Skip to main content

T-Mobile leapfrogs Sprint to become the third-largest U.S. carrier

T-Mobile Event 3/18/2015
Malarie Gokey/Digital Trends
It’s becoming a tired cliche, but T-Mobile really can’t seem to do any wrong. Thanks to a strong second quarter, the Un-Carrier has leapfrogged Sprint to become the third-largest carrier in the United States by number of subscribers.

T-Mobile CEO John Legere claimed in February that his firm had unseated Sprint from its third-place perch, and now Sprint’s Q2 earnings report provided empirical evidence. Head of Sprint Marcelo Claure said the cell service provider’s gain of 675,000 new connections bolstered its ranks to 56.8 million. T-Mobile, according to its June 30 numbers, has reached a total of 58.9 million subscribers.

Related Videos

News of the upset comes on the heels of better-than-expected T-Mobile earnings. Analysts predicted Q2 profit of 18 cents per share, a number the carrier handily beat with a profit of $361 million or 42 cents per share. Revenue was $8.2 billion, up about 14 percent year over year.

T-Mobile’s impressive growth might be attributed to its relentless “un-carrier” marketing. In the past year alone, it’s introduced a leasing program with unlimited phone upgrades, a fee-free “Mobile without Borders” roaming plan for Mexico and Canada, and a discounted family plan. The response has unsurprisingly been positive — T-Mobile ranked first among major U.S. carriers in the latest J.D. Power study of customer satisfaction.

Despite the second quarter’s turn of events, though, Sprint’s hardly down for the count. Q2 showed improvement for the struggling incumbent, which shed 620,000 postpaid customers in the same period a year ago. Since those losses, Sprint has revamped its own plan pricing and has introduced benefits like the $70 a month “iPhone for Life” leasing service, changes which might’ve contributed to the second quarter’s record low churn rate of 1.56 percent.

Sprint’s financials are on the rise as well. Its Q2 loss — $20 million — was less than market researchers were predicting. And the cell provider now expects to earn between $7.2 and $7.6 billion this year, up from an earlier estimate of $6.5 and $6.9 billion.

“Over the past year, Sprint has made meaningful progress in our turnaround by improving our network performance and enhancing our overall value proposition,” said Claure in a statement. Sprint chairman Masayoshi Son expressed similar confidence in the carrier’s direction.

If this past quarter was indeed indicative of a turnaround for Sprint, expect it and T-Mobile to trade blows in the months to come … assuming, of course, that Dish Network doesn’t have other plans.

Editors' Recommendations

I love the Galaxy S23 — here are 5 things the iPhone still does better
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra and Apple iPhone 14 Pro

Samsung’s Galaxy S23 has arrived to the masses, and it’s one of the best Android phones you can get right now, especially the S23 Ultra. However, for those who don’t need all of the fancy bells and whistles, like the S Pen and 200MP main camera, the regular S23 is also plenty powerful for the average person, especially if you prefer smaller devices.

I’ve been using the Galaxy S23 for the past few weeks, and so far, my experience has been delightful. I know that it’s still early on in the year, but for me, the S23’s small size is perfect and comfortable. Android also does a lot of things better than iOS, like individual volume controls and notifications, for example. But I am still primarily using my iPhone 14 Pro — despite Apple having some big flaws, such as overprocessing images after you capture them.

Read more
The Pixel 8 just leaked, and it has one big thing I can’t wait for
Google Pixel 8 in depicted in white.

For another year, Google’s next-gen phones are out in the wild months ahead of their grand reveal at a fancy event. Just a day ago, the Pixel 8 Pro was unceremoniously leaked, and now, the standard Pixel 8 has also received the same treatment. OnLeaks and MySmartPrice have shared reported renders and a 360-degree video depicting the upcoming Google phone from all angles.
The design changes are subtle, but easy on the eyes. Just like the Pixel 8 Pro, the corners are once again more rounded on the Pixel 8. The frame is metallic, and there’s a horizontal camera strip at the back with a metallic luster on top. Akin to the Pixel 7, we get two cameras on the Pixel 8, sitting in a pill-shaped cutout.

Another small aesthetic tweak is the earpiece grill at the top, which is now more prominent than what we saw on the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro. If the current-gen Pixels are any indication, the Pixel 8 is going to offer an excellent in-hand feel. Talking about in-hand feel, though, it appears that Google is once again pandering to the small phone loyalists.

Read more
5 things we’d love to see at Google I/O 2023 (but probably won’t)
Google Pixel Watch on a wrist.

Google's annual developer conference, Google I/O, kicks off on May 10. Don't let the words "developer conference" put you off, though, as Google I/O is one of the biggest and most exciting shows of the year.

We've already covered what we expect to see at Google I/O 2023, and that list includes the Pixel 7a, Android 14, and even a Google Pixel Fold. But although those are all things we're really looking forward to and expecting to see, there are a number of reveals we'd also love to happen ... but are extremely unlikely to appear on the grand stage.

Read more