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T-Mobile US reports another quarter of growth and takes swipe at competitors

Legere 10_07_2015

T-Mobile US has reported another quarter of positive growth, and took the opportunity to have a swipe at the lesser fortunes of competitors.

While understandably pleased over another period where his team reported the strongest customer net gains in the US, CEO John Legere was less complementary of his competitors. AT&T and Verizon, nicknamed ‘dumb and dumber’ by the enthusiastic chief, were subject to comment, implying the telcos built customer retention strategies off the back of the T-Mobile blueprint.

“We outperformed the competition again on every key metric, while delivering the best postpaid phone churn numbers in our history,” said Legere. “Quarter after quarter this team continues to deliver results that are the best in the business despite the competition’s best efforts to compete.”

In terms of the numbers, the company saw 1.9 million total net adds, the 13th consecutive quarter of additions over 1 million. This included 646,000 branded postpaid phone net adds, which Legere claims is the 10th quarter in a row in which T-Mobile has led the rankings, 476,000 branded prepaid net adds, as well as the company’s lowest postpaid churn of 1.27%. The team also reported $6.9 billion service revenues for the quarter, up 12.1% year-on-year, alongside a net income of $225 million.

With regard to the company’s place in the industry alongside its three major competitors, Sprint, Verizon and AT&T, Legere was colourful in his commentary. Sprint got off relatively lightly with Legere conceding the telco had a good quarter, but not as good as T-Mobile.

AT&T received particular attention on the call, with Legere, in full tongue-in-cheek mode, wondering whether the team is focusing on other initiatives such as connected cars, due to the number of postpaid connections lost by AT&T. Legere claims T-Mobile has gained more customers from AT&T than any other of the telcos in question.

One area which received particular attention was the Uncarrier initiatives which have formed the backbone of the company’s customer care campaigns over recent months. The team claims the T-Mobile Tuesday campaign was one of the most successful to date, achieving more than 6.6 billion social media impressions, as well as 56 million media impressions. The success of the campaign led Legere to imply the blueprint for the Uncarrier campaign had been copied by US competitors, launching such initiatives as free-data roaming in Mexico.

While Legere was animated by the success of T-Mobile Tuesday’s, and somewhat amused by efforts of competitors to imitate the initiative, UK customers may find the value-add initiative relatively familiar. Although not identical, the offering is similar in its fundamentals and objectives to Orange Wednesday’s, which used to offer 2-4-1 cinema tickets, and O2 Priority Moments, which used to offer £1 lunches to customers on Monday’s.

Should the numbers be correct, the success of the T-Mobile Tuesday is not under question, though one could wonder whether Legere appreciates the irony of implying competitors are duplicating the Uncarrier initiative, considering the similarities to UK offerings.


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