T-Mobile reports that it added 202,000 prepaid customers last quarter, which aided in offsetting the 199,000 subscribers it lost. It also reported sales of 500,000 iPhones, which has to make the magenta carrier feel a little more optimistic about its future.
The company announced subscriber numbers on Wednesday, in conjunction with its quarterly earnings. Although the branded net customer additions numbered only 3,000, it was the first time that figure was positive since the first quarter of 2009. Customers on the network only tell half the story though: Measuring monetization of customers through ARPU, or average revenue per user, is just as important.
ARPU dropped 6.3% year-over-year to $54.07 for postpaid subscribers, as the company saw 36% of its customer base switch to either a Vlue or SImple Choice plan. Prepaid customers helped T-Mobiles cause as ARPU for that group rose 11.3% to $28.25.
iPhone sales aren’t helping the bottom line as much as T-Mobile would probably have hoped, as the company’s $107 million net income in Q1 2013 was a significant drop from the $200 million it posted a year ago.
T-Mobile also reported $1.1 billion in capital expenditures for the quarter, investing heavily in network modernization. By the end of 2013, T-Mobile expects to bathe up to 200 million possible subscribers in magenta with its new LTE network.