Ina Fried

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T-Mobile Says It Gained 579,000 Customers Last Quarter Amid Strategy Shift

T-Mobile USA late on Wednesday released some preliminary first-quarter results that it says show its turnaround efforts are starting to take hold.


The company said that its total customer base grew to 34 million in the three-month period, an increase of 579,000. It still lost nearly 200,000 contract customers, though that’s narrower than the 515,000 postpaid defections it saw in the prior quarter.

The rate of churn among its contract base narrowed to 1.9 percent, the best such figure in four years, T-Mobile said.

“These results display positive momentum and the first positive branded growth in four years,” CEO John Legere said in a statement. “We have made material progress in stabilizing our branded business in Q1, which provides a solid foundation to build on with the new Un-carrier customer offers we launched last week across America.”

Last week, the company outlined a new strategy that focuses on ending phone subsidies, limiting contracts and plugging two key holes in its portfolio — the lack of LTE and the iPhone. The company is also in the process of trying to acquire MetroPCS, a deal that has recently run into opposition from shareholders and advisory firms.

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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