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tmobileT-Mobile is starting to show some momentum as it gets ready to unveil the iPhone on April 12 and roll out a new payment system for wireless service. The Bellevue company said that it added 579,000 customers during the first quarter, bringing the total customer count to 34 million for the country’s fourth largest carrier.

“These results display positive momentum and the first positive branded growth in four years,” said CEO John Legere in a press release. The company lost 199,000 contract customers, though that was better than the 515,000 customers who left the carrier in the fourth quarter.

“Our customer experience improvement initiatives and the increase of higher credit quality customers coming over to T-Mobile are resulting in more people choosing to stay with T-Mobile, leading to a substantial increase in the retention of our most valuable postpaid customers,” added Legere.

In other related news, Reuters reports that T-Mobile’s parent company, Deutsche Telekom, is weighing new deal terms in its bid for MetroPCS. The T-Mobile bid, which is going to a shareholder vote next week, has been scrutinized in recent weeks by shareholder advisory services and large stakeholders of MetroPCS as not valuing the company properly.

Last week, T-Mobile unveiled a bold plan to shake up the wireless industry. Calling it an “un-carrier” move, T-Mobile announced a plan to get rid of annual contracts and simplify how customers pay for service.

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