T-Mobile US added a total of 8.3 million customers during 2014 as it’s ‘Un-Carrier’ strategy continued to help it make progress.
The total net additions were the biggest in the company’s history, and included 4.9 million postpaid net additions. This was above the company’s guidance of 4.3 million to 4.7 million net additions made during its Q3 earnings announcement.
In the fourth quarter, the fourth largest operator in the US gained 2.1 million customers, 1.0 million of whom were postpaid customers. The 266,000 gain in prepaid customers was largely down to the performance of the MetroPCS brand, which T-Mobile acquired in 2013. The remainder were wholesale net additions.
The fourth quarter was the seventh in a row in which T-Mobile gained more than a million customers. The net customer addition figure was 89 per cent higher than in 2013.
John Legere, the outspoken president and CEO of the operator, said the company continued to take market share from its rivals with customers looking for “value, simplicity and transparency”.
“Clearly customers are seeing through the tricks and the confusion that the other guys offer and coming to T-Mobile for our solutions,” Legere said.
Jennifer Fritzsche, an analyst at Wells Fargo, told Financial Times that although the company is showing “impressive momentum” in terms of customer growth, there remains a question around how this translates into financial performance. The company reported a $94 million loss for the third quarter of 2014.
Legere added that the company is “not slowing down, and customers know it”. T-Mobile unveiled its Un-carrier 8.0 offerings in December, including the ability to transfer unused data onto the following month’s allowance. More Un-carrier moves are expected in 2015.
Perhaps in response to T-Mobile’s latest moves, US number two AT&T this week announced it would also offer the ability for customers to roll over data they don’t use to the following month’s allowance.
Sprint, T-Mobile’s closest rival in terms of subscriber numbers, today reported that it saw 967,000 net customer additions in its most recent quarter.
However, the US number three gained just 30,000 of the more valuable postpaid customers — significantly down on T-Mobile. However, it beats its rival on the prepaid side of the business, with 410,000 net additions.
Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure, who has brought a more aggressive approach to the company, said its first priority is a return to customer growth and that the most recent quarter showed that it is on the “right track”.
Since Claure’s appointment in August, Sprint has introduced simplified pricing and promotions for people that switch from larger rivals AT&T and Verizon Wireless — offers that echo those previously launched by T-Mobile.