T-Mobile spills Q4 and FY 2017 results, including 5.7 million total customers added for the year

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After giving us a preview of its Q4 2017 results last month, T-Mobile this morning spilled all of the details of its most recent quarter.

As a reminder, T-Mobile added 1.9 million new customers in Q4 2017, which makes that the 19th straight quarter that T-Mo added more than 1 million new subscribers. T-Mobile added 5.7 million new customers during all of 2017.

Meanwhile, postpaid branded churn fell 10 basis points year-over-year to finish at 1.18 percent and branded prepaid churn finished at 4.00 percent, up 6 basis points year-over-year.

T-Mobile’s total customer count at the end of 2017 was 72.6 million.

Here’s what T-Mobile CEO John Legere had to say about these Q4 2017 results:

“Wow – what a way to cap off 2017! Record financial results across the board and over 5 million customers added for the fourth year in a row. We made incredible progress in 2017 building out our network and retail footprint to set ourselves up for future growth. Our business is clearly firing on all cylinders and our strong guidance for 2018 shows that we have no plans of letting up!”

T-Mobile today also gave us an update on its network. T-Mo’s 4G LTE network covered 322 million people at the end of 2017, and it’s estimated that that number will reach 325 million by the end of 2018. T-Mobile also reiterated that more than 12 new smartphones will launch in 2018 with support for its new 600MHz LTE coverage.

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When it comes to 5G, T-Mobile CTO Neville Ray said that T-Mo will launch 5G coverage in the first half of 2019 when 5G-capable smartphones hit the market. T-Mobile’s 5G network will utilize both 600MHz spectrum and mmWave spectrum.

T-Mobile did well for itself on the financial side of things, too. Total service revenues grew 7.1 percent year-over-year to finish at $7.8 billion in Q4 2017, while total revenues grew 5.1 percent year-over-year to finish at $10.8 billion for the quarter. T-Mobile says that Q4 2017 was its best ever when it comes to revenue.

Net income grew YoY, too, to finish at $2.7 billion, which T-Mobile attributes to factors like the Tax Cuts Jobs Act and after-tax spectrum gains.

Looking ahead, T-Mo estimates that postpaid net customer additions for 2018 will be between 2 and 3 million.

T-Mobile is currently holding a conference call to discuss its Q4 2017 and full year results. I’m listening in an will be sure to report back with any interesting details that John Legere and Co. have to share.

Source: T-Mobile

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  • Jason Caprio

    Still have a long way to go:

    Sprint: 54M
    T-Mobile: 72.6M
    AT&T: 138.8M
    Verizon: 149M
    Total: 414.4M

    Market Share

    Sprint: 13%
    T-Mobile: 17.5%
    AT&T: 33.5%
    Verizon: 36%

    • Sharti24

      Do You have info on coverage pops per carrier?

      • Jason Caprio

        I find “pops” claims from any carrier to be a useless metric. Coverage and reliability are the most important to me.

        • Acdc1a

          Apparently market share is more important to you than coverage.

        • Jason Caprio

          I was just speaking in general. I find “POPS” to be a stupid metric for ANY carrier to use since the majority of the population lives in big cities.

    • slybacon

      A long way to go for what?

      • Jason Caprio

        A long way to go before they are recognized as a true alternative to AT&T and Verizon by customers in the USA. T-Mobile still has the “perception” as the cheap lesser quality carrier than the big 2.

        • Sharti24

          Bingo

        • slybacon

          Are you a 70 year-old? Those are the only people I know that play bingo.

        • slybacon

          That doesn’t make any sense that they aren’t recognized as an alternative unless they have the same number of connections as T or VZ. In your post below, you said coverage and reliability were most important to you. It sounds like number of subscribers is most important to you.

        • Jason Caprio

          Here is a good example. Most reputable business, especially those in building/construction mostly use Verizon because they have a long standing reputation of being the most reliable cell service for many years. If, at some point, T-Mobile can be recognized as a true alternate solution with reliability and coverage which can be used for business needs, then their subscriber numbers will soar.

          T-Mobile only recently started catching up to Verizon/AT&T but Verizon has been on top as long as their company name existed, which is about 17 years.

          Once T-Mobile finally catches up and possibly surpasses Verizon on Rootmetrics, we’ll see numbers climb faster. I feel this will happen once they complete their rollout of the 600MHz spectrum.

        • slybacon

          Interesting perspective. And I’d say it has already begun. Shell just switched 7,000 lines to T-Mobile. They may be the biggest so far, but I’m sure there are many small businesses that have switched. I agree that the 600 MHz rollout and phone upgrades will be a game changer.

        • Acdc1a

          Guess my business is disreputable…

        • Francisco Peña

          We see you have Verizon… so nice you are being a shill for them. I used to have VZW. I will admit I had more coverage in this area than TMo.. HOWEVER, over 99% of the areas I go, I get TMo service. And from testing them both out at the same time when I was deciding to switch (had both carriers with 2 phones and each on a carrier), I found that on average for me, TMo was faster. I was able to get coverage in my office, which VZW NEVER got me. It would always hunt for service and drain my battery if I didn’t have it on wifi. TMo gives me over 30mbps download speeds.

          I never went over 60mbps speeds on vzw but have gotten over 100mbps on Tmo. So its a tradeoff, one that I am gladly taking along with lower costs of service, compared to coverage of VZW. Maybe if I lived in the boonies it might be different, but for me, and 70+ Million, not so much.

        • Jason Caprio

          My work provides me free Verizon service for my combined personal/work phone.

          Anyway. At this time, I am not talking about which provider is better than the other. I am talking about the collective public’s PERCEPTION of the carriers. Most people will tell you flat out that Verizon and AT&T is better than T-Mobile, especially if they never had any personal experience using T-Mobile. This perception was ingrained into the american public because only up until about 4 years ago, Verizon and AT&T were light years ahead of T-Mobile and Sprint. It was long understood that Verizon and AT&T were the more expensive and reliable options. On the other hand, T-Mobile and Sprint were considered the “Urban” carriers, and were much less expensive and had proportionally less reliable service and coverage.

          I am watching T-Mobile make leaps and bounds improving their coverage, but it may take longer for the public’s perception to consider them a PREMIUM carrier.

        • Sharti24

          Agreed. Att and verizon have had their reputation for years of being more expensive but great coverage.

          Remember that Sprint commerical when the lady called t-mobile “ghetto” lol

        • Brandon

          I remember that bullshit commercial. But it’s funny how Sprint can talk shit about T-Mobile, but yet T-Mobile has surpassed them in customers. And Sprint has yet to upgrade and fix their network

        • bkat11

          You don’t find it bizarre that Rootmetrics consistently finds T-Mobile to be the worst out of the big 4 year in and year out?

        • Jason Caprio

          That is because T-Mobile’s best performance is usually limited to metro areas. I can bet you will see big improvements on rootmetrics for T-Mobile once their 600MHz is fully deployed.

        • bkat11

          That’s really not true…T-Mobile has spread to rural towns as well as big cities.

        • bkat11

          Maybe like 3-4 years ago…but I haven’t really heard that from anyone as of late. Most that switch could care less about coverage in the middle of a corn field. T-Mobile has gone from a “large city only” carrier to a “anywhere there is civilization” carrier. Rural areas the gap is closing fast in many parts of the US and once 600 mhz becomes more widespread that gap will close even quicker

        • james

          People are leaving Verizon and at&t like crazy plus considering they were like 3 or 4 percent not long ago it’s amazing

        • Matt

          Where is your proof? Citation please …

        • Brandon

          I will say that T-Mobile has a way to go before they r on Verizon and AT&T’s level of coverage, but their coverage is nowhere how it was 5 years ago. And they r still on the grind of expanding coverage.

  • Jay Holm

    I’m shocked that 5G is going to be deployed as early as “the first half of 2019”!!!

    • Petey07

      I was thinking about if I should upgrade my phone this year… but I guess its best to hold off until the bands on the 5G is on to take advantage of it… Or at least wait to see which phone would have the 600mhz band.

      • Sharti24

        Will 5G require a new phone? Is it a hardware update like hspa to LTE or will it be just be an extension of LTE?

        Im debating on getting the 2018 iphone or to hold off for the 2019 iphone. Currently using an iPhone 6s Plus

        • Brandon

          I’m in the same boat with u

        • Trevnerdio

          Most likely. Even though the Galaxy S9 is including something crazy like Cat 16 LTE (1.2gbps max throughput) that’s likely on LTE-Advanced (4G) and not for 5G.

      • DDLAR

        You should upgrade when you feel it’s time for a new phone. There will always be something coming soon.

    • DDLAR

      Sorry. Replied to the wrong post.

  • Mike McDonald

    I took note of a term used repeatedly during the earnings call, namely, “green fields.” That term was defined as areas where TMUS did not yet have a presence and how they are opening up new retail locations and coverage now in these areas. Mike Sievert was adamant that they are not going to let US Cellular or Verizon be the only game in these regions.

    Also, John was *very* cagey about the M & A prospects later this year. It’s obvious somebody if not somebodies have broached the topic. Cramer really tried to pin him down on John’s appearance on CNBC and all he’d say was “we’ll see.” If anything, my read was someone way, way outside the box and not obvious at all like Sprint or Dish has been. This means the rumor mill will start cranking up any minute now.

    One more thing. We know ATT’s installed based has the highest percentage of iOS users/devices while TMUS’ installed base is the exact opposite for Android’s various flavors. Are Band 71 capable modems only available from QCOM or will Intel have a chipset ready? Will Apple make Band 71 a priority? I have held on to my iPhone 6S Plus waiting for this. I simply heard there’s 19(?) new Band 71 handsets due out this year on the call. I’m hoping Apple is one.

  • decisivemoment

    With the US population growing by about 2.2 to 2.3 million a year, that’s really a very small footprint expansion by T-Mobile, only about 700,000 to 800,000 net of growth. However their promise of 2.5 million square miles is more hopeful; that’s upwards of 400,000 getting on for 500,000 beyond the current footprint. But I wonder how much of that will be new towers and how much will depend on blasting areas with 600MHz from 30 miles away.

  • the martian ambassador

    I’m a new Q4 customer. Signed up for the TM One 55+ plan – 2 lines (with One Plus International). Haven’t had any issues with coverage, except in the fall when we drove up to State College for football games. My connectivity was spotty or non-existent in rural areas at higher elevations, where others on Verizon had better luck. Hopefully, that will change in the future.