T-Mobile USA Cuts Loses But Still Shrinking

Posted by at 10:38 am on August 4, 2011

T-Mobile USA improved without AT&T’s help in its spring quarter but still faced trouble holding on to its subscribers. While it cut its customer losses almost in half from 93,000, it lost a total of 50,000 users during the season to drop to 33.6 million total. Most of that was blamed on losing 281,000 full-time subscribers, which was better than the 382,000 lost in the winter but a steep reversal from adding 106,000 a year ago.

Its turnover of old customers for new was down very slightly but higher than most customers at 3.3 percent. The carrier’s revenue was down almost exactly $100 million from year-to-year to hit $4.6 billion.

Smartphones now played a much larger role at T-Mobile and helped stem the losses; it now had exactly 50 percent more smartphone users at 9.8 million. The head of T-Mobile’s parent company, Deutsche Telekom’s Rene Obermann, still called the US a “difficult market” and hoped that the 42Mbps HSPA+ network would help.

Despite its planned merger with AT&T, T-Mobile is still dependent on being a competitor and has usually had a tough time fighting against AT&T and Verizon. Each is roughly triple T-Mobile’s size and has not just momentum but the advantage of landing early device deals like the iPhone and many flagship HTC and Samsung phones. While a merger would solve its own problem, Sprint has warned that this situation would likely worsen for remaining providers if the situation went through.

Multiple leaks have hinted that T-Mobile may at least stem losses with a T-Mobile native iPhone possibly arriving along with others in September or October.

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