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T-Mobile US added more subscribers in last quarter than top three competitors combined

Legere profane as carrier approaches number three spot

John Legere

Shares in US mobile operator T-Mobile rose by more than 7 per cent on news that the firm added 2.4 million customers to its books and increased its revenues by 47 per cent in the last quarter. The news moved its outspoken CEO John Legere to profanity.

In the first quarter of 2014, T-Mobile added 1.3 million postpaid customers to its rolls and 465,000 prepaid users. Together with new customers added from the company's takeover of MetroPCS, the total increase was 2.4 million – a bigger gain than that of AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint combined. What's more, T-Mobile is now inching close to third-placed Sprint's 55 million total customers.

MetroPCS also contributed healthily to T-Mobile's bottom line. The company saw revenues climb 47 per cent year-on-year to $6.88bn, and it shifted a record 6.9 million new handsets in the quarter.

"A year ago I promised that we would bring change to what I called this arrogant US wireless industry. We are delivering on that promise and our results reflect the growing customer revolution that we've ignited," said Legere.

"We are now approaching 50 million customers, added 2.4 million net new customers in the first quarter alone, and posted our fourth quarter of consecutive service revenue growth, while once again adding more net new postpaid customers than the rest of the industry combined!"

The flood of new customers into T-Mobile is good news for the company's ambitions, but has come at a heavy price. Its Uncarrier initiatives, including paying off the contract costs of new subscribers, have hit T-Mobile's bottom line and the company lost $151m in the quarter.

That said, T-Mobile's efforts have been good news for almost all US mobile customers. Legere's actions have shaken up the expensive US market and the competition has been forced to cut their prices and offer incentives to stem the flow of customers to T-Mobile.

What remains to be seen is if T-Mobile can make a profit off its new users. The company reported average revenue per customer for the quarter as $50.01, down 1.4 per cent year-on-year, although this is an improvement on last quarter's 2.9 per cent decline. ®

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