Metro ended the year with half a million less people as last year. There are now 2.2 million people on 4GLTE Source http://www.fiercewireless.com/press...leases-fourth-quarter-2012-subscriber-results MetroPCS' Q4 subscriber losses surprise analysts - FierceWireless Spoiler MetroPCS reported that it lost around 93,000 subscribers during the 4Q, bringing its total subscriber loses for 2012 to around 460k. The prepaid carrier's 4Q declines were far greater than analysts had expected & the news sent MetroPCS' shares down around 2% to $9.50 a share. "Today's pre-announced Q4 2012 subscriber results are well below our expectation of a gain of 63k & consensus expectations of 50k adds," said Craig Moffett, analyst at Bernstein Research, according to Investor's Business Daily. "The results from MetroPCS suggest that prepaid [growth] may be rapidly deteriorating & competitive intensity is rising." The results are particularly worrying for MetroPCS, which is hoping to close a merger with Deutsche Telekom's T-Mobile USA. The companies expect the transaction to close sometime this year. However, Moffett noted that MetroPCS' subscriber loses likely won't affect DT's plans since T-Mobile USA is in need of the spectrum that MetroPCS owns in the U.S. market. Nonetheless, some analysts said MetroPCS' 4Q results highlight the carrier's precarious position in the hotly competitive U.S. wireless market. "This is the first time [Metro] PCS has lost subscribers on a net basis in Q4, which is typically its second strongest quarter behind Q1, and marks the company's third consecutive quarter of net subscriber losses," noted UBS analyst John Hodulik, according to Investor's Business Daily. "We believe this underscores the urgency with which the company pursued merger partners before reaching a deal with T-Mobile in October." In the 4Q, MetroPCS*reported gross additions of 866k subscribers, a 29% decrease over the 4Q of 2011. The company ended the 4Q of 2012 with around 8.9 million subscribers, notably down from the 9.3 million customers MetroPCS ended with in 2011. However, the carrier did show some bright spots. MetroPCS reported 2.2 million 4GLTE subscribers at the end of 4Q, which it said was an increase of 117% from the third quarter of 2012 & MetroPCS' churn shrank to 3.6% in the period, down slightly from the 3.7% it reported in the 4Q of 2011 & 3Q of 2012. MetroPCS' 4Q results are preliminary; the carrier is scheduled to post full fourth-quarter results Feb 18. Under MetroPCS' proposed deal with T-Mobile, which still requires regulatory approval, Deutsche Telekom will hold 74 percent of the merged business and will pay MetroPCS shareholders $1.5 billion in cash. The transaction will combine T-Mobile's spectrum with MetroPCS' spectrum, and it will allow T-Mobile to offer a broader and deeper LTE network. A combined T-Mobile & MetroPCS will still sit behind Sprint as the No 4 carrier by subscribers.