More T-Mobile USA subscribers flee

Feb 25, 2011 By PETER SVENSSON , AP Technology Writer

(AP) -- Subscribers on contract-based cell phone plans hung up on T-Mobile USA in record numbers in the fourth quarter, as it continues to lose the battle against larger carriers.

T-Mobile, the fourth-largest wireless carrier in the U.S., on Friday said it lost 318,000 subscribers on contract-based plans in the October to December period.

The three larger carriers - AT&T Inc., Verizon Wireless and Sprint Nextel Corp. - added subscribers under contract in the period. For Sprint, it was a reversal of many years of losses.

T-Mobile said the decline was due to competition and to revised credit standards for customers.

T-Mobile compensated by selling wholesale access to its network to resellers, which meant that overall, it lost only 23,000 subscribers in the quarter. But wholesale subscribers bring far less revenue.

T-Mobile USA's new CEO, Philipp Humm, has orders from German parent company Deutsche Telekom AG to stem the loss of subscribers and increase revenue by 2014.

The percentage of contract-based subscribers leaving T-Mobile every month, a measure known as "churn," was 2.5 percent in the quarter, about the same as a year ago but higher than in previous quarters of 2010.

A month ago, Deutsche Telekom CEO Rene Obermann said that even a churn rate of 2.3 percent is "just not acceptable," and the goal is to reduce it to 1.8 percent by next year. That would bring T-Mobile more in line with competitors - Verizon Wireless' churn rate is 1 percent.

Including prepaid subscribers, churn was 3.6 percent at , the highest figure in at least seven years. It ended the quarter with 33.73 million .

T-Mobile's fourth-quarter revenue declined 1 percent from a year ago to $5.36 billion. The quarter's net income fell 12 percent to $268 million versus a year ago and was the lowest quarterly profit in four years.

Explore further: Creating the fastest outdoor wireless Internet connection in the world

5 /5 (1 vote)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

T-Mobile USA loses 93,000 customers in 2nd quarter

Aug 05, 2010

(AP) -- T-Mobile USA, the fourth-largest U.S. wireless carrier, said Thursday that it added crucial contract-signing customers even though it lost subscribers in the second quarter as prepaying subscribers fled to other ...

T-Mobile USA racks up prepaying subscribers

Feb 25, 2010

(AP) -- T-Mobile USA, the fourth-largest U.S. wireless carrier, said Thursday it gained 371,000 new customers in the fourth quarter, reversing subscriber losses in the third quarter.

T-Mobile adds 325,000 net subs, mostly prepaid

Aug 06, 2009

(AP) -- T-Mobile USA, the fourth-largest wireless carrier in the country, says it added a net 325,000 subscribers in the second quarter, with most of them choosing to prepay rather than sign two-year contracts.

Sprint gains contract subscribers in 4Q

Feb 10, 2011

(AP) -- Sprint Nextel Corp. said Thursday it managed to post a quarterly net gain of contract subscribers for the first time since 2007, as its turnaround continues.

Sprint Nextel posts first subscriber gain in 3 yrs

Jul 28, 2010

(AP) -- Sprint Nextel Corp. said Wednesday that it gained subscribers in its latest quarter, the first such gain in three years, as it continued to improve customer service and retention.

Recommended for you

Cyclist's helmet, Volvo car to communicate for safety

2 hours ago

Volvo calls it "a wearable life-saving wearable cycling tech concept." The car maker is referring to a connected car and helmet prototype that enables two-way communication between Volvo drivers and cyclists ...

California puzzles over safety of driverless cars

3 hours ago

California's Department of Motor Vehicles will miss a year-end deadline to adopt new rules for cars of the future because regulators first have to figure out how they'll know whether "driverless" vehicles ...

Britain's UKIP issues online rules after gaffes

3 hours ago

UK Independence Party (UKIP), the British anti-European Union party, has ordered a crackdown on the use of social media by supporters and members following a series of controversies.

Sony saga blends foreign intrigue, star wattage

3 hours ago

The hackers who hit Sony Pictures Entertainment days before Thanksgiving crippled the network, stole gigabytes of data and spilled into public view unreleased films and reams of private and sometimes embarrassing ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.