T-Mobile gains record 2.4 million customers, as Sprint acquisition talks heat up

by: Bogdan PetrovanMay 1, 2014

t-mobile logo Mike Mozart

As Sprint is rumored to make a move on T-Mobile this summer, John Legere’s company announced another quarter of solid growth, with a record 2.4 million customer additions in Q1 2014.

It’s the fourth consecutive quarter when T-Mobile registers more than 1 million additions and the first quarter ever with more than 2 million new customers. T-Mobile’s performance is even more impressive when you consider the mediocre quarters reported by AT&T and Verizon, as well as Sprint’s continued losses.

While T-Mobile announced records when it comes to new customer additions and low churn rate, earnings were actually lower 12.2 percent compared to last quarter, which the carrier blames on the “significant acceleration in customer growth.” Average revenue per user also declined slightly, though the decline was smaller than in Q4 2013.

Overall, it was a blowout quarter for the company led by the outspoken John Legere, and another sign that T-Mobile’s aggressive “Uncarrier” marketing campaign and fresh take on customer service are successful.

Sprint T-Mobile offer this summer?

While T-Mobile is growing steadily, Sprint is bleeding money and customers. But things may change radically if Sprint boss Masayoshi Son has its way. The CEO of Softbank, the Japanese corporation that owns a majority stake in Sprint, is pushing hard for a T-Mobile buyout that could be announced in June or July.

Bloomberg reports that Sprint finalized talks with several banks that are willing to finance an acquisition, though any deal depends on the FCC’s and Department of Justice’s approval. These bodies shot down AT&T’s proposed T-Mobile acquisition in 2011, but Masayoshi Son hopes he can convince regulators that a Sprint-T-Mobile marriage would be in the best interest of American consumers.

If the deal goes through, the leading candidate for heading the combined company would be John Legere, say sources close to the matter.

  • Joe Butler

    Wow, unbelievable quarter for T-Mobile. In terms of the merger, the big thing that no one seems to be thinking about and that makes me weary is the fact that T-Mobile and Sprint use totally different technologies to power their network. Just the process of trying to make the technologies work would likely take years, bogging the collective company down and making it effectively impossible to compete with AT&T and Verizon, even if Legere was running it.

    • mobilemann

      isn’t it as always, more about the spectrum? If anyone needs room to grow, it’s these guys.

    • smokebomb

      U.S. Cellular was CDMA but T Mobile bought them and they’re converting the towers to GSM. The same thing would probably happen with Sprint. CDMA is an inferior, aging technology.

      • Magnetic1

        When did this happen? I thought sprint just bought the chicago land area of US Cellular.

        • smokebomb

          Sorry. They bought metro pcs


      T-Mobile Bought Metro PCS, which is CDMA, and they are way ahead of schedule in terms of getting their customers cut over to the GSM/UMTS/LTE network. I hear they may be shutting down a good portion of the CDMA network in a couple of markets this year. That’s pretty quick work and they could use the same model to do the same to the sprint network. If managed properly, and the right incentives are given to customers to switch, it shouldn’t be an issue.

      • Joe Butler

        Interesting, didn’t realize that. Thanks for the comment.

    • David Bowline

      T-Mobile and Sprint are fully compatible with LTE, which will have replaced both of the CDMA and GSM networks in the very near future.

      No need to worry about compatibility. My T-Mobile Nexus 5 will work fine on the Sprint network, should I chose to unlock it and put a Sprint micro sim card in it. By the end of 2017 LTE will be the only network of the big 4.

  • smokebomb

    If John Legere stays CEO, a merger may not be a bad thing.

    • Michael Samsara

      Jon Legere is currently riding a racehorse; even he, if T-Mobile MOJO were debased by merging with Sprint, would find he was riding a plow horse.

  • brad

    Idk.sprint sucks all together..never really a good company and them combining services will deffinetly bring down t-mobile to sprints craopy service..who knows they might improve they might not..all I know unlimited everything better stay amd so should the price..

  • Derp

    I’d be for this merger for the simple fact that T-Mobile isn’t in Wisconsin whatsoever and this merger would change that. I’m currently on Sprint via their employee plan and while it’s cheap & my service has been steady the LTE speeds aren’t anything to write home about. Plus I’d like to get a new phone without signing a contract.

    • Michael Samsara

      You can’t have it both ways. A merger would destroy the very qualities you – I assume – admire about T-Mobile; namely a company that truly – rather than when convenient to pay lip service – tries to earn your business, rather than take you for granted.

      Sprint is/has been/will continue to be forever a company that at its core is mismanaged and oriented in the exact same negative direction that Verizon and AT&T embrace.

      It must be allowed to sink or swim, live or die on its own. It must not be allowed to suck the life out of T-Mobile just so it can continue to live in a delusional world.

      Will this mean people at Sprint will lose their jobs? Yes, is that sad. Yes. Is it preventable? No.

      There are prices to be paid for irresponsible, incompetent management of both a corporation as well as one’s personal life. It is called FAILURE.

      If you reward failure, if you subsidize incompetence you end up with what has happened with General Motors – the same incompetence continuing to reign supreme because the same people who caused the first disaster are still running the show.

      There is no viable alternative at all at this point. Sprint must be allowed on its own to stand or fall, but it cannot be allowed to pull down and destroy T-Mobile while in its death throes.

  • br00tus

    FUCK NO. I had sprint for 1 year and will never go back. i NEVER had service, ever.. and mind you, im in miami “one of their best area’s” according to them. I left for Tmobile and have been extremely happy ever since. If they merge, They will lose out on MANY people like me who were miserable with sprint. I have never met a person who said they like sprint. its a huge POS and they deserve to fade out.

    More than this, sprint made it sound like i was crazy telling me “we have no record’s of your dropped calls, or the times where you had full bars but were still unable to make/ receive calls. and without it on file, we cant help you”


  • Magnetic1

    At first there was ATT and the justice department thought the job market was squeezed by this monopoly. Anyway justice department claimed consumers were hurt and went ahead and dismantled ATT.
    Now the baby bells have reunited. Jobs are gone. Now telecom carriers are claiming consumer will benefit. Lets see people lose jobs and consumers never need a job to pay for their expenses. I think not.

  • Michael Samsara

    Nobody loves winners more than Americans. And usually when you see a large group of human beings getting excited, doing their parts – plus more – do you know what you invariably find behind it all?

    A leader – a real one – who cares about his people, cares about making sure that the direction he is leading them in to the best of his abilities is safe and secure, but also “risky”, challenging enough to get their motors running.

    Guess which organization has such a dynamic, Level 5 – the ultimate – (see Jim Collins book “Good to Great”) leader?

    Hint: It sure as hell is not Sprint, AT&T and Verizon and it sure as hell is NOT the United States of America.

    A Real leader knows how to set a goal and come hell or high water keeps his word and isn’t afraid to rock the boat and take the flack and risk that breaking from convenient, conventional convention naturally bodes.

    T-Mobile and Jon Legere had the courage – albeit undoubtedly partly born of necessity – to look objectively at their situation and say, “This is not, never will work; we must change.” and did.

    Now, despite all the naysayers the wisdom, the “genius” of what they are doing after deciding to serve the client’s interests first by solving problems and making life easier rather than trapping people – surprise, surprise. It is working.

    The absolute worst case scenario would be Sprint gobbling up T-Mobile. Sprint is sick and dying; rife with a totally incompatible culture.

    If you were the picture of health and someone was dying of a communicable blood disease – they caught being profligate – would you willing choose to hook yourself up to them and share your life force, allow their tainted blood to mix with yours?

    T-Mobile should wait out Sprint – let them deservedly die on the vine, go into bankruptcy and then buy what is left for a song. How could you FCC complain if Sprint is already about to cease to exist?

  • Mo Yang

    Where can we petition to prevent the merger? I think having the big 4 is great for competition. Look at all the “uncarrier” things that AT&T, Verizon, & Sprint are doing.

  • Andrew T Roach

    I was thinking about going to T-Mobile with my unlocked device. But I’ll wait until these rumors wind down because Sprint and their internal sims suck balls.


    If it happens I think T-Mobile will be in the drivers seat. Why would Son want a failing business model and network expansion in Sprint to be the ones in charge, when T-Mobile is showing them how it is done?

  • Sonia

    No no no, a thousand times, no. I really hope this merger does not happen. T-Mobile has been doing wonderfully and will continue to do so while Sprint is just bleeding. Technology doesn’t mix, their mission statements don’t mesh, and they are likely to suck as a merged company. No!

  • Timmy

    Seems like the talks should be the other way around…T-Mobile should be looking to buy Sprint. At this point a merger may not be in anyone’s best interest no matter who does the buying.

  • Jaso Youdatdude

    My thing about T-mobile is their internet slows down I’ve been told. I have Sprint and haven’t had issues idk about what others may have an issue with. I just had a few issues before the LTE towers were up.. but that’s about it.

  • Oli72

    pls tmo don’t do it. we don’t them.

  • Cory

    Given some of Masayoshi Son’s views. I could see him putting John Legere in charge. He would then have a huge base of customers, and network to work with in order to challenge the top 2.