T-Mobile competitors realize Magenta “cleaned their clocks” in first quarter


On May 1st, we’re expecting T-Mobile to announce its Q1 financial results. And, while we don’t have any official figures on sales, subscriber additions, revenues or profits, everything is pointing towards it having been a very successful three-month period for Magenta.

In an interview with GeekWire, Mike Sievert claims that the carrier’s opposition know that T-Mo had a great quarter, and that they’ve been reacting accordingly: “I think our competitors know that we cleaned their clocks in Q1, and they’ve been busy responding.” 

This response from the other guys is clearly an attempt to combat T-Mobile’s aggressive ‘Contract Freedom’ offer, in which it will pay off any early termination fees (up to $350) and let customers trade in their existing smartphones for up to $300 for switching to T-Mo. Arguably, the biggest direct response was from AT&T who started offering T-Mobile subscribers a cash amount to switch to the Death Star. More recently, Sprint kicked off a promotion directly copying T-Mobile’s Uncarrier 4.0 move, point-by-point.

And, if our inside information is anything to go by, T-Mobile just had its “best ever quarter”. Could that mean we’ll see an even greater number of net subscriber additions than the holiday quarter last year?

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Whatever the figures T-Mobile announces on May 1st, we know for sure that the company is nowhere near done shaking up the industry. Sievert states “We want to make it clear, if anybody thought we were done, how wrong they were.” In a separate interview with CNET, John Legere teased that we can expect at least one major Uncarrier announcement this year (not including this week’s three changes.)

Of course, yesterday, T-Mo announced its new Simple Starter plan, offering 500MB of data, with unlimited minutes and texts for $40 per month. And this week’s not done yet. We know with certainty that two more days of announcements are incoming. We expect that one of those announcements will be heavy discounts on tablets and the opportunity to “buy now pay later” on EIP purchases.

Via: GeekWire, CNET

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  • S. Ali

    Taking bets. I’m going with 1.8M customer additions, 950K post-paid.

    • taron19119

      Nope they said best quarter in company history so im going to say 2 million

    • vrm

      analysts have estimated > 1.1 million POSTPAID – usually they are conservative. So total additions should easily exceed 2 million (incl tablets and prepaid).

      I wager @2.35 million

    • sushimane

      I’m gonna say 1.4 million.

    • dkbnyc

      2.97 Million.

  • luvmytmo

    What they should do is get rid of deposits. Let customers with challenged credit still pay the higher down payment on the device but no deposit. This would close a lot of applications that walk out the door!

    • yankeesusa

      That would be nice but I think they have to draw the line somewhere. But you never know. That could be part of their next uncarrier.

    • Nurdface Gamerhandz

      Yeah, no. Stop having bad credit and you won’t have a deposit. You pay a deposit because you’ve shown in the past that you don’t pay your bills as is, because no credit history defaults to class C, which is no deposit.

      • TylerCameron

        That’s not how credit works. If you have little credit, your credit score is poor.
        So someone who had just turned 18 has a poor credit score, or no credit score, but that’s in large part because they’re too young. But they’ve got to start somewhere.
        I think it’s perfectly fair to have them pay 20-50% the cost of the phone as a down payment for poor or no credit.

        • Nurdface Gamerhandz

          That’s not how T-Mobile credit works. Trust me, I’ve run credit on 18th birthdays and they default to C, which is a small down payment (capped 120 for the Note, iPhone, etc) and no deposit. You have to actively have bad credit to get a deposit.

        • TylerCameron

          Oh! That’s good then! I didn’t know that when your credit is run, it diffrenxiates between bad credit and no credit or that companies cares which one it was.

        • Nurdface Gamerhandz

          They don’t, but the credit threshold is so ridiculously low for deposit classes that you practically have to walk away from a mortgage or two to get them.

      • eanfoso

        No, it goes to class D with no credit history, L and O if you have a bill for more than 6 months, and c + if you have any credit cards and pay them on time. I tell you because I tried activating cousins and friends whom I know very well, and that’s the trend I saw, and besides when in doubt convert them to like a lumia 521, totally a steal if they have a deposit, unless it’s credit class Y

        • Nurdface Gamerhandz

          1. You shouldn’t be activating friends and family at all, so I’m just going to discount what you say on the grounds that you don’t know Tmo welll enough to not do things that can get you fired.

          2. Literally everyone aged 18 I’ve activated has been credit class C, only D class without prior history I’ve seen have been new socials

        • eanfoso

          Last names are different and I asked my manager if it was okay, he gave me the okay as long as he was present, but back on track, from all my friends that had just graduated from high school were either D or N, not a single C

  • yankeesusa

    When is the next announcement? And can it be watched live online?

    • Christopher Olson

      Most likely Legere will announce on his Twitter feed first

  • Flyheiz

    Is the simple choice starter plan going to be like a prepaid or can you run your credit?

    • Victor A Paulo

      it is a postpaid plan

  • taron19119

    Ok im looking forward to t-mobile q1 2014 results and Sprint q1 2014 results to see how close t-mobile is to become number 3

    • Bryce

      Sprint has reported that Framily adoption has been higher than expected. This kightve been a good quarter for Sprint too.

      Growing at its current rate, T-Mobile needs about 2 years before they reach Sprint. And Sprint is not sitting back either. Their network is stronger than ever before and is actually performingbhetter than the competition in some cities.

      Here, in NYC, I get 60Mbps on average because of Spark. And because of Sprint’s 800MHz spectrum, my in building penetration is as good as Verizon. I can’t remember the last time I dropped my signal.

      • dd23

        Pfft I wish that was the case with Sprint here in los Angeles, I had an lg g2 from Sprint which supposedly is a sprint spark capable phone, they say sprint spark is already available in LA I never saw speeds like the ones u supposedly getting on sprint in nyc. Sprint average with full bars 4G standing outside was 2-5 dwn 10-12 up surprisingly upload was always good. I guess they dont use 800 mhz in La? Because I get better service in Alot of stores and buildings on tmobiles 1700 mhz.. Sprint always went to searching and couldnt call or txt or use data, right now that I got tmobile not saying its the greatest but I have seen at least 1-2 bars of service in the same buildings sprint totally crapped out and tmobile actually works. Data wise not even want to go there its sad how tmobile here leaves Sprint in the dust I seen tmobile get up to 55 dwn 10-15 up average during rush hour say 12 pm to 5 speed its 15-20 dwn solid even faster than my friends on att n verizon which average around 10. Heck even metro piece of shyyyt o I mean metro pcs gets better service in buildings and data speeds than Sprint LOL sprint is just sad here in LA maybe not in nyc but here in LA its just sad how much it sucks.

      • maximus1901

        If framily adoption has been soooo good then why did sprint start a (temporary) UNcarrier 4.0?

        I was just at a sprint store in Southfield, mi and on 5 diff android phones, got 0.4mbps down, 1 up (including nexus 5)

        • Bryce

          To boost sales even further. It doesn’t hurt to have more sales does it.

        • maximus1901

          This promotion is expensive for TMO, sprint. They only do it because they NEEED to, not just to get more sales.
          I’m sure spark will be amazing once it’s done but until then, sprint is also “mortgaging its network” as was said of TMO

        • Bryce

          That’s true but it’s also part of the reason why Sprint is only running this promotion for one month.

        • maximus1901

          I think a month is weird. It’s like they’re not sure if it’ll be TOO successful lol.

        • Bryce

          That could totally be a reason but my guess is that they just want to keep their ARPU up. Right now it’s second to Verizon. That promotion is super expensive. Almost like paying carriers for customers.

        • maximus1901

          On network vision running list, ask Robert why the percentage totals for east michigan disappeared.

        • Bryce
        • UMA_Fan

          IT only makes sense if your business is successful in the first place. Tmobile added 4 million customers WITHOUT paying ETFs last year. Now with paying for cancelation fees it puts pressure on the competition when they subsidize phones because they can just ‘walk’ to Tmobile any time

        • Bryce

          Yes they added 4 Million subscribers but not without cost. They reduced prices dramatically, started offering free international data, and other stuff that hurt them financially. As a result, we see T-Mobile making changes that are subtly making them revert to their former self.

          First, Jump got extended to a year, unless you want to shell out $300 to upgrade whenever you want.

          Next, they got rid of employer discounts for new subscribers. That’ll stop business colustomers from coming to them.

          We’ll see more of this stuff happen throughout the year. T-Mobile may be adding customers but they are digging a whole for themself. They’re ARPU is still the lowest of the 4 carriers and Their churn rate isn’t exactly stellar, not to say that Sprint’s is because theirs isn’t either.

          Spring’s losses in the oastbyear can be largely attributed to the shutdown of the Nextel network as well as the rebuilding of their current network. In cities where their network is complete for the most part, Sprint has gained back more customers than they lost.

        • UMA_Fan

          f the Jump that’s exists now was presented was presented as the initial version of jump it would still be a huge impact on the industry. You’re out of pocket when you trade in your device worst case scenario for a high end phone is pretty much on par with a two year upgrade price…. And in the past you only got that once every two years. This is whenever you want.

          Second tmobile reported repeatedly that the only reason they lost money was purely because they added more customers than ever expected. If they gained half as many customers, for example, they would have posted a financial profit. Sprint is the company losing cash like no tomorrow no matter what they do. Its only recently they’ve got to a point where they are losing ‘less cash’ than before.

        • Bryce

          What people tend to fail to realize is that T-Mobile created device contracts. Rather than being locked into service, you are locked to your device in a sense. Therefore, the difference between what they offer and what a contract is on other carriers is negligible. And “regular Jump” got extended to a year, which makes it pretty much on par with Sprint’s Easy Pay.

          The whole “adding more customers than we thought” thing, is false. Adding more customers would generated more revenue, rather than making them lose money. However, gaining or losing customers, they still would’ve lost money based off of how much money they spend to get those customers.

        • UMA_Fan

          isten to the actual Tmobile investor call. The loss was directly attributed to the gain in customers. There is a higher cost when you acquire a new customer. Just look historically and even back when Tmobile was losing customers they were still posting a profit every quarter. They are a very well run business that has their $hit together, unlike Sprint. Tmobile still spends the LEAST of the big four on marketing… This is a fact.

          The device financing is optional so Tmobile absolutely got rid of contracts since they took the cost of devices out of the plans. Unlike sprint easy pay people can upgrade as often as they want and if they want out of their finance plan all they need to do is jump to the cheapest phone being offered at the time which may be several hundred dollars less than what they may currently owe.

          Also arpu is a metric the whole industry is trying to leave behind. Even Verizon stated they would rather go by average revenue per account rather than user. Individual plans are drastically less expensive on Tmobile and Sprint and this distorts arpu.

          John Legere said at one of the events that sprints profit margins off of their plans are less than the margins Tmobile has of their plans despite being cheaper. This is because tmobiles cost structure is aligned to operate and sell those plans. Sprint isn’t so much. Most of their moves have been a desperate attempt to not be irrelevant. They were last to do everything meanwhile anyone who signs a contract on Sprint has a high risk of churning to T-Mobile.

        • anon

          You’re right but I wouldn’t call it negligible! T-Mobile’s setup is like a car payment or mortgage with no pre-payment penalty. If I want to move on, I pay off the device, and I’m free to go. With all other carriers, I’m still stuck either paying out the contract termination fee, or riding out the contract. Furthermore, customers who don’t upgrade frequently OR do not buy high end devices are not taking full advantage of subsidy’s with other carriers.

      • LC

        It’s easy to have better than expected results when no results were expected in the first place…:)

        • Bryce

          Nice one. Results are results, good or bad. Sprint just happened to have way more people sign up than they thought they would. It’s not a bad deal by any means.

        • UMA_Fan

          Its more expensive than Tmobile in most cases. Sprint has data overages. You need 7 people with Sprint to get to $25/ a line. Only four needed with Tmobile. Then… There’s the two networks as they stand right now. Sprint is in last place with LTE performance in every study or metric.

        • Bryce

          It is $45 dollars a month for Unlimited Talk, Text, and Data, which is the best deal that I’ve seen yet. Of course that only applies big you have 7-10 people in your Framily. But that’s the incentive to get people to join in the first place.

          Additionally although Sprint cane in last in LTE speeds, according to RootMetrics, Sprint still beat T-Mobile on a nationwide level.

          Both Sprint and T-Mobile are upgrading their networks. By the end of this year, we could see either Sprint or T-Mobile with a stronger network than Verizon in some states. But as it stands, neither should be focused on each other. They should focus on bringing the fight to the big two.

        • UMA_Fan

          Sprint LTE is better than Tmobile LTE nowhere and will never be. Its $52 a person for unlimited data for five people now and $38 each for five people on the recently grandfathered $20 data plan

        • Bryce

          That’s the sort of thinking thatbgetsbus nowhere. 60Mbps on LTE and almost never dropping it in NYC. Indoor penetration is superb. And NYC isn’t even complete yet.

          See you later this year on the “All New Sprint Network”

        • Jay J. Blanco

          Tmobile will adding 700mhz soon, so you won’t have much to brag about.

        • Bryce

          That 700MHz is not nationwide. And it is limited in some areas by Channel 51 interference.

          2.5GHz, although has mediocre penetration, is much better in terms of capacity and speed.

        • Jay J. Blanco

          T-Mobile has nationwide 1700mhz. So speed is nothing. & 1900mhz which has better pentration. And yeah it isn’t nationwide but it’s in areas that need it the most. Urban. So T-Mobile will have speed and reliability in alot of urban areas.

          Sprint Spark is a joke. no Volte but they have volte on 800mhz. That’s stupid.

        • Bryce

          T-Mobile has nationwide AWS spectrum, that is a fact. However they are limited to a 20×20 block. They can’t go faster than 150 Mbps because of this. Unless they deploy a 5×5 or a 10×10 in PCS and aggregate the carriers.

          Sprint has enough BRS/EBS to make a 20x20x20 network later next year. Meaning you’ll see speeds of up to 180Mbps on Sprint later next year and up to 150Mbps this year.

          The 700MHz is in many urban areas, but it would be more useful in rural areas to aid in quick deployment.

          Sprint doesn’t have VoLTE on any spectrum at all, so I don’t know what you are talking about. However for VoLTE to work well, it needs a decent signal and 800MHz would make this more feasible.

        • Jay J. Blanco

          I know that.
          T-Mobile can easily lease towers and spectrum and with AWS coming up they’ll have the spectrum to match for Advanced LTE & Carrier Aggregation.

          Everyone knows sprint has the most spectrum. but they don’t have the brains to deploy it. Nor the money.

          Sprint & Sprint former CEO is being sued over Nextel.

          Idk why your on tmonews bragging about Sprint like your shareholder or something.

        • Bryce

          Just in case you missed it, last year Sprint sold a majority of its shares to Softbank. The same companybthatbhas deployed a super fast network in Japan as well. So they definitely have the brains.

          And Sprint has the financial backing of Softbank along with their own revenue meaning, money is also not a problem for Sprint.

          T-Mobile doesn’t have the funds of any other nationwide carrier. They may lease more towers or purchase more spectrum but it won’t be used to expand their current network as much as it will simply strengthen their current network, which is good. But they’ll still lack the contiguous spectrum resources of Sprint.

          I wasn’t bragging about Sprint really. I responded to one person’s comment regarding Sprint. People respond and I’m responding back. Don’t try to make this about me or accuse me of anything.

          I just happen to know a lot about networking and realize that Sprint does have the strongest network for the future even if that isn’t bthe case now.

        • Jay J. Blanco

          Softbank isn’t really in a good position right now because of Sprint. Now they are looking for acquisition. But can’t afford to buy T-Mobile

          They realize they can’t afford to invest all they’re time and money in Sprint

          Soon Sprint is going to run out of the cash they initially got last year when the merger went through.

          Sprint doesnt have strongest network. Verizon does. Root metrics can show u that

        • Bryce

          Softbank is actually in a really good position, which is why banks let them take out $40 Billion to buy T-Mobile. Softbank even supposedly has its eye on Vodafone which is a company that is even larger than itself. It’s a stretch yes, but Sprint is not Softbank’s only investment. Softbank has several very successful investments, including a company called Alibaba, which is similar to Amazon. That is expected to take in billions every year.

          Sprint cash infusement isn’t a one time thing. It happens yearly and it is used to maintain the network. Spring’s network has already been fully financed and paid for, so the LTE buildoutbis happening no matter what.

          I already know Sprint doesn’t have the strongest network, and I never said they did. And as a regular RootMetrics user, the same site can also tell you T-Mobile has the weakest network overall out of the top 4.

        • Chris

          And that’s where everyone differs in opinion. $40B in possible additional debt if they had bought T-mobile is going to put Softbank in a really bad position. Banks would let people/companies take out loans that doesn’t translate to that person/company being in a ‘good’ position. Just be glad, FCC isn’t even considering a Sprint/T-mo merger. At $40B possible additional debt, they would be in a really really bad position.

        • Bud

          I don’t disagree sprint has a ton of spectrum, more than att/vzw combine. But there’s slow at implementation and backhaul

        • BriceSux

          Clearly you’ve never been to Japan. Softbank is the Sprint of Japan. NTT Docomo is like VerizonATT. Get your facts straight. It’s obvious you work for Sprint and I’m sorry for that…. stop drinking the company water and educate yourself!

        • Bryce

          Clearly you’re dumber than you realize. First of all you spelled my name wrong when you made your little profile to attempt to bash me. Softbank is in last place out of the 3 national carriers in Japan. However unlike the butter garbage you just spewed, they are the fastest growing carrier in Japan while also maintaining financial growth rather than loss as T-Mobile is doing here.

          And a Sprint worker wish he/she knew nearly as much about the Sprint network or any network for that matter, as much as I do. Blind accusations get you nowhere. The next time you try to call me names or say I’m wrong, bring something to back it up.

        • Bud

          Sorry bro, keep drinking that cool-aid. Sprint has been promising network upgrades for years. Tmo,vzw,att will be working on 5g by the time sprint is finished with 4g. Just the facts

        • Bryce

          Not drinking anything. I have the facts. I have an up to date map of all Sprint sites and their upgrades all over the nation. I probably have the most accurate information about Sprint on this site.

          Not that its’s helpful because this is T-Mobile oriented.

        • Bud

          Not in south brooklyn or Staten Island. My co-worker has sprint.
          She gets 3G most of the time in bk and Si and north queens.

        • Bryce

          I don’t travel to Queens or Staten Island very often. However when I do go there, I have decent LTE coverage.

          Where in South Brooklyn doesntbshe have LTE, because I travel regularly to Mill Basin, Sheepshead Bay, and Coney Island and I don’t drop LTE at all.

        • Bud

          Bay ridge, dyker heights, and Bensonhurst, downtown Brooklyn

        • Bryce

          Bay Ridge has two sites left to upgrade. Besonhurst has 3, and Dyker Heights has one site left. If she had a Spark device, her coverage would be complete though because the old Clear sites around there have been upgraded since last year.

          The sites in downtown Brooklyn needb4G upgraded but they have all been complete on the 3G side.

      • hanfeedback

        Frambly adoption could mean existing customers moving to it, unless they eek it out over tablet this quarter like last I don’t see Sprint going anywhere at all.

        • Bryce

          It could but as far as I know, Sprint made it pretty hard for existing customers to switch to Framily. For example, they can’t switch to it online unless you are a new customers. The only way to switch was in store for some time. The whole purpose was to attract new customers, not existing.

        • hanfeedback

          I want 4 competitors for cell service, but i will say I left Sprint several months ago, I had a NV capable device, in a market which was one of the original launch markets, but honestly service was terrible.

      • S. Ali

        Thing is, its just a lot of current customers that switched to Framily plans. How many switched carriers to join the plan??

        • Bryce

          Most of them did. A few of the people I talk to that work in Sprint retail told me that Framily has taken off at their stores. Most of the folks come from other carriers to join Framily while some come to Framily, trying to switch from a contract Sprint plan to this. They still have to pay the ETF though if they switch plans because they are technically terminating their existing contract.

      • Turb0wned

        Do you have absolutely no life? You are an a T-Mobile site replying to everyone’s post about Sprint….

        • Bryce

          Do you have no life? You responded to my response, with nothing useful or informative. I respond to one post, people respond, I respond. That’s generally how a conversation goes. Yet you finish with an ellipsis as if you have more to say.

          Now if you’d excuse me, “Turb0wned” I’d like to get back to my life.

      • John Brown

        “network stronger than ever before” LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!! My hometown of Owensville, OH is still “Off Network ROAMING”, and Batavia, OH is still on 3G with pitiful speeds. In this area, VZW and AT&T are killing T-Mo and Sprint.

        • MildlyAnnoyed

          It’s interesting that you choose to harass a T-Mobile page instead of lauding the positives of Sprint on a Sprint specific site. You choose to be an annoyance more than possibly contributing anything meaningful. If this was a party, you’d be asked to leave.

      • Cory Corrupted

        The part that upsets me most about Sprint is their failure to launch LTE in Major cities. I live in Sacramento, the capital of California yet Sprint has NO 4G LTE here. My friend bought a GS3 almost 3 years ago and is paying for the extra 4G data add on and yet her phone hasn’t had 4G once since she got it. That’s embarrassing. Sprint needs to get it together.

  • asfsdfsadf

    so that sucker at&t merger deal breakup paid the expenses for tmo’s uncarrier promo? I think we should all thank ATT.

    • Stone Cold

      I have several times over.

  • vrm

    where is this quote from “greatest quarter in T-Mobile’s history” ?

    • Nurdface Gamerhandz

      On t-community, the internal employee news/knowledgebase.

  • eanfoso

    T-mobile makes no sense, they show customer base increase from quarter to quarter, but at a profit loss, or legere is pocketing a lot of money

    • S. Ali

      They are paying out a lot of ETFs, expanding their network, and marketing like crazy. That money will come back with new lines, more device sales (tablets), and new services.

    • UMA_Fan

      According to their Q4 q&a the only reason they lost money was because they added way more customers than expected. For example of they added 2 million last year instead of 4 million they would have posted a profit. At the end of the day all these new customers gives Tmobile more revenue in the future

    • xmiro

      because of CAPEX and customer acquisition costs

    • yeah right

      Customer acquisition costs are usually the highest costs… You make those costs up on the backend, usually within a year in the wireless business. Tmobile’s plan is long term, and actually you want them to be spending every available dollar on CAPEX if you are a customer.

    • itguy08

      Amazon has played that game since it was founded and it’s working out OK for them.

      If I were a shareholder, I’d want them to spend every dime getting customers and expanding the network. Long term plans are what build businesses and keeping customers happy makes them long term customers. And then they tell their friends and it snowballs.

    • fentonr

      Its takes money to make money. You have to invest in growing the business, that takes money and when you don’t make a ton to start with you might dip slightly in the negative if you’re growing strongly.

    • Jay J. Blanco

      Profits are coming don’t worry

    • galaxyT

      It makes plenty of sense if you look at the company’s moves over the last 18 months…They are about to cash in!

    • Tyler Kirchman

      They have to pay for ads so people are educated on what they are doing

  • John Brown

    They’ve lost me as a customer until Batavia, OH and Owensville, OH (Zip codes 45103 & 45160) get at least HSPA+. EDGE SUCKS!!!!!!!!!!!! Verizon LTE rocks!!!!!

    • CallTechCare

      This is like making the effort to go on a Mustang forum and trash it because you prefer Camaros. Your opinion may be valid but there are other ways to bring attention to your view on the topic and not yourself and your abuse of the exclamation mark.

  • sandi

    As of today they lost me too…I spent twelve hours trying to resolve a billing issue with absolutely no consideration given on tmobile part to a very long time dependable customer who referred lots of friends and family to them. I’m not the least bit happy for them and will do whatever I can to UN-refer business their way. Shame on tmobiles entire lack of a customer service recovery effort and zero appreciation for a loyal customer

    • CuriousAboutTheBillingIssue

      ‘Resolve’ a billing issue or get a credit for a valid charge? It’s there’s been a mistake, T-Mobile Will GLADLY adjust it. If it’s a valid charge.. it’s a valid charge? You can call Financial Care and set up a payment arrangement if you need more time to pay it so you avoid a suspension. What’s the issue with the bill? I’ve been a customer for years. I can possibly point you in the right direction.

      • Chris

        I’ve had billing issues that were adjusted by T-mobile no other questions asked. So I, too, am curious about the OP’s case. They even give me credit on my next bill – granted the credit wasn’t much but still.