T-Mobile saw continued customer growth in the first quarter, adding 1.3 million net customers combined in its phone and internet businesses, the company said during its first-quarter earnings call Thursday.
The carrier reported 538,000 net phone additions, the metric the industry uses to indicate success and reliable revenue. T-Mobile said its 5G network reaches 98% of Americans and its higher-speed “Ultra Capacity” 5G network now covers 275 million people, with a goal of reaching 300 million by the end of the year. year.
Reaching the last slices of the US population is becoming increasingly difficult given geographic constraints, said Ulf Ewaldsson, executive vice president of T-Mobile’s network. “I would say it’s about three times harder for 10 (thousand people) you add,” he said.
Ewaldsson noted that T-Mobile has 150 MHz of dedicated 5G spectrum in the midband, and as the carrier transitions from 4G LTE to 5G, it will end the year with over 200 MHz in the midband. . “We are very confident that we will achieve (our year-end target) with the construction plan we have today,” he said.
During the call, CEO Mike Sievert touted the progress T-Mobile has made in the three years since carrier merger with Sprint, in April 2020, a merger that had been in the works for three years before obtaining regulatory approval. Sievert said the six-year journey would allow the company “to move AT&T and Verizon from last place in the LTE era to first place in the 5G era.”
Sievert also touted the carrier’s new pair of slightly more expensive phone plans, called Go5G and Go5G Plus, which add mobile hotspot data and roaming benefits on top of the benefits of the company’s existing Magenta plan. The plans are aimed at premium users who want more connectivity on the go, but the Go5G Plus plan also gives subscribers access to the same device upgrade deals that are usually only available to new customers.
Learn more: T-Mobile’s unlimited plans explained
The CEO also appealed to Congress to restore the power of the Federal Communications Commission to auction new wireless spectrum. This authority has not been extended. and that expired March 9. While he didn’t suggest T-Mobile was looking for more spectrum, he said there was “never” enough spectrum available to the wireless industry to ensure competitiveness. American. Earlier in April, T-Mobile’s president of technology, Neville Ray, pleaded in a blog post for the FCC to grant T-Mobile the 2.5 GHz licenses it won in the 108 auction in March, which he said are “stuck in regulatory limbo.”
T-Mobile saw 523,000 net broadband customer additions home internet service, which uses fixed wireless access on its 5G network. When asked on the call about operator earnings test wired fiber internet in some areas, Sievert declined to share updates outside of noting that T-Mobile is “very determined to be a winner in broadband.” Instead, carrier executives championed its 5G home internet service as a way to reach customers who hadn’t yet signed up for its mobile service.
T-Mobile reported revenue of $15.5 billion in the quarter, up 3% from the same period last year. That broke down to $1.58 earned per share, which was higher than the $1.48 per share predicted by analysts polled by Yahoo finance.
T-Mobile shares fell 2.79% in after-hours trading.