T-Mobile leaps AT&T, claims status as second largest US provider following Sprint merger – CNET


T-Mobile is now America's second-largest wireless carrier.

Angela Lang/CNET

Its been a busy year for T-Mobile, but the carrier continues to see subscriber growth and says it has now moved past AT&T to become the nation's second-largest wireless carrier despite the coronavirus pandemic. 

For the quarter ending June 30, T-Mobile on Thursday said that it added 1.25 million subscribers, 1.11 million of which were postpaid additions. Of that 1.11 million, 253,000 were postpaid phone adds. 

Postpaid subscribers, who pay at the end of the month, are valued more highly by the investment community as a key metric for success.

Combining the additional postpaid subscribers with the addition of Sprint's customer base gives T-Mobile a total of 98.3 million subscribers which it says pushes it past AT&T when it comes to total postpaid and prepaid users, though the company is still behind Verizon

Revenue for the quarter was $17.7, beating analyst estimates of $17.61 billion according to Yahoo Finance. Earnings per share came in at $0.09, ahead of analyst expectations of $0.07 per share. 

Like other carriers, T-Mobile took part in the Federal Communications Commission's Keeping America Connected program. The coronavirus-related initiative ran from March 13 through June 30 and was designed to protect people from losing service or being charged late fees if they cannot pay their bills.    

T-Mobile did not immediately disclose how many subscribers were taking advantage of the program or where those customers stood on making up payments. 

The earnings are T-Mobile's first with Sprint fully in the fold and come after a busy first half of the year for the self-proclaimed "un-carrier." 

In addition to closing the Sprint deal and dealing with the coronavirus pandemic, the company also had leadership changes with Mike Sievert take over the CEO position from John Legere, completed the divestiture of Boost Mobile to Dish, rolled out a new plan and continued to expand its 5G network. 

In the last week, the company transitioned Sprint stores into T-Mobile-branded locations and announced the launch of its standalone 5G network, the foundation for its future 5G plans. 

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