Ina Fried

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T-Mobile Loses More Contract Customers, Awaits iPhone, MetroPCS Deal Closure

T-Mobile continues to lose contract customers, although gains in prepaid business meant that the company’s overall ranks grew slightly last quarter.


The No. 4 U.S. carrier said it managed to add 61,000 total customers for the quarter, as an increase in prepaid customers offset the losses in the traditional business.

Total revenue for the quarter was $4.9 billion, up sequentially from the prior quarter, but down 5.2 percent from a year ago. Operating income before certain expenses was down 15 percent sequentially, and 25 percent year on year.

T-Mobile said it is looking forward to the closure of its MetroPCS merger, expected in the first half of the year, and to the ability to start selling Apple gear sometime in 2013.

The carrier, which closed some call centers in a cost-cutting move last year, said it will continue to seek opportunities to reduce its expenses.

“T-Mobile will continue to look for opportunities to reduce overhead and other operational costs without adversely impacting its customer experience and network operations,” the company said. This includes reevaluating the company’s cost structure and eliminating initiatives that do not fit the “un-carrier” value proposition and business model.

The company said it is speeding up its effort to catch up to rivals in offering LTE, saying it expected to reach 100 million people by midyear, and more than 200 million by the end of the year. Its network is already ready in Las Vegas and Kansas City, Mo.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work