T-Mobile Adds 2.1 Million Customers in Fourth Quarter

SEATTLE (The Seattle Times/TNS) -

T-Mobile US said Wednesday that it added 2.1 million customers during the fourth quarter of 2014, which brings its subscriber count to slightly more than 55 million.

That is not enough to surpass its closest rival, Sprint, which in November reported 55.037 million customers. Unless Sprint reports a decline in customer additions, T-Mobile, based in Bellevue, Wash., will remain the country’s fourth-largest wireless carrier.

T-Mobile CEO John Legere said repeatedly in 2014 that he expected T-Mobile to overtake Sprint in total customers by the end of 2014, putting his company behind the industry giants Verizon and AT&T.

However, in a blog post last week, Legere outlined his predictions for 2015, saying T-Mobile won’t “officially” become the No. 3 wireless company until 2015.

“We won’t know where things stand until we get the final score after we both report Q4 earnings, but whether it is now — or soon — I’m telling you, it’s a done deal!” he wrote.

T-Mobile added 8.3 million net customers in 2014, the largest gain in its history. Of those, 4 million were branded postpaid customers, which are the bread and butter for wireless carriers.

Branded prepaid net additions for the year reached 1.2 million.

Wednesday’s announcement was a preliminary report of customer results; the company will release detailed financial results in February.

On Wednesday, T-Mobile shares rose $1.38, or 5.1 percent, to $28.25.