T-Mobile scoops up most of Verizon, AT&T's lost customers

Once again, T-Mobile outstrips the rest of the industry in growth, adding more phone customers than the rest of the industry combined.

Roger Cheng Former Executive Editor / Head of News
Roger Cheng (he/him/his) was the executive editor in charge of CNET News, managing everything from daily breaking news to in-depth investigative packages. Prior to this, he was on the telecommunications beat and wrote for Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal for nearly a decade and got his start writing and laying out pages at a local paper in Southern California. He's a devoted Trojan alum and thinks sleep is the perfect -- if unattainable -- hobby for a parent.
Expertise Mobile, 5G, Big Tech, Social Media Credentials
  • SABEW Best in Business 2011 Award for Breaking News Coverage, Eddie Award in 2020 for 5G coverage, runner-up National Arts & Entertainment Journalism Award for culture analysis.
Roger Cheng
2 min read

T-Mobile is having a good Monday.


AT&T may have overshadowed T-Mobile's earnings announcement, but the Un-carrier had the last laugh.

T-Mobile was forced to reschedule its third-quarter earnings conference call on Monday after AT&T abruptly scheduled its own call to discuss its earnings results, which it released Saturday right after announcing an $85.4 billion deal to acquire Time Warner.

But while AT&T promised a revolution in delivering video with Time Warner, T-Mobile kept chugging away at the nuts and bolts of the core wireless business. The company said Monday it added a net 851,000 new post-paid phone customers, or people who pay at the end of the month who tend to stick around longer. It's one of the primary metrics for growth.

AT&T lost 289,000 such customers in the period. Verizon last week said it lost 36,000 customers. Sprint, the other winner, said last week it added 347,000 customers.

The results, in which T-Mobile once again added more customers than the rest of the national players combined, underscore the gap in which T-Mobile has been able to effectively win over customers. The company introduced a new, cheaper unlimited plan in August. And while not everyone liked the change, it was enough to drive customers to sign up. Likewise, its freebie program, T-Mobile Tuesdays, continues to draw buzz since its summer debut. T-Mobile was also out the gate early with a free iPhone offer, letting you trade an older iPhone for a new iPhone 7 for free.

T-Mobile added 684,000 net new prepaid customers in the period. In total, it added 2 million net new customers.

The carrier posted a profit of $366 million, or 42 cents a share, compared with a year-earlier profit of $138 million, or 15 cents a share. Stripping out a one-time gain from its spectrum assets, the company earned 27 cents a share.

Revenue rose 17.8 percent year over year to $9.2 billion.

Analysts, on average, forecast earnings of 23 cents a share and revenue of $9.42 billion, according to Yahoo Finance.