T-Mobile adds 2.1 million customers in Q4 2016, total subscriber base grows to 71.5 million

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UPDATE: John Legere said today that T-Mobile plans to open 1,000 new T-Mo stores in 2017 as well as 1,500 new MetroPCS stores. Also revealed during today’s earnings call is that two-thirds of T-Mobile customers are using Voice over LTE (VoLTE) calling.

 

ORIGINAL: Today is a Tuesday that’s loaded with big events, because not only is it both Valentine’s Day and T-Mobile Tuesday, but it’s also T-Mobile earnings day.

T-Mobile today shared its Q4 2016 results, revealing that it added 2.10 million customers in the final months of last year, which is the 15th straight quarter that T-Mo has added more than 1 million subscribers. To compare, T-Mobile added 2.06 million customers during Q4 2015. During the entire year of 2016, T-Mo added 8.2 million customers.

As of the end of 2016, T-Mobile had 71.5 million customers.

Also of note is that postpaid phone churn for Q4 2016 finished at 1.28 percent, down from 1.46 percent in Q4 2015, which means that fewer customers left T-Mobile in Q4 2016 than in Q4 2015. Branded prepaid churn also fell year-over-year, going from 4.20 percent in Q4 2015 to 3.94 percent in Q4 2016.

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Switching over to the network side of things, T-Mobile now covers 314 million people with 4G LTE service, with plans to grow that number to 320 million by the end of 2017. T-Mo says that at the end of 2016, it owned or had agreements to own 86MHz of spectrum in the top 25 markets in the US. That includes a previously-announced 700MHz A-Block transaction that closed at the end of 2016 as well as a 700MHz A-Block transaction for eastern Montana that closed earlier this year.

T-Mobile also reports that it now covers more than 252 million people with Extended Range LTE (aka 700MHz, aka band 12) that offers improved coverage and in-building performance.

T-Mobile says that it continues to refarm its existing spectrum to improve its network. Around 70 percent of its spectrum was being used for 4G LTE coverage at the end of 2016, up from 52 percent at the end of 2015, and T-Mo plans to continue refarm spectrum currently being used for 2G and 3G.

Finally, T-Mo’s Wideband LTE coverage now reaches 232 million people.

The past week has been a big one for T-Mobile, including the return of pizza to T-Mobile Tuesdays and improvements to the T-Mobile One plan.  Now T-Mo has reported another solid quarter of earnings and has surpassed the 70 million subscriber milestone.

T-Mobile will host an earnings call to discuss its Q4 2016 results at 10:00 am EST today. I’ll be sure to update this post with any interesting details that John Legere and Co. share.

Source: T-Mobile

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  • Philip

    Does it comes at a cost? That means down the road price will increase?

  • Phone Guy

    T-Mobile is now more expensive than Verizon in many ways. Still love T-Mobile, but their darling budget price is quickly fading.

    • Acdc1a

      I’d sure like to know how.

      • Phone Guy

        See above. This is my job so I know what I’m talking about. I sell all of these Services every single day. T-Mobile customers have blinders on now. I have been with them myself for about 14 years or so but they are no longer a carrier based on price more on good quality.

    • slybacon

      Can you quantify any of those ways?

      • Phone Guy

        Sure. See the response above. Especially the point about Sprint. Well it’s not oranges for oranges but it is an option that people can choose which they will no longer be able to choose on T-Mobile. Even on Verizon they now have the five gigabyte plan for 55. T-Mobile will only off of the unlimited plan and not everyone uses a limited. One of the people on my family plan only uses 500 megabytes of month. If they were on their own T-Mobile plan it would be $70 a month but if they were on Sprint it would be 40 and if they were on AT&T it would be maybe fifty or so so T-Mobile is no longer offering the low price options or they are about to stop.

        • Tinger12

          Time to open your eyes beyond the four majors and direct your customers who are better served to services and companies that match their needs.

        • Guest

          Again, the “$55 for Verizon” costs another $15 in taxes and fees, so it’s really $70. T-Mobile plans now include all taxes and fees in the headline price.

    • Locust Gee

      Really? Please provide example or else it’s a lie.

      • Phone Guy

        You say I am lieing. Blinders. Lowest unlimited plan on sprint is 40 dollars. T-Mobile’s soon will be 70. It’s only 1 gig plus unlimited slow but it’s an option for.those that want that. Att and Verizon have lower.priced plans.than what Tmobile will soon offer. I love my old tmo plans but T-Mobile is adding so many amazing features that most people won’t use which I do. Like roaming in Canada and Mexico that 95% of people won’t use. And roaming around the world that 98% of their customers won’t use. They are awesome features but they add to the price and I love them but most people don’t need them. No I am not lieing. This is my job. Not just an opinion like most people.

        • Tinger12

          That’s why T-Mobile has MetroPCS. Lowest unlimited on MetroPCS is $30. Same network, same company, not as many features, but cheaper and the direction T-Mobile is taking is low volume customer.

        • Guest

          For my area, Sprint’s cheapest single line 1GB plan is $50 + about $15 in taxes & fees, so $65. Remember that T-Mobile plans now include all taxes & fees.

    • Petey07

      Unless you can prove it, otherwise it’s just an alternative fact.

      • Phone Guy

        I don’t need to prove anything to you. I work.in the industry. Blinders on I see. Funny.

        • Petey07

          Still alternative facts if you not able to provide any information to back up your statement.

        • moonoverparma

          Why would he need to do that??

        • Petey07

          Wow, do I have to repeat my statement again? Re-read my post. I think it’s self explanatory.

      • Phone Guy

        I can also send you screenshots and links to all of the different plans to actually show you but that would be kind of a waste of everyone’s time.

    • Johnny 5

      Only having a ONE plan, yes they are expensive because there is no cheaper plan for those who just use a little bit of data every month. The ONE plan vs Verizon unlimited is cheaper. With all the carriers though, its becoming cheaper to be on a family/group plan than solo.

      • Acdc1a

        $60 for 2gb with kickback compares to the Verizon $55+ taxes and fees for the S plan and one line. No mention of the 5gb plan that I can find any longer.

  • mreveryphone

    My stocks looking good!!

  • RustyShackleford716

    Still waiting for band 12 in Buffalo NY….

    • Acdc1a

      Probably about the time the Bills become a good football team.

      • RustyShackleford716

        Can’t even be mad at that comment

  • emcdonald75

    I still need for T-Mobile to cover more rural areas. I plan to attend my great uncle’s funeral in two days in Leona, MS, and I will have no coverage driving there from Jackson, MS for some part of the drive or even have coverage while I am in Leona, MS. True enough, I only plan to be there for a few hours, but what if something terrible happened and I need my phone during transit? I look at T-Mobile’s website and there is no coverage, but Verizon’s website shows coverage. I just cannot deal with Verizon’s prices though. I talked to a Verizon customer service rep about Verizon’s unlimited plan price. I pay T-Mobile $134 each month for one unlimited phone plan + the EIP for the iPhone 6S Plus + insurance on phone + 2 tablets (5GB plan each with unlimited Binge On and Music Freedom). With Verizon, the iPhone 7 Plus EIP + unlimited for plan for phone and iPad + insurance for phone was all $187 each month. Just one tablet and one phone, not two tablets that I have with T-Mobile. The price is ridiculous! But the coverage with Verizon is beautiful. I don’t understand why T-Mobile cannot have roaming for rural areas where they do not provide coverage. Since T-Mobile has been spreading out the network, roaming should be cheap these days for areas not covered by T-Mobile’s native network. Right? I applaud everything T-Mobile does, but coverage in rural areas is lacking and maybe T-Mobile is waiting to use the 600MHz spectrum for rural coverage, dependent on how much they actually purchased, but I just wish domestic roaming was an option for T-Mobile customers until the 600MHz spectrum is pushed out to address those needs.

    • Guest

      Yes you will, you will roam to AT&T as long as you have roaming turned on for your phone. I’ve done it plenty myself.

      • emcdonald75

        That cannot be true everywhere. There are plenty of places I drive to and my phone shows “No Service”. I receive no signal of any kind.

        • Brandon

          I agree that the phones don’t roam. I have T-Mobile and there is a town near me with no coverage from T-Mobile and my phone has no signal but I know for a fact that AT&T has coverage there.

        • moonoverparma

          There might not be a roaming agreement in that area.

        • T Redd

          Same here.

      • Tony

        (for simplicity) The restriction is done on the sim card level not the phone. The info on the sim is bounced against a database. If is not restricted you’ll get roaming service in that LAC if its restricted “No service”. most people disable roaming anyway. You’ll always be allowed to make 911 calls regardless.

        • emcdonald75

          Do you think I need to have the T-Mobile ONE plan? I see on T-Mobile’s website that if you have T-Mobile ONE, you get 200MB of domestic roaming and I only get 50MB of domestic roaming on my Simple Choice Unlimited $80 plan, but it never turns on. My phone only shows “No Service”. Is it possible to call T-Mobile have them activate domestic roaming on my SIM card? Or it doesn’t work that way?

        • Tony

          Not my field but yes you’ll have to speak with a CSR. I’m only explaining why you’re not roaming.

        • Rob

          Roaming only kicks in where T-Mobile has a roaming agreement in place. They aren’t nationwide. They’re actually few and far between.

        • emcdonald75

          Thank you. That sucks that roaming agreements do not cover all coverage gaps.

        • Rob

          Roaming agreements are just too expensive to have them cover the whole network. T-Mobile only has agreements where they have absolutely no coverage and usually it’s for voice only. I found out the hard way the limitations of T-Mobile back in 2012 when I moved to Louisiana. I was using my HTC Sensation for GPS navigation with TeleNav and it kept overheating and rebooting at the worst times like in the middle of nowhere Kansas and as soon as I hit Louisiana, aka AT&T land, I was lucky to pick up enough of a signal to get TeleNav working right before I rolled into my exit. The service was so bad down there that I got one bar of GPRS if I left the phone at a specific spot on my bed. I had no coverage otherwise although strangely I picked up HSPA+ if I was out by my dad’s Mandarin orange tree. I had to use H2o (at&t MVNO) the whole time I was out there.

        • emcdonald75

          If T-Mobile had roaming agreements where they absolutely had no coverage, I wouldn’t have a problem with their coverage today. The problem is phones are indicating “No Service” where there is absolutely no T-Mobile coverage.

    • Walt

      Tmobile will NEVER cover rural areas like verizon and att. Its not cost affective to cover a small town of 1000 people. They will just pay the roaming rates instead of building towers

      • emcdonald75

        It may not be cost effective, but it creates an image that T-Mobile covers areas equal to or more than Verizon. Isn’t reliability an issue for T-Mobile? Shouldn’t T-Mobile attempt to provide coverage parity to AT&T and Verizon, since it is a nationwide carrier as well? Shouldn’t a town of 1000 people also have a choice? Or are we going to only look at what is best for the wireless carrier and not what is best for the people in large urban areas as well as small rural places? I think we have excused wireless carriers long enough. Consumers should push all wireless carriers to provide greater coverage for improved competition for every town, city and metropolitan area possible.

        • Acdc1a

          320 million pops covered year end 2017 will be extremely close…And rural areas are covered. There will still be some gaps but not a whole lot.

        • emcdonald75

          That’s all I am saying. Why not provide roaming for all coverage gaps until they are covered by T-Mobile at a later date?

        • Tony

          It’s not free to use another carrier’s network, Without a roaming agreement in place the competition’s will charge an inflated premium for use of said network. Its either allow roaming and pass the cost on to the customer (hello $1000 phone bills) or restrict the area.

        • emcdonald75

          When did I ask for free roaming? I don’t care if there is a roaming charge (not $1000 of course), but there was a time when you paid $5-$10 extra dollars within a month for roaming when you needed it. People with a particular carrier do not need to roam everyday, just at certain times.

        • Tony

          To keep it simple and I don’t want this to come off the wrong way, T-mobile is a business and in some areas its just not cost effective to allow roaming without a favorable roaming agreement.

        • emcdonald75

          I understand your point. Thank you for your help. I just hate that we allow our wireless carriers to redefine terms like, “nationwide” and “unlimited” and then we all (including myself) run hurdles to excuse the small fine print just to save a few dollars or for the love of our #Team Carrier. Gotta love America. Lol

        • Walt

          Att is currently at 325 pop covered

        • Cam Fas

          And a lot of that on att is hspa+

        • Walt

          Att has 317m covered on LTE
          ( read under Blue map)

          https://www.att.com/offers/network.html

      • vinnyjr

        You’re wrong. T-Mobile has bought spectrum specifically in rural areas just to have coverage in those areas. It’s not cost effective but good solid business. T-Mobile this time next year will be equal and faster than Verizon coverage. T-Mobile is faster than ATT and coverage is better. In my area, suburb of Boston, T-Mobile is better than all the competition. Thank You T-Mobile , Thank You John Legere.

        • Walt

          ^ And there he is folks! So tmobile has better coverage than Att? LOL ok buddy. You must not leave your city of boston because Att is just a step behind verzion everywhere

        • Panzer

          There was a time when I would agree with you but in the now four years I’ve had T-mobile I’ve watched the dead zones disappear and noticed rural areas around me go from edge to lte. Even out on the water I was the only one with LTE maybe a mile into the Gulf of Mexico.

        • Walt

          I’m still seeing Edge on my iphone 6s plus in low signal areas. Att would never show Edge on any phone. Why? Because its 2017 and they killed that old technology. Its time for tmobile to do the same

        • moonoverparma

          I still see the ol’ E show up on at&t phones.

        • Walt

          How? They shut down the 2G Edge network on Jan. 1

        • Dominimmiv

          Your phone lacks Band 12 so of course you would be stuck on 2G when you move out of Band 4 range. Move up to a newer phone and you may be surprised.

        • Walt

          Negative shipmate. I own an iphone 6s plus which has a band 12 chip. There just isnt any band 12 on base san diego and if im on the ship i drop to 4G then Edge

        • Dominimmiv

          I stand corrected. Carry on!

        • T Redd

          Lmao!!

        • Jay Holm

          “Everywhere”? Are you a truck driver? Cause if you aren’t, likely you haven’t been “everywhere”.

        • Walt

          Ok so you think tmobile is on Att’s level as for coverage? Get real

        • Acdc1a

          Depending on the area they’re already better.

          If we’re talking about native footprint that’s at least a couple of years out.

    • tehboogieman

      I get a prepaid VZW phone if I’m in this situation for an extended period of time. In cases where I have phone and text service, but no data service I have an LTE tablet that I use with a VZW prepaid data plan.

      TMo has gotten better for me, I travel to these areas at least once a month and these areas have gotten better and I haven’t activated my VZW sims in a long time

  • steveb944

    Wow that’s a lot of stores.

  • S6EdgePlus IsBoss

    It’s always been pretty much plain and simple for me since March 2012, Nothing beats T-mobile they are the carrier game period.

    • squiddy20

      For the past few years, you’ve been claiming you’ve been a Samsung fanboy “since March 2011”. Why the sudden change? Finally remembered which year you started worshiping Samsung?

  • Rob

    Wireless is just too expensive. I just switched to Mint SIM (a T-Mobile MVNO) and after taxes, I paid 172 bucks for a year of what is basically the Simple Choice 2GB plan that was costing me 58 a month after taxes with T-Mobile. Sure there are no gimmicks like Binge On and Music Freedom but I hardly ever use data anyway. T-Mobile bumping their base plan to 70 a month was a dumb move. Consumers are wising up to how much they are being charged. The regular price on Mint’s plans are 2GB for 23, 5GB for $33, and 10GB for $39.67. If a wholesale MVNO can sell it that cheap and still turn a profit, it really makes you wonder how T-Mobile justifies charging so much. I lost the customer service (which I never have to call anyway) and Music Freedom. I don’t ever have to roam because coverage is great in Denver on T-Mobile and I still get unlimited 128kbps just like I would with T-Mobile after I use up my data.

    Gimmicks like T-Mobile Tuesdays and EIP just aren’t enough anymore. With the savings I am getting through Mint, I can pretty much buy a new phone every year anyway and if you add in the 30 a month plus Jump and crap I was paying 101 after taxes which means I’m saving 87 a month = 1044 in a year. Throw in pretty much any flagship and I still come out ahead and EIP is for TWO years.

    • Tony

      Great job on finding out what works best for you. If I didn’t use my phone for work, I would be with one of the MVNO too.

      • Rob

        MVNOs aren’t for everyone for sure, particularly if you need roaming. Still though, it’s a valid point about how inflated the cost of wireless actually is. It’s the same plan (I’ve even heard tethering works which makes sense given that it’s not unlimited* but it’s barred in the acceptable use policy so I won’t try it) and if I need more LTE data, it’s 10 bucks to add 1GB or 20 for 3GB for 30 days or I can just be throttled.

        Much to my surprise, conditional call forwarding even works on Mint so all my calls still go to my Google Voice for voicemail. I couldn’t really believe it when I activated it because Metro doesn’t even offer conditional call forwarding but I’ll take it. The conditional call forwarding was what kept me with T-Mobile so long anyway. It’s a massive inconvenience to lose my Google Voice integration – I’ve used it since it was a service called Grand Central.

      • Mike

        MVNO usally has very bad customer service. Plus you get your dl speeds capped. Also if the network is congested the MVNO gets last priortiy.

        • Rob

          Customer service is a given although the customer service from Ultra is known to be fantastic and Mint has just gotten slammed with their 20% off for a year promos. The speed isn’t capped, I pulled the same speed on my phone as my roommate’s iPhone did and I actually beat his iPhone twice with my HTC 10.

        • Mike

          I know for a fact Metro PCS (T-Mobile), Simple Mobile (T-Mobile), Crickett (AT&T) don’t get prioritized speeds during congestion hours . My girlfriend had Crickett and LTE speeds were capped at 8 mbps.

        • Rob

          Mint is wholesale, you can even use T-Mobile’s LTE APN and have data and MMS work perfectly. There is no deprioritization that I’ve noticed and I just pulled 75Mbps down at 5PM earlier today – that’s rush hour and we only have 2 towers that serve my complex and two converging major roads.

          Cricket has a hard throttle 24/7 to 8Mbps on LTE and 4Mbps on HSPA – it’s in the terms and conditions.

          MetroPCS is second priority, doesn’t work with T-Mobile APN, and doesn’t support advanced calling features like conditional call forwarding which does work just fine on Mint.

          The big giveaway is that you don’t have to use Ultra’s APN settings. I’m on the stock T-Mobile Fast APN on my HTC 10. For the record I tried Ultra’s APN and it was indeed slower than T-Mobile’s but people started reporting on Slickdeals that T-Mobile’s APN worked so I switched it back and I can tell no difference in my service.

    • Botiemaster

      Well I’m wondering about it myself. Maybe they were just spending so much money catching up that they haven’t been making money, but apparently they aren’t making money yet. Verizon and AT&T are where you look at as the prime examples of charging too much. When you have so much profit from your telecom businesses that you can buy other businesses out left and right for billions of dollars…something has to give. Apparently once you invested your money into your network, the flood gates for cash are open for as long as people allow you to charge insane bills for service.

      They set it up in such a way that the data plan is this “small” charge on your bill while the “line access” fee is what gets you for $50. The carriers can spin it all day everyday but they would make money at $20. A nice profit at $35. Family plans prove damn well what I am saying where typically it clocks in at $40ish per individual after fees. They make a killing at $90+ single users. America has only itself to blame. They MUST have smartphones. They MUST have mobile internet. The going rate is close to $100 on average for a single user. I would be very very very surprised if that were to change some day.

      But I say it again. Family plans prove damn well that all of our bills could be cut in half. We’ll see what happens now that tmo is becoming a serious 3rd player. Who ever thought we’d see the words unlimited even uttered at ATT and Verizon again? Mind blown. But I think it obvious that before they engage in price wars, they will do everything they can about beefing up the services for existing price points.

      • Walt

        T-Mobile will never be the number one or number two cell phone carrier ever. They along with sprint have a had a bad reputation in the past. Sure tmobile is growing every quater but why are they so far behind Att and Verizon?

        They just lost their big advange over verizon and that was offering unlimited when verzion didnt. Now that verizon offers unlimited for a reasonable price i bet tmobile wont gain as many customers as they did in the past. The only advantage people care about is price and thats why you have seen sprints number of customers increasing over the past year

        • Mac Nasti

          Just wow… I haven’t posted in 3 years, but this comment…

          FIRST, ATT & Verizon are so huge b/c the had the best coverage for the longest. Why did they have the best(or should I say better) coverage? B/c the government basic threw spectrum at them. Tmobile and other carriers had to buy their spectrum… and spectrum aint cheap.

          SECOND, they are so large also b/c they basically bought their customer base. Merger after merger, their customer got bigger and bigger. And trust me, people hate ATT with a passion. They are getting nervous AF too which is why they are diving into other business adventures.

          THIRD, I can go on and on, but I wont. I just can’t believe you made that comment. I just can’t!

  • Rob

    T-Mobile didn’t participate in the 700MHz auction because nobody expected them to turn around. Watch the 600MHz auction and see what happens. T-Mobile is going to walk away with plenty of spectrum.

    Sprint has so much spectrum it’s not even funny, they just don’t have the means to actually deploy it or pay for the custom chips they would need Qualcomm to make in order to use it. The best thing Sprint can do is shutter CDMA as soon as possible and repurpose that spectrum for LTE and 5G. As long as they’re under Qualcomm’s thumb, they won’t ever dig themselves out.

    T-Mobile eliminated all their plans in favor of One and they still added customers. It was an extremely risky move and they’re still growing despite that move so obviously public perception of T-Mobile is changing. T-Mobile still has the cheaper unlimited plan as well and including taxes in that plan can save customers in some states a ton.

    It wasn’t even 5 years ago that people thought T-Mobile was going to go under and look at them now, don’t count T-Mobile out. Sprint is a lost cause though.

    • Walt

      Yes sprint is done, they’re in a last ditch effort before they go bankrupt or get bought out.

      If tmobile wants to compete with the big 2 they should shut down old technology. (Like what Att did with Edge at the begining of the year)

      1. Gprs/Edge

      Or

      2. Keep edge (for m2m customers) and shut down hspa and use that specturm for Lte. Is hspa really necessary anymore? Sure its a cool fallback but why? Just get ride of it. 98% of people have Lte phones and if they dont offer them a cheap upgrade. (They would benefit from band 12 anyway)

      • Mike

        Sprint is owned by Soft Bank who is loaded with cash so Sprint isn’t going out if business. Soft Bank wants to buy Tmobile and get rid of the CDMA network and go GSM.

  • Raiterio Patterson

    320 people by the end of 2017…that’s around the same number of customers DeathStar has covered. No wonder they keep sending me promos in the mail! They’re feeling the heat

  • Jared Cohen

    I think Tmobile is doing great. They have the fastest speed by real people. The people that work for Tmobile are passionate like me that’s why one day I will work for them and I been with them since 2001 when they were voicestream. The phones are great I have an iPhone on Tmobile in the Philly suburbs and it’s great here I get plenty if coverage and better indoor coverage

  • poorwalt

    Oh leave poor Walt alone. His momma never showed him much attention, so he has to get it here!

    • Walt

      Vinnyjr is that you? You fogot to thank tmobile for everything!

      On second thought this might be fabian. Long time no hear buddy!