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T-Mobile Adds Customers, Still No. 4 Carrier

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Despite boasts and predictions from T-Mobile CEO John Legere and several other critics, T-Mobile failed to surpass Sprint in the fourth quarter of 2014, despite an overall growth of 8.3 million subscribers throughout the year. Of course, that doesn’t mean it wasn’t still a great year for the magenta carrier.

T-Mobile experienced an overall growth of 89% on a year-over-year basis, and added a full 4.9 million postpaid subscribers. But, with the ridiculous saturation of the cell phone market, it kind of makes you wonder where those 8.3 million customers came from, doesn’t it?

As it turns out, the Magenta shirts ended up stealing most of their customers from rivals–most notably AT&T and Verizon. According to an article by BidnessEtc, T-mobile’s porting ratios were in the positive for all carriers, meaning for every customer they lost to a rival, they gained more customers from that rival. The postpaid porting radio for Verizon was 1.4 (meaning it lost one customer for every four that ported from Verizon). For AT&T, the ratio was a whopping 1.8 and Sprint had the most even ratio at 2.2.

Most people seem to be contributing the failure to overtake Sprint on Sprint’s agressive December advertising and competitive pricing. You might have seen ads for Sprint promising to ‘cut bills in half.’ While the advertisement was little more than a play with numbers, apparently it really gave Sprint the push they needed, and they reported raking in a total of 1 million customers in 2014.

Clearly the race to be the number three carrier in the US is going to continue through 2015, and T-Mobile had better get a move on, as I doubt they’ll be able to keep up that pace of growth indefinitely. Still, the competitive price war has definitely been good for both postpaid and prepaid consumers, so here’s to hoping that it continues for at least a bit longer!