Ina Fried

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Amid Strategy Shift, T-Mobile Adds 1.1 Million Customers in Second Quarter

T-Mobile US said late Wednesday that it posted its strongest customer growth in four years, adding 1.1 million customers during the second quarter, including 678,000 for its primary T-Mobile and MetroPCS brands.

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The company said it now expects to gain between one million and 1.2 million branded customers this year, reversing several years of customer losses. (Clarification: Branded customers includes T-Mobile and MetroPCS customers but not the company’s wholesale business or those for virtual network operators that use T-Mobile’s network.)

“T-Mobile’s Un-carrier approach has clearly resonated with consumers,” CEO John Legere said in a statement. “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.”

T-Mobile said it sold 4.3 million smartphones, representing 86 percent of phones, up from 71 percent a year ago.

It has been a time of great change for T-Mobile, which moved in March to do away with phone subsidies and long-term contracts, and completed its MetroPCS acquisition in May.

The company said it expects to end the year with between 60 percent and 70 percent of T-Mobile postpaid customers on one of the new-style unsubsidized phone plans. About half of such customers are on one of those plans now, up from 36 percent at the end of March.

T-Mobile also plans to increase its spending on marketing and attracting new customers, majority owner Deutsche Telekom said in a press release announcing its own quarterly results.

“We are in the middle of a massive turnaround in the United States and we want to carry on along this successful course,” Deutsche Telekom Chairman René Obermann said in a statement. “We are prepared to spend more on high-value growth this year than previously planned.”

In recent days, T-Mobile US has expanded MetroPCS into new markets using the T-Mobile network, and launched a promotion where all its phones are available for no upfront cost.

Also in July, the company announced its Jump program, which lets customers who pay $10 per month upgrade their phone as often as twice per year.


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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik