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Reasons for Unexpectedly High U.S. Wireless Growth Hard to Pin Down: T-Mobile CFO

The U.S. wireless industry’s rapid growth in recent years, adding as many as 9.5 net million postpaid phones per year during the COVID-19 pandemic, remains hard to explain, said T-Mobile Chief Financial Officer Peter Osvaldik Wednesday at a MoffettNathanson investor…

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conference. “There's still an element I think that's hard to really pin down,” he said. Core connectivity became more important than ever, with businesses and consumers adding lines, and stimulus money helped, Osvaldik said. It remains “hard to explain the totality of the industry growth with just those factors, and that's a question that I think we can't answer either,” he said. T-Mobile now has 40% market share in many top 100 U.S. markets “and we arrived there over time because of the customer value proposition,” he said. Earlier, people switched to T-Mobile because of lower costs, but the network has become a bigger factor, he said. T-Mobile’s goal is to hit 20% share by the end of 2025 in the next 775 markets, he said. T-Mobile is also getting an almost 60% penetration rate in 5G devices, he said. Customers are upgrading so they can “actually experience what true 5G is,” he said. Osvaldik said T-Mobile isn’t worried about Verizon’s new service offerings, unveiled Tuesday (see 2305160056). T-Mobile adopted new rate plans in April (see 2304200056).