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T-Mobile Added 1.6 Million Net Customers as Faster 5G Network Grows

The carrier is on track to reach 300 million people with midband 5G by the end of 2023.

David Lumb Mobile Reporter
David Lumb is a mobile reporter covering how on-the-go gadgets like phones, tablets and smartwatches change our lives. Over the last decade, he's reviewed phones for TechRadar as well as covered tech, gaming, and culture for Engadget, Popular Mechanics, NBC Asian America, Increment, Fast Company and others. As a true Californian, he lives for coffee, beaches and burritos.
Expertise Smartphones | Smartwatches | Tablets | Telecom industry | Mobile semiconductors | Mobile gaming
David Lumb
3 min read
T-Mobile logo on a phone
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T-Mobile continued adding phone and home 5G internet customers as it grew its base by a total of 1.6 million net added customers across the board during the second quarter of 2023.

T-Mobile's subscriber growth comes amid more modest growth from AT&T during the quarter, with a struggling Verizon adding far more home internet than phone customers. 

T-Mobile reported 760,000 postpaid net phone additions, a metric used by the industry to denote success and dependable revenue. T-Mobile maintained that its 5G network reaches 98% of Americans, which has gone unchanged since last quarter. Its higher-speed Ultra Capacity 5G network has continued growing as it now covers 285 million people and still has a goal to reach 300 million by the end of the year.

Most of the Ultra Capacity 5G network is midband, including the 2.5GHz of spectrum acquired in the merger with Sprint. T-Mobile has limited deployments of the highest-speed millimeter wave 5G spectrum in its network, with no plans for big expansion, but it could be used to support the network. 

"Millimeter wave could potentially be an interesting play for us when it comes to enhancing capacities for us that could be used, for example, with [T-Mobile's High Speed Internet]," T-Mobile President of Technology Ulf Ewaldsson said during the second-quarter earnings call, referring to the carrier's 5G fixed wireless service. The carrier is working with its vendor and manufacturer partners to explore the possibility. 

The carrier will continue to grow its midband 5G into next year with spectrum converted from LTE to 5G and from the so-called C-band spectrum of 5G, Ewaldsson said, as well as spectrum won in auctions covering the 2.5GHz and the 3.45GHz ranges. "There is so much more for us to run out, and I couldn't be more excited that we're expanding our lead in terms of our network," Ewaldsson said. 

During the quarter, T-Mobile introduced a pair of new 5G plans in April -- Go5G and Go5G Plus -- that are slightly pricier than the existing Magenta and Magenta Max plans, but add more high-speed data for use in Mexico and Canada and 10GB of extra hotspot data. Over 60% of the accounts that are joining T-Mobile are subscribing to Go5G Plus, T-Mobile Consumer Group President Jon Freier said on the call.

"Go5G Plus instantly became our most popular plan," T-Mobile CEO Mike Sievert said. 

T-Mobile added 509,000 High Speed Internet customers for its 5G fixed wireless service, which it noted was more than its rival carriers, Comcast and Charter, combined. T-Mobile has 3.7 million high-speed internet customers and is "right on track" to reach 7 million to 8 million subscribers to its fixed wireless service, Sievert said: "We're speeding up, not slowing down, on this network."

T-Mobile's High Speed Internet does have a population limit since, as it's currently arranged, it uses "excess capacity" of 5G service from its network. While Sievert didn't comment on specific plans to grow the fixed wireless part of its network beyond its base of 2.5GHz spectrum, he noted that "we're always on the hunt for other ways to add capacity to our network." 

The carrier is still trialing fiber wired internet, but had no expansion news to share.

T-Mobile reported $15.7 billion in revenue, growing 3% year over year for the same period. That broke down to a diluted earnings per share of $1.86, which came in above the $1.69 earnings per share predicted by analysts polled by Yahoo Finance.

T-Mobile stock fell 1.99% in after-hours trading.