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T-Mobile stays on a roll as new customers flock to it

The carrier continues a string of quarters in which it picks up more customers than it loses to rivals.

US wireless customers seem to like what T-Mobile and CEO John Legere are selling.
Josh Miller/CNET

T-Mobile ended another quarter sweeping in a hefty number of subscribers -- and it logged a profit to boot.

For the first quarter of 2016, the company added a net total of 2.2 million customers, the sixth time in the past seven quarters its net additions surpassed 2 million subscribers. That brought T-Mobile's total customer count to more than 65.5 million.

The company sold or leased 8.8 million smartphones during the three-month period.

T-Mobile's results come amid intense jockeying by mobile carriers to retain existing customers and pick up new ones. The company lags behind leaders Verizon and AT&T and has been swapping third and fourth place with Sprint. But its boisterous Uncarrier campaign has struck a chord with consumers looking for more budget-friendly mobile plans.

Among its lures, T-Mobile has been pushing such promotions as Binge On, which lets you stream video from Netflix, Hulu other services without chewing up your mobile data. Subscribers can also roll over data from one month to another and take advantage of free data roaming in Europe, South America and other regions.

During the first quarter, the carrier saw its net income jump to $479 million, or 56 cents per share, up from a net loss of $63 million in the first quarter of 2015.

Revenue came in at $8.6 billion, up 10.6 percent year over year. Analysts had expected revenue, on average, of $8.43 billion.

The 2.2 million new subscribers includes more than 1 million postpaid customers, the seventh consecutive quarter that the figure surpassed 1 million. T-Mobile's churn rate, the rate at which subscribers drop the carrier, was 1.33 percent, about the same as in last year's first quarter.