Bellevue-based T-Mobile USA posted first quarter earnings late Tuesday and it was largely a mixed bag. Though revenue declined 7 percent from the same time last year, the company saw the first growth in branded customers since the first part of 2009.
T-Mobile’s adjusted earnings, excluding interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA), was $1.2 billion. That’s a 12.4 percent increase from Q4 of 2012, but also a 7.5 percent decline from this time last year.
As reported last month, the nation’s fourth-largest carrier added 579,000 customers from the fourth quarter of 2012 and now has 34 million customers. T-Mobile’s customer turnover rate in Q4 was 1.9 percent, its lowest since 2008.
“Our first quarter operating metrics and financial results are showing positive impact from the changes we began making in the fourth quarter,” T-Mobile CEO John Legere said in a press release. “Branded customer net additions turned positive for the first time since the first quarter of 2009 and our postpaid business has demonstrated significant improvement.”
T-Mobile’s new Simple Choice Plan separates the cost of wireless service from the purchase of a phone — no longer subsidizing the cost of the device as part of the service plan. On the plan, customers can either pay for the phone upfront or via monthly payments.
T-Mobile found itself in some hot water late last month when Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson demanded that the company fix its “deceptive advertising” campaign for the new “Uncarrier” plans, which promise no contracts and no commitment.
Previously on GeekWire: Why I won’t buy another subsidized Android phone (and why you shouldn’t, either)