T-Mobile says it broke multiple records during the fourth quarter of 2018, posting its “best quarter ever in total net customer additions,” according to preliminary results. The carrier added 2.4 million total net customers during the quarter, bringing its total customer base to 79.7 million at the end of 2018.
T-Mobile also added 1.4 million branded postpaid customers, of which 1 million were branded postpaid phone net additions, according to its preview of results that will be released in full at a later date. The carrier says it was its best Q4 ever for branded postpaid net additions and its best Q4 since 2014 on branded postpaid phone net additions. Branded postpaid phone churn also dipped to 0.99% during the quarter, according to T-Mobile.
“The T-Mobile team delivered our best customer results ever in Q4 2018 and we did it in a competitive climate while working hard to complete our merger with Sprint,” John Legere, CEO of T-Mobile, said in a prepared statement. “That’s 23 quarters in a row where more than 1 million customers have chosen T-Mobile—along with a postpaid phone churn result that’s below 1%. These customer results speak volumes about our company, our network and our brand.”
The FCC’s review of T-Mobile’s $26 billion proposed merger with Sprint has been suspended due to the partial federal government shutdown, adding uncertainty to the timeline for a decision. The 180-day review period formally began on June 18, 2018, but was paused on Sept. 11 when both companies submitted new documents related to the merger.
The impasse over federal government funding caused the FCC to pause the review again earlier this week and won’t resume deliberations until the FCC’s funding is restored. As it stands, the FCC can take up to three additional months to review the proposal before rendering its decision. The federal government has been partially shut down for 19 days, making it the second-longest government shutdown in history. If a deal is not reached to reopen the entire federal government by week’s end, it will become the longest shutdown ever.
T-Mobile added 7 million net customers during the full year, which represents a year-over-year acceleration and the fifth consecutive year that T-Mobile added more than 5 million net customers. The carrier has added more than 46 million customers since it embraced an “Un-carrier” strategy in 2013, shortly after the arrival of Legere at the helm.