T-Mobile continues subscriber growth as Sprint merger awaits approval

As the Sprint merger continues to wait for regulatory approval, T-Mobile isn't standing still.

Eli Blumenthal Senior Editor
Eli Blumenthal is a senior editor at CNET with a particular focus on covering the latest in the ever-changing worlds of telecom, streaming and sports. He previously worked as a technology reporter at USA Today.
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Eli Blumenthal
2 min read

T-Mobile continues to grow even as its Sprint merger awaits regulatory approval. 

Joshua Goldman/CNET

T-Mobile is continuing to add subscribers, even as its merger with Sprint remains in a regulatory holding pattern. 

For its second quarter, the self-proclaimed "Un-carrier" had 1.8 million total net additional subscribers, of which 1.1 million were traditional monthly postpaid users. Of those 710,000 were postpaid phone subscribers, with the rest using connected devices such as tablets and smartwatches. It added 131,000 prepaid phone users too. 

The postpaid subscriber, who pays at the end of the month and is valued more highly by financial analysts, saw a 3% year-over-year increase. 

Revenues for the quarter came in at $11 billion, lower than the $11.13 billion analysts polled by Yahoo Finance estimated. Earnings per share were $1.09, higher than the 97 cents analysts estimated. 

T-Mobile announced prior to Thursday's earnings release that it would be postponing its traditional earnings call with investors, saying it would be "rescheduled." 

Earlier reports suggested the company's $26.5 billion Sprint merger was due to get Department of Justice approval earlier this week, something that still has not happened. 

As speculation grew that the deal was due to be green-lit on Thursday, a report Wednesday afternoon claimed that the DOJ never responded to Charter Communications' attempt to bid on assets that would be divested by T-Mobile and Sprint, creating a new potential complication in the year-plus merger talks. 

The DOJ declined to comment when asked about the report. 

Prior to the late reveal, it was widely believed that the DOJ would approve the merger, with Dish Network stepping in as a new fourth wireless carrier to replace Sprint in the market. 

Multiple outlets reported Wednesday that Dish would pay T-Mobile $5 billion for the divested assets, picking up wireless spectrum, prepaid businesses such as Boost Mobile and the ability to use T-Mobile's network, while it built out its own service using the billions of dollars' worth of spectrum it has acquired over the years.