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T-Mobile’s Subscriber Gains Build In Q4

Bellevue, Wash. – T-Mobile posted its third consecutive quarter of more than 1 million net new subscribers in the fourth quarter, but the company also posted its third consecutive quarter of net losses.

For the quarter, the company gained more than 1.6 million net new customers following gains of 1.13 million and 1.05 million in the third and second quarters, respectively. For the full year, the carrier gained 4.38 million net new subscribers, up from 2012’s 203,000.

The fourth-quarter net loss rose to $20 million from the year-ago $8 million but was down sequentially from the third quarter’s net loss of $36 million.

For the year ending December, however, the carrier posted a net profit of $35 million compared with a 2012 net loss of $7.34 billion. The 2012 loss was attributable to a one-time $8.1 billion good-will impairment charge triggered by the merger of MetroPCS and T-Mobile.

Operating expenses surged in the quarter to $6.69 billion from the year-ago $4.66 billion but fell for the year to $23.4 billion from $26.1 billion.

Of the quarter’s more than 1.6 million net adds, 981,000 were branded net adds of which 869,000 were branded postpaid net adds, marking the best quarter of postpaid net adds since the fourth quarter of 2005, the company said.

Branded postpaid churn of 1.7 percent was flat quarter-over-quarter and down 80 basis points year-over-year to deliver 2013’s best quarter of year-over-year branded postpaid churn reduction.

For the full year, total branded net adds hit 2.33 million compared with a 2012 loss of 1.07 branded customers. Net adds of branded postpaid subscribers for the year hit 2 million compared with a 2012 net loss of 2.07 million subscribers.

Also for the year, total net adds, including M2M subscriptions and MVNO customers, hit 4.38 million compared with a mere 203,000 gain in 2012.