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T-Mobile USA reports Q4 2009 subscriber growth, but lower earnings

News by Michael Oryl on Thursday February 25, 2010.

t-mobile · industry news · michael oryl

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Today T-Mobile USA released its performance figures for Q4, 2009. The company added 371,000 new subscribers in Q4, which is a decrease in gains versus the prior year but up 448,000 subscribers compared to Q3's loss of subscribers. The company reports that it now has 33.8 million subscribers total, up from 33.4 million in Q3 and 32.8 million in Q4 of 2008. T-Mobile claims that 79 percent of its subscribers are on contracts, which is down from both the prior quarter and year, showing an increase in pre-paid services.

T-Mobile reported a blended churn rate(INFO) of 3.3 percent, down slightly from the previous quarter, and a contract customer churn rate of 2.5%, which is up slightly from the prior quarter and Q4 of 2008.

T-Mobile USA reported lower net income and OIBDA (operating income) for the quarter when compared with Q3 of 2009 and Q4 of 2008. Service revenues came in at $4.65 billion, down from Q3's $4.73 billion, and total revenue (which includes equipment sold) was $5.41 billion, up from $5.38 billion in Q3, but down from the $5.72 billion figure of Q4 2008.

This left the company with a blended ARPU of $46 per user, down from $50 for Q4 2008. Contract ARPU was at $51, down from $54 in Q4 of 2008. T-Mobile claims the drop is due largely to customers moving to cheaper plans, including its new unlimited plans.

Data revenues were $1.03 billion for the quarter, coming out to 22.2 percent of blended ARPU and equating to $10.20 per customer, up from $10.00 per customer in Q3 and $9.30 per customer in Q4 of 2008. T-Mobile reports a total growth of 19 percent for the year in data revenues.

T-Mobile also added that its 3G network now covers 205 million people (roughly two thirds of the population) and that there are 3.9 million 3G capable devices in use on the network, which is a 40% growth from Q3.


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Michael Oryl
Michael is the Philadelphia based owner and former editor-in-chief of MobileBurn.com. You can follow him on Twitter as @MichaelOryl

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