T-Mobile USA's turnaround efforts appear to be gaining traction, according to preliminary first-quarter results released this evening.
The wireless carrier's net customer base grew by 579,000 to finish the quarter with 34 million customers, T-Mobile said. T-Mobile's branded customer base grew by 3,000, compared with a loss of 349,000 in the fourth quarter of 2012.
The carrier also reported "meaningful improvement" in the branded contract segment in the first quarter, recording net losses of 199,000 compared with a loss of 515,000 for the fourth quarter of 2012 and a loss of 510,000 for the year-ago period.
"These results display positive momentum and the first positive branded growth in four years," T-Mobile 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."
The carrier reported that customer deactivations were significantly lower with a churn rate of 1.9 percent, its best rate since 2008.
T-Mobile trumpeted the customer growth as coming before introduction of the carrier's new no-contract plans and the long-awaited availability of the Apple iPhone on T-Mobile.
The wireless carrier expects to reveal full results on May 8.