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T-Mobile strong again with prepaid adds

It appears that T-Mobile’s focus on prepaid services works. If you look back through the T-Mobile archive you’ll see a common theme with its quarterly reports: they continue to add prepaid subscribers while losing postpaid. That helps stanch some of the bleeding from its reeling postpaid side. This past quarter saw more of the same. The company lost 186,000 postpaid subscribers, but gained 312,000 prepaid subscribers. What’s more remarkable is that this gain came amid an increasing churn rate, 7.2 percent in the third quarter, up from 6.6 percent in the second.
 
While T-Mobile warned of a rough fourth quarter, the company could again see big prepaid adds, thanks to new plans.


 
With regards to T-Mobile’s prepaid focus, T-Mobile VP of marketing and head of prepaid Mike Katz wrote: “With the economy the way it is, there’s a lot of interest and appetite for prepaid service–it’s a growth area for our industry. However, when we talk to competitors’ prepaid customers they tell us that they feel like they’re making a trade-off in order to be on prepaid. We want to take the compromise out of prepaid, so customers don’t have to make tradeoffs on network coverage, handset selection or data speed.”
 
We saw that in action already in the fourth quarter. Last month T-Mobile unveiled new prepaid plans, including a data-and-messaging $30 plan, a $60 unlimited plan with 2GB of 4G data, and three new pay-per-day plans. We know that T-Mobile is pushing for prepaid data users, too. All of this could come together to create a big holiday season.

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