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T-Mobile passes 100 million total customers as company beats on earnings

T-Mobile is continuing to grow even amid the pandemic.

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T-Mobile is continuing to add customers. 

Angela Lang/CNET

T-Mobile is continuing to grow, even amid the pandemic. On Thursday the nation's second-largest wireless carrier announced that it had crossed the 100-million mark for customers, with a new total of 100.4 million. 

The company also beat analyst estimates on earnings per share and revenue for the third quarter, posting EPS of $1 on revenues of $19.3 billion. Analysts, as polled by Yahoo Finance, were expecting an EPS of 43 cents for the quarter and revenues of $18.34 billion. 

T-Mobile said it had added just over 2 million new customers for the quarter, of which nearly 1.98 million were postpaid net additions. Postpaid subscribers, who pay at the end of the month, are valued more highly by the investment community as a key metric for success. The company says it added 689,000 postpaid phone users. 

In addition to the financial update, the company says its low-band nationwide 5G network now covers 270 million people with the company's faster midband network now being available to 30 million people. Neville Ray, T-Mobile's president of technology, previously told CNET that he expects the midband network to reach 100 million people by the end of 2020 and to cover 200 million people by the end of 2021. 

Thursday's results follow T-Mobile passing AT&T last quarter to become the US' second-largest wireless provider, thanks to T-Mobile's merger with Sprint earlier this year. With the merger officially closed in April, T-Mobile says it has since moved 15 percent of traffic from Sprint's postpaid users onto its network. 

The earnings come amid a busy time for T-Mobile. On Sunday the company revamped its TVision television service to focus on streaming, though it has since been met with criticism from partners such as Discovery, NBC and ViacomCBS over which channels are included in which tier of service. T-Mobile subsidiary Sprint was fined $200 million by the Federal Communications Commission on Wednesday as part of a settlement for Sprint's alleged abuses of a federal Lifeline program for low-income customers. 

T-Mobile Chief Financial Officer Peter Osvaldik says the fine is "fully indemnified" by Softbank, Sprint's prior owner, as part of the Sprint merger agreement. 

The earnings also come as T-Mobile is planning for the release of Apple's iPhone 12 Pro Max and 12 Mini which are available for preorder on Friday before going on sale on Nov. 13. The carrier introduced new offers for the devices this week, upping its deals, including adding a switcher offer that includes two lines of its unlimited Essentials service and either two iPhone 12 Pros or two iPhone 12 Pro Maxes for $100 a month.

T-Mobile is expecting to add between 600,000 and 700,000 new postpaid phone customers in the fourth quarter.