drops International Roaming Charges, T-Mobile: Might As Well JUMP, and T-Mobile's 'Smoking Fast' LTE Goes Live.)

"That makes us a threat across the entire market,” Legere claimed.

The operator added a million net subscribers in the third quarter. "643,000 branded postpaid net adds led the industry," Legere claimed. That just includes customers that bought T-Mobile phones -- not tablets or any other devices -- and pay a monthly bill.

T-Mobile sold 5.6 million smartphones in the quarter, 88 percent of total phones shifted. Legere noted that the operator is just starting to get into the tablet market with the launch of the iPad Air on November 1. (See Tablet Hunting: New 4G iPads in Manhattan.)

"You've seen churn start to elevate at some of the large carriers as T-Mobile's uncarrier strategy takes hold," Legere claimed.

T-Mobile itself is a "mid-market" player, elucidated CFO Braxton Carter during the question and answer session, that is taking subscribers from both larger rivals and smaller operators. "There's more of the share coming from AT&T and Sprint so far though," Carter claimed.

By year's end, T-Mobile is now guiding that its postpaid net adds will be up at 1.6 to 1.8 million, rather than the 1 million to 1.2 million previously predicted.

For the quarter, T-Mobile reported a net loss of $36 million on revenue of $6.69 billion, following a second quarter net loss of $16 million.

— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading

DanJones 11/5/2013 | 3:15:33 PM
Re: Did they discuss their pre paid T-Mobile reported more than 1 million net customer additions with 672,000 total branded net customer additions for the quarter, including branded postpaid net additions of 648,000 and branded prepaid net additions of 24,000.
Sarah Thomas 11/5/2013 | 3:01:40 PM
Re: Looks Like Sprint's Getting the Short End of the Stick Ah okay. Assuming most do BYOD for the financing deal, then that makes sense.
DanJones 11/5/2013 | 2:55:43 PM
Re: Looks Like Sprint's Getting the Short End of the Stick Initially easier to convert people coming over with GSM phones.
Sarah Thomas 11/5/2013 | 2:42:55 PM
Re: Looks Like Sprint's Getting the Short End of the Stick Why do you think it's been more successful stealing from AT&T than Verizon? Verizon plans are more expensive, in general, I think.
IritG 11/5/2013 | 2:20:52 PM
Did they discuss their pre paid Would have been interesting to see the post vs. pre paid and where those got to T-Mobile

DanJones 11/5/2013 | 1:43:50 PM
Re: Looks Like Sprint's Getting the Short End of the Stick Yeah, the CFO laid out it:



Smaller regional carriers

Didn't reveal which he thought T-Mobile had taken more from, just that AT&T & Sprint were the main sources of sub spillage to T-Mo.

KBode 11/5/2013 | 1:23:31 PM
Looks Like Sprint's Getting the Short End of the Stick After Sprint posted subscriber losses for Q3, it looks like we now know where many of those subscribers went. T-Mobile's really making great inrounds here; I have to admit I'm surprised by how well their new pricing plans and aggressive CEO Twitter fisticuffs are resonating with users. If they can get network coverage up and continue to innovate in pricing 2014 looks damn promising for them.

Funny, you don't hear AT&T talking much these days about how regulators blocking their acquisition of T-Mobile would be a really bad thing for consumers?
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