T-Mobile Slays Sprint, Stealing Customers as Verizon, AT&T Stem the Tide

By Craig Galbraith Comments
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**Editor's Note: Which is America's top wireless network? Click here to see what we discovered.**

Sprint’s loss is T-Mobile’s gain. That should be pretty evident when America’s third and fourth-largest wireless carriers release their earnings reports later this week. At least that’s Canaccord Genuity analyst Greg Miller’s prediction.

“Given competitive responses from both AT&T and Verizon seem to have stemmed the most recent tide with both showing strong postpaid subscriber gains, we believe T-Mobile took disproportionate share from Sprint in Q2/14 as the company worked to complete its network transition," Miller noted. “We expect the company to continue to aggressively target market share at the expense of near-term profitability (see yesterday’s $100/10GB/4 lines announcement aimed squarely at AT&T and Verizon)."

In the first quarter of the year, T-Mobile reported 1.3 million new subscribers, reaping the benefits of the “uncarrier" strategy it unveiled a year ago, which eliminated postpaid contracts but devices subsidies as well. That was more than AT&T and Verizon combined. But T-Mo’s larger rivals are bouncing back – VzW this month announced growth of 1.4 million subs in the second quarter – leading Miller to believe it’s Sprint that’s the true victim of T-Mobile’s pillaging.

Sprint’s total number of subscribers has been dwindling as the other big three make gains, but the network-upgrade process could be a reason why.

“Sprint’s ability to competitively respond has been limited as the company has been working to complete its Network Vision project, in our view," Miller added. “We expect management to comment on the prospect of a merger with T-Mobile as repeatedly discussed in press reports though we continue to view such a deal as unlikely due to regulatory objection."

Miller says there’s no reason to think T-Mobile USA won’t report more great numbers on Thursday.

Follow senior online managing editor @Craig_Galbraith on Twitter.

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