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T-Mobile added a record number of subscribers in its best quarter ever

Published Jan 9th, 2019 5:52PM EST
T-Mobile subscribers 2018
Image: Utrecht Robin/action press/REX/Shutterstock

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T-Mobile absolutely crushed it over the holidays, with the wireless carrier announcing a record 2.4 million net customer additions in the fourth quarter and 7 million for all of 2018. Those additions, which pushed the total customer count to almost 80 million, helped T-Mobile produce its best quarterly results ever, the company announced Wednesday afternoon.

What’s more, the three-month period that ended in December also marked the Un-carrier’s 23rd straight quarter of net customer additions totaling more than 1 million, with the nearly 80 million customer base itself up from 46 million back in 2013.

“The T-Mobile team delivered our best customer results ever in Q4 2018, and we did it in a competitive climate while working hard to complete our merger with Sprint,” said T-Mobile CEO John Legere. “That’s 23 quarters in a row where more than 1 million customers have chosen T-Mobile — along with a postpaid phone churn result that’s below 1%. These customer results speak volumes about our company, our network and our brand.”

The results come ahead of T-Mobile and Sprint continuing to work through their proposed $26 billion merger that will integrate the third- and forth-biggest wireless carriers in the US. The Federal Communications Commission, which still needs to give its final approval to the merge, has had to pause that work as a result of the federal government shutdown.

T-Mobile said as part of its preliminary fourth-quarter and full-year earnings announce today that the 7 million customers it added in 2018 marks the fifth straight year the company has added more than 5 million customers during the course of a year. The company also cited a host of benefits it says are the big draws for these new additions — things like Unlimited rate plans, Netflix at no extra charge for qualifying customers on family plans, free international data roaming and texting in more than 210 countries and destinations and more.

Just a few weeks ago, we shared with you some of Legere’s predictions for 2019, including that the cable TV is going to continue to bleed massive numbers of subscribers who embrace cord-cutting. On a less positive note, T-Mobile was also named among a group of carriers in a Motherboard story this week showing how the lot of them surreptitiously sell access to the real-time location data of subscribers.

That of course isn’t too much of a surprise, but the Motherboard story walks through in detail how that kind of data often ends up in the hands of bounty hunters who cough up the information to willing buyers if the price is right.

Andy Meek Trending News Editor

Andy Meek is a reporter based in Memphis who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming.

Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.