T-Mobile Is Now Officially Bigger Than Wireless Behemoth AT&T

AT&T Credit: Jonathan Weiss / Shutterstock
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T-Mobile didn’t waste any time claiming its title as the nation’s second-largest wireless carrier. It’s been a week since the deal was closed and the Sprint brand was officially retired. During a recent earnings conference call, T-Mobile executives claimed it was this acquisition of Sprint that caused its subscriber base to skyrocket, pushing its total number of subscribers past AT&T.

This month, T-Mobile finalized its acquisition of Sprint and now has 98.2 million subscribers as compared to an estimated 92 million for AT&T Wireless.

Though it jumped ahead of AT&T, T-Mobile still trails Verizon Wireless which has 118 million subscribers.

T-Mobile reportedly added 1.25 million subscribers in the second quarter of 2020. Of those subscribers, the majority, 1.11 million, were postpaid customers who typically maintain a regular monthly service and often have payment agreements that prevent them from switching to another wireless carrier. Postpaid customers are more valuable for wireless carriers and are considered essential to a wireless company’s success.

There were a lot of changes for T-Mobile in the quarter. Like all other wireless carriers, the company has been dealing with the coronavirus pandemic and has participated in the Federal Communications Commission’s Keeping America Connected program.

As part of the program, T-Mobile agreed not to disconnect nor charge late fees to customers who were delinquent in making payments.

Now that this program has expired, T-Mobile said it might have to deactivate up to 110,000 lines, the bulk (90,000) of which are postpaid customers.

The leadership in the company also changed hands in this just ending quarter. Outspoken and charismatic CEO John Legere was replaced by Mike Sievert. And if that isn’t enough, T-Mobile also transferred Boost Mobile to Dish, expanded its growing 5G network, and added new wireless plans.

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