T-Mobile has just published its results for the 1st quarter of 2015 and – as it has done for the past few quarters – it’s looking very good for our favorite magenta-colored carrier. Among the highlights for the first three months of this year were record postpaid churn, strong postpaid subscriber growth and service revenue growth.
There are number of key highlights when looking at the subscriber additions for the first quarter. Firstly, T-Mobile added 1.8 million total net additions to its ranks between January and March. That’s the 8th consecutive quarter over 1 million. And, it should see T-Mobile finally overtake Sprint as the number 3 carrier in the U.S. More impressively, it’s the third quarter in succession that T-Mobile has added more than 1 million branded postpaid customers, with a total of 1.1 million branded postpaid net adds. 1.0 million of those postpaid net adds were phone customers.
A big focus on the earnings call is set to be on postpaid phone churn. Churn is the rate by which customers leave the carrier. For example, if 1 out of every 20 left the company, the churn rate would be 5%. In the past, T-Mobile’s has been fairly consistently around the 1.4-1.5 percent mark. In Q1, it dropped to its lowest ever percentage rate of 1.3%. This is pretty big news. It means fewer of T-Mobile customers are leaving than they ever have in the past. Mostly thanks – I assume – to the ever-improving network quality.
“We’ve had eight consecutive quarters with more than one million total net customer additions proving that customers want value,” said John Legere, President and CEO of T-Mobile. “We expect to once again capture all of the industry’s postpaid phone growth in Q1 and we’ve done it while delivering an all-time record low 1.3% churn. #WeWon’tStop.”
T-Mobile now has a total of 56.8 million customers after another strong quarter. Along with the strong subscriber growth, T-Mo sold 8.8 million devices. 8.0 million of those were smartphones.
T-Mobile expects, again, to report the fastest year-over-year revenue growth for both service revenue and total revenues. YoY growth for service revenue was 9.0%, this is primarily down to the expanding subscriber base. Total revenues were $7.8 billion for the quarter, which is a 13.1% increase on the same quarter in 2014. Quarter-on-quarter revenues declined by 0.9% due to the impact of Data Stash.
As of the end of Q1 2015, T-Mobile’s LTE network now covers 275 million people, and the company is still targeting 300 million by the end of 2015. The carrier is also still “rapidly” rolling out both Wideband LTE and LTE in both 700MHz and 1900MHz frequencies. Wideband LTE is now available in 157 markets, with a target of reaching more than 200 market areas by the end of the year.
The 700MHz network is now officially live in 55 market areas, with major launches recently in Houston, Dallas, Philadelphia, Tampa, San Antonio and Detroit.
T-Mobile’s UN-Carrier moves are still clearly working. T-Mobile’s subscriber base keeps on growing, as does its revenue. Sprint is yet to report its figures for the same period, but Verizon lost 138,000 postpaid subscribers, AT&T lost 300,00 and T-Mobile gained 1.1 million. Assuming Sprint’s subscriber base is still under 56 million, T-Mobile’s 56.8 million reported should mean that we can finally celebrate the carrier being in 3rd place, officially.
As always, we’ll be following up the quarterly earnings call with coverage later on today.