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T-Mobile revenue, subscriber totals fall in Q2

The carrier says its subscriber base has shrunken by 50,000 people. However, customers using 3G or 4G smartphones are up year over year.

T-Mobile USA suffered a difficult second quarter as both revenue and subscriber totals fell, the company announced today.

During the three-month period ended June 30, T-Mobile generated $5.05 billion in revenue, down from $5.36 billion during the same quarter last year. And although it was able to post a profit of $212 million during the second quarter, that was down nearly 50 percent compared to the second quarter of 2010 when the carrier tallied a $404 million profit.

T-Mobile lost a net of 50,000 subscribers during the quarter, bringing its total to 33.6 million. According to the company, it lost 281,000 contract customers, but gained 231,000 prepaid customers. So far this year, the carrier has lost a net of nearly 150,000 customers. For all of 2010, T-Mobile lost just 56,000 subscribers.

The second-quarter results for T-Mobile stand in stark contrast to those of its competitors. Verizon announced last month that it generated a profit of $1.61 billion during the second quarter on revenue of $27.54 billion. The company also reported that it added a net of 1.3 million new customers during the period, driven mainly by Apple's iPhone. The carrier said that 2.3 million iPhones were activated during the second quarter.

Related stories:
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• Verizon swings to profit on 4G LTE, iPhone strength
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It was a similar story for AT&T. That carrier announced that it generated a profit of $3.6 billion during the second quarter on revenue of $31.5 billion. The carrier also bested Verizon in terms of total iPhone activations, which totaled 3.6 million during the quarter. AT&T added 331,000 net new contract customers during the period.

AT&T also discussed its proposed merger with T-Mobile USA. The carrier, which made a $39 billion bid for T-Mobile earlier this year, said last month that it feels "comfortable" that the deal will be approved by the first quarter of 2012.

If the deal is approved, the combined company would dwarf all other competitors in the marketplace with over 130 million subscribers.

For its part, T-Mobile today didn't comment on the merger plans. However, it did include costs related to the transaction in its financial statements.

Although it was a somewhat disappointing quarter for T-Mobile, the carrier did have a few highlights. According to T-Mobile, during the second quarter, the number of customers with 3G- or 4G-equipped handsets jumped to nearly 10 million, representing a 50 percent increase year over year. The company also touted its HSPA+ 42 network, which it says now covers 170 million people in more than 100 markets around the U.S.