T-Mobile isn’t really close in terms of the total number of customers when you compare them to Verizon and AT&T. Those two are so far ahead that it would take years of massive gains before T-Mobile catches them without the help of Sprint’s customer numbers being added on top. Still, that shouldn’t take away from the fact that T-Mobile has continued to kill it quarter after quarter, year after year, while Verizon and AT&T are struggling to convince new customers to switch over to their networks. In some ways, they are struggling to convince them to stay.
This week, all three carriers put out their first quarter 2019 numbers and only T-Mobile had a good one on the wireless side. John Legere’s company added 656,000 phones on postpaid plans, while AT&T only added 80,000. Verizon, if you can believe it, lost (lost) 44,000.
What does that say about T-Mobile’s approach? Whether or not you like all the extra sh*t talking and antics of T-Mobile doesn’t mean you can’t tip your hat to the moves they’ve made. It wasn’t long ago that T-Mobile was the cheap carrier with the garbage network that was thought of as being on the level of a bad prepaid network. T-Mobile is now, at least around these parts, thought of pretty highly.
They’ve spent a ton of time talking about improvements to their network, calling out the questionable moves of their competitors, and (obviously) convincing those looking for change, that they are the best choice. Their plans offer good value, probably in large part thanks to the number of freebies included. And they don’t really carry with them the baggage of companies like Verizon or AT&T. They often come off as the feisty start-up trying to change everything for the better. Whether or not you should buy into that is up to you.
It’ll be fun to watch how any of this changes as 5G becomes a bigger part of the equation. T-Mobile has showed that they aren’t in a rush with 5G, while AT&T and Verizon already have live networks. T-Mobile has made it clear that they aren’t sure they can move as fast without the help of Sprint. The future of that merger is still very much in question.
How will customers react? Will they flock to the two carriers with 5G or will T-Mobile find ways to keep convincing them to come on over, even if they haven’t fired up the future of wireless (yet)?