Analyst: T-Mobile remains the fastest growing mobile carrier in the U.S.

Analyst: T-Mobile remains the fastest growing mobile carrier in the U.S.
Is T-Mobile still the tail wagging the dog in the U.S. wireless industry? According to John Hodulik, an analyst with UBS, the nation's fourth largest carrier will remain its fastest growing after reporting Q2 numbers. Hodulik expects T-Mobile to report a 7% gain in service-revenue. He sees a slow down in subscriber growth, but still expects a "solid" gain in that department.

You can't expect T-Mobile to continue showing strong subscriber growth. After all, led by its Un-carrier initiatives, it added 1.32 million post-paid new subscribers in the first quarter. It was the best quarter ever for the carrier. AT&T was next with 625,000 post-paid additions during Q1. In April, T-Mobile revised its full-year estimate of new post-paid subscribers to a range of 2.8 million to 3.3 million, from a previous estimate of 2 million to 3 million.

While T-Mobile will be releasing its second quarter numbers at the end of this month, Verizon and AT&T have already announced their second quarter post-paid figures. Big Red added 1.4 million new subscribers, up from the 941,000 it brought aboard last year. AT&T added 800,000, up from last year's 551,000.

The wild card here is Sprint's rumored acquisition of T-Mobile. German telecom Deutsche Telekom owns 67% of T-Mobile, and SoftBank is looking to purchase more than 50% of the carrier's shares. Everyone involved in the deal says that having Sprint buy T-Mobile is the only way to prevent Verizon and AT&T from growing too big without competition. Even though T-Mobile's CEO John Legere is expected to run the combined company, he might not have the autonomy from a combined board that he is allowed at T-Mobile. That could slow down the pro-consumer changes that have been at the core of T-Mobile's growth.

source: IBD via TmoNews



1. Slammer

Posts: 1515; Member since: Jun 03, 2010

Red flag! If we look at Tmobile's recent clientele adds, we are essentially looking at an overglorified pre-paid carrier. I tire of hearing all this Tmobile press of game changing and customer friendly direction yet, in the end, DT has not retracted its interest in selling. If the carrier was doing this well, I would think the parent company would be wanting to hold on to "Gold." Add in the fact that the other carriers haven't really lost customer revenue nor have they been hard pressed to change the landscape to compete more firmly with Tmobile. This is all marketing propaganda to solicite subliminal messeging to readers. John B.

5. Planterz

Posts: 2120; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

How's your life going? Good? Wanna give it up and settle down for billions of dollars? Yeah, I think you might be interested....

6. Planterz

Posts: 2120; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

Remember that these companies also have a $%@load of debt. T-Mobile is expanding, and has lots of potential, but they're also in debt, to the tune of billions. Selling/merging might seem like giving up the golden goose to some, but to the owners, this might seem like a way out of a hole. You don't understand international finance when it comes to huge corporations, and neither do I. Debt, taxes, stocks, investors, etc. It's all way beyond me. I only know that motivation for DT goes beyond holding on to or letting go of a hot product. Remember, we're talking billions of dollars here.

13. Finalflash

Posts: 4063; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

Not really, if they had crippling debt no one would want to buy them. They have a healthy amount of debt that allows them to grow without going broke and that is how businesses are run. The real problem is the entrepreneurial environment in North America where all start ups and smaller companies have the end game goal of selling out to a larger competitor for more than they are worth. They literally taught us this as the first and most effective way to cash out in entrepreneurial business class. Long term the game is rigged for the big companies and to fight them you would literally have to pull a Google.

14. Planterz

Posts: 2120; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

I didn't say their debt was crippling. I mean, look at Ford/GM/Chrysler. Look at the banks and the bailouts. These companies have debts that defy human comprehension, yet they still operate. How this works, as I said, is beyond me. And I can't speak for DT's motivation, but getting out , even if it means selling off a hot product, can open up other opportunities to them. Remember that the interests stockholders and investing banks are also part of this as well.

8. Slammer

Posts: 1515; Member since: Jun 03, 2010

Lol. On a consumer level I would take the billions. However, on a corporate level already in the billions, you have to think long term. In perspective, I would not settle for 1000 dollars if I knew the item was increasing in value. The word "uncarrier" hasn't presented anything that has defined itself as different. Everything Tmobile has done so far, is adopted a direction that MVNOs have had in place for so long. Are they not carriers? Tmobile is marketing "supersized" prepaid. Tmobile is giving away far too much "free." This isn't sustainable long term. I can't help thinking that Verizon and AT&T are observing the same thing. John B.

9. Planterz

Posts: 2120; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

Yes and no. Their plans have no contract. Yet they also allow you to buy a device with "no money down" (you have to pay the taxes) and you pay it off over the next 2 years. MVNO's don't do that. It's fascinating that T-Mobile is basing so much of their business model on the fact that you don't have to stick with them. At first, it might seem like that's the very opposite that such a company would want, but that's part of their "Uncarrier" concept. The other companies make you sign a contract for 2 years. TWO YEARS! When it comes to technology, 2 years is nearly an eternity. So much can change in 2 years. Hell, in the last half-year, T-Mobile changed from a mediocre provider to one of the fastest (if not THE fastest) in many markets. The "Uncarrier" concept appeals to many people who are sick of contracts, ETFs, and other such restrictions. I know many people who are fed up with Verizon, Sprint, and AT&T. People who have half a year or so left on their contracts and are stuck with Galaxy S3s (or worse) and can't wait to be free. People want freedom. Even if they don't use it, people want it. I don't own a gun (yet) but I'm a supporter of 2nd Amendment rights. Cell phone owners might not necessarily switch from other companies to T-Mobile, then switch back, but I can assure you that many like that they have the freedom to do so if they wish. The no-contract, "Uncarrier" model of T-Mobile has a definite allure to it. It's the same reason I sign a 6 month lease instead of a year lease at my craphole apartments, even though I doubt I'll move anytime soon. I just don't want to lock myself in.

11. Slammer

Posts: 1515; Member since: Jun 03, 2010

I'm not so sure that it's that easy just to leave tmobile. I have to verify but, I think the commitment to the carrier remains intact with a two year contract with the phone rather than the contract. It's still a two year commitment. It's twisting the perception to make it sound more presentable. John B.

18. Planterz

Posts: 2120; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

Essentially, yes. If, in fact, you do buy a phone from them, you're on a payment plan to purchase the phone over a 2 year period. But at any time you can cancel your plan, pay off the remaining balance on your phone, and go where you wish. With a contract, you're not as free. ETFs, plus remaining balance can cost way more. And if you're with Sprint or Verizon, your phone is (practically) useless on AT&T or T-Mobile, and if you want to recoup, you have to sell the phone. I don't disagree that the "no contract" perception is in-part, just that, but it's also an undeniable allure. And this doesn't even take into account their "Jump" plan. And for those that BYOD (like me), a no-contract, post-paid plan is heaven.


Posts: 1461; Member since: Mar 09, 2010

With any carrier if you pay off the phone you are free except Verizon I think. The contract is the fee for the phone at every Don't like your phone pay it off, buy a new one. This can be done at any carrier. Here at Sprint IF I want a new phone, and I am on a contract I just pay off the price of the old phone and I am done. If I pay for my phone I have no That's why I bought a Goolge Nexus 5 off of Google play. People are over complicating things, and love to go for smoke and mirror Gimmicks. When the smoke clears at Tmobile you still HAVE TO PAY FOR THE PHONE BEFORE YOU UPGRADE AND LEAVE....HMMMMM....SAME AT SPRINT. TMobile has faster data speeds and less coverage area. Its your choice, and before anyone starts my parents switched and a family member has too. My family member does not get service every where we go in fact service wise Sprint out performs his service. In the Pocono mountains he has no service at all. Perception and choices is what it is all about. For America are you truly free....before answering review the NSA's, and Homeland Security's approach to the constitution's right to assemble, and freedom of speech.

16. engineer-1701d unregistered

you could not be more wrong my friend. i have a gs3 my contract is over all the carriers have a 0 down and you pay the price of the device over the course of the 24 months or you turn it in and upgrade. t and s need each other to punch into the duo's way. or let google buy tmobile and then everyone in the usa will switch to them. lol talk about a monopoly google wireless. it has a nice ring to it.

10. Damo579

Posts: 266; Member since: May 18, 2013

Yes this seems to be true but this is how it's done in Europe. You pay full price for the phone but the service is cheaper than what we pay here. Over a 2 year period the customer saves hundreds of dollars.

12. Planterz

Posts: 2120; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

At this point, I really doubt the same thing will ever happen in North America. Customers here are accustomed to getting the latest flagship on contract for $200...$300 at most, If it's a few months old, or a lesser phone, $100 on contract or even $0.99 or free, While they don't want to enter in to a 2 year contract, they also don't want to spend $600 on a new Android phone. $650-850 for an iPhone. It's an option, of course, but5 very, very few customers in the US plunk down several hundreds of dollars on a new phone. Even T-Mobile customers. Most people that go with MVNO (pre-paid) providers go with low-end devices, because that's all they can afford.

19. npaladin2000

Posts: 165; Member since: Nov 06, 2011

You really really doubt the same thing will happen in North America? Really? So Verizon EDGE, AT&T Next, and Sprint EasyPay don't exist? Each one is a direct reaction to T-Mobile's UnCarrier initiative, each one is essentially a clone of SimpleChoice, separating the plan from the phone payments. And they're still around because people want the option.

17. engineer-1701d unregistered

no it works out to be the same buy the device first or pay over time its the same i did the math. the only way out is the 2 yr contract with sub price phone from the carrier they will make it back if you leave.

15. engineer-1701d unregistered

the rich always want more no matter who it hurts.

22. UMAFan

Posts: 14; Member since: May 14, 2012

Glorified prepaid? Are you talking about the same T-Mobile that technically has the largest native data/text network thanks to free international roaming? One among many many reasons millions have switched to T-Mobile. T-Mobile has GLOBAL coverage. It's also been reported by CNBC that the goal for DT and Softbank is for T-Mobile US to take over Sprint with Softbank as the majority shareholder. Basically if they merge it would create a super T-Mobile which is why DT would still want to hold some share of the combined entity even if it was a minority. People who think DT just wants to sell out are idiots. With the at&t deal they made at&t pay the largest break up fee in HISTORY relative to the sale price.

37. lsutigers

Posts: 832; Member since: Mar 08, 2009

Native by definition = not native. Just sayin. And domestically TMO doesn't come close to AT&T and Sprint in terms of coverage, not to mention Verizon... By the way, all carriers have international roaming agreements. You should change your name to TMOFan.

38. npaladin2000

Posts: 165; Member since: Nov 06, 2011

Actually, over at my office, T-Mobile has the best coverage, followed by AT&T. Sprint's got a bar or two, Verizon is completely unusable unless outdoors. It all depends on the area.

36. lsutigers

Posts: 832; Member since: Mar 08, 2009

Its no secret, T-Mobile has been adding subs in record numbers while their ARPU (average revenue per user), the most important metric by which wireless carriers are evaluated has been in steep decline. Meaning, TMO is adding subs at a huge cost by essentially giving away the farm. This growth is unsustainable and parent DT knows it which is why they are still looking to unload TMO. The only way this is sustainable is with a larger parent such as Softbank with deep pockets willing to play the game to seriously compete with the duopoly.

2. ArtSim98

Posts: 3535; Member since: Dec 21, 2012

I first thought that's an old woman in that picture :p

4. kaboom

Posts: 6; Member since: Jul 19, 2014

John legree anounces the next uncarrier move relate to the old so that they feel at home with tmobile

20. npaladin2000

Posts: 165; Member since: Nov 06, 2011

Wouldn't surprise me, that's a seriously untapped market, and might be worth going after. That would probably be outside their typical target right now though.

3. kaboom

Posts: 6; Member since: Jul 19, 2014

First btw all the carriers are adding consumers that used to be sprints

7. Planterz

Posts: 2120; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

Many, certainly. Sprint offers Unlimited, T-Mobile offers Unlimited, but Sprint sucks, so many people who want Unlimited have jumped ship. But I personally know many who have jumped ship (or are planning to jump) from Verizon and AT&T too, Myself included. The stats stated above say that AT&T and Verizon have gained new subscribers. Those stats don't say how many they've lost. I don't know how many they've lost, but I can assume that it's a significant amount. T-Mo's new subscriber numbers beats both of theirs. How many came from Sprint, and how many came from VZW and AT&T (not to forget those who didn't switch, but are new cellular customers), these figures don't say. But I can assure you that there are plenty of disgruntled VZW and AT&T customers that are happy with T-Mobile, or are going to switch as soon as their contracts ($#@! contracts!) are up.

21. Brosepower

Posts: 35; Member since: Apr 21, 2014

You guys are all not really understanding why T-mobile is doing what it is. I work for the company and T-mobile is making the strides that they are because of the plans and how the entire business model works. AT&T and Verizon (i dont even want to bring up sprint, they are pretty worthless) put a customer into a contract and charge them 200 bucks for the 600 dollar phone. They then add on a bunch of features onto the plan to make up the cost of the phone. Go right now onto verizon's website and fill out a new customer form where you are wanting a new flagship. Now add 4 GB of data. You will see the total at roughly 110 dollars for everything. Now take the same scenario with T-mobile, its 60 bucks for the plan with 3 gb of data and the unlimited talk and text. The phone is 25 bucks a month for a total of 85 dollars. So the 35 dollar difference per month over the course of 2 years makes the phone 840 bucks PLUS the 200 dollars you put down originally, making the phone that was 600 bucks outright at tmobile 1040 dollars at verizon. Another huge thing we have that customers just love is the no overages. You cannot incur overage charges on data. Anywhere in the world. Its unlimited data (if you go over your amount it just slows down) anywhere in the world. That is huge. So yeah, i work for the company and yes, I may be slightly biased but T-mobile getting rid of contracts, saving you money monthly for the same services, on top of the fact that you have no bill anxiety because you cannot incur overages makes it a very tempting choice. It has little to do with the phone putting you in a contract or not.

23. pokerc

Posts: 61; Member since: May 24, 2012

Too bad T-Mobile has horrible service in the U.S

25. youlookfoolish

Posts: 193; Member since: Dec 14, 2012

This post reeks of I work for the company brain washing. You rail on Verizon charging excessive fees to make up the difference post subsidy and in the same breath brag about no overages on T-Mobile. Reality is that once you hit your hard data cap work T-Mobile, you have to pay an additional premium to use more data. Marketing or not, that is paying additional money that was not included in the plan the customer signed up for. That's overage. I think people have a fine understanding of magenta. The majority which means more than half, of all of their customers who have joined are prepaid. They lost money every single quarter and this quarter will be no different, paying for the most unprofitable customers in wireless. And for all of the speed they advertise, magenta still has easily and demonstrably the smallest coverage foot print. Good marketing, still a terrible wireless company. Parent company may speak German primarily but their wish to eject is universal in language. You are the weakest link. Goodbye.

28. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

"Reality is that once you hit your hard data cap work T-Mobile, you have to pay an additional premium to use more data." This is the biggest lie I've ever seen you post. It's FULLY UNLIMITED. Does T-Mobile slow speeds to 1mbps when watching YouTube, Netflix or Hulu? Nope. Please stop spreading complete bulls--t when you absolutely know nothing.

30. youlookfoolish

Posts: 193; Member since: Dec 14, 2012

Do you read what you type? T-Mobile's $40 individual plan includes 500mb of data. Once you hit that 500mb you have to pay for more data. My source is and every website that has ever reported anything. That's not a lie. It's fact. Use all of the profanity you want and chase me around the forum but you are obviously in over your head for a pathetic and overrated prepaid company that will eventually be sold to another company. Softbank or not. Coverage stinks, they lose money. Period. Their marketing is clever but they are not a good company. For any reason. Get over yourself and keep cursing and showing everyone your intelligence.

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