T-Mobile USA adds 621K subs in Q4 as subcriber growth slows

T-Mobile USA announced lower net new subscriber additions in fourth quarter 2008, down both sequentially and year-on-year, as churn increased from the year-ago period.

Net adds: The carrier, the fourth largest in the United States, reported 621,000 net new subscriber additions in the quarter, down from 670,000 in the third quarter of 2008 and 951,000 in the fourth quarter of 2007. The number was the lowest quarterly net subscriber additions number since the second quarter of 2006. T-Mobile ended the year with 32.8 million subscribers.

The carrier added 4.07 million net new customers in 2008, compared to 3.64 million added in all of 2007. This past year's total included 2.94 million organic net new customers and 1.13 million that were acquired as part of T-Mobile's February 2008 acquisition of SunCom Wireless.  

Churn: Contract churn for the fourth quarter was 2.4 percent, the same as the third quarter of 2008 and up from 1.8 percent in the fourth quarter of 2007. Blended churn, including both postpaid and prepaid subscribers, was 3.3 percent in the quarter and up from 3 percent in the third quarter of 2008 and 2.8 percent in the year-ago period. The carrier said its contract churn continues to be affected by the end of two-year contracts, which were first introduced in April 2006, and increased competition.

Network: The carrier, which is still building out its 3G UMTS network, and lags behind the other Tier 1 carriers in network buildout, said 40 percent of devices sold to contract subscribers in the fourth quarter were converged devices, and around half of those were 3G-enabled.  

Deutsche Telekom AG, the parent company of T-Mobile, will announce full fourth quarter financial results Feb. 27.

For more:
- see this release

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