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Discounts Help T-Mobile Add More Customers

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T-Mobile US Inc said it added a net 2.4 million customers in the first quarter, up from 579,000 a year earlier, as the company's aggressive discounts won over customers.

The No. 4 U.S. mobile operator's revenue rose 47 percent to $6.88 billion in the three months through March 31, boosted by discounts and promotions that have disrupted an industry dominated by Verizon and AT&T.

The mobile service provider two-thirds owned by Deutsche Telekom AG lost $151 million, or 19 cents per share, in the quarter compared with a profit of $107 million, or 20 cents per share, a year earlier. (

Analysts on average had expected a loss of 19 cents per share on revenue of $6.92 billion, according to Thomson Reuters

T-Mobile added 1.3 million postpaid customers â€' who pay monthly bills â€' and 465,000 prepaid customers, who pay for calls in advance.

Customer defections, or churn, for the company's postpaid service was 1.5 percent, down 20 basis points from the fourth quarter and down 40 basis points from a year ago.

T-Mobile started to turn the corner last year, after losing customers for four years, through savvy marketing and well-publicized wireless plans.

The company, which bills itself as the 'Uncarrier', launched a series of promotions this year including offering to pay the early termination fees for customers switching from other carriers.

The other major wireless carriers soon followed with some of the most aggressive price cuts the industry has seen, in what some analysts have described as a price war.