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T-Mobile sees subscriber gain after absorbing Sprint amid coronavirus pandemic


T-Mobile CEO Mike Sievert


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T-Mobile spent two years working to seal its acquisition of Sprint. Now that the deal is closed, we get our first glimpse of what the combined company looks like, whether Sprint’s losses will weigh down the Un-carrier and how it’s dealing with the global pandemic. 

T-Mobile on Wednesday reported its first earnings since closing its prolonged merger with Sprint, the newly expanded carrier revealing where it stands as it gears up to challenge US leaders Verizon and AT&T

In its first-quarter earnings, the self-proclaimed “Un-carrier” added 777,000 subscribers, 452,000 of whom were postpaid phone additions. Keep in mind, these results reflect the period before the Sprint deal closed on April 1. It marked the 25th straight quarter in which T-Mobile increased its postpaid phone additions.

Postpaid subscribers, who pay at the end of the month and are valued more highly by the investment community as a key metric for success, saw an increase despite the coronavirus pandemic

The earnings arrive as the pandemic continues to wreak havoc on the US economy, forcing Americans to stay at home and the carriers to shut down their retail stores. Around the world, COVID-19 has already infected more than 3.7 million people and has led to more than 260,000 deaths. 

This difficult period also comes amid a shift in T-Mobile’s leadership, with longtime executive Mike Sievert taking over the CEO position from firebrand leader John Legere.

Legere, who was originally expected to stay on until May 1 but passed the baton over when the Sprint deal closed, also stepped down last month from T-Mobile’s board

Revenue for the quarter, most of which occurred before lockdowns were declared across the US, came in at $11.11 billion, lower than the $11.4 billion analysts polled by Yahoo Finance estimated. Earnings per share were $1.10, higher than the $1.03 analysts estimated. 

Similar to other companies T-Mobile did not put out full-year guidance during its earnings release, citing the uncertainty caused by the pandemic.

With Sprint now in the fold, T-Mobile has started to turn its attention towards improving its 5G network, beginning the deployment of midband spectrum it acquired as part of the deal in Philadelphia. This spectrum will enhance the range and speed of its existing 5G service, as well as bulk up its indoor performance.  

The carrier on Tuesday also officially turned on the spectrum in New York.

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