T-Mobile Adds 1 Million-Plus Customers, Sold 5.6M Smartphones

By Michelle Maisto  |  Posted 2013-11-05 Print this article Print

With contracts, upgrades, high-speed data for tablets and international roaming woes solved, Legere put a spotlight on the next major "pain point" in need of addressing.

"I predict that family plans will quickly become a pain point," he said. "They were not created for the benefit of the family but as a way of [benefitting the carriers]."

Legere added that families are " fighting at the dinner table" over single buckets of limited, shared data, and that the "carriers that thrive on these family plans will have to do a massive massaging" of their current offers if they're going to keep their customers.

If they don't, they may risk losing more customers to Uncarrier 4.0, was the suggestion. Executives on the call shared that T-Mobile's "no apologies network position" means its 1 million-plus new customers came from "below and above."

CFO Braxton Carter clarified, "Mostly from AT&T and Sprint."

Sprint, which underwent a number of changes during its third quarter, sold 5 million smartphones during the quarter, lost 360,000 postpaid subscribers and had an operating loss of $398 million.

AT&T added nearly 1 million subscribers during its third quarter, though only 178,000 were postpaid smartphone customers. It lost 285,000 subscribers, who it described as mostly feature-phone users, and brought in $6.2 billion in profit on revenue of $32.2 billion.

Verizon posted income of $7.1 billion on revenue of $30.3 billion. Its wireless revenue was $20.4 billion, and it activated more than 7.6 million smartphones during the third quarter. During its earnings call, CFO Fran Shammo suggested that even the market leader wasn't impervious to being impacted by T-Mobile.

"I can't tell you we don't lose customers to our competitors," he said, adding that Verizon Wireless is seeing some "older 3G phone customers ... shift over to the lower-end pricing plans of competitors."

In the fourth quarter, said Shammo, Verizon plans to "get more competitive" about keeping them.

Follow Michelle Maisto on Twitter.


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