The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) gave its stamp of approval for T-Mobile US’ $1.3 billion deal to buy Mint Mobile and Ultra Mobile after the operator agreed to unlock devices for 60 days on both brands to give customers the option of switching providers.

T-Mobile CEO Mike Sievert (pictured) stated on the operator’s Q1 earnings call the deal, which was first announced in March 2023, will close on 1 May.

“We are really looking forward to welcoming them to the Uncarrier family and I know they’re going to fit in because they are hyper focused on offering customers compelling products at a great value,” Sievert stated. “We will work to further fuel their success, while also learning from their team who are absolute rockstars in the direct to consumer and value segments”.

Sievert and his team also provided colour on T-Mobile’s fibre announcement with EQT to acquire a 50 per cent stake in FTT provider Lumos Networks through a JV. He stated the JV allows T-Mobile to expand its broadband service beyond mobile by using a “capital light” approach through sharing the fibre investment with EQT.

CFO Peter Osvaldik noted the incremental $500 million investment by T-Mobile, on top of an initial infusion of $950 million, will be matched by EQT.

While T-Mobile’s fixed wireless access (FWA) broadband service resonates with customers, its 405,000 Q1 additions decreased by 118,000 year-over-year.

Analysts have expressed concern the operator is reaching the limit of the number of subscribers it can serve on its 5G network, but Sievert noted the strategy has always been to offer it in areas where it has excess 5G capacity.

T-Mobile ended the quarter with 5.2 million subscribers, but executives have cautioned growth rates will taper off going forward. Sievert noted T-Mobile’s goal is to reach seven million to eight million FWA subscribers by 2025 and that its fibre strategy “relieves some pressure on the 5G network” and extends the total addressable market for broadband.

T-Mobile added 532,000 post-paid customers, down slightly from a year ago, to top AT&T’s 349,000. Earlier in the week, Verizon reported a loss of retail post-paid phone subscribers.

The operator’s post-paid phone churn of 0.86 per cent matches the record low for the quarter but is above AT&T’s churn of 0.72 per cent.

Post-paid service revenue of $12.6 billion grew 6 per cent while service revenue of $16.1 billion was up by 4 per cent.

Osvaldik stated the operator anticipates slight year over year headwinds for post-paid phone adds in Q2 and Q3 related to phone rate plan adjustments.

Revenue of $19.5 billion was flat while net income of $2.3 billon dropped by 22.4 per cent.