T-Mobile US Inc. signed up twice as many new customers in 2014, exceeding its own forecast for subscriber growth amid a flurry of price cuts and new promotions.
T-Mobile added 1.3 million monthly subscribers in the fourth quarter giving the company a total of 4.9 million net new customers for the year, according to a filing Wednesday. In October, the company had forecast a gain of 4.3 million to 4.7 million net new subscribers in 2014, compared with the 2 million added the prior year.
The gains come amid heavy price competition among all the major U.S. carriers, including T-Mobile’s offers for cheaper shared plans and more monthly data. The latest round of price cuts has been led by Sprint Corp.’s new chief executive officer, Marcelo Claure, who introduced a “cut your bill in half” promotion to lure customers away from Verizon Communications Inc. and AT&T Inc.
T-Mobile says it ended the year with 55.018 million total wireless customers, including prepaid customers through the MetroPCS brand, putting it neck and neck with Overland Park-based Sprint Corp.
Sprint had 55,037 million customers at the end of September and hasn’t reported updated figures.
T-Mobile Chief Executive Officer John Legere had earlier predicted that his company would unseat Sprint to become the third-largest U.S. wireless carrier. But he also noted that it might not happen until sometime in 2015.