T-Mobile couldn’t wait until its third-quarter earnings to crow about its latest customer gains.
The carrier said it has added roughly 753,000 net postpaid phone adds thus far during the quarter and an additional 650,000 net prepaid customer adds. Both those figures surpass its overall second-quarter results, which included 646,000 net postpaid phone adds and 476,000 net prepaid customer additions.
“All three wireless carriers tried to match uncarrier signature moves this quarter, like getting rid of overages and introducing unlimited plans, but as usual, they came up short,” CEO John Legere boasted in a press release. “Our Q3 results so far have surpassed Q2 in postpaid phone and prepaid nets, and we are adding customers from all of the other guys at an increasing rate.”
Indeed, the nation’s third-largest operator offered details on where its new customers came from. T-Mobile estimated that 250,000 postpaid and prepaid customers switched from Verizon so far this quarter; 400,000 switched from AT&T and 300,000 were former Sprint customers. T-Mobile also reported “strong flows of new first-time customers coming to market, customers adding lines to their existing accounts and to a lesser degree switching from brands other than the big three.”
In response to T-Mobile's announcement, the analysts at New Street Research predicted T-Mobile will continue to gain momentum into next year. "We expect these trends to continue into 4Q16 and beyond. Next year TMUS equity should benefit further from rising prospects for M&A and a cash return. TMUS remains one of our favourite names globally," the analysts wrote in a note issued to investors today.
And the analysts at UBS reiterated that T-Mobile is their top pick in the wireless space. "T-Mobile is still the fastest growing company with 20%+ cash EBITDA growth in 2016," the noted in a research note issued today.
Moreover, analysts say both T-Mobile and Sprint are well-positioned to continue to add to their subscriber bases with the release of the iPhone 7, which has stoked competition among the major U.S. wireless carriers. New Street Research, for instance, said last month that notable pent-up demand among Americans for Apple’s latest flagship will benefit the two smaller tier-one operators.
New Street said “switching activity will increase, which will benefit the share takers (TMUS & Sprint), while driving bigger losses for the share losers (VZ & AT&T).” The firm said it surveyed 1,000 “demographically representative respondents” and found 10 percent of them planned to switch from their current carrier to a new one in the next three to four months.
- see this T-Mobile press release