T-Mobile announced that 8.2 million T-Mobile customers are using 3G or 4G smartphones which was an increase of 1 million over their 3rd quarter results and more than double that of the same quarter last year. T-Mobile said that their significant increase in smartphone users driving growth in blended data ARPU (average revenue per user). Blended data ARPU was up 25.5% from the same quarter in 2009.
“Our service revenues increased year-on-year in the fourth quarter. Data ARPU growth rates are outperforming our main competitors as we leverage our 4G network and provide rich and compelling smartphones and data plans. However, high contract churn and significant contract customer losses in the fourth quarter of 2010 indicate that we still have a fair amount of work ahead of us and that any turnaround will take time. With the ongoing implementation of our challenger strategy we are laying the foundation for improved performance going forward,” said Philipp Humm, President and CEO of T-Mobile USA.
Read more on T-Mobile’s 4th quarter results after the break
On the downside T-Mobile’s churn was at 2.5% up from 2.4% in the third quarter. Prepaid customers saw the biggest churn for the 4th largest carrier in the country. Prepaid churn was 7.5% up from the third quarters 7.2% and 6.8% churn in the same quarter in 2009. Churn is loss of customers. Net loss of customers after factoring in new customers in the same segment (ie: prepaid or postpaid)
Humm’s boss, Deutsch Telekom’s CEO Rene Obermann said
“I am pleased with the increase in smartphone adoption and our ongoing improvement in data ARPU. Data growth in the U.S. mobile market continues to accelerate and with the largest 4G network T-Mobile USA is well-positioned to differentiate itself and grow consumer usage. We are not satisfied with contract churn, but we expect that the measures presented at the T-Mobile USA Investor Day in January will lead to improvements in 2011,”
As for revenue, T-Mobile reported revenue of $4.69 billion in the fourth quarter of 2010 up from $4.65 billion in the fourth quarter of 2009.
At an investor’s day in January of this year both Obermann and Humm said they were committed to turning T-Mobile around by offering better plans, devices and America’s largest 4G network. T-Mobile uses HSPA+ as their 4G with no definitive plan for Long Term Evolution (LTE). HSPA+ was just recently grouped into 4G by the ITU.
T-Mobile has a portfolio of new smart devices coming out this year. The Samsung Galaxy S 4G debuted at retail this past Wednesday. T-Mobile is also bringing back their flagship T-Mobile Sidekick as the Samsung and Android powered T-Mobile Sidekick 4G. T-Mobile has also increased their tablet portfolio with the addition of the Dell Streak 7 and announced the upcoming T-Mobile G-Slate running on the Android platform with 3D camera capabilities.
T-Mobile’s free phone weekend was not part of these quarterly results.