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T-Mobile USA, looking to rebound against its larger rivals, reported lower fourth quarter revenue and profits overnight, and gave a clear signal that it will be making additional cuts in attempt to to shore up its business.

The Bellevue-based company, part of Deutsche Telekom, reported a 5.2 percent decline in total revenue, to $4.92 billion, from the same quarter a year ago. T-Mobile USA’s operating profit, before certain expenses, fell 25 percent to $1.04 billion over the same time period.

T-Mobile did manage to add a net total of 61,000 customers for the quarter, but that improvement came as a result of an increase in prepaid (no contract) customers and a boost in the company’s wholesale wireless business. The company reported a net loss of more than 515,000 customers on standard wireless contracts. That was less than 706,000 contract customers lost in the same quarter a year ago.

In a news release, the company pointed to upcoming milestones including the expected completion of its merger with MetroPCS, and an agreement with Apple to bring unspecified products to market in 2013. (T-Mobile is the only major U.S. carrier that doesn’t yet offer the iPhone.

T-Mobile cited the overall addition of net customers and the reduction in contract losses as evidence that it “continued to generate business momentum by executing its Challenger strategy, while laying the groundwork for its unique ‘Un-carrier’ initiatives aimed at changing the rules of wireless.”

On the subject of cuts, T-Mobile said it “will continue to look for opportunities to reduce overhead and other operational costs without adversely impacting its customer experience and network operations. This includes re-evaluating the Company’s cost structure and eliminating initiatives that do not fit the ‘Un-carrier’ value proposition and business model.”

More: Engadget, AllThingD and T-Mobile

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