T-Mobile reports revenues up 4%, earnings down 4% in the first quarter
T-Mobile, the nation's fourth largest cellular carrier, reported a drop of 4% year over year in first quarter operating income. At the same time, revenue increased 4% over the total from last year's first three months. The networker's President and CEO, Robert Dodson, blamed the economic softness in the U.S. for the results. Still, there were some bright spots in the report as revenue from data services increased 23% from last year. While the company added a net total of 415,000 new subscribers in the period, that was lower than the 621,000 new accounts added during the 4th quarter of 2008 and down sharply from the 981,000 new customers added in the first quarter of last year. At the end of the first quarter this year, T-Mobile had 33.2 million customers, up from the 32.8 million the company had at the end of last year. 81% of the total number of customers are under contract to the carrier. In a sign that the weaker economy has people less likely to commit to two year offers, only 39% of T-Mobile's new customers came from those signing a contract compared to 75% during the same period last year.