The fourth-largest U.S. wireless carrier, a unit of Germany's Deutsche Telekom, the U.S. operation said it lost 199,000 net prepaying customers compared with a gain of 268,000 prepaid signups in the second quarter last year. The loss of the prepaid customers was due to the intensive competition in the inexpensive market segment as more firms enter that market. Prepaid customers show little loyalty to specific carriers, because their plans usually cover short periods.
T-Mobile Deutschland had been considering selling the U.S. unit or merging it with another wireless provider, but when no attractive deal appeared, the US operation retrenched and has been aggressively upgrading its network. The company has also been rumored to be preparing to offer an Apple iPhone model later this year or early next year. The parent company in German already has been offering iPhone models for several months.
For the second quarter, T-Mobile USA reported net income of $404 million and revenue of $5.36 billion compared with $425 million net income and $5.34 billion in the second quarter last year.
In a statement Rene Obermann, Deutsche Telekom CEO, said: "T-Mobile USA soundly delivered on its aggressive HSPA+ network build out and roadmap execution in the second quarter (as well) as achieving contract customer growth and improved service revenue trends."
The U.S. unit said its data service revenues were $1.17 billion in the quarter, which represented an 18% gain over the second quarter of 2009.