T-Mobile’s results for the first three months of 2017 are out, and it’s good news for anyone wearing a magenta onesie. The company is once again the industry leader for customers added and net revenue, while total income was up by nearly 50%. Coming just after T-Mobile bought up new spectrum nation-wide for a great deal, it means T-Mobile’s in a stellar place to challenge Verizon and AT&T.
Financially, T-Mobile had a great quarter. Total revenue and service revenue were at $9.6 billion and $7.3 billion respectively, best in the industry and up 11% for the company. Net income was $698 million, which is a remarkable 46% better than a year ago.
More promisingly for the long term, T-Mobile added a net 1.1 million lines in the first quarter. That’s particularly significant given that Verizon and AT&T both started offering unlimited data plans in February, which should have been an existential threat to T-Mobile’s signature unlimited plan.
Looking forward, things are only going to get better for T-Mobile. It’s already spent $8 billion to acquire new spectrum in the valuable 600MHz band, which should finally narrow the gap in cell service between T-Mobile and Verizon. A new nationwide low-frequency network will work better in rural areas and indoors, the only places Verizon has had an edge for years.
From a business perspective, T-Mobile is in excellent health. The question for consumers is whether prices will remain low and competition fierce when T-Mobile owns the country, or if it will become like every other telecoms giant at that point.