Ina Fried

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T-Mobile’s Turnaround Has Yet to Reach Right Direction as Customers Defect

T-Mobile USA, which has been talking up its plans to improve on its No. 4 position in the U.S., has actually been losing ground in recent months, according to its fourth quarter results.

During the period, the company lost more than 300,000 contract customers and some 23,000 customers overall.

“High contract churn and significant contract customer losses in the fourth quarter of 2010 indicate that we still have a fair amount of work ahead of us and that any turnaround will take time,” CEO Phillip Humm. “With the ongoing implementation of our challenger strategy we are laying the foundation for improved performance going forward.”

The company did see its revenue increase slightly as the company continues to get more dollars per customer as the shift to smartphones continues. Service revenue for the fourth quarter was $4.69 billion compared to $4.65 billion a year earlier, though it dipped from $4.71 billion in the third quarter.

In both ads and executive comments, T-Mobile has been talking tough vis a vis its rivals. However, like Sprint, it is showing up to the fight without an iPhone on its side.

Last month, Humm told Mobilized that the carrier was going back to its roots, pitching itself as the best value on the market.

Lacking a next-generation network, the company is also trying to keep pace by introducing ever faster versions of its HSPA-plus network, with plans to further increase the speed of that network this year. Longer term, the company needs additional spectrum to build an LTE network like those being built by Verizon and AT&T.

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