While T-Mobile has been heavily targeting AT&T lately, heck John Legere himself even got thrown out of AT&T's CES party last week, AT&T isn't the one that should be fearing T-Mobile the most. It's actually Sprint. Now, I know I know, Sprint is supposed to be in talks with T-Mobile to purchase T-Mobile. Well technically its Softbank. But right now T-Mobile and Sprint are two separate entities, and such we are treating them as such. In Q4, T-Mobile added over 1.6 million customers to their network. According to a new study done by the folks at Consumer Intelligence Research Partners, T-Mobile grew their subscriber base faster than any of their rivals. Even Verizon, in Q4.
The study from CIRP is showing us that it's not AT&T that should be fearing T-Mobile, even though John Legere loves to throw punches their way, that it's actually Sprint. AT&T actually grew customers at a slower rate than T-Mobile did in Q4, but they also had the highest percentage of smartphone activations in Q4, that's higher than Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile. On the flip side, Sprint was the only carrier to actually lose subscribers in Q4.
Now here comes the disclaimer, obviously T-Mobile still has a way to go before they eclipse Sprint and become the number three carrier. But at this rate, that's coming sooner than anyone thought would happen. With AT&T and Verizon both with over 100 million subscribers, and T-Mobile and Sprint around 50 million or lower, there's still a long ways before T-Mobile can challenge AT&T and Verizon for the top spots. But at this rate, it won't be long. If you think AT&T has been pulling preemptive strikes against T-Mobile's rumored uncarrier moves with the ETF buyout and their AT&T Next plans, what do you think it's doing to Sprint?
No wonder Softbank is looking to buy T-Mobile.