T-Mobile announced financial results for the second quarter of 2011 today, revealing that consumers are continuing to drop the carrier en masse.
According to the results, which account for May-July, the Bellevue, Washington-based company hemorrhaged 50,000 subscribers.
The news isn’t all bad. In fact, 50,000 is a slowing of the bleeding when compared with the previous quarter’s losses: 99,000.
Total revenues dipped to $5.1 billion from the $5.2 billion reported for the previous quarter. Service revenues held steady at $4.6 billion, same as last quarter, though in quarter 2 of 2010 revenues were at $4.7 billion.
Philipp Humm, President and CEO of T-Mobile, pointed to some encouraging trends in his statement (bold is mine):
“In a challenging market, we are seeing some encouraging trends in the quarter, particularly with our prepaid product growth and our year-on-year contract ARPU increase, thanks to all-time high of 29% of our customer base using 3G/4G smartphones… Philipp Humm, President and CEO of T-Mobile USA. “We also continue to focus on customer value through further network upgrades where we now reach more than 170 million Americans with even faster speeds, through our large 4G Android device portfolio, and by offering affordable unlimited rate plans.”
T-Mobile’s survival is based on the three emboldened elements in Humm’s statement. With Verizon and AT&T doing away with or throttling data plans, T-Mobile may be attractive for the data hogs. Right now it’s reliant on its fast network and 4G Android device catalog. One can’t help but notice, however, that the drop off reflected above occurred right around the time that Verizon got in on the iPhone party. If T-Mobile were to get the iPhone, as analysts have predicted, this year, it would definitely change the company’s stake.
Also of note is the pending AT&T – T-Mobile merger. An AT&T acquisition, of course, would alleviate T-Mobile’s headache. However, the idea has faced fierce criticism and still awaits approval from the FCC and DOJ. Given the FCC’s leanings in matters such as net neutrality, it is likely the agency would rule in opposition of the merger, as consolidation would lead to less competition in the wireless industry.