It can’t be said enough: T-Mobile under CEO John Legere really has shaken up the wireless industry in the United States. Whether it’s been introducing rollover data plans, paying off rivals’ early termination fees or eliminating overage fees, the “Un-carrier” has dictated the terms of competition in the mobile industry for the past three years. The carrier has been regularly rewarded for its work by posting eye-popping quarterly subscriber numbers, and a new report from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners shows just how much T-Mobile has been thrashing rivals.
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In its estimates for the first quarter of 2016, CIRP has found that T-Mobile was the only major American wireless carrier to gain significantly more subscribers than it lost. Here’s the key data table:
T-Mobile’s retention rate is on par with those of AT&T and Verizon — the different here is that it’s adding new customers at a significantly faster clip. In all, T-Mobile post a 42% gain in subscribers moving from other carriers while Verizon posted only a 14% gain and AT&T just posted 10% gain.
“Once again, T-Mobile showed it can attract significant numbers of new customers, while retaining its current ones,” explains CIRP cofounder Josh Lowitz. “It attracted new customers from other carriers at an astonishing rate, attracting another 42% of their base of existing customers who activated a phone in the quarter. Sprint also gained a significant percentage of customers relative to its base, but lost almost as many. AT&T and Verizon saw existing customer losses slightly exceed gains, and only with the addition of first time phone buyers, did they grow slightly.”
It’s worth noting that CIRP’s estimates are based on a sample size of around 500 subscribers, which means it’s not comprehensive. Nonetheless, their work has been reasonably predictive in the past of what carriers’ quarterly subscriber numbers will actually look like.