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T-Mobile USA Cites Q1 Subscriber Gains

Bellevue, Wash. — T-Mobile USA posted sharp gains in net new subscribers in the first quarter before the launch of its new “un-carrier” strategy.

However, the company said that as in the fourth quarter, the gain came from prepaid branded customers and wholesale customers, the company said in announcing preliminary quarterly results.

On the plus side, however, the carrier said it lost far fewer branded postpaid customers in the quarter than in previous quarters, and it said it posted its first net gain in total net new branded subscribers (combining prepaid and postpaid branded subscribers) in four years.

For the quarter, the carrier gained 579,000 net new subscribers, up from the fourth-quarter’s 61,000 and up from 187,000 in the first quarter of 2012.

Net new wholesale customers, comprising MVNO and machine-to-machine subscriptions, hit 576,000, up from the fourth quarter’s 410,000 and from 449,000 in the first quarter of 2012.

 The number of net new branded prepaid subscribers rose to 202,000 in the quarter, up from the fourth quarter’s 166,000, but down 19 percent from 249,000 in the first quarter of 2012.

The number of net new branded postpaid customers fell by 199,000, an improvement over the fourth quarter’s loss of 515,000 and a loss of 510,000 in the first quarter of 2012.

The number of net new branded subscribers, consisting of both prepaid and postpaid branded subscribers, grew by 3,000 in the first quarter compared with a fourth-quarter loss of 349,000 and a loss of 262,000 in the first quarter of 2012.

“These results display positive momentum and the first positive branded growth in four years,” said president/CEO John Legere.  “We have made substantial progress in stabilizing our branded business in Q1, which provides a solid foundation to build on with the new un-carrier customer offers we launched last week across America.”