More Analysts Drool Over T-Mobile Juggernaut

**Editor’s Note: How does T-Mobile stack up to its rivals? Click here to see what we discovered.**

A day after T-Mobile reported staggering subscriber growth, analysts and other industry insiders are jumping on the wireless operator’s bandwagon.

The Bellevue, Wash.-based company added 1.3 million new subscribers in the first quarter of the year, more than AT&T and Verizon combined.

“Pairing T-Mobile and the word ‘juggernaut’ in the same sentence would have been unthinkable just a short year ago,” noted Yankee Group senior analyst Rich Karpinski, commenting specifically on a Bloomberg article. “But it continues to ride its uncarrier wave in spectacular fashion: The 1.3 million postpaid adds are only part of the story; it actually gained a total of 2.4 million customers (across postpaid, prepaid and wholesale) in the quarter, a stellar performance in such a highly competitive market.

T-Mobile, the fourth-largest wireless operator, seems to have its sights set on its much bigger rivals. Sprint, the third-largest carrier, lost a half-million customers last quarter.

T-Mo did away with contracts for new customers a year ago, and the bet is paying off in spades as the company attracts new customers who don’t want to be stuck to two-year service agreements.

Canaccord Genuity analyst Greg Miller was also very complimentary of the Magenta Network.

“T-Mobile US once again treated its investors to a very strong quarter of subscriber growth in Q1/14, exceeding all expectations while accounting for the majority of the overall industry phone subscriber adds in the quarter,” Miller noted. “With growth in the business clearly having returned, even if at the expense of near-term profitability, we believe investors will continue to favor the shares of the industry share gainers.”

Bloomberg reported earlier this week that Sprint is getting closer to making an offer to buy T-Mobile. 

“It looks like nothing will stop SoftBank Chairman Masayoshi Son from putting together a Sprint bid for T-Mobile, despite very real concerns that U.S. regulators will block the deal,” Karpinski added. “And that brings up an intriguing question: Will T-Mobile’s ongoing strength (and Sprint’s relative Q1 weakness) offer regulators proof they must keep the hard-charging T-Mobile independent? Or will word that Sprint/T-Mo would likely be run by T-Mobile CEO John Legere prod them into seeing the combined companies – led by Legere and flying the uncarrier banner – as the only true path toward building a competitor to market leaders AT&T and Verizon?”

Follow senior online managing editor @Craig_Galbraith on Twitter.

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