T-Mobile US CEO John Legere (pictured) accused rivals AT&T and Verizon of “choking with their unlimited offerings”, as his company gained further ground with another strong quarter of subscriber growth in Q2.
During the period, T-Mobile add 1.3 million subscribers to its network, the 17th consecutive quarter the company added more than 1 million, with 786,000 of the recent net additions in the lucrative post paid segment. This was up from 646,000 in the same quarter a year prior, and gives the company 69.6 million subscribers in total.
Legere, in an earnings call, pointed out Q2 was “competitive”, given it was the first full quarter with all the unlimited plans on the market, but said T-Mobile’s additions proved “our traction with customers continued”.
After T-Mobile launched its One unlimited offering in August 2016, Verizon rolled out its unlimited option in February, while AT&T and Sprint both also followed.
In typical Legere fashion, he hailed T-Mobile’s recent network investments – with the deployment of 700MHz now complete and its 600MHz efforts underway – as significant in holding the advantage over its rivals in the unlimited fight. It plans to roll out its first 600MHz site in August.
“Amazingly, Verizon fell behind AT&T in terms of download speed. Both Verizon and AT&T are completely choking in the wake of their unlimited launches and have seen significant network slowdowns. Their networks just can’t take it,” he said.
“Meanwhile, T-Mobile’s network has actually become even faster in download speeds and America’s best unlimited network just keeps getting better”.
Revenue, profit up
Along with another strong round of subscriber gains, the company also reported a strong financial performance, which it said was “expected to top the competition”.
T-Mobile generated a 10 per cent increase in total revenue from Q2 2016 to hit $10.2 billion in the recent period, while net income reached $581 million in Q2 2017, up from $225 million in the 2016 quarter.
Service revenue increased 8 per cent year-on-year to $7.4 billion, which is expected to mark the 13th quarter in a row “T-Mobile has led the industry in year-over-year service revenue percentage growth”.
The positive results led T-Mobile to increase branded post paid net additions guidance for 2017 to between 3 million and 3.6 million, up from 2.8 million to 3.5 million previously.
During the earnings call, Legere also fielded questions about a merger with Sprint.
The company’s parent Deutsche Telekom had entered talks with Sprint owner SoftBank regarding a possible tie-up, but those discussions have since been put on hold after the Japanese company entered into separate negotiations with cable companies Charter and Comcast.
Both Comcast and Charter entered into an agreement in May to cooperate on their separate entries into the mobile market, but agreed they would not merge with an operator for a year without each other’s consent.
The Sprint talks were announced a few weeks later.
Legere said he did not know exactly who else Sprint was negotiating with, and whether they would eventually partner up with an MVNO, while adding that T-Mobile would remain patient with the situation.
“We know that Sprint has a need to do something and we are interested in all of these options, but we are interested in our business and doing things in a methodical way.”