As 2009 Comes To A Close…

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Update: I’m bringing this back to the front because as the news comes forward that T-Mobile is the launch partner for the Nexus One, where do you see T-Mobile going in 2010?

With the year ending in less than two weeks time, 2009 has been a rollercoaster for T-Mobile on any number of levels. To say that we all look forward to what will come in 2010 wouldn’t be enough of an understatement. The last few weeks have at least seen their share of exciting phone news and with that, a notion that T-Mobile may finally be ready to deliver handsets that deserve the hype they create. The Google Phone X10, HTC HD2 and the N900 showcase the idea that T-Mobile and their off-the-beaten path AWS bands are not to be ignored. Also, through smooth negotiating or a desire to not be a part of the AT&T disaster train, handset manufacturers see promise in the T-Mobile customer base.

At the beginning of the month, we took note of a piece by Sascha Segan of PCMag who discussed the N900 and how T-Mobile has started to progress towards a place where the carrier subsidy is less important. T-Mobile has an opportunity to truly appeal to the data heavy, phone “geeks” who love freedom of choice in their handset selection and aren’t married to any particular brand. Customers like these, however small in number they may be to the wireless market at large, are among the first adopters and highest spenders, and therefore are among the most valuable in the wireless market. Geeks are developers and developers build markets and work their own viral marketing in the form of blogging, forum discussion and water cooler talk–all of which bode well for the carrier that allows them the freedom they so richly desire. T-Mobile has an opportunity here with some very attractive handsets, ones some powerful marketing behind them, to attract customers who might have otherwise balked at going with the nation’s 4th largest carrier.

What about that “other” phone? Does 2010 give hope to the long rumored end of AT&T exclusivity of the iPhone? Does it matter to T-Mobile either way? I think the answers to those questions are argumentative at best, and truthfully, not something we are ready to answer ourselves. Regardless of your personal opinions of the iPhone, be it love or hate, it would attract customers without question. The cult of Apple will benefit any carrier(s) that step(s) in after AT&T has its day. T-Mobile has been rumored, along with Verizon, as a potential suitor for the next iPhone… though none of these “rumors” have ever been outright discussed by the carriers themselves.  Regardless, whatever 2010 brings for the future of the iPhone, the industry and the T-Mobile faithful will keep a close eye on where it lands.

Sticking with rumors for the moment, 2009 has also seen its share of T-Mobile buyout/merger discussion. Mostly dismissed as analyst created hype, there was at least one report of Deutsche Telekom shareholders who wanted to see a turnaround in US operations by mid 2010. While the accuracy of that report may be in question, if the third quarter numbers are any indication of the direction T-Mobile is heading, the parent company will almost assuredly consider drastic steps. Does that include a buyout/merger with Sprint, Clear, MetroPCS, or Cricket, all of whom have seen their names bounced around in respect to T-Mobile and the buyout/merger rumors?

One indication that T-Mobile is really looking to step up their game is the promise of HSPA+ sometime early next year. Having been previewed with glowing results, T-Mobile is looking to make up for a slow 3G rollout with speeds that rival a 4G network, and in some cases, best it. What originally looked like a Christmas launch in the top 30 cities is, as of this writing, yet to come to fruition. But even if there was a push back to early next year, surely the speeds of HSPA+ will be worth the wait. While HSPA 7.2 might be supported on certain handsets now, when HSPA+ capable handsets see the light of day, data usage for the T-Mobile faithful will increase, and with it, the hope that the “geeks will come.” Chalk up HSPA+ as the thing we here at TmoNews, or at I should say myself, look forward to; a rollout of a faster, 4G rivaling data service is definitely in our top anticipated events. Even if we don’t have the capability to take full advantage of the offering for some time, we all hope it’ll be worth the wait.

As I wind this down, I’m sure there are more than a few happenings that I failed to touch on here, and many that I might have seemingly ignored, but that wasn’t my intent. This isn’t meant to be a fanboy letter or an admonishment note to T-Mobile for 2009 failings. In fact, this is more to see what thoughts you (the readers) might have as to where you think T-Mobile is going based on where they have been. Think about what I’ve left out and see if it spurs any personal opinions on the future of T-Mobile. Perhaps our other staff members might chime in with their own thoughts and views of what 2010 might hold for T-Mobile, and see where they agree or disagree with me. More importantly though, where do you agree, disagree? What do you want T-Mobile to focus on? Focus less on? What say you?

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  • NiiDiddy

    T-Mobile’s first priority in my opinion is 3G Coverage/HSPA+. Reach the millions at blazing data speeds. Then immediately following, or in conjunction to 3G Coverages/HSPA+, release more Smartphones/Devices with awesome hardware/software (Android especially since they were the first to carry one) that the Customers want. Then better ads, heavy promotions, great commercials…

    Numbers will get better when all of these are in place for 2010.

    Simple!!

    • Galen20K

      I whole Heartedly agree!

    • James

      I strongly agree also!!

    • julacho

      Strongly agree!!!

  • John

    I know you guys against Windows Mobile and advertising Android as much as you can in any way you can. But why being so bias (unfair) and ignore two great phones HTC Touch Pro2 and also HTC HD2 (Maybe in 2010) on your post.

    Are you afraid talking about Windows Phone and mention those great Windows Mobile Phones will cause people go with Windows Phone not your favorite one you try to advertise here!?

    Does even mention Windows Phones really make you this panic that you have to totally ignore to even say anything about it!?

    This is a one perfect example how a post can lose all its value for reader by being bias and ignorant!

    • David

      Wow John, TOTAL FAIL on my part, I will add in the HD2 into this post immediately. That’s definitely a phone I see a large group of people taking a long hard look at. That’s my bad, it’ll be in the next time you return!

      • eli_the_great89

        @ John
        the reason Android is splattered all around is because it’s one of the latest and most loved as well as hated mobile OS’s.
        Also the TP2 T-Mobile priced way to high and they crippled it to look like a bulky brown box.

    • akil

      @ john your right there are good windows mobile phones out there like the HTC HD2 and……well im not sure what else, the touch pro 2 is as good as you think big screen but it didnt feel much more powerful than my shadow (which i loved). but honestly the best part about windows mobile is that most of them are built by HTC (might be wrong lol), HTC makes great phones but they do a better job on they’re android phones but this might be due to the fact that they have made more new android phones than windows mobile (but again i might be wrong)

  • fort

    I agree. Better ads, heavy promotions, great commercials. YA!!!!!! Who cares about so called stars holding up their phone. Talk about what you have blessing speed, good customer service and great handsets. Attact the other two with truth ” All the Can’t do’s they fight about T-Mobile has been doing and for a long time now”.

    • fmh

      ADS ADS ADS! All else is falling into place fine, albeit slow, but fine nonetheless. Tmo needs exposure, much more than what they have. Especially about the network, they have every tool to prove they have better coverage, but its never advertised. Awareness is a must.

  • js-1

    at the end of the 3Q I felt that Tmobile was hitting its bottom and was ready give in like other companies in this downed economy. I was ready to jump ship after learning of the HTC Hero wold only go to UK Market. also instilling the out of dated MT#G and failed CLIQ and Sammy Android. hey what ever hang in there, right? then experiencing fail networks talks of merges with companies I DO NOT like to do business with because bad pass experiences. hey F it! lets shop! NOW present time good thing I didn’t…I’ve seen improvement in services in my area. where i used to have 1 bar to none, and now i get 3 to full bars.

    YAY for Tmobile.

    seal the deal for me bring on HTC HD2! that phone would a perfect instrument of work and play.

  • 9ooyan

    as someone who as waited patiently for months off contract with ATT to move to Tmo with the right phone, i’ve seen magenta only become more and more attractive to the consumer. At this point, I am considering the Nexus 1 (prefer) vs HD2, whichever comes first. it’s going to be a great year for Tmo. thanks for all your info David.

  • Robert_x24x

    With T-Mobile getting two of the hottest devices of 2010, I think this site should celebrate this by revamping the webiste with an HD2/Nexus One theme. Show off what you’re getting and make other carrier consumers jealous. I know I am! Even though I left T-Mo and am now with Sprint, here’s to Magenta for finally getting something worthwhile since the G1. Very much worthwhile.

  • http://www.i-appreciate.org alt-mobile

    It should definitely be an interesting year.

    I talked to a good friend of mine who is a developer at Motorola (he exclusively works on developing phones for Verizon) a few nights ago and he said that the iPhone will NOT be coming to Verizon. He told me that Apple approached T-Mobile first when it came to the iPhone but T-Mobile insisted on the phone having a keyboard because they didn’t think a smartphone without a keyboard could be a hit with the consumers (epic fail there..)

    Anyways, he believes that if the iPhone is going anywhere, that it is most probably going to T-Mobile. Just thought I’d share that with you guys.

    Personally, I can’t wait to see what they have in store for the G1 version 2 or for any new Android devices with keyboards…

    • Rj

      I could probably agree with that. A change would be a matter of some radio frequency tuning. To go to Verizon now as it stands would require a tech change ie CDMA vs GSM, as it stands the LTE system is still a year away and I don’t think Apple wants to wait and lose how many buyers over that period of time.

      Also in the mix is Apples rumored iSlate tablet.

  • http://www.rokemedia.com Mike

    I love T-mobile and surely is the longest carrier I have stayed with. I love their customer service and they are always willing to accept fault if it is due and will correct the situation. The wife got 50% off of a G1 cause of a wicked billing error. I think that T-Mo is moving in the right direction with new plans, more tech coming up, and the Android platform, I think those will start to pull more customers from AT&T and it’s chic of the iPhone. I was with AT&T once and received irregular bills causing under payment or overpayment, poor customer service, and eventually cancellation. It was such a hassle

    I hope that T-Mo does push forward with HSPA+ soon as possible to give it some more clout, it will start to draw attention magenta and the more round package. I love T-mobile and I am not going to leave them anytime soon. I have the feeling that an impending surge is coming Tmobile way as long as they keep pushing to get better.

  • Jayy

    I can’t wait for HSPA 7.2 on my CLIQ, and then HSPA+ for the other handsets

    BUT.

    Are there even rumors of 4G LTE for T-Mobile?!?! I’m sure they have the spectrum to expand in a year or 2…i don’t want T-Mo to be left behind like they were with 3G

  • edd

    t-mobiles been great this year :D
    and thanks for keeping me up to date tmonews!
    :D

  • eli_the_great89

    Yea defentely true. Hopefully in the year 2010 these handsets, which appear to good to be true, will land on the big magenta. It seems that they constantly get exclusivity on these feature phones and they make a huge hype out of it. Or a classic beast like the TP2 they go and change the body . So hopefully they’ll make wiser decisions on the year 2010. Or that’s just our optimisstic sides speaking.

  • mmaxsooner

    I for 1 believe that tmob is moving in the right direction and if I am right they have made some good moves of late and some stumbles. Think about it, what error did at&t make with the first 3g iphone? They didn’t have the bandwidth or 3g coverage and have been playing catch ever since. What has tmobile been doing lately? Flipping the switch on a more widespread 3g fOotprint every day, they are still building out but decembers 3g gap fillers show they are serious about 3g coverage. With a good fat pipe and good coverage. Then u bring out the big guns within 30 days of each other and push the network (7.2 by the way, with hspa+as a tease)and highend phone choice and press the chioce as tmob rolls out htc hd2 for windows fans then a week later hammer us over the head with the nexus for android lovers. Then officialy roll the n900 with the new ui the blow us out of the water with the new hspa+ blackberry touchsreen slider and tmob fans everywhere will buZz with tmob love! Build it(3g+ network) and they will come. And don’t worry tmob u can still sell those low end flips to the folks to keep the numbers up but trust me more people r ready for a good smartphone that are still getting their flip on today

  • JBLmobileG1

    Will any of the upcoming headsets support the new HSPA+? Like the Nexus One, HD2 or X10? Just wondering because maybe if the faster service is coming sometime next year it might be worth the wait to upgrade. Otherwise you’ll be stuck in a contract or paying off an older phone. I myself want the Nexus One but unless its sold outright and at $200 or less I won’t be seeing one till sometime late next year anyways.

  • moondog

    Yet after all of this high praise summary, I am lucky to have edge connection, yet alone 3G. Tmobile 3G is like comparing at&t and vzn, except Tmobile is at&t and at&t is vzn in this case. Big fish, little fish. For 3g, Tmobile is the guppy.

  • Eric

    As usual. My only concern lies in the spectrum. In my experience here in new England I lose 3G all the time inside of buildings reguardless of what 3G capable phone I use on tmobile always loses 3g and goes to edge. It’s so frustrating. I have called tech support numerous times and filed numerous trouble tickets but nothing works. After talking to rf engineers that work for the navy they flat out said the spectrum t-mo uses is not good at propogTing very far and also doesn’t penetrate buildings very well. Apparently tmo would be so much better off if the spectrum they got at aws auction didn’t stink as mch. I wish they purchased and bid on 700mhz. How r they going to do 4G? Tmo was behind forever in 3G. Now I feel they r going to be behind on 3g and make up some bs excuse that will glorify their current 3g and negate the value of 4G and claim it’s une essary like they did with 3G back in 06. Oh man t-mobile. Stop being your own enemy.

    • watbetch

      It’s because there is an 2G site closer than a 3G site, or 3G isn’t on at the site closest to you/however you want to spin it.

  • Noel

    We look fwd to Increased network speeds/coverage and bring on the top of the line Smartphones such as the Nexus one, Htc HD2, Nokia N900, Sony X10 etc. Also bag another top notch Htc Android phone w/ sense ui like the Bravo or another soon to be outed Htc smart phone…cz i doubt Google will allow sense ui on the Nexus one. It will be cool if they can allow it or Htc can make a sense ui app. Things look very promising for Tmobile in 2010…i think our collective patience w/ Tmo might be paying off…BOOOOYAAAH

    • sorandkairi

      That’s if we get them!

    • CDub

      If I’m not mistaken isn’t the HTC Bravo the HTC Passion, and the HTC Passion was found out to be the Nexus One… So you’re already getting a top notch Android phone, you just have to hack it and add the Sense GUI yourself, no big.

  • TmoGuy89

    THE SONY XPERIA X10 WILL BE FOR SALE (UNLOCKED) AT SONY STORES IN MALLS STARTING AS EARLY AS JAN. 15TH !!! I DONT KNOW WHICH VARIANT THOUGH..

  • Will S

    T-Mobile definitely needs better ads. They are miles behind Apple in quality of advertising. Maybe HTC advertising (which is pretty good!) will help sales of new HTC Android phones on T-Mobile.

  • Karla

    So IS IT CONFIRMED THAT WE ARE IN FACE GETTING THE N900?!?!?!?!?!
    SOMEBUDDY E-mail me at: NiN3te3n86@gmail.com and let me know!

  • http://www.twitter.com/cellphonechris Cellphone Chris

    TmoNews gets national exposure as a source for CNN.com: http://www.cnn.com/2009/TECH/12/30/google.nexus/index.html

  • julacho

    Thanks a lot TMONEWS, you all did a great job keeping us informed…
    Great 2010!!!

  • kershon

    HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYBODY! Thanks to TmoNews for keeping us well informed. 2010 is going to be a great year for T-Mobile.

  • Youngmula303

    T-mobile is heading down the right track. With not just the ability to run their 3G bands on the n900, but also with the anticipation of the Xperia X10 and the awe-inspiring N1. The promise of being capable to reach 200 million americans with 3g speed has been delivered, and they seem making progress in the updating speeds department (even if HSPA + won’t be for a while). They just need to continue what they’re doing; introducing game changing phones that appeal to wide customer bases and deliver unseen speeds. Good luck T-mobile, we have no doubt that you should do well in 2010.

  • http://www.mmacomments.com Arla Oldani

    JDS comes out with the rocky sound track..the rocky theme…..how classic!!!!!!!