Print 17 comment(s) - last by Tal Greywolf.. on Mar 3 at 2:44 PM

Company brags about its "momentum", but financials suggest otherwise

In its Q4 2012 earnings report Deutsche Telekom AG's (ETR:DTE) T-Mobile USA brags, "As T-Mobile USA, Inc. (“T-Mobile”) closed out its fourth quarter, the Company continued to generate business momentum by executing its Challenger strategy, while laying the groundwork for its unique ‘Un-carrier’ initiatives aimed at changing the rules of wireless."

But for all the talk of "changing the rules" and gaining "momentum", the actual numbers continue to look pretty grim.  For the quarter T-Mobile USA lost 515,000 contract customers.  Operating income (OBIDA) fell to $1B USD, down 25 percent from a year ago.  Total revenue fell from $5.2B USD in Q4 2011 to $4.9B USD.

Prepaid continues to be a strong point for T-Mobile, much like Sprint Nextel Corp. (S), but the addition of 166,000 prepaid customers in Q4 was not enough to stop the revenue bleed from defecting contract customers.

T-Mobile plane
[Image Source: Juergen Lehle]

One factor that may help T-Mobile is its pickup of the Apple, Inc. (AAPL) iPhone.  Some customers may be attracted to the prospect of the Apple device on T-Mobile's lower priced plans.

T-Mobile says that its merger with MetroPCS should be wrapped up in April.  The company can only hope that the merger with the more-successful budget carrier will provide it the spark it so desperately needs.

One big issue for T-Mobile is its lack of LTE.  Like Sprint, T-Mobile is stuck playing catch-up with respect to true 4G.  The company says it is "accelerating" its deployment and will cover 100 million Americans with LTE by "mid-2013".  It plans to cover 200 million Americans with LTE by the end of the year.

Source: T-Mobile

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RE: Not the best...But
By sigmatau on 2/28/2013 8:03:05 PM , Rating: 2
I wish Tmobile was as good as AT&T. I have both. Work phone is Tmobile and personal phone is AT&T. Both smartphones.

Tmobile's service has been pretty crappy compared to AT&T. I will say that Tmobile has been increasing the speed of their network considerably to get close to AT&T, but it doesn't matter if half the time it is not in range of a tower.

My phone also drops off Tmobile's network and never recovers until a reboot. I never know until I try to place a call. Probably a bad phone, but who knows since Tmobile wants me to pay $25 for them to provide warranty service.

My AT&T bill is $65 after discount. It could be better.

RE: Not the best...But
By Tal Greywolf on 3/3/2013 2:44:09 PM , Rating: 2
Unfortunately, I have the reverse. I have AT&T for a workphone (company contract), while my personal phone is T-Mobile. Of the two, T-Mobile is the far more stable one, I get drops in the middle of conversations on the AT&T system almost daily, while T-Mobile remains rock solid no matter where I am.

As for my bill, well, I pay $40 a month for my T-Mobile, no data plan, it's just a straight cellphone that's pretty close to unlimited calling. AT&T can't even come close to that, they want to sell me something that's $60... then tack on a data plan whether I want it or not.

“We do believe we have a moral responsibility to keep porn off the iPhone.” -- Steve Jobs

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