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: High court to hear dispute about TV over Internet

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

Hand out money with my mobile? I think I'm ready

Apr 17, 2014

A service is soon to launch in the UK that will enable us to transfer money to other people using just their name and mobile number. Paym is being hailed as a revolution in banking because you can pay peopl ...

Quantenna promises 10-gigabit Wi-Fi by next year

Apr 16, 2014

(Phys.org) —Quantenna Communications has announced that it has plans for releasing a chipset that will be capable of delivering 10Gbps WiFi to/from routers, bridges and computers by sometime next year. ...

Tech giants look to skies to spread Internet

Apr 16, 2014

The shortest path to the Internet for some remote corners of the world may be through the skies. That is the message from US tech giants seeking to spread the online gospel to hard-to-reach regions.

Wireless industry makes anti-theft commitment

Apr 16, 2014

A trade group for wireless providers said Tuesday that the biggest mobile device manufacturers and carriers will soon put anti-theft tools on the gadgets to try to deter rampant smartphone theft.

User comments : 0

More news stories

Students take clot-buster for a spin

(Phys.org) —In the hands of some Rice University senior engineering students, a fishing rod is more than what it seems. For them, it's a way to help destroy blood clots that threaten lives.

Finnish inventor rethinks design of the axe

(Phys.org) —Finnish inventor Heikki Kärnä is the man behind the Vipukirves Leveraxe, which is a precision tool for splitting firewood. He designed the tool to make the job easier and more efficient, with ...

First steps towards "Experimental Literature 2.0"

As part of a student's thesis, the Laboratory of Digital Humanities at EPFL has developed an application that aims at rearranging literary works by changing their chapter order. "The human simulation" a saga ...