T-Mobile posts losses but makes big gains in subscribers

T-Mobile has been aggressively attempting to attract new as well as existing subscribers away from other cellular providers, including offering to pay for transfer fees.
By Ananth Baliga  |  May 1, 2014 at 11:23 AM
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BELLEVUE, Wash., May 1 (UPI) -- T-Mobile said it added 1.3 million new monthly subscribers, more than its rivals, for the first quarter, but reported losses despite an uptick in revenues.

Promotions and cheaper plans helped T-Mobile get more subscribers that AT&T, Verizon and Sprint. The cellular provider exceeded analysts' expectations, who estimated 998,000 new subscribers, and had more new subscribers that AT&T and Verizon put together, which was 1.16 million customers.

“A year ago I promised that we would bring change to what I called this arrogant U.S. wireless industry,” T-Mobile CEO John Legere said in the statement. “We are delivering on that promise and our results reflect the growing customer revolution that we’ve ignited.”

The company posted a quarterly loss of $151 million, or 19 cents a share, compared with a year-earlier profit of $107 million. Revenues jumped 47 percent to $6.88 billion, but were weighed down by higher operating costs, which increased 61 percent.

T-Mobile is the No.4 wireless carrier in the U.S is fast gaining ground on Sprint, which incidentally is seeking funding to acquire T-Mobile. T-Mobile has gained on Sprint and other competitors, aggressively attracting customers by doing away with carrier contracts and making a major marketing push. Still, this has come at a cost, as these efforts have hurt its margins and widened its losses.

T-Mobile has upped its annual postpaid subscribers additions to between 2.8 million and 3.3 million, from 2 million to 3 million previously.

Verizon has largely stayed out of the price war and instead concentrated on improving its services. The company saw a loss of 138,000 subscribers for the quarter, which was more than made up for gains in new tablet users.

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