One of the bigger topics with T-Mobile and Sprint lately has been when will T-Mobile become number three, and Sprint number four. For a while Sprint had been bleeding customers and revenue. And over the past two years, T-Mobile has been adding boat loads and boat loads of customers. So something’s gotta give. T-Mobile’s CEO, John Legere says that they have already taken over Sprint. He’s stating that Sprint is using some shady tactics to count prepaid customers that are not currently active. However, Sprint did reach out to us to let us know that is untrue. So we’re sticking with the numbers both companies have given us as of Q4 2014. Which is about 55 million customers each.
Analysts are now convinced that T-Mobile is going to overtake Sprint. They are just wondering when. Sprint has started a bit of a turn around. But until they get their network on track, there’s only so much they can do. According to a report from the Kansas City Star, which is a newspaper in Kansas the same state that Sprint’s headquarters are in. Adam Ilkowitz of Nomura Securities believes that T-Mobile is already larger than Sprint, siding with Legere. But they are using numbers from Q1, which have not been fully released just yet, as the quarter did end a little over a week ago. However, MoffetNathanson Research’s Craig Moffet believes that T-Mobile USA’s subscriber base won’t beat Sprint until the end of May. Additionally, Jeffries analyst Mike McCormack estimates that Sprint grew only 397k, while T-Mobile grew by 2.15 million subscribers in the first quarter of the year.
Long story short, T-Mobile needs to add at least 910,000 more subscribers than what Sprint adds in the first quarter, in order to take over the number 3 spot. Sprint has come out and said they don’t care if they’re 3rd of 4th. They care about improving their network, and giving customers a great value. Which I think is a wise move. Sprint’s president of postpaid, Jaime Jones, says the ranking is “immaterial” to new CEO, Marcelo Claure’s plans. Claure seems to be set on lowering prices to compete with T-Mobile as well as working on their LTE and Spark networks to get better coverage as well as speeds.