T-Mobile USA posted mixed results for the first quarter as profits and churn improved despite customers losses and slight declines in sales and ARPU.
T-Mobile said it lost 77,000 customers in the first quarter when fewer contract customers signed up for its FlexPay service. Overall, the carrier lost 118,000 postpaid subscribers, which was partially offset by the addition of 41,000 prepaid subscribers.
T-Mobile’s prepaid net adds were significantly lower than last year, when the company added 255,000 customers. The company attributed the decline to seasonal trends and lower additions by its MVNO partners. T-Mobile’s MNVO customers totaled 2.1 million by the end of the first quarter.
The company said the number of customers using 3G devices more than tripled over last year to 5.2 million subscribers. Along with that rise came an increase in data ARPU, which rose from $9.40 last year to $10.90 this year. Overall ARPU fell slightly to $46 due in part to declines in prepaid revenue.
T-Mobile’s blended churn remained flat at 3.1 percent but the churn rate for its postpaid customers improved to 2.2 percent compared to last year’s figure of 2.3 percent.
T-Mobile’s net income rose 12 percent in the first quarter to $362 million despite a slight dip in sales, which fell 2 percent to $5.27 billion.
T-Mobile is in the process of upgrading its HSPA network to HSPA+. The company expects the upgrades to cover 185 million people by the end of 2010.
Shares of T-Mobile’s parent company, Deutsche Telekom, rose 17 cents in NYSE trading by 9:30 a.m. Central.