T-Mobile tops AT&T to become the second largest wireless carrier in the U.S.

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Quick question, which U.S. carrier is the second-largest wireless provider in the country? AT&T, right? WRONG. Thanks to a super-strong calendar second quarter (fiscal first quarter), T-Mobile is now number two in the states with only Verizon ahead of it. During the company’s fiscal first-quarter it recorded 253,000 postpaid phone additions with a churn of .80%. Prepaid additions amounted to 133,000 with a churn of 2.81%. Total net additions of 1.25 million were the best in the industry giving T-Mobile 98.3 million customers at the end of the calendar second quarter. That is the second-largest total in the industry. Over the last year, the total number of T-Mobile customers rose by nearly 33,000 customers or 49%.

For 22 consecutive quarters, T-Mobile led the industry in total branded net customer additions

For the three month period that covered April through June, T-Mobile generated $17.7 billion in revenue with net income weighing in at $110 million. The company earned 9 cents per share on a diluted basis. Besides topping AT&T in the number of customers, T-Mobile is the largest 5G provider in the U.S. with more than 250 million people covered across 1.3 million square miles (7,500 cities and towns). That means in terms of geographic coverage, T-Mobile’s 5G signals blanket twice the amount that AT&T’s 5G signals cover and far surpass Verizon’s 5G coverage. That is because T-Mobile’s 600MHz low-band spectrum travels farther and penetrates structures better than Verizon’s mmWave spectrum. The latter airwaves do deliver faster 5G speeds than low-band but do not travel as far. T-Mobile plans to use a combination of low-band spectrum, the 2.5GHz mid-band airwaves it took over from Sprint, and high-band mmWave signals to offer the fastest 5G network in America. Some analysts also see the carrier providing the country with the fastest 5G download data speeds as the technology matures.

The T-Mobile-Sprint merger closed during the quarter and 10% of Sprint’s postpaid traffic has already been moved over to the T-Mobile network. This was T-Mobile’s first calendar quarter since Q2 of 2012 without John Legere as CEO. The executive stepped down after the merger with Sprint closed and was replaced by his long-time right-hand man Mike Sievert. Speaking of Sievert, the current T-Mobile CEO said, “Surpassing AT&T to become #2 was a huge milestone to kick off Q2, but that was only the beginning! In our first quarter as a combined company, T-Mobile led the industry in total branded customer adds – even in a challenging environment – and there is no doubt that we are THE leading growth company in wireless. Now we’re setting our sights on #1 – in customer choice and customers’ hearts – and we’ll get there by doing ONLY what the Un-carrier can do: offering customers the most advanced 5G network AND the best value while continuing to make big moves that fix customer pain points and disrupt this industry. I’m excited about what’s to come in this new T-Mobile era – we’re just getting started!”

Back in August 2015, T-Mobile finally climbed out of the cellar passing Sprint for third-place in the U.S. And T-Mobile continues to move from strength-to-strength; the just announced fiscal first quarter was the 22nd consecutive quarter that had T-Mobile lead the way in total branded net customer additions. That means that over the last five and a half years, T-Mobile has led the U.S. wireless industry in this category.

After launching the first nationwide 5G network in the U.S., T-Mobile is focused on providing the best 5G user experience for its customers. According to Open Signal, T-Mobile customers are able to access a 5G signal twice as often as AT&T subscribers can, and 56 times as often as Verizon customers. A report from Ookla notes that T-Mobile has 5G coverage in four times the number of cities covered by AT&T and Verizon combined. And T-Mobile says that it customers sporting a 5G-capable device enjoy faster overall download and upload speeds than Verizon customers.

T-Mobile’s shares hit an all-time high after the earnings announcement was made. In after-hours trading the stock was changing hands at nearly $114, up over 5% from the close of regular trading.

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