T-Mobile pulls away from Sprint, challenges AT&T in Mexico

US-based MNO T-Mobile has revealed its subscriber figures for the second quarter of 2015, announcing total additions of 2.07 million customers. Meanwhile, the carrier also announced a new borderless roaming service for customers traveling to Mexico or Canada.

Daylight is emerging between T-Mobile and Sprint, with the former having now overtaken the latter as the third largest carrier in the country. According to figures released by the telco, its branded postpaid customer segment grew by 1m customers, up 11% year-on-year. Wholesale net customer additions in 2Q 2015 were 886,000; apparently up 93% YOY; whereas M2M customers declined slightly, which is interesting when we consider the clamour for M2M and IoT at the moment.

Ovum’s WCIS corroborated the T-Mobile’s growth, and forecasted slight declines in market share for the other three major wireless carriers. Ovum reckons that between Q1 and Q2 2015, Verizon’s market share will shrink from 33.36% to 33.27%, AT&T’s from 31.89% to 31.81%, and Sprint’s from 14.84% to 14.80%. While these slight declines may seem relatively minor on their own, T-Mobile’s market share rose from 14.88% to 15.15%, which almost exactly accounts for the lost market share from its rivals.

Meanwhile, T-Mobile has also announced a new roaming strategy called “Mobile without Borders” – essentially allowing customers to call, text and use LTE data in Mexico and Canada as if they were at home. As roaming becomes less cash-rich for operators, the scheme seems like the continuation of a broader decline in geographical borders in the telecoms industry. Three launched its “Feel At Home” roaming service a few years ago, and now extends to 16 countries worldwide, featuring many from Europe, but also the USA, Singapore, Australia, Sri Lanka and others.

Nonetheless, the carrier’s relentless CEO, John Legere, continued his disruptive crusade against the country’s wireless industry in his traditional vlog-style with another dig at AT&T and Verizon.

“I hate limits. I hate most rules, I hate barriers and borders and restrictions of all kinds,” he said. “That’s why I love taking on the big wireless carriers, ‘cause they’re famous for hidden rules and finding ways to put more barriers and borders and limits around what their customers can or can’t do – and if you step one inch out of line they punish the hell out of you.”

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