T-Mobile had a record Sprint merger quarter, shifts focus to the 5G network

T-Mobile reports record Sprint merger quarter, shifts focus to the 5G network
T-Mobile took to the airwaves to announce its quarterly results and they shatter one record after another. Amidst the coronavirus lockdown, T-Mobile managed to beat all of its most important growth metrics, including postpaid additions, churn, revenue and even net income after taxes.

While its profits are still a far cry from what Verizon or AT&T notch each quarters, they are nearing a billion for the first time, and T-Mobile is still in its growth phase where it prioritizes subscriber increase.

The merger with Sprint was also considered a success, with Big Magenta now hot on the heels of the big two, and already showing the first 5G network synergies after the merger, at least in cities like New York, and with phones from the newest Galaxy S20 series. Here's the T-Mobile quarterly breakdown:

T-Mobile reports industry-best subscriber growth

  • 777,000 branded postpaid net additions in Q1 2020, best in industry.
  • 452,000 branded postpaid phone net additions in Q1 2020, best in industry.
  • 649,000 total branded net additions in Q1 2020, best in industry.
  • Record-low Q1 branded postpaid phone churn of 0.86% in Q1 2020, down 2 bps YoY.
  • Record-low Q1 branded prepaid churn of 3.52% in Q1 2020, down 33bps YoY.
  • Record Financial Performance (all percentages year-over-year).

Record revenue and cash profits for T-Mobile in Q1

  • Record T-Mobile service revenues of $8.7 billion, up 5% in Q1 2020, with branded postpaid service revenues up 7%.
  • Record Q1 Net income of $951 million, up 5% in Q1 2020.
  • Record Q1 Diluted earnings per share (“EPS”) of $1.10, up 4% in Q1 2020.
  • Record Adjusted EBITDA(1) of $3.7 billion, up 12% in Q1 2020.
  • Record Q1 Net cash provided by operating activities of $1.6 billion, up 16% in Q1 2020.
  • Record Q1 Free Cash Flow(1) of $732 million, up 18% in Q1 2020.

T-Mobile's 5G network and phones after the Sprint merger

  • Rapid start to deploying 5G sites in Philadelphia and New York City using Sprint’s 2.5 GHz mid-band spectrum on T-Mobile’s 5G network.
  • After launching America’s first nationwide 5G network on our 600 MHz spectrum in December 2019, we further expanded our 5G footprint across an additional 1,600 sites in Q1 2020 and ramped pace to 1,000 sites in April 2020.
  • 600 MHz 5G now covers 215 million people including the cities of Detroit, St. Louis and Columbus with the Bay Area added this week and more cities coming online soon
  • Over 50 million New T-Mobile devices have access to the 600 MHz LTE network and 5G access is being made available to Sprint customers.

Since T-Mobile is mainly using the low-band 600Mhz spectrum for its "nationwide" 5G, Sprint’s current 5G network (Band 41) will be redeployed to expand T-Mobile's coverage to the mid-band, shutting down access to Sprint's 2019 5G phones in the process. Sprint itself has warned that "starting 4/28/20 the only Sprint devices that support the first, largest and only nationwide 5G network are the Samsung Galaxy S20 5G, the Samsung Galaxy S20+ 5G and the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G."

On the T-Mobile side, the Un-carrier already announced that the first devices that will take advantage of its future triple-layer band strategy made possible by the merger, are the Galaxy S20+ and S20 Ultra. Thus, no matter if you are Sprint or T-Mobile customer, getting one of the higher-end S20 series is the only way to ensure you will have futureproof access to the combined 5G network.

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There will be a lot of network to take advantage of, too. The combined band holdings of T-Mobile and Sprint have 319 MHz of spectrum holdings even without the fast mmWave bands. That's already double the AT&T and almost triple the Verizon amount. In the fast high-bands, where all the gigabit speeds magic happens, the mmWave spectrum holdings of T-Mobile and Sprint are 1,160 MHz, second only to Verizon's. 

This current quarter will be the first for which T-Mobile will report combined results with Sprint after the merger, and we can't wait to see how it fares after the Sprint customers have arrived on board the Un-carrier train.

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