T-Mobile Posts Third Quarter 2012 Numbers, Postpaid Losses Continue As Prepaid Gains

T-Mobile’s third quarter 2012 financial report released overnight and the long and short of it is — just about everything is down, except for prepaid. The nitty-gritty is that the company lost 492,000 postpaid customers while still adding 160,000 net customers thanks to gains in the prepaid arena.

Blended Average revenue per user (ARPU) dropped to $42.78, a decrease of 7.4 percent year over year and more than $20 less AT&T and Sprint. T-Mobile posted total revenues of $4.9 billion, a 6.4 percent drop over the third quarter of last year, and earned $1.2 billion, a 15.2 percent drop. T-Mobile says that while it’s earning more from equipment sales, likely due to their Value Plan efforts, it wasn’t enough to offset an 8.7 percent drop in service revenue caused by the postpaid customer loss.

T-Mobile gained more than 365,000 prepaid customers, with prepaid subscriber revenue up 38 percent from last year to $450 million. Wholesale customers (M2M and MVNO) also increased by 287,000. These numbers are clear indicators as to why T-Mobile continues to focus on Monthly4G plans as they are the company’s big growth driver.

T-Mobile highlights that the rate of branded net contract customer losses dropped in the third quarter, down from 557,000 in the second quarter of 2012 but says the increase year-on-year was due to the impact of the iPhone 5 launch.

T-Mobile highlights that the upcoming MetroPCS merger will begin paying off, as they have “LTE deployment in 90 percent of the top 25 markets.”

T-Mobile, Extended Financial Summery (PDF)

You can read the full report including the complete financial breakdown here.


Other highlights:

BELLEVUE, Wash.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–T-Mobile USA, Inc. (“T-Mobile”) today reported its third quarter 2012 results, which demonstrate that successful execution of the Company’s Challenger Strategy continues to improve performance in key operational and financial areas. T-Mobile ended the third quarter of 2012 with 33.3 million customers, a net addition of 160,000 customers compared to the second quarter of 2012. The sequential improvement was driven primarily by the continued expansion of branded prepaid customers and a reduction in branded contract net customer losses. The Company’s branded prepaid customer growth was its best quarterly performance of this year and exceeded the annual growth reported in 2011.

“The combination of T-Mobile USA and MetroPCS will further deepen the Company’s LTE spectrum position in key metropolitan areas and provide a path to an at least 20 by 20 MHz LTE deployment in 90% of the top 25 U.S. markets”

In the quarter, the Company reported adjusted OIBDA of $1.2 billion and an adjusted OIBDA margin of 29%. As expected, third quarter 2012 adjusted OIBDA reflects higher advertising expenditures related to the Company’s brand re-launch.

“We continue to make solid progress with our Challenger Strategy, as evidenced by our strong performance in prepaid services, the growing attractiveness of our Value and Unlimited plans, the execution of our network modernization program, and the expansion of our popular handset portfolio,” said John Legere, President and CEO of T-Mobile USA. “Our strategy, including our ability to deliver more affordable, faster 4G services to more customers in more metropolitan areas, will be significantly accelerated by our proposed combination with MetroPCS. With MetroPCS, we aim to become the industry’s leading value carrier – for both prepaid and contract service offerings – with the scale, spectrum and financial resources to aggressively compete with the other national carriers.”

“The combination of T-Mobile USA and MetroPCS will further deepen the Company’s LTE spectrum position in key metropolitan areas and provide a path to an at least 20 by 20 MHz LTE deployment in 90% of the top 25 U.S. markets,” said René Obermann, CEO of Deutsche Telekom.

T-Mobile Strategic Initiatives Update

T-Mobile continues to make significant progress in executing its Challenger Strategy. In September, John Legere was named President and Chief Executive Officer of T-Mobile and has reiterated his strong commitment to the Company’s Challenger Strategy.

Amazing 4G Services Highlights:

T-Mobile continues to advance its $4 billion 4G network modernization plan, which includes installing new advanced equipment that paves the way for the launch of Long Term Evolution (“LTE”) service in 2013.

Las Vegas and Kansas City were the first cities where T-Mobile customers benefited from the launch of HSPA+ on 1900 PCS spectrum, which delivers enhanced voice and data coverage, as well as faster speeds on unlocked devices such as the iPhone; just yesterday, Washington DC, Baltimore, and Houston also went live. The Company expects to announce further network strengthening in many additional cities in the coming months.

In the third quarter of 2012, T-Mobile completed the transaction announced in June 2012 with Verizon Wireless for the purchase and exchange of AWS spectrum licenses in 218 markets across the U.S. This transaction improved T-Mobile’s spectrum position in 15 of the top 25 markets nationwide.
T-Mobile continued to expand its compelling 4G smartphone portfolio, including adding more devices under the popular Samsung Galaxy lineup, such as the Samsung Galaxy Note 2, and announcing the upcoming availability of two Windows Phone 8 smartphones, including the exclusive Nokia Lumia 810.
Value Leader Highlights:

T-Mobile is a champion of “bring your own device (BYOD)” wireless, with affordable value plans that separate the cost of wireless service from the purchase of a new phone.

In early September, T-Mobile launched a new Unlimited Nationwide 4G Data plan that is a key differentiator in the marketplace.
Trusted Brand Highlights:

As part of its brand re-launch program, the Company increased investment in advertising to highlight its fast and reliable nationwide 4G network and its blazing fast data speeds in the U.S.

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  • AndroidJunkie

    I told Yall its bad and gonna be worse in the 4th quarters when u have a full 3 months of iphone 5 sales.. A loss of 492,000 contract subs

    • Bratty

      Yes you did. Damn you for being right! This isn’t good news but them are the facts.

    • Mirad77

      With or without the iPhone ,They stands to lose postpaid customers compared to the other three because of coverage more so than a phone. The other three have and continue to deploy LTE whereas Tmo doesn’t. I’ll bet you that if Tmo rolls out 95% of the ref
      arm like the say by end of 4th quarter then they will not lose as much postpaid as this quarter. But don’t forget that the prepaid customers offset the postpaid and reason they still posted a net revenue gain.

      • AndroidJunkie

        You think the avergae joe knows or cares about the refarm?? Customers come in ask a do we have the iphone 5 or b donwe have lte.. Guess what the refarm is neither of those and they leave to the other 3..
        Another thing customers complain about is why phones cost more than the other 3 and they say tmobile is a rip off

        • Mirad77

          True that and like you mention iPhone is one of the many reason customers are leaving (phone cost ,coverage and LTE are among). I also think Tmo is now using the lack of iPhone to console themselves which is weird because Apple will not just give them iPhone just because. My point is iPhone is ONE OF THE REASONS NOT THE ONLY REASON.

        • Spanky

          If you take a look on the T-Mobile support forum, many customers are complaining about contract renewals without consent. This is another thing that can sour the public perception of T-Mobile.

        • Whitney

          It part of the reason why they are leaving. I think just it is most people are getting tired of T-mobile regardless.

        • Mirad77

          That is very true, but most people just turn to look at the iPhone as the only reason.

        • RLB63

          Yes the S3 costs more, UNLESS you go to Walmart, Target etc.

          Also, the data costs DO off set the price of the phone in a couple months. So anyone complaining is being penny wise pound foolish.

          That being said, I think TMO needs to look at the bigger picture. People are stupid and look at the price of the phone, and not the cost of the service. Obviously just by the complaints here in this forum.

  • Whiskers

    Until T-Mobile deploys full 3G/4G coverage across the USA like Verizon and AT&T with true LTE , they are going to keep losing massive customers.
    Does’nt matter how many high-end Android phones they sell , people get tired of coverage that drops like a rock 30 minutes outside any major city.

  • ducatiswagg

    How is the iphone 5 a big issue when the Samsung Galaxy III has, for the first time, out sold the iphone third quarter of this year?

    • Get_at_Me

      I do like the excitement around samsung devices. For the first time ever there is a legit iphone competitor in terms of sales and interest

    • Bratty

      Because the iPhone was not out for most of Q3. Most people on this site get their panties in a twist at the mention of Apple but people are leaving TMo and the iPhone is one of the many reasons why. If TMo believes it is a big reason for churn, then you can either trust the company or not.

      Think of it this way – the Samsung devices are available on all carriers. The reason to change carriers is device independent. The iPhone is available on all but one – you decide if it matters. The company thinks it impacts negatively.

      • 21stNow

        I could fall for the iPhone being the reason if it were newer. The iPhone has been out for over five years now. Anyone who wanted to leave for an iPhone could have done that two contracts ago. I’m not saying that there aren’t people waking up today saying that they want an iPhone for the first time. I just think that those numbers are small and don’t break 4 figures, let alone 6.

        • Whitney

          Also those who wanted to the iphone are unwilling to pay ETF and waiting until their contract is up then leaving.

    • Whitney

      The iphone 5 has barely been out for two months. Samsung Galaxy has been out for most of the quarter.

  • Bingle

    Soooo they are making more money on equipment sales huh ?? Thought the higher priced Equipment was supposed to be to offset the “cheap” plans that T-Mo offers ???? I guess not

  • Mirad77

    Now one should take what I say the wrong way but for company that doesn’t have the iPhone and posting net gain revenue, I would say they are not doing bad. The net lost postpaid customers is offset by prepaid and we now know why they are pushing the Value plan. Now if only Tmo can increase it’s coverage and push out LTE, then I can say f**k iPhone and Tmo will be fine without it.

    • Dakota

      Bet if u did a survey less than 10% if people know T-Mobile has real unlimited data. Marketing sucks, Carly is ineffective, & secret web sales that no one knows abt are idiotic & selling phones higher prices than other carriers contradicts the very value message they want to. Promote..Doubt mist think value when they hear tmo. They think its a second tier carrier

      • Mirad77

        Totally agree with you. I mention it on another post that their Carly thing sucks including all the sales that you mention. They should increase and improve coverage, then roll out LTE and there we will see.

  • timmyjoe42

    I feel like T-Mobile is about to turn things around really soon with their 4G on the 1900mhz band and the MetroPCS merger. Good things are coming. I need to convince my parents on prepaid NetZero (which I think is named that because of the coverage they get) to go prepaid T-Mobile. I’ve got 5 lines already and feel like I’m doing my part to keep them afloat. I’ll probably have to start getting my oldest a prepaid device soon. :)

    My biggest problem is that I just moved. My old house had a T-mobile tower almost across the street so reception was incredible. My new house bounces around between 0 to 2 bars so I have to use wifi calling which is fine, but my wife’s Lumia 710 and the Nexus 4 (my next device) don’t have that app.

    • Get_at_Me

      The issue with the refarm is that only overlapping aws/pcs sites will be 4g capable….existing 2g areas will remain 2g. As of right now there wont be an expansion of 4g coverage but it will get stronger in existing areas…. Esp where metro has 4g.

      • rfgenerator

        This is the biggest reason that I may not stay with T-Mobile when my contract is up in a few months. It’s great that their coverage is good in cities, but most of us are not in cities all the time. It would be nice to be able to drive 10 minutes off a highway and not have the signal fall to GPRS or EDGE as it often does.

        • Get_at_Me

          If it wasnt for wifi id be in bad shape… I live in a residential area with spotty coverage. I dont plan on leaving tmo tho.

  • M42

    They continue to think that it’s all about the iPhone. I’s not. I”s about coverage and of the four major carriers T-Mobile has the smallest coverage footprint and the smallest high speed data footprint. They remain a mostly Edge carrier and they’re going to continue to bleed until they realize nobody wants Edge.

    • Whiskers

      Bingo , we have a winner..

    • Dakota

      I’m in Atlanta & I have a weekly meeting 10 min away in Decatur & no data. When it falls to E its useless. And +21 only averages 2-3mbps for me

      • M42

        That’s what I’ve encountered too. When I’m on Edge I often am unable to download attachments with my email. This is particularly true when I’m roaming on AT&T, where it’s always Edge data.

    • JustSaying

      Are they currently refarming 2G spectrum too? I don’t see why they are still selling 2g Only phones still if they want people to migrate over to 3G/4G.

      • consultant

        No, we are utilizing the 2G network to now carry the 1900 band – this is what supports the iphones to new data speeds at 3G and faster. Aside from an old phone, there are no longer any new phones that are not HSPA+ aside from two 3G Monthly 4G entry level smartphones.

    • fixxmyhead

      what about sprint? tmobiles EDGE is faster than there 3g

      • consultant

        Yes it is. Sprint uses wi-max which is a dead system. However, there CDMA voice coverage does stretch further. Sprint is VERY close to foreclosure and is going to be purchased by new owners looking to revamp the entire process over there.

        • Whitney

          Well not anymore. That Softbank deal will go though with FCC.

      • dude


    • Rob M

      You sir are correct!

    • consultant

      Where do you live M42? I am from Michigan and travel heavily through the east cost over summers with little to no troubles. This week alone I have done speed tests against friends and families iphones on ATT and Verizon (while on LTE) and they are slower than my SIII on HSPA+

      People need to know that Tmobile already has LTE, they have chosen to not release it in small pockets like Verizon (35% LTE) and ATT (16%). But rest assured, it will roll out in 2013.

      This does not negate your comment that we need better coverage – we do and we will. But, the stigma remains high even with several improvements are6 being made and already made. Gain of Metro, Verizon spectrum deal and ATT spectrum deal.

      The Company is modernizing and that shows with 1.6 Million iphones already on the network. The 1900 footprint is growing rapidly along with LTE – get excited everyone! 2013 and 2014 will have every one knowing we are here.

      • M42

        consultant, I’m in NC and travel the Southeast. T-Mobile only has 4G in this region in major cities; and even then the footprint can be rather small. Often I find I run out of 4G coverage before I’m out of the city limits. You would think they would at least borrow a page from Sprint and cover the interstate corridors with 4G, but I find it’s mostly Edge.

        • TheSchwartz

          I’m in the NW and I have the same issues as you. Generally good data coverage, but once you leave a high population center, kiss your data goodbye. Pretty much from Seattle to Portland the coverage is terrible, and once you are south of Portland you are back into Edge speeds.

          Even in Bellevue around their corporate office they have some pretty terrible dead zones.

      • BigMixxx

        What ticks me off the most about pockets of ‘4g’ coverage, it’s in places where…there is no one there. I carried a HSPA+ signal from the outskirts of amarillo, texas to the border of Oklahoma. I can count the number of folks, on one hand that’s over there…

        in LV, I get GREAT coverage. Decent out near where I live (mountains), actually the refarming effort, got me HSPA+ coverage indoors.

        They really need to expand there. an iPhone wouldn’t hurt, but expanding and attacking the competition on price works wonders….

        I just wish I had coverage better coverage in Planet Hollywood casino…..

      • cactus1

        will the S3 be able to use the future lte network?

        • capmarvel

          no the only phone in tmobile network that will have lte when they rollout it out is the note 2 none of there other phones have lte radios in it

    • tmon doesnt think the iphone is a huge factor this is just them overplaying the significance so that more people dont leave but all this mention of iphone makes wonder how close we are to getting it.

    • btw on my one s im pulling down 18mbps on average that would be tmos 4g

    • Sometimes I’d be thrilled to get EDGE on TMO

    • No quite. They have a larger 4G footprint than Sprint and similar coverage, yet Sprint is gaining subscribers now. Difference is that Sprint is carrying the iPhone.

  • ColdFeet

    Here’s why I’ll be leaving when my contract’s up… 1) the price of their phones. For a decent piece of equipment, I’m going to have to pay more than anywhere else. 2) the selection of devices. The options seem limited. C’mon, they’re STILL selling the G2! And I still hold a grudge with Samsung from when I had a Vibrant. I still dig my Sensation, but what have they released since that came out… the One S? It’s cool but it’s not enough. 3) It’s not THAT big of a deal to me but 4G coverage. They don’t have it. They keep bragging about how they’re the biggest or best or whatever, but I don’t see it. When I’m at a concert or an event with a few thousand people, I have NO service. Switching to Edge sometimes helps but why should I have to do that??

    I like their customer service but I rarely have to call in. And the price? It’s ok. But, if it’s a little more for something more reliable, then I’ll gladly spend it.

    • zacamandapio

      1. Price of their phones is off-set by the price of their plans. You can buy any unlocked device as well.
      2. The selection of devices is very good. GSII, GSIII, GNII, WP7, BB, One S, etc. What have they released since the sensation? Many, many phones.
      3 About 4G you are probably right. Sorry it affects you so much.
      4. CS is great (or has been great to me).

      Hopefully where you leave the grass is greener (and your pocket).

      • ColdFeet

        1) I want to spend $200 or less on a good phone. I’m not buying unlocked. I’ll gladly do a 2 year contract for a bigger discount on my phone. And T-Mobile’s service is cheaper for a number of reasons… no *real* 4G, lack of coverage, etc. It’s not cheaper JUST because the phones are more than Sprint, Verizon, and AT&T.

        2) Half the phones on your list are Samsung. Read my post… I don’t like Samsung. And I mentioned the One S. Releasing one decently spec’d HTC phone in a year and a half isn’t acceptable to me. And the others? I don’t want Windows, BB, or a silly “dumb” phone. I WILL consider an iPhone when I leave, too. But my phone will either be Android or an iPhone.

        3) No reply necessary.

        4) Yeah, I agree. Their cs IS good. But I generally have no need to contact them. My bill doesn’t go up, my service works “fine” for what it is, my phone doesn’t have any problems other than it’s just getting old. So CS isn’t an issue to me.

        I AM hoping the grass is greener. I’m pretty sure it will be. And my bill? It’s going to be more with Verizon. Actually, it’ll probably be about the same for 2 lines as opposed to the 3 that I’m paying for now. But if I want/need something that works a little better, then it’s not an issue for me. So I’ll pay more for service and get a bigger discount on a phone that I’m not settling for just because there’s nothing better I really want. What’s the problem?

        • Giraffe

          What phone are you getting? Verizon’s selling their Note 2 for $50 more upfront than what T-Mobile offers on their value plan…

        • ColdFeet

          Dunno. A Motorola, HTC, or iPhone. It’s not for a few months but it’s not going to be a Samsung. But even if it WAS a Samsung, the Note 2 is $70 more on the plan I’m currently on than it is with Verizon…

        • Whiskers

          You really should’nt rule out the new WP8 phones.
          The OS is as smooth as IOS and you don’t get the constant update BS you get all the time with Android OS.

        • ColdFeet

          Honestly, I probably wouldn’t have considered it until you mentioned it. But it got me thinking… “WHY wouldn’t I consider WP8?” and I couldn’t answer that question. I’ll have to take a look at them when the time comes…

        • zacamandapio

          Good luck.

  • nutzareus

    Why should I use postpaid Value or Classic plan when the prepaid $30 Monthly4G 100 minute 5GB data plan is perfect for my needs?

    • zacamandapio

      That’s a good point. You should keep that.

  • terryjohnson16

    IMO, it’s mainly the iPhone that’s hurting them. If you can’t be them, join them. Plus, their phone prices are way too high. I won’t leave my Unlimited Loyalty plan, for a Value or Classic plan. I like my pricing. I think T-Mobile will need to bite the bullet and get the iPhone officially. Adding the iPhone will turn those losses into gains.

    • consultant

      As a Corporate store manager, I can promise you that you are paying more on your loyalty plan than the new classic, let alone more for both compared to value. (And that is based upon paying full price on a Galaxy SIII)

      • Whitney

        Problem is that if they wanted to switch to value plan they still have to pay ETF on top along with unlock phone.

      • archerian

        is that always the case, Value plans are better than Preferred/Loyalty plans? Even with features like Fave 5, Preferred Data/Text, free UMA calling etc. are they still better in features and price? Also, is it possible to move to Value plans and keep some of the features I mentioned earlier?

        • Whitney

          Maybe or maybe not

        • Guest

          pearls of wisdom

    • Whitney

      The iphone is hurting them and pricing more on phones then AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon is not helping them.

    • T-Mobile simply can’t afford the iPhone, instead of paying ~$300 to Samsung for a Galaxy S III they’d have to pay $500+ to Apple for the iPhone, the subsidy would be a real subsidy instead of a shell game to make people feel like they are getting something for signing a 2 year contract.

    • TBN27

      And they need to increase the subsidy on the classic plans to woo customers also. A lot 9f people already hate the value plan because they adamantly do not to pay the unsubsidized price.

  • D Velasquez

    i dont have a problem with T-Mobile carrying the iPhone or not, i could care less about the iPhone or any device itself as i can get european or japanese phones whenever i want however i do agree with some people here, is not about the iPhone, it has never been is about coverage although where i live i have perfect coverage everywhere is on buildings where it sucks by instance my coworkers who have Verizon iPhones or Droids they have perfect coverage even on the basement of my building, they really need to realize they have to improve coverage i applaud them because they are starting to get better phones however that itself is not enough.

    • 21stNow

      I agree with you that it’s probably not the iPhone. They can’t blame this year’s increase in losses on the iPhone 5, when last year’s losses were blamed on the iPhone 4S.

  • archerian

    Deutsche Telekom recorded a $8.78B loss in Q3 too, mainly due to charges attributable to Tmo USA. Tmo also lost 16% of its workforce compared to the same time last year, that’s around 5000 employees

  • BallaOnnaBudget

    I sadly had to leave Tmo yesterday. The deal on the lumia 920 at ATT was too good to pass up. Coverage in my house has become increasingly worse and wifi calling is not available for WP7. I was able to keep basically the same services for about $5 less monthly with my employee discount. Hopefully i’ll be happy.

    • Spanky

      Last July, I left T-Mobile for AT&T, due to data problems. So far, I couldn’t be happier. LTE is blazing fast (25-50 Mbps downstream in NYC), particularly when coming from 0.5 Mbps in the so-called best possible 4G coverage area of T-Mobile.
      I’m not opposed to coming back to T-Mobile in the future, as long as they get their act together. However, the numbers speak for themselves. Although the iPhone is a contributing factor to the churn, it’s the coverage that they really need to work on.

  • Dakota

    They never learn..keep the same bad advertising and service…get same results. I wonder what prepaid plan is most popular. If its the $50 plan, those customers need to be educated so they spend less and get 2gb ,HSPA+ for $45-50 on prepaid vs 50 for 100mb or 60 for 2gb

  • The worst is yet to come. Wait until those 4th Quarter numbers come out and show how many people left T-Mobile to get the iPhone 5.

    I hope they finally get the thing officially in early 2013 when the refarm is done. Never seen one phone do so much damage to a company. Sprint’s network is terrible and even they started gaining postpaid customers after they got the iPhone.

    On a positive note though at least they are still making money.

    • consultant

      Why would we go get a phone that currently doesn’t see 3G or higher in a majority of areas? The SIII is a better phone hands down, but if you want the 5, just go to Apple and buy the unlocked version. This isn’t rocket science.

      • Whitney

        You guys keep saying that it easier thing to do when it not. Not everyone like myself can’t afford to pay full price on the phone which why people go on contracts.

      • Perhaps you can’t read. That’s why I said “when the refarm is done”. Of course it would make no sense right now when the iPhone still gets 2G in most markets. That’s why they don’t have it yet.

      • Nearmsp

        you can not buy an iPhone 5 from Apple, unless you belong to the big 3. So even if one has the cash to buy it, one needs to wait to be able to buy the iPhone 5.

  • chuey101

    well i guess i’m in the minority but i have a lumia 920 off contract and happily enjoying 3g/fauxg on it. Also future proofed when LTE comes out next year.

  • Jose Hernandez

    Does anyone know if the switch from Classic to Value (no contract), or Classic to Prepaid may account for some of those numbers? For example, are the contracts that they are loosing just moving over to prepaid services (if they are, then how many of them are) or are the contract loses specific to people just leaving T-Mobile and going to another carrier?

    • It’s mostly people leaving to go to other carriers. The top reasons for churn are the iPhone and 2nd is coverage and then billing issues. All three of those send customers to other carriers. People already in contract with T-Mobile would have to pay ETFs to go to over to Prepaid.

    • 21stNow

      The Value plan is a contract plan.

  • sidekicker89

    I wonder how many iPhones they added.. I’m sure it’s well over a 1 million now… right?

    • sidekicker89

      -a ^

  • JustSaying

    I don’t see why T-Mobile is still selling 2G only phones when they are trying to move customers to 3G/4G so they can repurpose the 2G spectrum.

    • terryjohnson16

      They have places that still use their EDGE network. Plus, it allows AT&T roaming, if need be.

      • rfgenerator

        I would venture to say the majority of T-Mobile’s geographic footprint (not the majority of customers) are still limited to GPRS/EDGE.

  • Mike

    I’m so sick of reading comments about how expensive the phones are and that value plans suck. I understand you’re used to getting f*cked in the @ss on the price of your plan and get a phone for cheap, or you not only want a cheap phone and a cheap plan, but let me simply how “expensive” a phone is on value.

    Samsung galaxy s3 is $199.99 – $50 rebate = $149.99
    Unlimited talk text AND web you’re paying $90 per month before tax, with absolutely no chance of going over or being throttled. That includes the plan and phone payments.

    Verizon offers unlimited talk,text and 4GB with overage for $110 and the same price for the phone.

    So for the 20 months you’re paying off the phone you’re ONLY saving $20 bucks but after you pay off the phone you’re saving another $20 bucks to total $40 dollars a month in savings.

    My point is this, if you’re in an area where T-Mobile doesn’t have coverage or service is spotty then switching makes sense. If you’re just complaining that T-Mobile charges too much then you’re an idiot.

    • bryck

      True that brother. I totally agree with your statement.

    • Spanky

      If you’re the type who upgrades every 22 months (most people), the additional post-20 month savings are inconsequential.

      • Mike

        Fine so then you only save $20 bucks a month, how terrible

        • Spanky

          It’s not terrible at all, as long as you’re actually getting the service that T-Mobile advertises. Had I been able to exceed 0.5 Mbps downstream in my neighborhood, I would have stayed with T-Mobile.

        • Mike

          And that’s why I made sure to specify that if the service sucks in your area, leaving is understandable. I’m talking about the people complaining about price and price alone, in areas of good coverage.

  • gtdeaner

    They will always have reasons for decline, unfortunately it’s a sinking ship and the ones in charge are just pulling strings hoping something works. Treating employees like shit won’t help them either.

  • Rob M

    Does anyone know if T-Mobile has any future plans to expand the 3g/4g footprint? I understand that they are focusing on areas which already have 3g/4g in the modernization of the network. I would love to have a little hope that someday they will actually upgrade more of the network. I think the fact that so many people are still stuck on gprs and edge is the main reason people are leaving. Not everyone lives in LA or NYC but they seem to run there business as if everyone did. Even people who live in strong 4g coverage markets get frustrated when they drive ten minutes out of the city and their phones switch over to edge. The only reason I stay with them is because of the savings I get from the value plan. The problem for T-Mobile is that not everyone is as much of a cheapskate as me :)

    • rfgenerator

      This lack of high speed data when you drive even 5 minutes outside of a city is one of the main reasons I’m considering switching. Everything I’ve heard is that while some areas may see an upgrade from GPRS/EDGE to 3G/4G, the vast majority of the areas that are currently GPRS/EDGE are going to stay that way for the forseeable future.

      • Rob M

        Yeah that’s what I have read. It’s unbelievable in 2012 closing on 2013 they are going to stick with dinosaur technology. Too bad the FCC doesn’t come down on companies for neglect of customers who don’t just happen to live in metro areas. Perhaps they should get some spectrum taken away. Last time I checked I paid the same amount living in Burlington as someone living in Boston so what gives for my service yet data offered in Boston is 100 times faster? I know what people will say. Move to a bigger city or change carriers. That argument no longer holds up now that the tiny carriers offer better technology than T-mobile in many areas.

  • gperez

    I’ve been with all carriers started with tmo left them, then sprint(sucks, and their billing is horrible), at&t( high prices, dropped calls too believe it or not as well as Verizon and then decided to come back to tmo, better pricing, good cs and same calling coverage and do travel all over the US the only issue is data right now E in most of the rural areas and I believe it will get better with the re-farm. I am sticking with Tmo, already know everyone else

  • bad service

    yep coverage is the worst ever

  • This better results then Sprint atlest tmo still makes profits and is bringing droves of prepaid customers. Just need better monthly 4g plans and their prepaid offerings will be better.

    • Whitney

      Before you start jumping up and down with joy about T-mobile they still things to consider. Metro PCS merger still has not gone though yet. Also with Softbank and Sprint deal Metro PCS might pull out and talk Sprint. Also this merger could a bad or good thing. With a loss of 6.9 billion euros (which 8 billion USD) could be a turn off.

      • I could careless about the merger because we wont see effects from that until like 2017. And Sprint and Softbank relationship will eventually turn sour due to how much capital needs to be invested into turn Sprint around. And Sprint want be a independent provider anymore so the 30% of the shareholders really don’t have no say so in what happens to the company if the transaction goes through. But you have fun with Sprint high ass prices and terriable data speeds.

  • Depressing, but still there is hope.

  • TMoFan

    As much as people (not here) like to poke fun at T-Mobile and Sprint they are important forces in the industry. at&t and Verizon largely ignore the value end of the market so without Sprint and T-Mobile those areas would be underserved. This is why it was paramount that the att sellout was stopped. I hate reading these quarterly numbers because I remember when T-Mobile was a rising star here in the states when they first arrived. I think we’ll start to see some of these numbers change when the Metro merger is approved, refarm is complete, 20×20 LTE, and filling in 2G with 3G/4G.

    • Whitney


  • thepanttherlady

    Are the Value plans T-Mobile offers considered “prepaid”? or is the “postpaid” customer referenced in the article from both Classic and Value plans?

    • Value and Classic are postpaid .. prepaid are just that .. prepaid (pay as you go) type of deals.

      • thepanttherlady

        Thanks for the response, Deacon.

  • manusferrera

    Iphone Iphone Iphone.

  • This doesn’t surprise me, the people who signed up for or renewed their contracts at the time
    that their network started to degrade are coming off contract now and looking for something more reliable.

    I know that personally I will be moving to AT&T when I go off contract in the spring unless they can improve their coverage to at least the same level it was in the middle of 2010. I know I’ll have to pay more (especially since I’m grandfathered on very economical voice and data plans) but I just can’t deal with the swiss cheese coverage anymore.

  • OnlineRefugee

    I’ll comment on this later, press of business compels work on other matters. Really quick though:

    As I have been saying for two years, post-paid will be dead by 2013-14. Prepaid is where it is at and the sooner post-paid accepts that, the more likely they will survive or preserve profits.

    As I said over a year ago, when I discussed that IMO the acquisition would fail and what T-Mobile / Deutsche Telekom needed to do, because of what I believe will be a mass exodus from post-paid to prepaid, TMOUS’s best move is to become the preeminent prepaid carrier.

    Handsets: To become the best prepaid carrier it requires TMOUS to have the BEST handsets for those who do not bring their own phone.

    It cannot profit from handset sales. It needs to sell them at cost.

    A unique feature for TMOUS, and what would distinguish itself from others, provide handsets on its payment plan. (The phone on a payment plan would make the user fell like he or she is under contract, even though they are not. Most users would not switch simply so they can continue on the payment plan and/or they can’t afford to pay the full remaining phone purchase balance, that would become due if one leaves T-Mobile’s prepaid service).

    – Emphasis on BYOP: Instead of trying to sell handsets for a profit, market the h€ll out of the BYOP program. Don’t be afraid to tell people: “Do you have an old phone in the drawer? Are you using a one-year-old phone that you still like? You can use it on TMOUS prepaid plan”

    – Explain Prepaid: Saying “no contracts” does not cut it. Tell people, “STOP PAYING $120 AND MORE MONTHLY ON YOUR CELL PHONE AND MOBILE NET CONNECTION! Pay $50 a month, AND NOTHING MORE!”

    Heck, I can think of commercials to have on TV that gets the message out, on the benefits of prepaid.

    Scene: Pan in on someone in a casino playing a dollar slot machine. He is talking on his cell phone at the same time.

    Action: He is inattentive on what the machine is doing except to putting money into the machine on seeing that a pull of the lever it comes up with two Verizon looking symbols, the third a blank.

    Action: On inserting more coins he sees two AT&T looking symbols, the third a blank.

    Action: The camera zooms in to the coin tray. We see a pair of arm and hands coming out of the slot machine. Unbeknownst to the gambler, the hands are reaching into the guy’s wallet, or woman’s purse, removing the wallet, and taking out the currency. The hands then disappear back into the slot machine. (To be clear who we are talking about, one arm can have a sleeve with stripes in AT&T colors, the other sleeve’s stripes in Verizon colors.)

    Audio: With the 24 month contract cell phone companies how much you will be overpaying monthly is always a gamble, but in the end those carriers are ripping you off.

    Get T-Mobile prepaid. Truly unlimited everything at a JACKPOT! price.

    Action: At the same time the announcer is saying this, the slot machine shows three T-Mobile “T” and the jackpot alarm sounds.

    A policeman shows up, looking sternly at the machine. Again unbeknownst to the gambler, the arms and hands extend out of the machine and puts the money it stole back into the wallet.

    – Plan Pricing: TMOUS must have the lowest prices on truly unlimited everything. Services cannot be throttled.

    – Make TMOUS lean: TMOUS must get rid of high U.S. overhead and go automated. It must scale back the U.S. employee base, and close many of its leased brick and mortar stores. Standalone stores are an outdated concept. At best, have kiosks in superstores like Target, Wal-Mart, and CostCo.

    – It must provide efficient customer service, and allow everything to be done online by the user, such as switching devices, activating phones, etc. TMOUS should go to Straight Talk to see how that is done.

    – Last, but not least, as a gimmick to get into the headlines, how about T-Mobile establish “ATM Cell Phone Machines” where one can walk up, insert a credit card, buy a phone on a payment plan, pick a service, and the machine spits out a phone, fully activated and ready to go. (For security the machine can require a credit card, scanning of one’s driver’s license, fingerprint, etc.) Cumbersome, sure. But that would get T-Mobile in the headlines, which is what it needs to do.

    Just sayin. :)

    Pardon poor grammar and spelling errors, have to run.

    P.s. Any talk about the iPhone is just BS. The iPhone is not the reason for TMOUS mass defections. It is the economy, it is the switch to prepaid.

    • sorry to tell you this but post paid isn’t going away nor is it some evil thing in existence. pre paid will never and i repeat NEVER be an option for most people. do you not realize the stink that rich people would cause having to walk into Walmart lol

  • Turb0wned

    T Mobile is to busy talking about how fast there “4G” is instead of improving overall coverage. There coverage map is a joke.

    • Rob M

      So true. They are all about hype with no action. They are great for city folks who never travel outside of the metro area. That is about it unless you don’t need data.

      • Spanky

        “They are great for city folks who never travel outside of the metro area.”
        Not always. I live in NYC, and my neighborhood’s data speeds on T-Mobile top out at 0.5 Mbps. Initially, T-Mobile acknowledged that there was an issue with a cell site in the area. A year later, they stated that everything is fine and that the problem is with my phones. Uh huh…

        • Rob M

          I used to live in Northampton MA which according to the coverage map was 3g/4g. Funny thing was me and my girlfriend barely had edge half to the time. I filed numerous service tickets but what a joke that was. Nothing ever improved and they never fixed the maps. T-mobile seems to have an interesting way of dealing with their network issues. They simply pretend they don’t exist. Trust me. I feel your pain.

        • RLB63

          Complain constantly on both phones, and request others to complain as well. The service people will get sick of the calls and see what they can do to resolve the issue. The squecky wheel gets the greese.

  • jian9007

    Those who don’t think T-Mobile isn’t doing enough to retain people should look at the financials for this quarter. Losses from equipment subsidies totaled $312 million. The interesting thing to note is that $233 million of that is from equipment subsidies related to customer retention. Only $79 million of it was related to customer acquisition. So almost 75% of the equipment subsidy losses are related to retaining current customers. This means that the people getting the deepest discounts are the current customers, not the new ones. Think about that the next time you complain that deals are only for new customers. Anyone who has ever called retentions knows that they make tons of deals for current customers.

  • Mike Mack

    prepaid all the way!