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T-Mobile added about 800,000 of the most lucrative mobile phone subscribers in the first quarter, as it continues to steal a march on larger US telecoms companies through promotions and price-cuts.

The Washington state-based company added 798,000 “postpaid” phone subscribers, who are billed on a recurring monthly basis, in the first three months of the year. This compares to 877,000 additions in the same period a year ago.

T-Mobile’s profits grew to $698m, from $479m a year ago, on $9.6bn in sales.

So far this quarter Verizon, the largest US wireless carrier by customers, lost 307,000 postpaid phone subscribers. Verizon in February revived an unlimited data plan to stop customers from defecting to smaller rivals — T-Mobile US and Sprint – as a price war heats up in the US mobile phone market.

T-Mobile has been at the centre of speculation of consolidation in US telecoms this year, as companies gear up for a more lenient regulatory environment under US President Donald Trump. Shares in the company have gained more 30 per cent in the past six months as investors view the fastest-growing US mobile network as the prize of any deals.

T-Mobile has added about 3m customers annually in the past three years, now holding about 65m customers. The company led a recently wrapped wireless auction, buying $8bn in airwaves as it expands its network across the US.

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