Everybody loves T-Mobile: 8.3 million people flocked to the network at the end of 2014

t mobile q4 2014 report subscriber growth john legere  un carrier event
T-Mobile’s mission to change the wireless industry and pick up as many disgruntled AT&T and Verizon customers along the way seems to be working quite well, if its full fourth quarter results are any indication. T-Mobile announced that it added a whopping 8.3 million subscribers in 2014, 2.1 million of which came in the fourth quarter alone.

T-Mobile says 1.3 million postpaid users joined in Q4 to round out total postpaid additions to 4.9 million in 2014 alone. Postpaid customers are much more profitable to T-Mobile, so it’s key that the majority of its new subscribers signed up for those plans instead of prepaid ones. Still, the Uncarrier added a larger number of prepaid users, too, with 1 million new users added in Q4 and a total of 4 million added in 2014. The earnings report boasts that T-Mobile grabbed nearly 80 percent of industry postpaid phone growth in the fourth quarter, as well.

Has this affected the competition? Verizon added nearly a million more postpaid subscribers with 1.89 million new customers in the fourth quarter of 2014. Meanwhile, AT&T suffered a bit with the addition of just 854,000 new postpaid subscribers. Both of these big carriers also saw a pretty huge jump in turnover, though, so it seems that T-Mobile’s strategy of seducing customers away from its competitors with the offer of a contract buyout and lower prices has had an effect.

CEO John Legere said that the Uncarrier model is clearly convincing subscribers to join its network, but it’s also making the company much more profitable. T-Mobile earned $247 million in 2014, up from just $35 million in 2013 — That’s a pretty huge jump. However, to sustain its growth, T-Mobile acknowledges that it needs to improve its service across the board. While the Uncarrier does extremely well in cities with super fast LTE, rural areas fall by the wayside. Legere says that’s because T-Mobile needs more spectrum, and spectrum is hard to come by, given the current state of spectrum auctions.

In a blog post, Legere called upon the federal government to make spectrum auctions more fair to smaller carriers like T-Mobile. He called the last auction profitable for the FCC, but a “disaster” for consumers.

“Three companies alone spent an insane $42 billion between them, grabbing a ridiculous 94 percent of the spectrum sold at this auction,” Legere stated, adding that AT&T and Verizon already own 73 percent of all the low-band spectrum, which gives cell service and data greater penetration through barriers like buildings and walls. With the next auction for low-band spectrum coming up soon, Legere is calling for reform.

He wants the government to make auctions more fair by ensuring that they proceed in a timely manner, so that the big two can’t amass tons of money before hand and buy up all the spectrum. The government should also respect competition by “reserving 40 MHz or at least half of the available spectrum in the next auction for sale to the competition.” And lastly, the rules should ensure that “valuable spectrum is actually used to provide service to consumers rather than allowing it to be collected and traded like financial securities.”

Legere’s asking the government to fill a pretty tall order, but the FCC has sided with T-Mobile in the past, so anything is possible. Regardless, T-Mobile will continue to add spectrum and bolster its network, Legere promised.

Mobile

New Apple Watch begins saving lives one week after getting EKG feature

The Apple Watch Series 4 was updated almost a week ago with a new feature that allows users to take electrocardiogram tests -- and already it seems like the new feature is saving lives.
Mobile

Looking for flexible and inexpensive phone service? Check out our favorite MVNOs

Looking to switch from a major carrier to something a little more affordable? Luckily, there are a ton of great MVNO options to choose from. Check out our guide to the best MVNOs, from Boost Mobile to Google Fi.
Mobile

5G’s arrival is transforming tech. Here’s everything you need to know to keep up

It has been years in the making, but 5G is finally becoming a reality. While 5G coverage is still extremely limited, expect to see it expand in 2019. Not sure what 5G even is? Here's everything you need to know.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix, from 'Haunting of Hill House’ to ‘Twilight Zone’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Home Theater

Cutting the cord? Let us help you find the best service for live TV streaming

There's a long list of live TV streaming services available to help you cut the cord and replace your traditional TV subscription. Each is different in important ways, and this guide will help you find the best one for you.
Mobile

The best smartphone stocking stuffers for a very techy Christmas

If you've got a tech-loving smartphone enthusiast to buy for, we can help you out. Here's a selection of top phone accessories that would make amazing stocking stuffers so you can have a very Merry Christmas.
Product Review

The Black Shark gaming phone takes a big bite out of your free time, but the software sinks it

The world is being treated to an ever-increasing number of high-powered gaming phones. With so many great options already out, is there room for another? The Black Shark thinks so. But is it any good? We find out.
Mobile

OnePlus's 5G phone should arrive in May 2019, may cost up to $850

OnePlus will be among the first companies to put the new Snapdragon 855 processor into a phone, and will also release a separate and more expensive 5G phone in 2019 with the help of U.K. network EE.
Mobile

Santa Claus is coming to town. Get ready with these Christmas apps

Like it or not, Christmas comes but once a year. Thankfully, we've got a list of the best Christmas apps to help get you into the holiday spirit, just in case you want to call Santa or become a Christmas elf.
Gaming

Xiaomi’s Gamepad 2.0 turns the Black Shark into a mini Switch

Chinese phone manufacturer Xiaomi has introduced the Gamepad 2.0 for its Black Shark gaming phone that launched earlier this year. The new gamepad is similar to the Switch Joy-Con, with one piece attaching to each side of the phone.
Mobile

Google makes it easy to donate to charity straight through the Play Store

As we head into the holiday season, Google announced a new feature on Google Play that makes it a little easier to donate to charity. Through the new page, you'll be able to choose from a range of charities to donate to.
Deals

REI clearance sale extends discounts on Garmin, Fitbit, and GoPro devices

Beyond the things you typically expect to find at REI — like tents, skis, and jackets — there are tons of great deals on quality tech foryour outdoor adventures. From smartwatches to action cameras, here are the best tech deals.
Wearables

These are the best smartwatches for everything from fashion to fitness

Tempted to buy a smartwatch? If so, then the growing number of great models available means you've got plenty to choose from. But which one should you pick? Here is our list of the best smartwatches.
Mobile

Sprint’s 5G rollout: Everything you need to know

Sprint is building its next-gen 5G network in preparation for a 2019 rollout, but it's taking a decidedly different approach than some of its competitors, including Verizon and AT&T. Here's everything you need to know.