T-Mobile Growth Slim in Q3


T-Mobile’s just posted their third quarter results and things are looking decent, but not as decent as T-Mobile had hoped. A summary: they added 137,000 net new customers by losing 60,000 net contract customers, and adding 197,000 net prepaid customers. This compared to last quarter where they lost 93,000 net customers by adding 106,000 net contract customers and losing 199,000 net prepaid customers. They made $4.71 billion this quarter from service revenues, just a bit higher than the $4.70 billion made a quarter ago. (T-Mobile attributes this slight climb to the fact that they heavily invested in improving their networks for the nationwide 4G/HPSA+ rollout that’s already gone underway.)

t-mobile logo

At least for T-Mobile’s smartphone strategy, they’ve ushered in an entirely new line of top-tier Android-based devices recently – most notably the Samsung Vibrant, the T-Mobile G2, and the newly-launched MyTouch 4G – that should help keep their power users happy. They’re also looking to attract users with low-cost options such as the T-Mobile Comet, the LG Optimus T, and the Motorola Defy.

It’ll be interesting to see how this change of line-up on their Android front will affect overall revenue and growth this coming holiday season as they get aggressive with their new 4G marketing campaign. Read on for the full breakdown.

“The revenue trend in the third quarter showed continued improvement. Lower OIBDA was a direct result of the efforts to grow smartphone customers and higher investment in T-Mobile’s 4G network. These early investments will enable us to provide great customer experiences and allow us to scale our cost structure effectively as more customers utilize data services,” said Philipp Humm, CEO and President, T-Mobile, USA.

René Obermann, Chief Executive Officer, Deutsche Telekom, said, “I am very pleased with the development of blended data ARPU. Along with the growing number of smartphones, this demonstrates the potential of mobile broadband data growth in the US market and for T-Mobile USA in particular.”


  • T-Mobile USA served 33.8 million customers (as defined in Note 3 to the Selected Data, below) at the end of the third quarter of 2010, up from 33.6 million at the end of the second quarter of 2010, and 33.4 million at the end of the third quarter of 2009.
    • In the third quarter of 2010, net customer additions were 137,000, compared to a net decline of 93,000 in the second quarter of 2010 and a net decline of 77,000 in the third quarter of 2009.
    • Sequentially and year-on-year, the number of net new customer additions increased due primarily to higher net prepaid customer additions.
  • Contract net customer losses were 60,000 in the third quarter of 2010, compared to 106,000 net contract customer additions in the second quarter of 2010, and 140,000 net contract customer losses in the third quarter of 2009.
    • Connected device net customer additions, included within contract customers (as defined in Note 3 to the Selected Data, below), were strong in the third quarter of 2010, but were offset by traditional postpay and FlexPaySM contract net customer losses.
    • Sequentially, the decline in net contract customers was driven primarily by churn, as strong gross contract additions were more than offset by the impact from competitive intensity.
    • Year-on-year, net contract customer losses improved, driven primarily by improvements in traditional postpay customer gross additions.
    • Connected device customers totaled 1.8 million at September 30, 2010.
  • Prepaid net customer additions, including MVNO customers (as defined in Note 3 to the Selected Data, below), were 197,000 in the third quarter of 2010, compared to 199,000 net prepaid customer losses in the second quarter of 2010 and 63,000 net prepaid customer additions in the third quarter of 2009.
    • Traditional prepaid and MVNO customer additions drove the sequential increase in prepaid net customer additions compared to the second quarter of 2010.
    • Year-over-year, higher MVNO net customer additions driven by new partners were the primary reason for the increase in prepaid net customer additions. MVNO customers totaled 2.4 million at September 30, 2010.


  • Service revenues (as defined in Note 1 to the Selected Data, below) were $4.71 billion in the third quarter of 2010, level with $4.70 billion in the second quarter of 2010, but down slightly from $4.73 billion in the third quarter of 2009.
    • Service revenues were level sequentially as lower voice revenues offset data revenue growth, driven by the adoption of mobile broadband data revenue plans.
    • Year-on-year, quarterly service revenues declined due primarily to fewer branded customers (wireless customers excluding MVNO and connected devices). However, the 0.5% decrease in quarterly service revenues year-on-year in the third quarter of 2010 was an improvement from the 1.4% year-on-year decrease in the second quarter of 2010.
  • Total revenues, including service, equipment, and other revenues were $5.35 billion in the third quarter of 2010, consistent with $5.36 billion in the second quarter of 2010, but down slightly from $5.38 billion in the third quarter of 2009.
    • Compared to the third quarter of 2009, the slight decrease in total revenues was due primarily to lower service revenues as described above.

Stick Together Highlights

  • T-Mobile USA’s HSPA+ 4G network (as defined in Note 11 to the Selected Data, below) now reaches more people than any other 4G network in the country reaching more than 75 major metropolitan areas across the country. T-Mobile USA is on track to reach 100 major metropolitan areas and 200 million people in the U.S. by the end of this year. An exciting line-up of products will be available to complement the network expansion.
    • T-Mobile USA unveiled the T-Mobile® G2TM with GoogleTM smartphone during the third quarter of 2010. The G2 breaks new ground as the first smartphone specifically designed for T-Mobile USA’s HSPA+ 4G network and is one of the first smartphones in the industry to offer the new Voice Actions feature of Google Search™, which allows voice control of the handset for completing common tasks. The T-Mobile G2 went on sale on October 6.
    • Also in the third quarter of 2010, T-Mobile USA revealed the first mobile tablet in T-Mobile’s AndroidTM portfolio, the Samsung Galaxy TabTM. A powerful entertainment device, the Galaxy Tab features a seven-inch touch screen, the Android 2.2 operating system, a front-facing camera for video chat, and a rear-facing camera for photos. The Galaxy Tab is expected to be available to T-Mobile USA customers this holiday season.
    • T-Mobile USA is also one of the two US launch partners of Microsoft’s Windows Phone® 7. In time for the holidays, T-Mobile USA will have two Windows Phone 7 devices, the Dell Venue Pro and the HTC HD7 that boasts the largest screen available on a Windows 7 smartphone in the U.S. with a 4.3-inch touch display.
  • The Android-powered T-Mobile myTouch® 4G, T-Mobile USA’s second HSPA+ capable smartphone, is built with families in mind and includes video with an HD Camcorder and face-to-face conversations through Video Chat. The myTouch 4G went on sale on November 3, 2010.
  • On October 19, 2010, T-Mobile USA announced the completion of its senior leadership transition by confirming Philipp Humm as president and chief executive officer effective November 1, 2010. Humm succeeds Robert Dotson, former president and CEO, who moves to vice chairman of the T-Mobile USA Board. Humm, an experienced DT executive and former CEO of T-Mobile Germany, was last responsible for sales and service in Europe as chief regional officer (CRO) Europe.
  • In the third quarter of 2010, T-Mobile USA partnered with Walmart to begin offering Walmart Family MobileTM powered by T-Mobile, a non-contract, unlimited voice and text postpay wireless product. The service, launched on September 20, 2010, is provided by T-Mobile USA over its nationwide network, and is sold exclusively by Walmart in nearly 2,500 stores. Additionally, T-Mobile USA began offering more places to purchase T-Mobile products and services as T-Mobile USA expanded into approximately 500 Target stores across the United States by the end of the third quarter of 2010.
  • T-Mobile USA was recognized by J.D. Power and Associates during the third quarter of 2010. On August 12, 2010, T-Mobile USA earned the highest ranking in the J.D. Power and Associates 2010 Wireless Retail Sales Satisfaction StudySM Volume 2, the third consecutive highest ranking for T-Mobile USA in that study. On September 9, 2010, J.D. Power and Associates ranked T-Mobile USA highest in the Southwest Region in their 2010 Wireless Call Quality Performance StudySM – Volume 2 and tied for the highest ranking in the Southeast Region of the United States.
Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. It’s not their plans, it’s the fact that they’ve had terrible phones in the last quarter when it comes to contracts. The Motorola clicks weren’t exactly top of the line or the slides. If they had any of the droid phones or something like the evo then it would of been a different story.

  2. And if people see that their phones are upgraded slowly instead of when news hits the web ( on their web browsing phones ) of new upgrades, they will lose more subscribers…. Just a thought..

  3. Not all phones update slowly. The G1 had decent updates, being the first dev phone in 2009, and N1 is on Tmobile which is the best phone for timely updates in 2010, so I think TM does just fine in the update department.

  4. they need a 4.3 inch screen is what i want then ill be happy.

    and also need hspa + in the hospital i work then i would be super satisfied but we all cant have everything we want in this world =(

  5. It’s a new month and they brought the 3rd of their heaviest hitting phones since June: myTouch HD. Vibrant was awesome and I still love my G2…specs keep getting better and better!

  6. Specs might get better, but too bad the coverage doesn’t. LOL Enjoy your edge…

  7. Tm is getting better and they are gonna get a phone with a 4.3 screen (no word on hspa+) but i think theyve done good job

  8. @Earwin when! I have been waiting and nothing I had the hd2 running android for the longest time til the touch screen cradled out on me.

  9. I personally don’t like 4.3″ screen phones, just a little too big. I really like 4″ screens without a keyboard, light, small, and very portable. The 4.3″ models I’ve seen have been big, heavy, and thick bricks.

  10. Meh I need because am blind

  11. TM is the best cell carrier hear in the US and in Germany. The US does not let all phones in and once they enter the US they been around in Germany for a while. It’s the FFC not TM
    Go TM

  12. Swazlesshustla, resurfaces-we’ve all missed you, Girl and your useless posts, LOL! I got something you can Edge on, sweetie. HSPA+!!! You can’t compare it.

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