Skip to main content

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.

Editors' Recommendations

Malarie Gokey
Former Digital Trends Contributor
As DT's Mobile Editor, Malarie runs the Mobile and Wearables sections, which cover smartphones, tablets, smartwatches, and…
T-Mobile sees record iPhone 7 pre-orders, CEO John Legere calls launch a ‘phenomenon’
iphone 7 slice intelligence trends iphone7plus lineup feat

T-Mobile is seeing massive interest in the iPhone 7 from its customers, with CEO John Legere claiming pre-orders have surpassed previous iPhone releases already, all despite the controversial decision to remove the headphone jack from the new smartphone. While some may still find this unacceptable, it doesn’t seem to have put off loyal T-Mobile fans.

“I just wanna tell you,” Legere said during a Periscope broadcast, “This has been the biggest launch ever for us,” emphasizing the interest in the newly announced iPhone. He continued, “The first four days of the iPhone 7 launch are by far the biggest ever for T-Mobile. It’s four times bigger than the iPhone 6 for us, at this stage.” Legere described the current situation as a “phenomenon.”

Read more
T-Mobile topped 1 million new customers for the 13th quarter in a row
t mobile fee increase hq sign feat

T-Mobile, the self-proclaimed Un-carrier, reported financials worth boasting about on Tuesday.

During the carrier's quarterly review of the fiscal period between April and June of 2016, it recorded $9.2 billion in revenue -- up from $8.2 billion, or 12.8 percent, year over year, and better than Wall Street's expected $9.02 billion. Second quarter income was on shakier ground -- T-Mobile only managed to rake in $225 million, a dip from $361 million in Q2 2015 -- but it beat forecasts and managed to sustain astounding subscriber growth. T-Mobile added 1.9 million customers last quarter -- the 13th quarter in a row it's managed to clear the 1 million mark.

Read more
T-Mobile CEO John Legere now has his own Twitter emoji
free trip to mars anyone t mobiles ceo is offering a ride the red planet john legere  blazer and your company s shirt

T-Mobile's primary color may be pink and approachable, but its CEO is a bit more...shall we say, controversial. No stranger to the spotlight, John Legere is known for his outspoken ways and bold use of social media, particularly Twitter. And now, to reward his Internet fame, the social media platform is giving the T-Mobile executive his very own emoji. 

With more than 2 million followers and 17,500 tweets under his belt in just under three years (he first joined the platform in May 2013), it's no surprise that Legere has become something of a Twitter celebrity. Starting Monday, if you tweet the hashtag #tweetjohn, you'll be greeted by an emoji of a smiling Legere, which will certainly dress up your tweet (no matter what the content or context).

Read more