T-Mobile is consistently gaining contract customers
This is the seventh consecutive quarter in which T-Mobile contract customer base has increased. It currently amounts to 6.990 million. This means an increase of 69 thousand as compared to Q4 2017, and of 294 thousand as compared to the end of the first quarter of 2017. In total, at the end of the first quarter of this year, T-Mobile provided services to 10.509 million customers.
The lowest CHURN rate since 2 years
Such positive result is, among others, due to the low customer resignation rate (CHURN), which has reached the lowest level since the first quarter of 2016. In comparison to the first quarter of last year, T-Mobile improved net results of number portability by 28 thousand. Since the fourth quarter of 2017, the company has also been observing a strong trend of former T-Mobile customers, who had switched to other operators, returning to T-Mobile.
"It has always been my priority to position T-Mobile as service leader on the market. It is very satisfying to see how the strategy centered around refining the existing and developing new customer touchpoints shows positive effects already. By expanding the sales network, introducing changes in customer service and e-commerce capabilities, we have focused on the customer touchpoints and fast availability of customer service. Our customer satisfaction surveys show that these efforts have been very successful, while the increase in customer satisfaction recorded in 2017 has already accelerated in 2018"
– said Andreas Maierhofer.
T-Mobile invests in customer satisfaction
Increasing employment in call center and the simplification of the voice menu resulted in shortening the average waiting time for a connection with a consultant by over 60%. This strongly affects the increase of the quality of customer care and thus the growing customer satisfaction.
In addition, to be more accessible to customers, we focused on expansion of our sales network. Program, which started one year ago, was finalized by the end of March. At that time, 110 new stores were opened, 8 of which in the first quarter of this year. To make our shops more up to date, since January 2018, a refreshment program was initiated, under which the remaining stores will be renovated and adapted to the new visualization. In the first quarter of this year, the program has already covered 43 stores.
Stable revenues and EBITDA excluding RLAH effect
The revenues of T-Mobile Polska remained basically stable compared to the first quarter of 2017 and amounted to PLN 1.569 million. Adjusted EBITDA for the first quarter of 2018 amounted to PLN 401 million, which means a decrease by 7.0% year on year.
The EBITDA result was also influenced by increase in the costs of handling roaming services of T-Mobile customers, which is the effect of the Roam Like At Home regulation. In the first quarter of 2018 the impact of RLAH in EBITDA was PLN negative 37 million. Without this impact the EBITDA results would be stable. In comparison to the first quarter of 2017, the amount of data sent by roaming customers of T-Mobile has increased almost 5 times.
"T-Mobile has invested in customers and in its future. Employing new workforce to serve customers combined with the expanded sales network resulted in higher operational costs for the company and adversely impacted EBITDA. However, we are convinced that this investments lead to improved sales performance which will later reflect in stronger financial results in the future."
– said Juraj Andras, Chief Financial Officer and Member of the Board at T-Mobile Polska
T-Mobile invests in faster LTE and higher network capacity
Continuous investments in the network are one of the key elements of maintaining the highest quality of services. In the current investment plans, the company pays more attention to network capacity than its expansion. In the first quarter, T-Mobile began tests aimed at changing the manner of using its frequencies. As a result, in the first quarter, a dozen of stations offering aggregation of 4 bands, with maximum data transfer speed of up to 590 Mbps, were launched. In total, T-Mobile already has over 4,250 stations with carrier aggregation.
"This comes in response to the growing consumption of data among our customers which can be seen in 150% year on year increase in data transmitted in the LTE network. Last but not least, these investments are aimed at preparing our backbone network for increased demands resulting from the new services we will offer soon. Therefore, despite the fact that our LTE network already reaches close to 100% of the population, we now intend to allocate similar funds for investments as in previous years"
– Maierhofer comments.
To ensure proper operation of base stations, T-Mobile is implementing a project aimed at connecting all of them with fiber. It will eventually replace most of the radio lines. In Q1, 70 new fibers with 1 Gbps or 10 Gbp/s optical fiber were launched. This year, the implementation of the next 150-200 of such projects is planned. Considering the high quality of traffic service from base stations, T-Mobile has abandoned radio lines slower than 150Mbps, replacing them with faster ones, which offer data rate of up to 1Gbps.