How long until T-Mobile is #3?


It’s been little under two weeks since T-Mobile announced its quarterly results for Q3 2013. It was a very strong quarter for the magenta colored carrier and one which indicated that Tmo is certainly going about things the right way. By challenging the status quo and becoming the “UNcarrier” it’s stopped being just another network operator, and is now the cool, rebellious kid that everyone in high school wishes was their friend. And it’s paying off. Customers are subscribing.

I was checking out some analysis picked up at FierceWireless today, comparing the quarterly results of the major carriers in the States, and it struck me: The past couple of quarters, T-Mobile has performed like one of the top two, not #4. In Q2, it added 1.13 million subscribers compared to AT&T’s 632,000 and Verizon’s 1.29 million. In Q3 it added 1.023 million compared to AT&T’s 989,000 and Verizon’s 1.29 million. That brings Tmo up to 45 million subscribers in total.

At the moment, it’s still technically the 4th most popular carrier. It’s some 9.5 million subscribers behind Sprint, but going on this year’s form so far, surely that can’t last for too much longer. Sprint has failed to increase its subscriber base for the past three quarters. In fact, since January, it’s lost 2.58 million. If all four carriers had started from zero in January, it’d look something like this:

Screen Shot 2013-11-18 at 20.00.57It’s important to stress, this chart doesn’t include the 9 million or so subscribers T-Mobile gained from the MetroPCS merger earlier in the year.

Why I write this really is that it’s easy to look at the other carriers (especially AT&T and Verizon) and see how many subscribers they have on their books. Both have more than double Tmo’s. But, the magenta carrier is keeping up this year and adding more subscribers than any other network operator (except Verizon).

In reality, it could be a good few years before T-Mobile is technically the #3 carrier in terms of subscriber base. But just looking at the way it’s performing vs. the other carriers, particularly over the past 9 months, is very pleasing indeed. What I think is particularly good is that it’s clear the iPhone isn’t the reason behind it. Tmo’s percentage of phone sales made up by the iPhone is pretty modest. It seems to have struck a decent balance between manufacturers and operating systems. What’s made the real difference is the whole “UNcarrier” plan, throughout all the phases as well as acquiring more spectrum, strengthening its infrastructure and rolling out LTE, really quickly to metro areas.

And let’s be honest, the other carriers’ attempts at copying “JUMP!” have been poorly executed and are not – in any way – consumer focussed.

What do you guys think? Will Tmo be one of the top three soon, will Sprint survive? Let me know your thoughts on Tmo’s performance so far this year.



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  • nat x

    6 months.

    • Roger Sales

      Thats what Sprint was saying six months ago, sweetheart. :)

  • I give it about a year and T-Mobile will jump over Sprint. Especially since SPrint’s network is getting worse and worse.

    • mistermix

      I hear nothing but complaints from friends who have Sprint. That said, in my town they’re converting to LTE, so in 6 months they might be at least competitive with T-Mobile service-wise.

      Didn’t the Softbank deal get them some cash to bulid out their network a bit?

      • It did, but then again you can’t repair that network overnight. We were supposed to get LTE in April from Sprint, and here it is November and it’s still not live. So I’m not holding out hope for them.

        • mistermix

          I’m evaluating T-Mobile right now and I am honestly amazed at the speed and quality of T-Mob’s LTE buildout. It took money but also good management to get that done. I don’t know if Sprint has enough of either of those things.

    • Alex Zapata

      That’s because there’s like 8 people hogging all the good bandwidth on Sprint.

      • twicetheprice

        That’s because only 8 people can connect.

      • 8? Think it’s closer to 2.

        • Alex Zapata

          I was trying to be nice :-P

  • bdbman

    I think it will be cool to see what kind of celebration T-mo will put on when it becomes number 3!

  • android

    So…Where’s out Android 4.3 update for Tmo Galaxy S4?

    • Cam Bunton

      Seriously, I’ve been trying to find out all day. I’ve got nothing on that. AT&T and Verizon both pulled their updates back because of issues, so I’m guessing it’ll be delayed.

    • Chris

      Exactly where’s today 4.3 for the s4

    • TryiOSifYouWantAnUpdate

      You’re asking about an update for an Android device, you do know that’s an oxymoron, right?

  • Enoch Cheng

    Sprint will be no longer sooner or later. They haven’t done much for customers at all. Their headquarters are in Kansas…no talent there.

  • taron19119

    T-Mobile will be number 3 by end of 2014 0r q2 of 2015

  • landmarkcm

    All I know is I just saw the header of this & thought instantly Yes please knock Sprint out of number 3. I dont meant to sound like a hater but I think it’s just really at this point inexcuseable that Sprint cant get there 3g yes 3g speeds even togeter still in MAJOR cities, im talking about there still like dial up. Im surprised more people havent left them in droves by now. I could google it but im forgetting if all there mnvo’s (because theres so many) count in there subsriber base. Well they probably dont on the post paid side. But ya ive said for couple years now how broken there network is. I dont know if its because there such an MVNO whore or what lol. Yes I know some complain abt Tmobile still having edge in areas but overall if you compare the two again esp in the major areas Sprint is proven overall the worst. They are actually the only carrier now where I live inside that cant even hold a call! Ok theres my rant 2 cents for the day :). So hopefully only a matter of time before Tmo is in the top 3 if they keep up the progression. Im newly back with them & happy to be. I always seem to end up back with Tmobile & ive had them all. And I think by the time Sprint does get it together they will still be lagging behind.

    • hanfeedback

      I have to agree, I had Sprint for about a year up until a month or so ago when I had to leave here in Houston. This market SHOULD have been one of the most advanced “Network Vision” markets. LTE speeds if I got ~4mbps I was lucky, 3G was unusable on most towers and overall I was very unimpressed. For one of the original markets they should just be sooo much farther ahead as far as an overall experience goes. I just couldn’t deal with the crappy data anymore and left. Even their Spark speeds aren’t anything that isn’t seen on ATT LTE or Verizon, and most tmobile LTE speeds are 25-30mbps on LTE, at that point do you really need 50mbps? I just don’t see them getting it turned around anytime soon.

      • landmarkcm

        Well said ya like I said so strange they cant even get 3g up to speed yet alone there slow LTE rollout. Here in NV its pathetic & in CA. At least Tmo and ATT have HSPA+ and even Verizons own 3g hits 1-2megs. I just really wonder does Sprint not really realize how bad they are I would love to be able to tell there head honcho LOL. If you check there FB pages too Sprint has the most complaints of any. I think people are leaving prob just most dont wanna pay a term fee and get by on wifi. Which I use too at home etc but still need useable service outside of that. Im so anti Sprint because its irriitating they offer good deals but there pretty useless.

  • Alex Zapata

    I’d say at least a couple years. If TMO were to gobble up US Cellular then that would be a different story.

    I have to admit that I’m curious to see how Sprint’s new Spark network turns out. They’ve got the spectrum and SoftBank put up a lot of money so there’s a good chance they’ll be a force to reckon with.

    • Roger Sales

      I know network vision is supposed to take time, but in my area Sprint should have improved significantly under their plan already. I feel very bad for their customers.

      • Alex Zapata

        Don’t get me wrong, from what I’ve seen they’re WAY behind schedule. I’m just not willing to count them out because SoftBank is a serious company. Still, magenta is way better IMO.

        • Roger Sales

          I think it’s important for Sprint to improve, but right now what I am hoping for is that T-Mobile starts taking over the regional carriers to expand coverage(US Cellular, Cincinatti Bell, C Spire, nTelos, etc)

  • besweeet

    Should be soon seeing the way things are going.

  • Michael Lynady

    All I know is I want the 4.3 update for my s4

    • Luis Espinal

      I want 4.4 for my Nexus 4!!!! LOL but still not available yet for the N4 or cellular N7 first gen.

      • Doug Baker

        Bell I still haven’t got itfor my WiFi n7

        • Luis Espinal

          Wow that really sucks, you were supposed to have gotten it a few days ago!

        • Doug Baker

          I know I check a couple times a day and nothin.

      • Jesse

        Its available since a few days ago. Head over to XDA.

    • Shawn

      So what does 4.3 have that everybody wants it over 4.2.2?

  • Diesel

    I foresee T-mobile taking over Sprint any time now.
    I left Sprint for T-mobile when the 5S came out. Best thing I ever did after leaving my unlimited AT&T plan.
    I’ve gotten really great coverage and the LTE speeds are VERY good. No complaints here. Did 15GB of unthrottled data last month. And have 2.5GB tethering to boot.

    • Luis Espinal

      Awesome, welcome to Magenta! My best friend left ATT, who was worried to do so b/c of his NotTrulyUnlimited from ATT. He never looked back!! He would get threat texts from ATT @ 2GB of usage! That’s insane, I typically do around 45GB/month, I think that would’ve given ATT a heart attack!

      • Ben

        Wow! What are you guys watching on your phones?

        • Luis Espinal

          Downloading torrents constantly lol! Each over a gb. So one or two a day adds up to the 45gb or so…most at 47 last month

        • Jay J. Blanco

          haha me too. torrents torrents torrent i download The Heat last week.

        • Alex Zapata

          Play Music and lots of podcasts. Also, audiobooks. WP8 doesn’t let me download over cell most of the time so I just stream all day long. Current record is a bit over 100GB.

        • SZL

          WTF?! How? lol. I don’t even think I use anything close to that at home for my laptop. haha

        • Dakota

          But rest assured, if a lot of people did that, T-Mobile would cracking down. No one’s guaranteed that much data for life. The network wouldcollapse.Id bevenever be watching movies on a tiny screen but could see data pile up if streamed music daily. That’s what people don’t get when they say you don’t need internal storage.. It’s all in the cloud

        • Alex Zapata

          I never said that the average user would consume that much data. In fact the average user consumes around a gig a month, and that’s probably on the high end. I just wanted to see how much I could use in a month. My average is much lower than that, probably closer to 20GB/mo.

      • Jay J. Blanco

        I’ve used 21GB so you must be do double of what i do lol :-)

        • Luis Espinal

          Aren’t u glad magenta doesn’t h8 us!! It’s like they’re here for their customers, maybe ATT will notice?

      • Dakota

        What are you doing on your phone?

    • Alex Zapata

      Only 15? You’re so green ;-)

    • Jay J. Blanco

      Ive used 21 this month. :-)

  • Rob rollings

    Not until they get more and better coverage

  • Showtime

    I’m very happy with tmus frm Orange County, too l.a n valley. Have almost no complaint never Like sprint at all I was with them for 4years !

  • Rudy Belova

    I believe becoming #3 should be something that happens due to investment in their network, etc, not a goal. If we make becoming #3 a goal, what happens when they reach it?

    • Jay J. Blanco

      Solidify our position!!

    • JosephLagalla

      Change the goal to becoming #2.

      • KingCobra

        A goal that could take over a decade without buying other companies or mergers.

      • Dakota

        Think like Apple. Focus on profitability not # of customers… Bookmark this page and come back when people are complaining that T-Mobile grew too fastv& speeds are slower

  • They will be no. 3 by mid 2014

  • kev2684

    when they improve outside coverage on rural and in-building coverage in big cities they will skyrocket and leave sprint behind. 1-2 years. still waiting for them to switch edge to LTE in jacksonville.

    • princedannyb

      If u r talking about jacksonville, fl they have been had lte there.

      • kev2684

        yeah they have it here but here at southside all I have is edge or worse, no service at all. even when you’re outside the apartment. LTE in jax is very spotty.

  • CPPCrispy

    Will T-Mobile be #3? If Sprint continues on its current course, Yes. When will it get there? I think Q3 or Q4 2014 (if on current course). If they buy some other carrier (US Cellular?), it might be sooner. I might also be sooner if they start expanding HSPA+/LTE coverage in rural areas especially along Interstates and major state routes.

  • hanfeedback

    Im on ATT now but had Tmobile for many years, I really like them and would jump back in a heartbeat if they got rid of the EDGE areas or at least gave a 3G roaming option even if it cost a little money.

  • Dan

    I personally think t-mobile sucks now, they denied my request to unlock my iphone 5s last week, and alone this year we bought 3 iphones in our family plan, and we been loyal customer for over 10 years, only requested an unlock since we been with them and they denied!!!!! no cool t-mobile i will finish to pay my iphone and get the hell out of ur sucky customer service

    • mingkee

      One of the conditions to get iPhone unlocked is to pay in full.

    • Tm1082

      If you still are making payments on the phone T-Mobile wont unlock it. If your going over seas then sometimes you can get your phone unlocked if you still owe a little on the phone and have been with T-Mobile for a while.

    • you would need to pay off your phone first, then they can unlock. If you paid for your phone in full, they would of been glad to unlock.

    • $15454173

      Now if you would have spent some time asking questions first then you might have found that out before hand. You are pointing fingers in the wrong direction.

    • tmo fan

      You are silly for even thinking this stupid!!! Try getting your phone unlocked with ATT or Verizon. All u need to do is have the phone for at least 40 days and must be using the phone right now for at least 7 days and call and say you will be traveling international otherwise you have to wait till phone is paid off.

    • jomama

      They won’t unlock your phones cuz you’re still making payments.

    • landmarkcm

      Well I wouldnt rely on the carrier to unlock it anyway. If thats all your worried about! (saying they suck because of that minor thing) Easily remidied by many unclocking sites online cellunlockers is great.

    • Noch

      You know what, if you can’t afford paying in full don’t expect anything. I always buy my iPhones unlocked from the Apple Store. No way they will unlock your phone when you still owe them money regardless of how long you been with them. I have been with them since they were Voicestream.

    • Espain

      Don’t be a deadbeat. You think they haven’t figured out how to stop people from ripping them off?

  • mingkee

    I say T-Mobile has to be very aggressive on coverage especially HSPA and LTE.
    From what I read, many Sprint customers moved to T-Mobile and most of them are more satisfied.

  • GinaDee

    They have to step up the rural highway high speed mobile broadband efforts regardless of obtaining low band spectrum.

    Also the holes need to be filled in inside urban markets to help with capacity and resolve some of the in-building penetration woes they have. They can do this with high band spectrum as long as they strategically place sites in the right places.

    DAS would help in crowded areas and hotels.

    Where Sprint has an opportunity to crush T-Mobile next year will be on speed. Sprint has the spectrum capacity and funding from Softbank to do this.

    The best thing for T-Mobile would be for Sprint to screw everything up which would delay their buildouts further and let T-Mobile fill in the blanks.

    I’m rooting for T-Mobile but that means I don’t give them a free pass. We have to keep the fire lit under them to continue the forward momentum. We do that by using social media to let them know what we like and what we don’t.

    • landmarkcm

      Sprint has had alot of oppurtunity unfortantlely they dont act on it. I dont see them catching up anytime soon & most peoples patience is running out with them as well.

    • kalel33

      Rural highway high speed data? I like it if they could get anything better than 2G on the interstates around here.

    • bucdenny

      Sprint won’t screw it up, Network Vision is a total network overhaul. They are only behind schedule mainly due to back-haul not being delivered timely. Once Sprint finishes with Network Vision which is a brand new network with LTE coverage for their entire network along with 800Mhz in-door coverage and Sprint Spark for the high bandwidth users, it is a matter of time they stop bleeding customers.

      TMO even planning to upgrade their rural and highway coverage in 2014-2015? Do they have anything to compete with Sprint Spark? It is only a matter of time TMO will run out of time. 2014 will be heck of a year for Sprint and TMO.

  • Verizonthunder

    I plan to leave Verizon’s congested LTE network for T-Mobile at the end of the month and will save 20 buck’s not that I care about that just want a quality network and Verizon does not have that.

    • Luis Espinal

      Ooooooo I love hearing Verizon and the word congested all in the same sentence. It reminds us all that big red is not as strong and mighty as it would like everyone to think.

      • Verizonthunder

        Well at one point Verizon Wireless was not that congested but when they desired to migrate everyone who had a smartphone to LTE I had a feeling service was going to degrade rapidly. I hope for T-Mobile’s sake they upgrade even more tower’s from EDGE to HSPA+/LTE and Keep current tower’s up to par as the new wave of consumer’s will be coming and expecting T-Mobile to step up to the plate.

      • KingCobra

        Yeah I still have an iPad Mini with them and I very rarely see LTE download speeds above 15mbps anymore. It’s very congested and now slower than TMO LTE in most places I’ve been.

        • Dakota

          The advantages of having fewer customers… Be careful what you wish for If you get a huge influx of new users

  • Nick

    This past weekend I was finally able to test out LTE, but ran into an issue: my data wouldn’t connect! I tried many different apns but had no luck and ended up using hspa the whole weekend. Does anybody know a way to fix this problem? BTW in have an unlocked pantech flex on the $30 5GB plan. Thanks in advance!

    • yen

      Your device probably doesn’t have the T-Mobile lte bands.

      • Nick

        I know it has them – testing worked fine and the 4g LTE symbol was at the top. The data just wouldn’t connect.

        • Alex Zapata

          I’ve seen stuff like this before, but I don’t know anything off hand. Have you tried a different SIM? The only other suggestion I have would be to check XDA.

        • Nick

          I have not tried a different simple but might try that. It’s not that big of an issue though since my city isn’t expected to get LTE any time soon.

        • Alex Zapata

          Ahhh, could be that they’re testing LTE. I remember when they were testing it in the Chicago suburbs. People could see it, but no data transfers.

  • Pat Fitzpatrick

    I don’t care if they are #3, #30, or #1. If they don’t improve the network coverage in 6 months, I’m going back to Verizon. Incremental improvements are ok, as long as there are improvements. Here in SE Louisiana, nothing has changed in 6 months, and most of New Orleans area is not 4G. No improvements in the next 6 months, I’m gone.

    • Luis Espinal

      So sorry to hear that Pat, I was just in New Orleans for my birthday and visiting family as well. I did have LTE around the airport and on St. Charles Avenue for a little bit, but everything drops-down to 3G around the quarter and uptown. I hope magenta will do what you ask because there are so many customers who could benefit from it down in that area. Although I only had 3G for the most part, my voice quality and texting abilities were still at 100%.

      • landmarkcm

        But when you say “only” 3g it was still HSPA+ speeds right??

        • Luis Espinal

          Oh yes definitely!! It was around 6-10mbps. For some reason my N4 kept displaying 3g instead of HSPA

        • landmarkcm

          Nice see thats the beauty of Tmobile & there only getting better. Sprints 3g is worthless. Im just baffled on how they cant remedy there poor network faster. Even verizons 3g in most cases is fast enough to watch youtube etc. The more Sprint keeps delaying there network vision. The faster Tmobile will pass them up! There plans are already beating them in price now too. :)

        • nexussnexus5

          The n4 idles on 3g and goes up to h+ when using data… Battery saving :)


      You must have a 2G only flip phone or something. New Orleans, Kenner, Metairie, Laplace, Mandeville, Covington, Slidell, St.Rose, Gretna, Harvey, have all been lit up with HSPA+42 for several years now and most have already been upgraded to LTE this year. I live on the north shore and LTE is still scattered, but I work on the south shore and the west bank and LTE is pretty much everywhere blanketed.

      You really might want to check your phone.

      • Pat Fitzpatrick

        Slidell is spotty, east on I10 has no coverage or spotty Edge coverage, I10 south of Lake Pontchartrain is Edge, and virtually all of Chalmette has no coverage or Edge. These are areas the other 3 competitors have decent coverage, even Sprint. Oh, and at Stennis Space Center, which is a federal city with thousands of employees, virtually no coverage.

    • TechHog

      Considering the fact that you’re asking for something impossible, you might as well leave now. Improving coverage is a process that takes years no matter how hard you try.

    • SZL

      Umm. I was in New Orleans last year and everywhere I went I had HSPA+ with good speed.. Are you sure you have a T-Mobile Phone with High Speed setting turned on? lol

  • Luis Espinal

    Does anybody think that the new Sprint spark is actually going to work? I have all my lines with magenta, but I have a stupid little work phone on Sprint, and I’ve recently got a text that spark will be in Manhattan as of three weeks ago, which made me laugh. Mind you I do not pay for Sprint, so as long as I know thats my personal money does not go to that corporation, I am happy. I honestly think that all the sprint gimmicks that they are constantly coming out with are BS! I don’t really care whether their spark or an spark or half a spark is fully functional, because no matter what improvements they have been making to any of their metro areas everyone I know with Sprint constantly has issues. I really don’t understand how come this company still has 9.5 million more customer

    • hanfeedback

      Got to agree with you, I was in NYC in july with Sprint, while service was decent, it was 3G everywhere with roughly a 500k connection. Going out to Long Island service was very bad.

    • landmarkcm

      Ya they waste more $ on crap. There wimax “4g” was pretty bad overall to spotty. See my other posts. Its just really is frankly unacceptable at this point that there 3g speeds are not even steady in the 1mps range if Verizons are on CDMA. Sprint is the epitamy of SLOW. Someone is asleep at the switch at Sprint makes ya just wanna shake them and ask what is the problem already. But ya they will fade away if they dont act much faster then they are and there current LTE ive already read is spotty & behind.

    • Roger Sales

      I live in hudson county, New Jersey in the lincoln tunnel area(AKA, 15 minutes away from Manhattan.) Unless you’re on Boulevard east(which is the street closest to the river seperating new jersey and new york), there’s absolutely little to no LTE around the area for Sprint, even though its part of the NYC metro. How can they promise Sprint Spark when an LTE signal isn’t even present period? T-Mobile’s LTE network is pretty much completely finished here. (For a comparison, Sprint started LTE launches around May 2012, T-Mobile started March-April 2013. A lot of people will say network vision ‘isn’t finished’, but it certainly SHOULD have been finished in the largest market in the United States months ago.

    • Asael Delgado

      Not only that, I work at Best Buy, and Sprint announced that they will offer Unlimited Talk, text and 1 GB of Data free for 12 months for students with no contract
      they are sure trying.. but you have to pay full price for the phone

  • jp$

    I left ShT&T this month for tmobile and so far I love it. I just wish they would get Lumia 1520 variant. And if they do, they would have wayyyyy more customers leaving ShT&T and come to tmobile. Does anyone have John Léger’s email so I can ask him because from all the blogs on thweb, seems like tmo is not getting the Lumia 1520. Such a shame if its true since 1020 never made it here.

    • Jay J. Blanco

      you can always get it unlocked and bring it to tmobile

      • jp$

        I know but I want WiFi calling and really don’t want to shell out $600 even though I can afford it. I like to pay over time on these things.

        • Jay J. Blanco

          understandable.. i miss wifi calling lol

        • Nick

          Lol me too.

        • fsured

          They really need to make WiFi calling a stand alone app again.

    • sahib102 .

      I agree its annoying that they didn’t want anything with the 1520 or even the 1320 its a real shame :/

    • Dakota

      Tweet him.. He often replies

  • jp$

    It is just annoying that a flagship windows phone would not make it to the carrier that is growing. I mean not even one word from tmo or the author of this editorial. I would not go back to Sht&T for a phone but there are others who might jump ship because tmo does not provide the necessary handset to consumers.

    • Nate595

      Kinda sucks At&t is the only carrier that really gets the high end windows phones but obviously there’s not much of a market for them yet compared to Apple and Samsung phones.

    • TylerCameron

      T-Mobile doesn’t need to “get” phones. This is a GSM network. That means you can bring nearly any phone in the world.

      • Roger Sales

        this is very true. because international GSM support is needed on Verizon and Sprint phones, virtually every one will work on T-Mobile’s 3G and 4G networks. Bringing your own device is also really only beneficial on a T-Mobile plan – AT&T will charge you as if you signed a contract.

  • an0nim0

    “…the other carriers’ attempts at copying ‘JUMP!’ have been poorly executed and are not – in any way – consumer focussed.”

    Oh, consumers are focussed, alright – they’ve had it up to hear with those greedy carriers, ledeing them write into T-Mobile’s open arms.

    • Brightdog

      Focussed is the British spelling, try looking things up first before jumping to conclusions.

      • an0nim0

        Lol, I did actually – but I must have misspelled it when I searched, ’cause I didn’t get any of the same matches I sea now.

        • freedomrules

          See Sneals by the C? j/k

    • Dakota

      What percentage of T-Mobile customers are on Jump. Have those # ever been announced?

      • TylerCameron

        Yes. 2 million.

        • Roger Sales

          2.2 million to be exact. :)

  • dontsh00tmesanta

    Unless sprint gets nv to the point it claims then this will happen

  • KingCobra

    Sprint really is in trouble right now. Most of the customers that they’ve lost this year are going to TMO. TMO provides a similar price but with a better selection of phones and better service in most areas. Check out Rootmetrics network tests in most metro markets and notice that Sprint usually comes up dead last, sometimes even behind Cricket in network performance.

    Sprint has gotten the reputation of being the company the over promises and never delivers. Network Vision has been delayed in so many markets and even some markets where it’s done, the data speeds are still atrocious. How did they let TMO catch up and surpass them in LTE coverage? Sprint has a lot of good ideas and plans for their network, they just fail to implement them in a timely fashion. They are lucky that they have such a strict policy when it comes to unlocking their phones or else I’d imagine that a lot more of their customers would have fled to TMO.

    Also guys don’t think that Softbank is just going to pour billions and billions into Sprint. They gave them a $5 billion cash infusion to improve their network but that’s it for now. Sprint will need to find a way to grow and profit on their own.

    • Yep. Three sprint refugees in my house to TMO.

    • Freedomrules

      As far as I know a Sprint phone would only work with Verizon if unlocked, excluding the Google Nexus 5 by LG.

      • Andrew Dos Santos

        Ironically, it wouldnt work at all on Verizon’s LTE and probably not on 3G EV-DO either. If it is a global-capable device by Sprint and it were unlocked, then it should work fine on any GSM network depending on the bands supported by the phone. I am currently using a Verizon HTC DROID DNA on T-Mobile and picking up 1900 MHz HSPA+ with no issue. I also have a Verizon Galaxy S4 that, since the 4.3 update, works fine on T-Mobile’s AWS LTE also! T-Mobile would be wise to try to scalp some of Verizon’s customers with these types of phones once their contract is up because ALL VZW 4G phones are SIM-unlocked.

      • Guest

        Even if it were unlocked it wouldn’t work with Verizon’s LTE and I don’t think it would work for 3G EV-DO either. However, a Sprint global-capable device that is unlocked *should* work on GSM networks here in the U.S. depending on the supported GSM/UMTS bands. I am using a Verizon DROID DNA on

      • KingCobra

        Nope. When Sprint unlocks a phone they only unlock it for inter nation GSM use. Meaning a Sprint phone can only be used on Sprint here in the US. It is blocked from being used on GSM carriers AT&T and Tmobile and Verizon only allows devices onto their network that have Verizon ESNs.

        • TylerCameron

          iPhones are excluded from this because apple isn’t going to change how their softare works for one carrier. If you get an iPhone 5, 5c, or 5s on Sprint, and get it unlocked, it WILL work on any carrier. Us and international.

    • landmarkcm

      VERY well said!!

    • bucdenny

      Do you think Softbank will just invest over $20 billion and let Sprint sink? Think again. Network Vision has been delayed because of back haul issues, but eventually it will be completed right??. YES it will be completed. TMO surpasses at 200 million POPs, but Sprint is building out to over 250 million POPs which includes all the highways and rural areas. Is TMO doing that? Don’t think so.

      It is only time when Sprint’s first phase LTE deployment will be completed. Wimax cities will get Spark first (easy conversion from Wimax to TDD-LTE) and that is top of existing LTE deployment. Have you see the recent testing of Sprint Spark? It will be heck of a year in 2014.

  • Freedomrules

    You got to remember nearly 10 million are Metro and who knows of the 35 million other, how many are the post paid? 20 mill? While I do believe that T-Mobile has made a turn, for the better perhaps, Sprint with the inflow of Softbank money may try and make that turn as well?

    • fentonr

      I don’t remember exactly where I saw it but not too long ago it was something like 13 million.

  • Bob

    UN-CARRIER is doing all the right things! CEO John Legere is just what T-Mobile needed. Risk taker not afraid to pick fights with the so called big boys. It’s working and just like he said “we are going to hurt the competition bad not just a little bit but a lot”

    • davidwhereareyou

      So that’s why TMO will be purchasing spectrum from verizon?
      More like a wannabe provider

      • Iknowwhoyouare

        ^^^^^ verizon customer service rep

  • josephsinger

    If it were not for Sprint acquiring Nextel T-Mobile would be the third largest carrier now.

    • StreetFighterFan

      If it were not for Verizon buying Alltel in 2008, AT&T would be the #1 carrier. Companies buy other companies. It happens.

      • josephsinger

        I’m well aware that it happens. I’m just making the observation that Sprint would now be smaller than T-Mobile had they not acquired Nextel. And I fully realize that companies get bigger by acquisition. It’s how T-Mobile’s predecessor VoiceStream got to be as big as they were by acquiring Aerial, Omnipoint and some other GSM companies.

  • Doakie

    Well this last quarter I took 4 lines on my Sprint family plan to AT&T. I would’ve brought my family to T Mobile but I already have T Mobile as my work phone. I’d prefer not having two phones I carry everyday on the same carrier.

    • Dakota

      If I get the 5, I’m gonna go to straight talk but give up my T-Mobile SIM for an AT&T one so Iccan get LtE.. Will still be cheaper & no extra fees. ( I assumed no contract meant no fees like the MVNO carriers, but Tmob told me all of those still applied. With St, I pay 46.62 total for2.5gb, which is enough for me.. And I’m excited to see the difference LTE will make vs hspa

  • FuturePS4Gamer

    Sprint is horrible. There 3G network is abysmal and there 4G LTE roll out is pathetic. The only reason they have all these costumers is because of there loyalty program and contracts.

    • Dakota

      I don’t understand how Sprint has more customers if all I read is how horrible their network is. It must work for some. T-Mobile should not only focus on numbers, but profit. Some of you need to be careful what you wish for before too many customers join Magenta and affects the network quality. There can be advantages to having fewer people congesting your network

      • StreetFighterFan

        It’s also the network. Sure, their LTE network isn’t as robust, but at least they actually have 3G service all over the US. They roam on Verizon, so my work phone (on Sprint) gets service EVERYWHERE where my personal phone (on T-Mobile) gets no service when I drive to Charlottesville, VA or through Pennsylvania.

  • FuturePS4Gamer

    I think Sprint may improve over the next year due to Softbank acquisition.

    • Asael Delgado

      I think a year is to short, perhaps 5-10 years?

  • deng

    This article is so full of errors it should be pulled. First, you compare all TMO ads against contract adds at the other carriers. When you factor in prepaid adds, TMO isstill well behind. Next you ignore Sprint’s robust prepaid divisions Boost & Virgin while including TMO prepaid numbers. Last you mention Metro but ignore ATT’s purchase of Cricket.

    • JustSaying

      Are you mentally retarded?

      • Asael Delgado

        Now, now! No need for name calling.

        • TMOTECH

          He didn’t call him a name. He was inquiring about his mental state? Asking what his capacity to think at a level with most normal individuals.

        • Asael Delgado

          An insult, is an insult.

    • Luis Espinal

      I didn’t realize Leap was already part of ATT…I LOOKED it up n that’s still in the works…don’t count Cricket or any other bugs yet.

    • Moses JC

      The article also didn’t include tmobiles third party companys you clown. Lol. It included metro pcs because it was a merger & metro will have the Tmobile name.

  • Dont care about position

    This is all meaningless to me. I don’t care whether TMo is #1 or #10. Their network is worthless, and I’ve seen no change whatsoever over the last couple of years. They seem to have invested in LTE in a few places and called it a day.

    I still get 4 deadzones in my 30 mile daily commute (each way). I also have 2G EVERYWHERE I go, with 4G being extremely spotty and worthless when I’m in or near the big cities.

    They have until March, when my contract is up. If they don’t fix the 2G situation, I’m going back to Verizon. It’s ridiculous when all my peers using Sprint, Verizon, ATT, get 3/4G at my home/work, and I’m stuck with 2G. No excuse for that.

    • KingCobra

      So if you’ve been getting 2G only for the past 2 years then why haven’t you switched yet? As far as I’m aware there are no contracts that are longer than 2 years. Plus everyone gets a 14-day trial period to test the network before they are locked into anything. It’s pretty obvious that TMO’s current strategy is to increase data speeds in cities that already have LTE and HSPA+. If you have been sitting in a 2G only area for beyond 2 years, that’s pretty silly on your part. I would have left long ago.

      • Moron

        Because they’ve been telling that they were upgrading “very soon”.

        Plus, the place I live/work in now is not the same as place as when I signed the contract. Before I moved to my current area, I was in a place where there was some 2G and some 4G, so it was tolerable. This isn’t, and my contract is up soon. I’ll be leaving this dump of a network that you sheeple defend blindly and so ignorantly. Morons.

        • 2edgy4me

          Wow, you’re so cool and edgy. I bet you have a lot of friends.
          Don’t feed the troll people.

    • fentonr

      Isn’t this kind of the wrong site for you then?

    • Phone Guru

      The reason why he’s too cheap to upgrade his phone, it is not the network it is your phone.

      • The blah.

        I bet he works for Verizon and or at and was told to write back about them loosing customers…

    • Jay J. Blanco

      Who commutes 30 miles. That 60 miles home and back lol But if you want to help address this issue i would say hmmm buy about 2 million shares then maybe your problem will be looked into. But to upgrade a 2G tower is some work. The areas you may be complaining about probably don’t even have the capacity (spectrum) to be effectively upgraded. So it maybe just a waste of time.

  • BigMixxx

    As long as T mobile is gaining customers again, the network will start to fill out. I have verizon…and there are plenty of areas where it’s not LTE. and when it’s not LTE (and I’m a heavy data user) it is punishing.

    Sprint — I’ve ben against them for a while. They are losing customers fairly fast. The Softbank acquisition won’t give them the capital they need to do effective expansion. ANYTHING they are doing now is catchup to everyone else.

    I give T mobile 12 months to catch Sprint.

    • bucdenny

      Sprint has already completed 30k sites and over 10k to go to complete nationwide overhaul. They are playing catch up but reality it will completed. New enhanced fiber is slowing them down if you didn’t already know Sprint is adding 2500Mhz to all their sites which requires much more bandwidth. A nationwide LTE deployment is far more complex than TMO overlaying LTE on HSPA+. Compare apples to apples.

      Be more realistic TMO gaining 5-10 million subscribers and Sprint losing 5 million subscribers in 2014 is very unlikely once Sprint finishes it’s LTE deployment. 12 months to surpass Sprint isnt going to happen, Soft bank is not sitting around.

      • Espain

        Sprint is also busy putting people out of service to upgrade it’s LTE network. Lots of rural customers simply cannot use their Sprint phones any more. I’m not sure why their towers need to be shut down for weeks just to upgrade to LTE. No other network is doing that. Sprint makes poor choices to this day.

        • wumberpeb

          Towers are not down for weeks to swap equipment and upgrade to LTE, who told you that? Its roughly 72 hours and Sprint systems are taken down, briefly, overnight to minimize impact on subscribers. If you have issues with service after an upgrade, you probably had them before the upgrade.

        • Espain

          Personal experience, and they aren’t my issues. I work with a carrier that has a roaming agreement with Sprint. For weeks at a time Sprint subscribers have had little to no service at their homes in rural areas of Michigan. Unfortunately people do not understand that cell phones cannot be guaranteed to work indoors.

      • ronjon400

        if they keep raising their price on “unlimited” nobody is gonna care though. also……they already have a bad name for themselves, its hard to dig yourself out of that rut.

  • Dakota


    • Alex Zapata

      I just read that. I don’t wanna buy a new phone! Curse you PPACA!!!!!!

    • bucdenny

      It won’t be until at least a year TMO can deploy if they obtained. Broadcasters still have to abandon channel 51 because of interference. By middle of 2014 Sprint’s Network Vision phase one would been completed. That is 800Mhz SMR for CDMA and LTE which will cover the gaps and indoor issues along with 1900Mhz LTE nationwide. For the high bandwidth users, Spark will cover all Wimax cities first (Wimax conversion to LDD-LTE). Now from then on Sprint will most likely start picking up new subscribers because of Sprint Spark.

      • bucdenny

        By the way Verizon and AT&T are using 850Mhz for voice coverage, Sprint using 800Mhz SMR will have similar coverage to the big guys where Sprint serves. No more indoor coverage issues in 2014.

      • Roger Sales

        That’s counting on them getting the faith of new customers willing to take a risk – they’ve made promises they haven’t delivered on for a lot of people and they damaged their brand with that. Even if the network improves, they could be facing at least 2 years where no one wants to go near their network because of previous experience or word of mouth.

  • dontsh00tmesanta

    Two months

  • Walter White

    I’ve had Sprint, AT&T and currently T-Mobile. I love T-Mobile and the low monthly rate plans. LTE coverage in Chicago is awesome. Going on 13 years and counting. LG G2 is a beast.

  • GOD

    I LOVE how uneducated people complain about deadzones, and slower internet speeds!!! Wireless carriers are not a 1 stop shop for 100% coverage for anybody. Nobody covers 100% of the U.S., not even close. I have friends that have T-Mobile, AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon…and they all complain about not having service some way or another. T-Mobile is the best carrier for the money by far.

  • Brent

    If you think Sprint has a terrible network, try US Cellular. I just left them after months of horrible billing issues, terrible customer service, spotty coverage, and sloooooooow 3G. T-Mobile has great coverage in my city, and outside of town on the highways it drops to 2G, but at least I can call and text without problems when traveling. I’m pretty happy with them so far.

    • Samuel Marano Jr

      US Cellular gets rated really high though and I bet your data speeds were faster than Sprints, even though they share the same lousy CMDA technology. I get .8mbps down and .9 up on 3G and 5.1 down, 2.5 up with LTE. That’s embarrassing compared to Tmobile so I’m going to give them a chance. Not based just on speed alone as they have better coverage and speed where I need it the most and it’s just one county I work around.

  • Mic

    After comparing Verizon and T-Mobile, after 13 years of being with Verizon Wireless I made the switch to T-Mobile. Their plans are so attractive and consumer friendly it made Verizon look greedy, cocky and ignorant. The features T-Mobile offers for basically HALF the price of Verizon is so amazing I had to switch. Unlimited data, international data and texting, free hotspot up to 2.5GB a month. NO CONTRACT. Seriously it’s too good to turn down. Everywhere I travel to is decent T-Mobile 4G coverage Exocet my home which is 2G. But I have wifi so it’s worth the trade off. And I can hope after a year or so more towers will bring better reception here as well. Call quality is great tho.