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In Q4 2023, T-Mobile will reclaim industry leadership in this critical category.

T-Mobile has been leading the industry in an important metric reported by mobile carriers each quarter, which is postpaid phone net additions. This is crucial because postpaid phone subscribers pay the most for wireless service each month and aren’t as likely to switch carriers as prepaid customers.

According to Fierce Wireless, analysts at TD Cowan expect T-Mobile to report 860,000 net new postpaid phone additions for the fourth quarter of 2023. This follows T-Mobile’s report of 850,000 net new postpaid phone additions in the previous quarter, which was more than what Verizon and AT&T combined reported during Q3. In the same quarter of 2022, T-Mobile reported 927,000 net new postpaid phone additions. Historically, the fourth quarter is the strongest for wireless firms.

Verizon will kick off the fourth-quarter reporting season on January 23rd, followed by AT&T on January 24th, and T-Mobile on January 25th. Cowan analysts expect the quarter to be led by T-Mobile and a continued recovery at Verizon.

The analysts forecast Charter Communications to be next to T-Mobile with an estimated number of fourth-quarter net new postpaid phone additions of 535,000 subscribers. AT&T is expected to come next with 506,000, Comcast with 335,000, and Verizon with 230,000. Morgan Stanley expects T-Mobile’s Q4 net new postpaid additions to reach 883,000 with 267,000 for Verizon. If Verizon reaches the figures estimated by Cowan or Morgan Stanley, it would more than double the 100,000 net new postpaid additions it had during Q3 of 2023.

During the fourth-quarter investors conference in December, AT&T CFO Pascal Desroches said that his company would have net new postpaid phone additions for the quarter of 500,000, which is in line with Cowan’s forecast for the company. For Q3, AT&T reported 468,000 net new postpaid phone subscribers.

T-Mobile’s stock is the most popular of the major wireless firms among Wall Street analysts. The stock (TMUS) closed Friday at $162.54, less than $2 away from its 52-week high of 164.50. The stock is up 10.6% over the last year.

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