T-Mobile: Worldwide growth slows, turns negative in UK and Netherlands

The number of mobile subscribers signing up to T-Mobile has slowed substantially worldwide with Q4 net additions of nearly 1.7 million, down from over 3.7 million a year ago. Of more concern is that the company reported a decline in mobile subscribers in its UK and Dutch subsidiaries.

T-Mobile, which is the revenue powerhouse for its parent Deutsche Telecom, attempted to explain away this downturn by claiming the poor Q4 figures were caused by new rules regarding counting pre-paid customers in Germany. No explanation was provided as to why growth within T-Mobile USA was slowing, despite it being the exclusive provider of Google's G1 phone, or why the subscribers in the UK and the Netherlands were deserting the company.

On the positive side, T-Mobile claimed the number of contract subscribers was holding up better, due in part to the continuing success of the iPhone. However, contract churn was 2.4 per cent in Q4, up from 1.8 per cent a year ago.

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