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Thursday, August 8, 2013

Daily Report: T-Mobile US Expands Its Customer Base

T-Mobile US, the fourth-largest American carrier, lost thousands of customers in the last few years to rivals that offered cooler phones. But it appears to be getting its groove back, Brian X. Chen reports.

The company said on Thursday that it had gained 1.1 million customers, including 685,000 contract subscribers, in the second quarter. That compares with a loss of 557,000 contract subscribers, the most valuable type of customer, in the period a year earlier. The uptick represents its largest customer growth in four years.

There is no question that finally being able to sell Apple‘s iPhone in April was good for T-Mobile. This year has also been jam-packed with other changes for the company. It began an overhaul of its network, it started offering lower-cost plans to lure customers from competitors and it also gained extra muscle from its merger with the smaller carrier MetroPCS, which was completed in May.

“By fixing the things that drive them mad, like contracts and upgrades, and freeing them from the two-year sentences imposed on them by our competitors, they are choosing the new T-Mobile in unprecedented numbers,” John Legere, the company’s chief executive, said in a statement.

To be sure, the change has come at a cost for T-Mobile. The company posted a loss of $16 million for the quarter, compared with a profit of $207 million in the second quarter of 2012. But it also reported that revenue rose to $6.23 billion from $4.9 billion in the period a year earlier. And it expects the growth to continue. For the full year, T-Mobile said it expected to add 1 million to 1.2 million contract subscribers.