By Joe Paonessa Aug 9, 2017
Yesterday, Tucows announced its quarterly earnings report which showed that there was a huge spike in net revenues for quarter 2 (Q2) coming in at $84.2 million, up from $47.2 million in Q2 of 2016. Following the earnings release a conference call was held where the company's CEO Elliot Noss disclosed the performance of Ting.
According to Noss, Ting has gained roughly 19,000 additional subscribers so far this year with about 5,000 organic additions coming during Q1 and 4,500 during Q2. The remaining 9,500 additions can be described as being inorganic having come from the closure of RingPlus.
To paraphrase, Noss said that tracking those former RingPlus customer additions has proved to be a little bit more difficult than anticipated. This is likely due to how the subscribers moved through the different platforms and plans that were offered by other Sprint MVNO's before arriving at Ting.
Thus far this year, Ting stands at 170,000 subscribers with 278,000 activated devices, up from 151,000 subscribers and 245,000 devices compared to 2 quarters ago. The past quarter, coming in at just 2.19% and excluding those RingPlus customers, Ting experienced the lowest amount of monthly subscriber churn that it has had in 2 years. Subscriber churn of course refers to the amount of subscribers that signup for service to later leave and go elsewhere.
Commenting on the subscriber churn rate, and the company's growth Noss stated:
“I am especially comforted to see such healthy churn just as mobile carriers are aggressively ramping up their promotions and cable operators are rolling out their mobile offerings. Remember that Ting is probably the easiest postpaid service in the industry to leave. These churn numbers seem to validate our strong belief that people would come to Ting for the savings and stay for the customer experience.”
Noss expects the subscriber churn rate to once again increase in quarters 3 and 4, as historically that is what happens.
It is interesting to see the success that Ting is having, given that it is certainly not the cheapest provider around, and not even in the market segment that it provides for. Ting offers its customers the ability to custom build their own phone plans by choosing from separate allotments of talk, text and data. This is exactly how cheaper competitors such as Tello on the Sprint network, and US Mobile on the T-Mobile network operate. It would be interesting to see what the growth numbers look like for Tello and US Mobile, and how they compare. Whatever the case may be, Ting's growth is a testament to what good marketing and a good customer service experience can do for an MVNO.