“Put a fork in it, they’re done” John Legere boldly said on a number of occasions referring to how he fancied his company’s chances of overtaking Sprint’s subscriber base by the end of 2014. With the pace T-Mobile was gaining subscribers at the time, and how fast Sprint was losing them, it seemed a no-brainer. And not just to John Legere. As it turns out, Sprint had something of a mini recovery during the second half of the year.
At the end of September, 2014, Sprint was “serving 55 million subscribers”. And with yesterday’s announcement from T-Mobile that it had finally reached the same milestone, Sprint needed to lose customers in order for T-Mo to be named the third largest carrier in the States. But Sprint didn’t lose customers. In fact – according to a press release today – the company added almost 1 million customers in the final quarter of last year.
Sprint Corporation (NYSE:S) reported preliminary results from the third fiscal quarter of 2014 that demonstrate the positive impact of Sprint’s efforts to offer customers the best value in wireless. During the quarter, Sprint platform net additions totaled 967,000 including postpaid net additions of 30,000, prepaid net additions of 410,000 and wholesale net additions of 527,000.
These are preliminary results for both companies, but it means that – although it is closer than ever to matching Sprint – T-Mobile is still approximately 1 million customers short.
Sadly then, Legere’s prediction that T-Mobile would be #3 by the time 2015 came around didn’t pan out. But on a more positive note, it would only take one more similar quarter from both companies for #TeamMagenta to become the 3rd largest U.S. wireless operator.