During T-Mobile’s Uncarrier announcement earlier this morning, T-Mobile CEO John Legere let some interesting information slip out during the conference call/Periscope live stream. Last quarter, he said that T-Mobile gained 2.1 million net customers, bringing its total subscriber count to 58.9 million people. Sprint currently has only around 57.1 million.
Granted, Legere predicted that T-Mobile would overtake Sprint by the end of 2014, and by most counts T-Mobile did. The problem lies with how the two carriers count subscribers. Sprint’s numbers have been artificially inflated for a while now – the carrier counts pay-as-you-go customers as active subscribers, even when they haven’t accessed the network in over 90 days. T-Mobile, and most of the rest of the industry, stops counting them at the 90 day mark.
So T-Mobile has had more active users than Sprint for a while, even though Sprint’s “official” numbers were higher. But now, Sprint can behind its inflated inactive prepaid customer base any longer.[Periscope]