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T-Mobile Posts Best-Ever Net Adds In ’14

Bellevue, Wash. — T-Mobile posted its best-ever full year of net subscriber adds of 8.33 million, cemented by 2.13 million net adds in the fourth quarter alone.

T-Mobile said it captured almost 80 percent of the industry’s postpaid phone net adds in the quarter and almost 100 percent for the full year. AT&T and Verizon, in contrast, gained postpaid net ads primarily through tablet net adds.

Next year, the company forecasts 2.2 million to 3.2 million branded postpaid net adds, down from 2014’s 4.89 million but ahead of 2013’s 2 million.

The fourth quarter marked the seventh consecutive quarter of more than 1 million net adds and was the third of four quarters in 2014 with more than 2 million net adds.

The company also posted net income of $101 million in the quarter following a third-quarter loss of $94 million, with full-year net profit rising to $247 million from 2013’s $35 million.

Full-year net adds came to 8.33 million, or 90 percent more than 2013’s 4.38 million.

Of the full-year net-add total, 4.89 million were branded postpaid customers, up 144 percent from 2013’s 2 million. Branded prepaid net adds hit 1.24 million, up from 2013’s 328,000.

For the quarter, branded postpaid net adds were up 47 percent to 1.28 million, and branded prepaid net adds hit 266,000 from the year-ago 112,000.

Combined wholesale net adds — MVNO and M-to-M customers — also rose for the year but fell in the quarter.

Of the 4.89 million branded postpaid net adds for the year, the vast majority — 4.05 million — were smartphone net adds, with another 839,000 coming from broadband nets adds, including tablets and modems.

Of the quarter’s 1.28 million postpaid net adds, the vast majority of them — 1.04 million — were branded postpaid phone net adds, while another 239,000 were branded postpaid broadband customers using tablets and other mobile-data devices.

In other metrics, revenues rose 11 percent in the quarter to $8.15 billion and for the full year by 21 percent to $29.6 billion.

Operating income rose 212 percent to $433 million in the quarter and by 42 percent for the year to $1.42 billion.

As for improving its network, T-Mobile said its 4G LTE coverage reached 265 million people at the end of the year and is targeting 300 million by the end of 2016.

The total number of Wideband LTE markets hit 121 last year’s end on the way to more than 150 by the end of 2016. The carrier also said the deployment of 700MHz LTE “is well under way in multiple markets.”

Wideband-LTE is defined by T-Mobile as 15+15MHz LTE bandwidth for faster speeds.