T-Mobile US added 338,000 home internet users in the first quarter, reaching 1 million customers a year after launching the high-speed wireless broadband service.
The company is “bringing real competition to broadband,” said Mike Sievert, the T-Mobile CEO, on conference call with investors and analysts on Wednesday morning.
T-Mobile’s home internet numbers are still dwarfed by incumbent broadband providers. Comcast has more than 31 million U.S. broadband subscribers, for example.
However, T-Mobile’s use of wireless infrastructure promises to make its service viable in rural parts of the country and other areas that cable and fiber providers don’t reach. T-Mobile’s internet service reaches areas of the country with 40 million households, Sievert said.
Competitors in rural broadband include SpaceX’s Starlink satellite internet service, developed in Redmond, Wash. SpaceX reported 250,000 Starlink customers as of last month. Starlink is just one of many ambitions for Elon Musk, the SpaceX and Tesla CEO who reached a deal this week to acquire Twitter for $44 billion.
T-Mobile’s service uses 4G LTE or 5G depending on location, with promised download speeds of 35-115 Mbps. It costs $50/month for customers who set up automatic payments, and $55/month for those who don’t.
As of the end of the quarter, T-Mobile counted 984,000 home internet subscribers, and the number has since topped 1 million, the company said.
T-Mobile, based in Bellevue, Wash., disclosed the home internet numbers as part of its first quarter earnings report.
- The company’s total customer count, including prepaid and postpaid mobile wireless accounts, grew to 109.5 million at the end of the quarter, from 103.4 million a year earlier.
- T-Mobile added a net total of 1.3 million customers on postpaid accounts, which it described as the best in the industry (compared with rivals AT&T and Verizon) and its largest postpaid additions for the first quarter in the past eight years.
- Quarterly revenue surpassed $20 billion, up slightly from a year earlier, with profits of $713 million, down from $933 million a year earlier due in part to higher costs associated with the acquisition and integration of T-Mobile’s former wireless rival Sprint.
As part of the earnings report, T-Mobile said it plans to complete the transition of all former Sprint customers to the T-Mobile network over the next few months.
The company’s earnings of 57 cents per share beat, by a wide margin, the 32 cents per share expected by Wall Street analysts in advance of the report.