T-Mobile Raises The Stakes To Get You To Switch

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NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- T-Mobile really wants to be the cellular provider of choice, and is trying almost anything it can do to make that happen -- even if it comes at a huge cost.

With its new Uncarrier 5.0 initiative, T-Mobile and CEO John Legere is offering two new features it hopes will make an impression with customers. The first is known as Test Drive, where T-Mobile will lend potential customers an Apple iPhone 5s to try it out and test out T-Mobile's updated 4G network. The carrier has been improving its wideband LTE data speeds across the country. Following that, the customer has the phone for a full seven days, after which it has to be returned to any T-Mobile store or the customer can purchase a new iPhone and service plan.

T-Mobile shares was gaining 1.03% to $33.02 in midday trading in New York.

Kevin Burden of StrategyAnalytics believes T-Mobile has its work cut out for it. "There is nothing new about test driving a network before subscribing, except that it's 2014 and most operators stopped offering trials years ago," Burden said in an interview. "Getting a high-end loaner device to operate the test drive is a nice twist that should get users excited and could potentially benefit Apple even more than T-Mobile, since the operator is running the risk that its users verify their fears that T-Mobile's network doesn't cover their area well at all."

T-Mobile has been able to gain attention for its network, but it's come at a cost. In the first quarter of 2014, the company boasted a total net additions of 2.4 million users, marking the first quarter ever with more than 2 million net additions. IDC Research analyst Carrie MacGillvray believes T-Mobile UnCarrier 5.0 offerings are more about current customers rather than attracting new ones. She think these new offers could go a long way to help satisfy its paying customers and relieve any "pain points" they might be experiencing with the service.

The first quarter was the fourth consecutive quarter with over 1 million total net additions, a record low branded postpaid churn of 1.5%, down 20 basis points sequentially and down 40 basis points year-over-year and it was the fourth consecutive quarter of pro forma sequential service revenue growth.

However, Adjusted EBITDA during the quarter was $1.1 billion, down 12.2% sequentially, and branded postpaid ARPU was $50.01, down 1.4% sequentially. For 2014, T-Mobile said it expects Adjusted EBITDA to be in the range of $5.6 to $5.8 billion. T-Mobile's second quarter 2014 numbers are scheduled to be released July 31.

The other new feature has to do with streaming music. In addition to unlimited use over Wi-Fi connections, T-Mobile is now offering unlimited music streaming over it's LTE data networks to its customers.