BTIG Research is now predicting that T-Mobile will see accelerated growth in both subscribers and revenues over at least the next two years. More specifically, the research analysts expect that T-Mobile will see $3.8 billion in free-cash-flow for 2018, while that number increases significantly to around $6 billion for 2019. Meanwhile, it is expected that T-Mobile will add around 3 million users in both 2018 and 2019. The improvements to its standings, according to BTIG, are expected to be primarily impacted by the carrier's expansion into new suburban and rural markets. That's in addition to its increasing market share in the enterprise space and with consumers in the 55+ age bracket. Moreover, the new estimates take the level of free-cash-flow the company has built up over the past several years into account, in conjunction with its ever-increasing stock prices.
The growth in users also follows the current growth rate of the mobile provider, which is on track to add 2.8 million postpaid subscribers for the 2017 fiscal year. BTIG also says that number was actually down from where it could have been, thanks to lack of excitement for new devices and the fact that the company's Digits subscribers are not included in growth figures. It goes without saying, however, that the new assessment of T-Mobile's standings is not without its associated risks. BTIG puts forward that the network could effectively outgrow itself. If the carrier's rate of growth outstrips that of its infrastructure, the overall performance of its network could degrade. That would almost certainly result in a higher churn rate for T-Mobile, which would, in turn, negatively impact T-mobile's free-cash-flow and other figures. Beyond that, an increase to the ferocity of competition, in terms of pricing, could stifle the service provider's current rate of growth.
Bearing all of that in mind, T-Mobile and Sprint are also currently reported to be in talks to negotiate a merger between the two carriers. There's no guarantee that even if the two agree to terms that the merger will be allowed to happen by regulators, but any such merger would definitely have some impact on T-Mobile's standings. Whether or not that would be a positive or a negative impact, remains to be seen, but many predict the merger would benefit both companies due to T-Mobile's growth potential and Sprint's network spectrum holdings.