The nation's fourth largest cellular carrier, T-Mobile, reported a flat first quarter earnings report with some subtle improvements. Operating earnings were $1.38 billion in the first quarter of 2010 vs. $1.37 in the first quarter of 2009. Margins rose from 29% last year to 30% in the first three months of this year. A net figure of 77,000 customers left the carrier during Q1 compared to net additions of 371,000 in the fourth period of 2009 and 415,000 in 2009's first quarter. At the end of the 2010 first quarter, T-Mobile served 33.7 million customers. The operator had 5.2 million 3G enabled devices in operation during the quarter, up 33% from 3.9 million 3G phones in use during the fourth quarter of 2009 and a stunning improvement from 1.5 million 3G devices in use during last year's first quarter. With the addition in 3G users, the carrier said that its blended data average revenue per user rose 16% year-over-year to $10.90 per month. Blended ARPU was $46 per month, flat from the prior period, but down from $48 per month during the 2009 first quarter. Contract churn declined to 2.2%, down from 2.5% in Q4 of 2009 and 2.3
% in Q1 of 2009. The company noted strong demand for some of its smartphone products like the HTC HD2 and the Android flavored myTouch 3G. Looking ahead, T-Mobile says to expect 185 million people to be covered by its HSPA+ service by the end of 2010.