T-Mobile to catch up with Sprint by next quarter?

t-mobile-john-legere-big-eyes

“Put a fork in it, they’re done!” A phrase which T-Mobile’s chief, John Legere has often used regarding his company’s chances of catching up with Sprint’s subscriber base. With last quarter’s results having been revealed by all the major carriers, T-Mo is closer than ever to taking the #3 spot from its rival.

Sprint’s total subscriber base now consists of just over 55 million customers following a quarter in which it added just under half a million subs thanks to strong wholesale connections. T-Mobile added 2.3 million customers to reach within a hair’s breadth of 53 million subs (now at 52.9M). And if it can continue with its momentum, Magenta could catch Old Yeller by next quarter.

tmus-s-total-subs_large

Of course, lots can change within a quarter. We’re yet to see the full impact of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus launch, and let’s not forget all the hot new Android devices T-Mobile just launched (or is just about to). We’ve got the Nexus 6, Note 4 and Z3 all in the lineup now, and when you combine those with the new iPhones and T-Mobile’s great plans and improving, speedy coverage, it’s a combination that’s hard to resist.

And while Sprint’s competitive price plans are attracting new customers, they don’t seem to be doing too much about stopping customers leaving. But, that could be a premature statement. Q4 results will give us a much better indication as to how successful each carrier’s moves have been this fall.

Source: Nasdaq

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  • UMA_Fan

    I think it will be close but Q1 2015 for sure.

    Hopefully we’ll get some news about T-Mobile purchasing some more 700mhz spectrum.

    • Dylan Gorski

      Amen!

    • substance

      Purchase is great but how about the activation of current 700mhz spectrum in areas where available… That would be huge for TMO.

  • sushimane

    I agree too it would be a miracle for T-Mobile to gain 2.5 million on wiki said sprint got 55 million but I read they lost couple hundred thousand so that can’t be right for sprint. But I wouldn’t sleep on T-Mobile to gain that much its possible. So q1 2015 but I got a question which is better xperia z3 or nexus 6 I like dual front speakers?

    • vrm

      I have an older model – xperia ZL 6506. It has 5″ screen (1080p) and not waterproof. But sony has done very little mod to the stock android and I have received updates from 4.1->4.4.4. They have promised lollipop beginning of 2015. Battery life is also pretty good.

      All things considered, I’d recommend the xperia z3. I would like to see Sony succeed. They have a great product.

      • sushimane

        thanks.

    • Verizonthunder

      As a current owner of the Sony Xperia Z3 I would highly recommend that device. Great day/night photos, realistic battery life as advertised, and a front loud speaker. Also scored great for repairable. One con is the back glass scratches easily but fixable.

      • sushimane

        thanks for the recommendation i like both phone because of the dual front speakers but the nexus 6 is kinda big for my pocket but the z3 has the add value of water proof. but when the nexus 6 is out on tmobile floor i would go look at it.

        • Verizonthunder

          Well only the bottom is the speaker but its loud. Try playing with both and find your comfort. Also ask if you can hold a live demo to get the comfort and feel.

        • sushimane

          OK thanks for the suggestion.

      • Stone Cold

        I love mine

        • Verizonthunder

          Awesome it’s a great device that is as advertised and a conversation starter.

        • sushimane

          how is it in voice calls like on hangout that’s one thing i hate about the nexus 5 when on video call you could barely hear the other people.

        • Verizonthunder

          Call quality is solid though I would get sometimes static noise but that was due to the other party having poor cell reception. As for video I have not done much of that but from the brief use it was rather smooth. I mainly take pictures which for the most part with the right setting was awesome, note you may want to try both auto and manuel to capture that moment.

        • neospade44

          No problems there, considering the speakers are facing you, I have no problem hearing the other person. Speakers look small but they are loud.

        • Stone Cold

          Yes it is how do you like the clock on the lockscreen?

        • Verizonthunder

          It’s cool nothing special but nice. Ohh I ordered magnetic prong charger cables 2x that activates Sonys quick charge feature will tell you how it is next week.

        • Stone Cold

          From Sony directly or Amazon? That bold first digit on the clock takes some getting used to.

        • Verizonthunder

          No from Amazon its called magnetor. The cable version is what I got. Yes the clock is easy on the eyes.

        • Stone Cold

          Will check that charger out.

        • Verizonthunder

          Correction Magnetor X lol.

  • Verizonthunder

    What about the Zte Zmax for the budget conscious with both lte and band 12? You left that out of the loop of hot devices.

    • Paul

      It is a pretty sweet device for the price too.

      • Roger Sales

        I concur, it’s definitely worth mentioning as a dark horse.

      • Verizonthunder

        Yes to both a 5.7 inch quad core, 2gb ram with 16gb internal storage and running 4.4.2

  • Not that I think it really matters, but it would legitimize T-Mobile’s strategy and they’d no longer be referred to as the “4th place carrier” anymore.

  • vinnyjr

    T-Mobile like other Carriers are waiting for iPhone inventory to catch up with the public demand. I know of at least 5 people waiting to buy the iPhone on T-Mobile but the larger storage options are not available. I would bet when and if the iPhone speeds up production T-Mobile’s numbers will grow even faster. This is probably the same with Sprint but I would gamble more are looking to jump from Sprint to T-Mobile than the other way around. Sprint has their coverage map showing the very best LTE signal in my area, it is pittifull, barely 2-3mb down and same up. Sprint has money, why the hell aren’t they fixing their Network? Some say they are but for a company with $$ to spend they are moving so slow you can’t blame customers for looking for better service. Fix it and they will come.

    • nutmac

      At the same time, T-Mobile’s handling of iPhone orders has been worse than AT&T and Verizon.

      1. Worse ordering experience, especially when ordering from Apple website or iOS app.
      2. Lack of support on the first pre-order day.
      3. Many reports of order glitches where only resolution is to cancel the existing order and place a new order with even later shipping date.
      3. Longer shipping delays than AT&T and Verizon. I ordered iPhone 6 Plus on day 1 and it has 8 weeks delay. My coworkers and friends on other network ordered iPhone 6 Plus much later and received their phones.
      4. Order being pushed further and further.

      I only hope that T-Mobile learns from the experience and meanwhile build up coverage instead of depending on Wi-Fi calling, which is a poor substitute for better network.

      • Jay J. Blanco

        Maybe you could donate 20 Billion for sub 1Ghz Spectrum purchases. Then tmobile will build “up” coverage

        • nutmac

          You were probably being sarcastic, but it’s not my responsibility as a customer to pony up $20B for coverage. I just want coverage and indoor signal on parity, at least for the most part, as AT&T and Verizon. I really hope T-Mobile does well with 600MHz spectrum auction, however. I love almost everything about T-Mobile except coverage.

        • Jay J. Blanco

          Yeah I was lol If you didn’t know tmobile bad purchased 3 Billion in 700mhz and is launching it by Q1 2014

      • ChrisKringle

        I agree with your last comment and I would say that they are building up their network with the acquisition of 700A block but the problem with that is 700A isn’t readily available nationwide because of Channel 51. I guess that’s why VZW was willing to part ways with it.

  • Aurizen

    I think in the next quarter or two they will beat them, I think they’ll be few customers away from beating them. but its gonna happen.

  • mingkee

    If the government-funded phone program ended, Sprint will lose millions of customers.

  • Terry

    The thing I find interesting is that Sprint’s numbers have remained relatively the same throughout the whole chart. This would lead me to believe that T-Mobile has made gains but not at the sacrifice of Sprint. (Unless I am reading the chart wrong)

    • DirkDigg1er

      Exactly. The smaller carriers are the sole victims of tmobiles success. If you think about all of these carriers are in cohorts. Vzw/Att have been reaping the benefits of adding subscribers and purchasing smaller carriers and customers.

    • Brian Perez

      Thats very true i was asking myself the same question but sprint has been affected just not as much i think unless their hiding their true numbers hahaha

    • dtam

      yes and no. there are definitely defectors but you also have to think of the lost opportunity to gain new-never-had-cell-service-ever customer

    • KingCobra

      Keep in mind too a lot of the “growth” from Sprint and the other 2 carriers is consisting of tablets. Not sure about VZW/AT&T but those almost $0 revenue tablet connections were the only thing that prevented Sprint from posting a net negative subscriber count for the quarter. If they can keep swinging enough of those empty additions then they might be able to hold off T-Mobile into Q1 2015.

    • sticksabuser

      Given the chart its easy to jump to that conclusion. Keep in mind though that there isn’t a categorization of customer types in that chart, and I suspect that if you look at only postpaid for tmobile and sprint, you would see that downward trend for sprint. I suspect it’s the budget MVNOs that right now propping up sprint.

  • ” J.D. “

    T-Mobile will do it & I don’t feel sorry for sprint at all. Their getting their karma 3 fold for what they did to Radio shack, Nextel,U.S.Cellular All their big promises and delivering NOTHING !
    Sprint Corporation (NYSE:S) tumbled 16.5% in the aftermath of disappointing earnings and ongoing subscriber losses. The U.S. wireless carrier lost subscribers for an 11th straight quarter and lowered its earnings forecast for this year. Monthly subscribers, including tablets, fell by 272,000 during the quarter that ended Sept. 30, worse than the 203,000 expected by analysts. The defections highlight the challenge facing the third-largest U.S. wireless carrier, at a time when Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ), AT&T Inc. and T-Mobile US Inc. are all gaining customers.

    • DirkDigg1er

      Lmao! Please explain how it’s karma?? The same could be said about every company. The culprits you are referring to, as in most industries,have had good landing spots. The losers are the consumers. Historically there has been no change because tmo and sprint trade losing positions every 4 years. In order for things to change both sprint and tmobile need to be successful.

      • jacky

        sprint loser. t mobile will win.

        • DirkDigg1er

          Has it ever appeared to you that both sprint and t-mobile have been working together? If either of them lose or gain at their own expense, how does that affect Verizon and AT&T?

    • geish

      Sprint is really a new company they have recently been bought out by Softbank who owns 36% of Alibaba ($80 billion). Things are changing!

  • KingCobra

    One major thing to note behind the numbers is that Sprint used a lot of near $0 revenue tablet additions to pad its subscriber count. If not for these then they would have posted a net negative subscriber addition for the quarter. While these additions do hurt ARPU, they also serve to keep the numbers stable. So if they can continue to give away tablets to their customers then they might be able to hold T-Mobile off for at least 2 more quarters, maybe longer.

    • Moby

      Tmobile plays the same game with their 200 MB per month for life plans.

      • Tom Bryant

        Verizon plays the same game with $10 tablet line on the More Everything plan.

        Cue the AT&T post next…

  • Orion

    I’m on Sprint and I’ll be leaving them once the Nexus 6 arrives next week.

    • jacky

      welcome to megenta team my friend

      • Orion

        Thank you!

    • neospade44

      You won’t regret it Orion. What speeds are you getting on Sprint right now? Just curious…

      • ttwiitch yu

        Sprint Nexus 5 on Spark: http://youtu.be/B_9Smkqszrg

        Sucks for T-Mobile…. Lol

        • mingkee

          T-Mobile is deploying 15+15LTE.
          Spark sounds good, but the penetration of 2.6GHz can be questionable.

        • ttwiitch yu

          I agree….penetration sucks. Then again, in 2015, Sprint is going to do carrier aggregation with all three bands. That means; 25+25+ LTE with amazing penetration. Expect to see the speeds posted above, indoors.

    • usc1787

      I will be doing the same thing. The Nexus 6 can’t come soon enough. Plus I will be cutting my bill in half.

    • mingkee

      …the whole wide world of SIM.
      Band 12 can make reception much better where is available.

  • Michael Lynady

    Who cares – lousy coverage from both once you leave a city

    • neospade44

      They are actively fixing this. No I have no links to corroborate it but only my personal experience when traveling just outside my city twice a week. It used to be horrible, no Pandora or anything would work. Now I can even watch Netflix on the same place.

    • mingkee

      The situation is changing by utilizing band 12 and expanding HSPA/LTE.

  • Richard Finzel

    The sad thing is if T-Mobile would actually get the ball rolling faster on the 2g to 4g conversion they would zoom past sprint. Until that happens they will always be either right above or right below sprint. Now after the 4g conversion they stand a good chance to be a solid competitor. Then the can actually say the have nationwide 4g and almost all of T-Mobile subscribers would have their number one complaint fixed. I just hope it is aooner than later.

    • Verizonthunder

      They are making great strides with upgrading their network infrastructure and many locations are showing new lte coverage. When is the last time you saw a sprint network upgrade?? At least with t-mobile they are keeping there promise.

      • Richard Finzel

        Actually to be honest, sprint just released theier LTE in my area back in august. T-Mobile has yet to go past edge

        • Verizonthunder

          That is because t-mobile is working non stop with the upgrades. T-mobile does not need to announce every tower upgrade to lte as people like myself make it aware for others with Sensorly app and inform tmonews and others.

        • Richard Finzel

          Still no excuse. There is no reason for the area i live in to have edge. They have 15×15 of spectrum as well as plenty of users in my area. I live les than 30 minutes away from columbus, yet here i am trying to use my phone on speeds slower than dialup. Sure edge is 256kbps, but when it is over populated with isers i am licky to get 50kbps

        • Verizonthunder

          Complain when its mid 2015 which is the expected complete network will be upgraded until then so somewhere else if service is not kosher. Until t-mobile drops the ball stop complaining.

  • Jon

    How far T-Mobile had come. Things were honestly grim when the whole AT&T debacle was in play. But things are on the up and up now honestly who could have said that they would have seen this coming? A lot of progress has been made and there’s always room for improvement.

  • Jsun

    Great! Now focus on getting more coverage.

  • mingkee

    Let me define the post I posted previously. Sprint is offering service to government-funded service (Assurance and Safelink). That’s why Sprint has such addition on prepaid side. Such customers have low ARPU so the number is good for “headcount” but it’s not good for revenue.
    If T-Mobile offered similar government-funded service, they can easily gain couple of millions customers (not to mention you can buy dirt cheap 2G phones and use with SIM).

    • Jay Holm

      America is certainly becoming a government dependent country that’s for sure.

      • geish

        Like Ronald Reagan said goverment is in the way and goverment is the problem if you are trying to be successful in a capitalism system.

        • Jay Holm

          It’s always refreshing to know someone like you still exists in this lib-infected country of ours!

  • geish

    Verizon has 120 million subscribers
    AT&T has 116 million subscribers
    Sprint has 55 million subscribers
    T-Mobile has 52 mnillion subsribers
    so lets face it Sprint and T-Mobile real competitors are Verizon and AT&T
    Sprint and T-Mobile has to merge

    • Krali

      No.

      • geish

        If it was not for Sprint new price war AT&T and Verizon new customers are getting a better deal but that will end this month then it is back to a duopoly expensive prices.

        • dkbnyc

          How quickly they forget. T-Mobile started this “price war”. Sprint only lowered prices to match it’s crap network.

        • geish

          But Verizon and AT&T did not react. Sprint made them all react. Enjoy your great prices thanks to Sprint true price war.

        • dkbnyc

          Keep telling yourself that.

        • donnybee

          Verizon and AT&T don’t have to react. The porting ratio of their customers to T-Mobile is causing T-Mo’s subscriber base to jump. So T-Mobile stands to benefit. In time, the big 2 will react in the same way Sprint had to react. What you’ll notice though is that the worse the network is, the less they can charge to keep people happy.. #Suckstobesprint

        • The Man

          The EXACT same price war that T-MO started…right? How is it that T-Mobile starts the revolution, leads that revolution and you are giving Sprint credit for “the new price war”? You must be one of those anti-fair tax people because you enjoy that tax return check too. You guys should really pay attention, you are ruining everything for the rest of us!

    • Terry

      Not that I would ever want this to happen, but the only way that a Merger between Sprint and T-Mobile would work would be for them to all move to the T-mobile network and kill Sprint’s network. (Personal Opinion) Even T-mobile Base LTE is faster than “SPARK” #SPRINTLIKEHELL And JL in Charge.

    • josephsinger

      That ship has already sailed without T-Mobile getting on board.

    • Just Me

      You love the money you pay the two larger rivals huh? How is that jumping on their “d” by the way?

  • geish

    Sprint is really a new company they have recently been bought out by Softbank who owns 36% of Alibaba ($80 billion). Things are changingfor the better and the best value is Sprint!

  • KijBeta

    Looking forward to T-Mobile using carrier aggregation on AWS bands and 700A.

  • geish

    Yes Sprint held back in spending because they thought they would merger with T-Mobile. Now T-Mobile is on their own!

    • donnybee

      Sprint is on their own too. Yes, SB owns them and they have a new chief, but let’s be honest.. Having been partnered with T-Mo would have meant a better name and image to use as momentum. Now Sprint has to reverse it’s sour public image. After all, what do you think made Sprint want T-Mo in the first place?

      T-Mobile has the fortune of a proven reversal in public image. Sprint would have to be AT LEAST as disruptive as T-Mobile, and considering the wakes T-Mobile still has in motion from all their un-carrier moves, that will be a tough splash for Sprint to muster.

  • mrwirez

    More sub’s = more $$ = more LTE…

    Simple mathematics.

  • former tmo employee

    I’m glad T-mobile is going to overtake sprint. I’m a former T-mobile employee and I miss it terribly. I left for reasons beyond my control and have worked at Sprint for a few months. Sprint has terrible service I don’t get anything except slow ass 3g within 10 miles of my house and I live in a city with 200k+ people. I regret ever switching but I save $120 a month due to employee plans. I would welcome T-mobile back into my life and wish the company nothing but the best. Keep kicking ass John Legere