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T-Mobile USA loses more contract customers ahead of Metro PCS merger

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T-mobile store logo (1020)
T-mobile store logo (1020)

Another quarter, another half a million fewer postpaid customers for T-Mobile. Today the company reported its fourth quarter financial results, and while revenues are showing signs of growth, they’re still five percent lower than they were last year. Despite the 19 percent growth in the number of prepaid customers (including branded and MVNO numbers), it couldn’t offset the 13.9 percent drop in contract revenues, which make up more than two thirds of T-Mobile’s total revenue stream. The resulting billion-dollar drop in revenues for the year contributed to an operating loss of $6.4 billion — 50 percent higher than 2011’s $4.3 billion loss.

It's not all bad news, though: T-Mobile says that around 30 percent of its postpaid retail customers are currently on the Value plans, which allow you to buy a device unsubsidized in exchange for cheaper monthly rates. It says the plans have been a "huge success," and notes that it will soon add Apple products to its lineup, which may help improve its chances of turning its declining subscriber numbers around. Today's financial results come on the eve of a shareholder vote to approve T-Mobile’s merger with MetroPCS, scheduled for March 28th, but with both companies continuing to post such big subscriber losses, the prospect of combining forces doesn't inspire a ton of confidence.

Aaron Souppouris contributed to this article