T-Mobile posted solid second-quarter results on Wednesday, beating most analysts’ estimates for customer gains with 686,000 branded postpaid phone additions – squarely ahead of rivals’ reported quarterly additions.
T-Mobile boosted its 2018 guidance and now expects 3 million to 3.6 million branded postpaid net customer additions during the course of the year. That is up from the 2.6 million to 3.3 million guidance announced earlier in the year. T-Mobile also increased adjusted EBITDA target to $11.5 billion to $11.9 billion.
The carrier reported branded postpaid net additions of 1 million, attributing the figure to growth in wearables, specifically the Apple Watch.
Postpaid phone churn was 0.95 percent, the first quarter to ever dip below the 1 percent mark. Branded prepaid net additions of 91,000 for the quarter were flat year over year. Revenues rose 3.5 percent to $10.6 billion.
On Wednesday’s earnings call T-Mobile executives discussed progress on a number of initiatives including its 600 MHz rollout, 5G plans and its Layer3 TV acquisition.
CEO John Legere said T-Mobile has low band spectrum deployed to 289 million POPs and its 600 MHz spectrum is now live in 992 cities and towns in 33 states.
He reiterated plans to bring 5G to 30 cities this year, initially launching with New York, Los Angeles, Dallas and Las Vegas, with nationwide coverage happening by 2020.
As it relates to the pending merger with Sprint, Legere said it will help accelerate nationwide 5G.
“While we still have a number of steps remaining in the regulatory approval process, we are optimistic and confident that regulators will recognize the significant pro-competitive benefits of this combination and grant regulatory approval,” Legere said. “I think we made it clear that this merger is pro consumer and all about super charging the Un-carrier and about bringing broad and deep nationwide 5G to Americans as fast as possible.”
Chief Operating Officer Mike Sievert reiterated that as part of its Layer3 TV acquisition, T-Mobile is testing and developing a product that will initially launch this year. He also discussed how plans relate to 5G and the potential of in-home broadband.
“What’s really interesting and we went into Layer3 with the idea in the back of our heads of the new T-Mobile. What’s really interesting is what component it could become when the 5G network of the new company starts to unfold, because this 5G network is a network where we intend to plunge into broadband, not just mobile connections like today, but in the in-home broadband, because this network has the depth and breadth of 5G that’s simply unprecedented in the market,” Sievert said.