T-Mobile posted preliminary results Wednesday, notching its best-ever fourth quarter for postpaid net additions with 1.4 million connections.
Of those, 1 million were phone additions – the operator’s best Q4 in four years. T-Mobile also disclosed it had its best-ever quarter for total net additions, recording 2.4 million. Postpaid phone churn rate for the quarter was 0.99 percent, marking a record low. Verizon, meanwhile, revealed earlier in the week that it added 1.2 million net connections in Q4, including 650,000 phone additions. Verizon’s postpaid phone churn rate for the quarter was 0.82 percent.
For the year, T-Mobile grew by 7 million connections in total, including 4.5 million postpaid. T-Mobile said that since launching its ‘Un-Carrier’ movement in 2013, the strategy has increased its customer pool by 46 million. T-Mobile ended 2018 with a total customer base of 79.7 million.
As part of its strategy for future growth, T-Mobile has been targeting specific customer segments with promotions, including members of the military and people aged 55 and up, and offering up free Netflix with eligible family plans. T-Mobile has also started to go after the business segment.
President and COO Mike Sievert, speaking at the Citi 2019 Global TMT West Conference yesterday, said the results show that T-Mobile’s strategy to expand distribution and broaden the customer segments it chooses to target is working and that there is still plenty of room for continued improvement.
“Our remaining runway in these segments is phenomenal,” Sievert said, according to a transcript from SeekingAlpha.
He indicated T-Mobile thinks it has a 9 or 10 percent market share in business and 4 or 5 percent share in enterprise.
“We had the best fourth quarter for our business group in our history and so we are just getting started there in a market where 95% of the customers are with somebody else,” Sievert said.
After focusing on military and the 55-plus crowd for about a year, Sievert says the company has attained about 10 percent market share for each of those segments.
“So, lots of runway behind the strategy left to go, but you are starting to see, as we promised you would the effects of those investments now flowing through into our results,” he said.
In regards to T-Mobile’s pending merger with Sprint, Sievert reiterated confidence that the deal will be completed and hopes to close in the next quarter or so, noting that the regulatory review process is going “really well.”
In a poll of the event’s audience, 51 percent said yes Sprint and T-Mobile will receive necessary regulatory approvals without any meaningful divestitures; 30 percent responded yes, but with divestitures; and 19 percent said it will not be approved.