T-Mobile USA managed to attract more new customers than analysts had expected, pushing its subscriber base over the 20 million mark at the end of the third quarter.

The carrier added 1.06 million new customers, which was above analyst expectations calling for 870,000 additions. In the prior and year-ago quarters, T-Mobile added 972,000 and 901,000 customers, respectively. The company ended the quarter with a base of 20.3 million.

T-Mobile USA recorded net income of $458 million, up from $387 million in the second quarter of 2005 and $254 million in the third quarter of 2004. Service revenue came in at $3.15 billion, up from $3.04 billion in the previous quarter and $2.61 billion in the third quarter of 2004.

Average revenue per user (ARPU) was $53, which represents a slight dip from the $54 reported in the previous quarter and $55 recorded in the year-ago quarter. Data services revenue increased in the third quarter and now represents 8.8 percent of postpay ARPU, according to the company.
Post-pay churn dipped to 2.4 percent from 2.6 percent a year ago.

T-Mobile USA parent company Deutsche Telekom reported a quarterly sales increase of 4.8 percent.