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471,000 contract customers leave T-Mobile in Q1

Posted: , by Alan F.

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471,000 contract customers leave T-Mobile in Q1
Despite blanketing the television airwaves with its clever ad campaign, T-Mobile lost 471,000 contract customers in the first quarter. The addition of pre-paid accounts reduced the net customer loss to 99,000 in the three month period, up from a net loss of 77,000 customers a year ago. Contract customers are valued more highly than pre-paid subscribers in the cell phone industry because of the contract that locks-in a steady revenue to the carrier and the fact that those on contract tend to spend more on other accessories and extra services.

Speaking of revenue, T-Mobile brought in $4.63 billion in Q1, about the same as last year's figure. Operating earnings before depreciation and amortization came to $1.19 billion in the period, down from the $1.39 billion from the 2010 quarter. The carrier added a million new smartphone users to 9.1 million during the 3 months and contract ARPU rose to $52 from $51. Blended data ARPU, which takes pre-paid customers into account, dropped 20% to $13.10 in the first quarter.

René Obermann, CEO of  T-Mobile's corporate parent Deutsche Telekom, said, "The first quarter shows a mixed picture with positive trends in the development of data ARPU. Our deal with AT&T announced a few weeks ago will not change the focus of our US business. Until the closing of the deal, T-Mobile will continue to challenge its competitors and compete aggressively in the US market."

The carrier says that it is increasing the maximum speed of its network to 42Mbps and the faster pipelines will be accessible to 140 million people by the middle of this year. T-Mobile says that it has already launched the upgrade on certain markets.

source: T-Mobile via Engadget


31 Comments
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posted on 08 May 2011, 12:09 1

1. ssjassassin (Posts: 108; Member since: 31 Aug 2009)


Well another humdrum quarter for the Mangenta team. It is interesting how many detractors they have for being such a value based company. They really need to start using the net promoter score approach to find what customers are thinking. Those are amazing ways the feel the pulse of the customer base. They might beable to figure out how to keep those people willing to leave so easily. The funny thing is that T-Mobile looses most customers to other value based carriers such as sprint or one of the regionals.

posted on 08 May 2011, 22:11

24. remixfa (Posts: 13906; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


Actually, as a person in the know..i can tell you where its going. they have been moving many flex and no contract customers to the prepaid plans. They do it quite often. The prepaids are such a good deal that unless your on contract for a smartphone there really isnt a point. The churn is artificially high from customers switching, not from customers leaving. Yea, its still a negative quarter, but its not nearly as negative as it looks.

posted on 08 May 2011, 23:18

26. ssjassassin (Posts: 108; Member since: 31 Aug 2009)


a net loss of 100k people is huge. the churn was high and moving some flex to pre-paid is happening yes but they are also moving many to post as well. Fact is the churn is high and the prepaid churn is also high. They have not stated how they plan on fixing the issue of customers leaving and should attempt to hear more of what they have to say. I like T-Mobile and the position they hold in the market. I do think that more communication is key.

posted on 08 May 2011, 12:11 1

2. achilles (Posts: 54; Member since: 27 May 2010)


T-moble mistakes: #1, Data Throttling. Give customers unlimited data without slowdown. #2. The need for more high end phone selections from different manufacturers.

posted on 08 May 2011, 12:39 3

3. cellgeek82 (Posts: 518; Member since: 20 Dec 2009)


Another reason is their gay commercials. If I was on T-mobile I'd leave just for that. They're lame as Alltel before they were bought out. T-mo is too busy crap-talking to explain what coverage and products they have.

posted on 08 May 2011, 14:01 2

6. luis_lopez_351 (Posts: 951; Member since: 18 Nov 2010)


@achilles & Cellgeek. T-Mobile is worth the value, Throttle speeds dont matter if u got wifi, and T-Mobile has the best High end phones Right now the LG G2x and then the HTC Sensation and then the HTC MyTouchSlide 4G 3D/Tied with the Sprint HTC Evo 3D. The only problem T-Mobile really has is Coverage. I have t-Mobile I love everything about it except when i enter a thick building or leave the city and go into the country

posted on 08 May 2011, 14:26 1

9. ZayZay (Posts: 557; Member since: 26 Feb 2011)


It's inconvenient and a hassle to try and only use WIFI instead of just having fast speeds all the time. T-mobile got it wrong and throttles people after 2GBS!! Dumb.

posted on 08 May 2011, 17:39 2

14. chris23 (Posts: 39; Member since: 16 Jul 2010)


I believe that the 2GB throttle point only applies to the people that switched over to the new plan that just came out last month. I think everyone else, myself included, still gets throttled after 5GB

posted on 08 May 2011, 23:25

27. ssjassassin (Posts: 108; Member since: 31 Aug 2009)


Wifi on always works fine and will auto connect to your networks. The vast majority of customers use under 2 gigs in a month. If you are not one of those people then you are using your phone for more than most people have free time. In addition you still can pay for the regular plan and have more web. If you feel uncapped internet and a $80 price is what you deserve then you are not a reasonable person. Also if you dont like having wifi on all day for auto connections try using the app juice defender great app for power conservation.

posted on 08 May 2011, 14:22

8. ZayZay (Posts: 557; Member since: 26 Feb 2011)


I would have to agree. I can't stand that "rapping white guy" that talks to fast to understand they have to put subtitles at the bottom. I mute the commercial everytime it comes on.

posted on 08 May 2011, 15:45 3

11. random (unregistered)


maybe your just watching too much TV ?

posted on 08 May 2011, 19:26

17. luis_lopez_351 (Posts: 951; Member since: 18 Nov 2010)


do get mad at ZayZay he is probably under a butt f_ck contract on Verizon or At&t :)

posted on 09 May 2011, 13:28

32. ZayZay (Posts: 557; Member since: 26 Feb 2011)


5GB throttle is still to low for some. And no I will never be with Verizon or AT&T sir. Way to much $$ for nothing special.

posted on 09 May 2011, 17:25 1

33. luis_lopez_351 (Posts: 951; Member since: 18 Nov 2010)


Oh i see..ur with old slow 3G unique Wimax thrifty bad coverage sprint Kudos for your lame _ss

posted on 10 May 2011, 17:24

36. ZayZay (Posts: 557; Member since: 26 Feb 2011)


Wow. really? How bad is T-mobiles coverage again? Please remind me. You obviously are on the bandwagon of idiocracy. Good luck in life with that attitude little boy.

posted on 08 May 2011, 13:36 2

5. Rawrzellers (Posts: 224; Member since: 22 Aug 2010)


Most likely because these people got all scared of the merger :/ Even my dad called me the day he found out and was telling me to switch. I'm not leaving until the merger happens but if not I'm just staying where I am.

posted on 08 May 2011, 14:03 4

7. luis_lopez_351 (Posts: 951; Member since: 18 Nov 2010)


Lmfao!!! Im get on a 2 years contract like 1 month B4 the merger so At&t gets to grandfather my plans, that way i get T-Mobiles same speeds and at&ts coverage C: but when the contracts up ima go to sprint >_>

posted on 08 May 2011, 20:33 1

19. elandrumiii (Posts: 109; Member since: 20 Mar 2010)


Remember AT&T said the first thing they will do is shut down the TMO 3G/4G spectrum to use it for LTE so you wont have any speed. Depending on where they start will determine who loses it first.

posted on 08 May 2011, 22:14 2

25. remixfa (Posts: 13906; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


They said they would shut it down. they did not say "right away". They CANT. They have to honor Tmobile customer's contracts. If they shut down the Tmo 4g spectrum, they have to let EVERYONE that's under tmo contract out of contract, which will leave many to run screaming to sprint or VZW... ATT isnt going to let that happen. LTE will be built in tandem with Tmo's HSPA+ network and shut it off.. eventually. Besides, Tmo is already building it to 42mb/s this year and 84mb/s next year if they are still around. Whats the hurry to move to 30mb/s LTE??

posted on 09 May 2011, 00:18

28. luis_lopez_351 (Posts: 951; Member since: 18 Nov 2010)


Thank you Remixfa :) and unless you own a Quad ban phone it doesnt matter ;]

posted on 08 May 2011, 15:29 1

10. jessicahunny (unregistered)


Well I think I kinda understand why so many people left T-Mobile. Cuz its coverage stinks! If u never get out of the city then T-Mobile is for u. I live in La I had a mytouch 4g awesome phone. But when it was my birthay we decided to go to vegas and let me tell u something once we were in the middle of nowhere T-Mobile had no service it was frustrating. Good thing my boyfriend had his att bb torch he never lost service on the whole 4 hours to Vegas while my mytouch 4g kept on searching for a signal half of the time. When we were literally in the middle of nowhere his att bb had 2 bars of att edge while my phone said "SOS " in the screen, and it didn't work at all to call or txt. And his did cuz we stopped to call someone and had to use his bb which worked fine cuz my freaking mytouch piece of shit didn't have service. So yea once we got to vegas my phone worked fine. But on da way back it was the same problem. I think ima cancel it and get a phone from att and join my boyfriends plan. Wit t-mobile u get what u pay for u have a cheap plan but coverage sucks, with att u pay more but atleast it has beter coverage..

posted on 08 May 2011, 17:23 2

13. Rawrzellers (Posts: 224; Member since: 22 Aug 2010)


I find it funny that you all are saying once you leave the city. I live on a god damn island and not even on the main part where the military base is and I get full signal if not half most of the time. ATT is you get what you pay for, crap customer service, maybe a bar or more then other carriers, and jacked up rates for shit data.

posted on 09 May 2011, 20:14 2

35. christony1120 (Posts: 65; Member since: 07 Dec 2010)


AGREED!!!! T-MOBILE IS SLOOOOOOOOOOOOW

posted on 08 May 2011, 16:50 3

12. snowbdr89 (unregistered)


its nice to be a verizon customer!! no edge and no merger with that shitty company they call att oh yeah and i can go outside of a city and get service!! but good luck to u all who stay with at@tmo

posted on 08 May 2011, 17:52 1

15. hammertong (Posts: 23; Member since: 10 May 2010)


If you think that is bad, wait until ATT takes over. Then the bailouts will number in the millions.

posted on 08 May 2011, 18:39 1

16. likeag6 (unregistered)


@rawrzellers nomas porque tu vives en una puta isla y t-mobile sirve bien aya donde tu estas no significa que sirva bien en todos lados. U shud come to Los Angeles that jessica gurl is correct over here with T-Mobile once ur out of da city no service while att works fine. Si no sabes mejor callate. :)

posted on 08 May 2011, 20:28 1

18. joey18 (Posts: 520; Member since: 20 Jul 2010)


Tmo no service everywhere here bayarea best service are 1-1 verizon and sprint tmo bad service 4 years ago a sidekid 1 week no service i cancel the service sence the time i have verizon never drop calls great service my sister have att her blackberry phone allways have big noise when she make calls

posted on 09 May 2011, 00:53

29. MrWilli5 (Posts: 72; Member since: 13 Feb 2011)


yayyyyy faster speeds!

posted on 09 May 2011, 13:16

31. som (Posts: 768; Member since: 10 Nov 2009)


10years with Tmo I will file a divorce when my contract end. Tmo have no roaming with other wireless companies, in some areas no Tmo services your phone is dead brick no zero signal and no roaming while Att, Sprint and Verizon services are working in that areas but Tmo is zero services, zero signal and not working.

T-Mobile needed to establish of no roaming charge with other carriers in an areas that Tmo have no services and signal in order to keep Tmo customers happy and stay with Tmo otherwise I will say goodbye forever.

posted on 09 May 2011, 20:12

34. christony1120 (Posts: 65; Member since: 07 Dec 2010)


i agree with jessicahunny tmobile sucks!!!! i have the droid x (which is 3g) and i get the same speed as tmo. 4g that clearly meens tmo. is not fast. just because its cheap people go to it, dont be mad you dont have enough money to switch wit verizon and their high speeds (:

posted on 10 Sep 2011, 22:17

37. doru popovici (unregistered)


i am next one to leave. good customer service so far, but if i cant talk on phone when i need to its all useless. thousands of dropped calls, " call failed", "service unavailable ", all error messages u can get, in washington dc metropolitan area. horrible, horrible. 2 months left and i am leaving. just waiting for. my phone blackberry 9870, 3g. internet 3g, cmon, i can barely load a page. intermittent internet on highways, cant listen to radio on phone. frustrating.

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