T-Mobile blending network ops under the Sprint and T-Mobile brands has helped suppress churn
- T-Mobile maintained relatively low churn in Q2 2020.
- And blending network operations for customers under the Sprint and T-Mobile brands likely helped to suppress churn.
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T-Mobile announced in its Q2 2020 earnings last week that it ended June with 98.3 million US subscribers, surpassing AT&T to become the second-largest US carrier by subscribers. (Notably, AT&T doesn't include hotspots and car sensors in its figures, which T-Mobile does, per The Wall Street Journal.) Mike Sievert, T-Mobile president and CEO, said in the earnings call that "we're staring down Verizon and our sight [is] set on the number one spot."
T-Mobile's subscriber accrual is helped by the low churn it maintained, which was likely aided by migrating Sprint customers onto its better network. T-Mobile reported a postpaid phone churn of 0.82% in Q2 2020 — for context, in their Q2 earnings, Verizon reported a wireless retail postpaid churn of 0.69% and AT&T reported a postpaid phone churn of 0.84%.
It is particularly important for T-Mobile to maintain a low churn rate as it prepares to transition the acquired Sprint user base onto T-Mobile. As part of this process, T-Mobile said that it has already blended over 10% of network traffic, which helped improve the Sprint customer experience, since Sprint customers previously didn't have access to VoLTE capabilities.
In general, Sprint's network performed the worst of the major US carriers, so T-Mobile can help suppress churn by accelerating these backend network migrations. More than 85% of Sprint postpaid customers already have devices that are capable of running on T-Mobile's network, according to Sievert, which will make it easier to enact that network transition.
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