Is T-Mobile Ready For The Future, 2013 And Beyond?

While yesterdays T-Mobile fourth quarter 2011 financials were by all accounts, less than stellar, the company took the opportnity to lay out aggressive plans for 2012, 2013 and beyond. Utilizing a “Challenger” strategy to reinvigorate the company, T-Mobile’s CEO Philip Humm emphasized the company’s strengths, weaknesses and how both of those will blend into their plans to bring the company back with a fighting spirit.

So I’m asking you, dearest readers of TmoNews, how do you feel about the announcements? Some of you have were quick to say that 2013 is “too late” for LTE. I see your point, it does appear to be too late, although Sprint is still months away form launching their own network as well, but most importantly we can’t ignore their HSPA+ 42Mbps network. While it may not be LTE, especially when it comes to marketing terminology, HSPA+ 42 offers speeds comparable to the LTE networks of Verizon and AT&T. Yes, Verizon and AT&T have more equipment to utilizie their LTE networks, but I think it is safe to say that T-Mobile will introduce a number of HSPA+ 42Mbps ready handsets this year.

I’ve read your comments, but this time I want to put it to an actual vote…did T-Mobile’s announcements yesterday give you hope the company can come back? Before you say it, I know there will be plenty of you acknowledging T-Mobile’s recent JD Power showings and how they need to start fixing those areas first. With the notion that T-Mobile has already indicated their own disappointment in the JD Power awards and their acknowledgment of the work that lies ahead of them, were yesterdays announcements exciting, dull or just so-so?

Vote away!

Tags: , , , , , ,

  • Mark Mendel

    Tmo needs the iphone, flat out. I hate the phone myself, but customers want it. I hear it every. single. day. Iphone this, Iphone that. EVERYBODY wants it. I also think that Tmo needs get aggressive with advertising. Joe Nobody thinks Verizon is the best. He knows nothing of networks and technology, he just knows those Verizon commercials everywhere telling him it’s the best. 

    • Anonymous

      He probably also experiences first hand how many of his friends have it too and how they buy into the premium brand wireless. AT&T and VZW have done a good job of branding themselves like that.

    • Anonymous

      Preach!!!!  Getting the Iphone isn’t dire, but it would make life alot easier for TMO.  The Iphone is a major contributor to churn and the only way to fix that is to get it.  If TMO can work out an acceptable deal to get the Iphone, it should be a no-brainer. I do also agree with you on marketing.  These Carly ads are boring.  They need to go in a new direction and go hard!!!!

      • Vim

        I think the iPhone is a great device, and I know a lot of people want it, but the drawbacks seem to outweigh the benefits to me at this time. I believe there is greater competitive advantage for T-Mobile to be the lone hold-out then to be yet another Sprint, staggering clumsily under a mountain of Apple debt.  T-Mobile should instead use that money to expand its network while keeping its prices lower than Sprint’s, so that it can aggressively woo away Sprint’s non-iPhone customers. 

        • Anonymous

          Great points! Id only want tmobile to get the iphone if they can work out a reasonable deal with apple. If a deal cant be done, tmo had better focus strongly in other areas just as u mentioned….marketing has always been tmos achilles heal. You have to put your name out there to be successful. Tmo has tried to rely on just being a better value to be successful. Being a better value isnt enough to generate excitement and add subs. Potential customers need something tangible. They need something to wow them….something bright and shiny……and bolstering the network wont hurt either.

  • J. Williams

    They are not too late, they just need to push harder and work faster to get things rolling. Bring a larger screen WP7 device, the iPhone, and the SG3 if there is one coming. None of this getting phones late this year, bring it. Game, set, match!

  • TMoFan

    I like the sound of this new strategy. For the first time in a long time I’m actually excited for T-Mobile’s future. It’s definitely not too late for LTE. The problem is that the other carriers rushed the tech. Look at Verizon and see how many outages they had and the pitiful battery life on LTE phones. T-Mobile will have an easier time with LTE being GSM, and HSPA+ is perfect in the meantime.

    The refarming is smart and allows T-Mobile to adapt its network to its customers. They also have an opportunity to innovate and implement VoLTE making the network further efficient.

    I would really like to see a change of leadership, starting with the ceo and the board of directors. We need more new fresh ideas, not more of the same.

    And T-Mobile won’t have to spend as much as Sprint for the iPhone. They have roughly half the customers so I’m certain they could work out a deal that’s both favorable to them and Apple. C-Spire worked out a deal so it can work. iPhone won’t magically save T-Mobile but it would help stop the bleeding.

    • Weneedchange

      Verizon- sprint- c spire use the same technology.. All apple had to do was to find the way to load different prl’s in the phone. So it did not involve making 3 separate iPhones for the 3 carriers. It’s diffrent for AT&T and Tmobile, they both run on diffrent frequencies. Apple would have to add more components into their phone in order to make it compatible for Tmobile, further increasing their cost. Inorder to do all that , I think Tmobile would have to throw in some serious money on the table. With the new challenger strategy around, it would take Tmobile 1-3 years to reframe their towers to make it compatible with all AT&T’s 4g phones and until then Tmobile would lose customers at the rate of 1 million every year. I doubt if Tmobile want to take a chance and go from a profitable to unprofitable bussiness.
      Let’s hope Tmobile is quick enough to reframe their spectrum and get it done within the next 6 months and attract all the AT&T customers to its value plans or monthly 4g plans.

    • Vim

      C-Spire had announced that it would have LTE by the end of the year.   But they dropped, or delayed their LTE rollout shortly after signing the contract with Apple for the iPhone.  It appears that they didn’t have enough money for both LTE and the iPhone. US Cellular made the opposite decision when approached by Apple.  They couldn’t afford both either.  They thought Apple wanted too much for the iPhone and decided that LTE was a better investment.

      Furthermore, Apple is primarily interested in postpaid contract customers.  Sprint has a lot of prepaid and MVNO customers inflating its customer totals.  Factor those out and Sprint and T-Mobile are nearly the same size.  So don’t expect Apple to suddenly give T-Mobile some sort of sweetheart deal. Apple will be just as ruthless in extorting money out of T-Mobile to make iPhone fans happy as it was with Sprint.

    • Bigjohn

      The Droid razor has a 3300 MaH battery with 21 hrs of talktime

      • MagentaMadness

         “21hrs of talk time”…since voice doesn’t go over LTE its using the old CDMA network for voice…add data into the mix and that “talk time” is greatly reduced.

  • Go_TMO

    One of the biggest issues holding Tmobile back is the customer base, Tmobile appeals to “budget” customers, who are at times high risk, and can cause issues with perceived dissatisfaction for the price they pay. There is definitely a lack of understanding by some our customers in regards to them recognizing just how inexpensive T-Mobile is. I’m always amazed when I hear someone complain about an $80 being to much for unlimited talk and text with web. Or someone who got a phone discount and can’t then move to the value plan…. I really hope that people can’t open there eyes and realize that overall they have it pretty good.

    • Anonymous

      I understand exactly where your coming from. Tmo works with a volatile customer base.

      • Frank

        Agreed agreed agreed.

        It’s great to be a low cost alternative, but it brings in people who don’t want to pay for anything. We’ve often said if we raised prices by about $20/month across the board we’d be better off.

  • Jays_on

    David, so does this mean we really will be able to use our iPhones on tmo 3G?

    • scarfacemario

      Yes you will be able to use the iPhone on 3g

    • Zaxin

      In some areas you can already get tmo 3G on iPhones.  I have an AT&T branded IPhone 4 and Bberry Torch.  Getting 3G in Birmingham, AL on Tmo network.

      • Fabian Cortez

        Impossible. There’s no such thing as an AT&T branded iPhone.

        • Jays_on1

          lol.. well exciting times indeed!!!=)

    • MagentaMadness

       Yes, we are in the process of harvesting old 2G spectrum and reusing it for 3G/4G…in these areas the iphone will now see the 4G network.

  • Nickj5

    I work at a tmobile in Maryland and my area manager says were testing the iPhone 5 out now good news for tmobile

    • Fabio

       Managers wouldn’t have access to that information.

      • Guest

        Agreed. Good try Nick

        • Fabian Cortez

          And it’s not going to be called the “iPhone 5” either. “iPhone 6” maybe.

        • J-Hop2o6

           HAHAHAHAHAHAA! Good one.

    • rvg911

      tell your manager to stop lying to employees! 

  • Fabio

    The announcements are assuring that T-Mobile’s coming back, and not just coming back, but they’re coming back AGGRESSIVELY.  Jumping on the LTE bandwagon, and re-farming their 1900 MHZ PCS to support UMTS is definitely a HUGE threat to AT&T and the CDMA carriers who currently have the 4S which has a sim slot.

    The U.S economy has Americans under pressure. With T-Mobile’s affordable rate plans, and future compatibility with more devices that are offered by other carriers… T-Mobile is guaranteed to win customers back and succeed.

    Like I said before, Verizon, AT&T and Sprint, BEWARE because the underdog is NOT going anywhere and will do ANYTHING to beat you.

    • Anonymous

      Having support for the iphone and selling the iphone in their stores are completely different. It might work in europe, but the way the US market works, it would not. People are going to go into tmobile and say ” if I want an iphone on your plan I have to pay HOW MUCH? ATT/VZ/Sprint are selling them for 200″  

      Personally, Id love to have an unlocked iphone on a value plan( if they did not force me into a 2 year agreement, the 2 year agreement is for phone subsidy).

      Sprint is a bigger underdog than tmobile, and tmobile is only willing to do anything, because their first plan, which was to give up, failed.  I am glad they are going to fight, but lets not act like they were just about to merge with att. 

  • Anonymous

    If they advertise that current LTE have very poor battery life and that their current HSPA+ is as fast but more telltale than Verizons LTE, they would have a good chance. Also, even though they are a nationwide company, they should advertise for specific markets according to how fast their system in that market.

  • Anonymous

    And they should advertise it.

    HSPA+, Longer battery life, more reliable and almost as fast.

    • Anonymous

      Just because Verizon has outages does not make hspa more reliable than lte. AT&T has not had any lte outages. It just means Verizon is not as reliable as before.

      Single core phones have better battery life than dual core phones, but which would you rather have? I’m picking dual core all day. Also as lte matures the battery life will get better. Bad battery life is short term.

  • jus_sanatra

    I always kinda thought… Is the reason T-Mobile never acquired the iPhone because – if Apple committed to producing an iPhone with AWS for T-Mobile then they would have the only “4G” capable iPhone… am I wrong on this one?!?

    • Anonymous

      Someone correct me if im wrong but isnt atts iphone 4s 14.4mbps capable? By tmos definition, thats 4g. If tmo could snag the iphone in the next several months and market it as “the nations first 4g iphone”, that would be huge!!!!!

      • Anonymous

        I don’t think they can advertise that because apple would not let them. Even AT&T who has hspa+ and uses it says that their iPhone gets 4g speeds, but does not call it a 4g iPhone, because apple does not recognize it.

        • Anonymous

          Good point. Probably wouldnt be marketed that way officially but id pitch it that way to customers….lol

      • Fabian Cortez

        14.4 Mbps is still HSDPA and not HSPA+. HSPA+ begins at 21 Mbps. Shame on AT&T and that Anandtech article.

        • Anonymous

          The mt4g/slide, sensation & g2x are all 14mbps devices and are categorized as “4g” devices by tmobile standards.

  • St08

    I’m with T-mobile since 2003 and always bought my phone from the ebay just because they didn’t have the phone I wanted.  First it was quad band phones 3G phones and mother of all iPhone.  I’m still with them and first they have excited with the news of 1900 spectrum.  I will be able to buy Lumia 900 and use it on TMO:)  Finally after 10 years I’m excited, I don’t like their sub par Android offering, G2 was the ugliest phone I ever bought and returned it after one week.

    With common LTE band on AWS and 1900 HSPA+, they will be able to compete and grow.

  • Itiswatis

    challenger trategy and reinvigorate. Two buzzwords we were hearing and reading a year ago, just before we were handed over to ATT. So who are we about to get handed over to this time?

    • Guest

      We have heard from T-Mobile this before, ever since the downturn beginning in 2008, the company has been telling its employee’s this story all the time. The company needs to go back to get more campaign and forget about high paying data users.  No way can T-Mobile go against AT&T and Verizon for those users. T-Moble needs to be the Walmart (low cost) of cellphone carriers and go for volume. If people wondered why T-Mobile never gets the iphone or why Android, top of the line,  is T-Mobile Marketing/Business/Executives thinks the phones are to expensive for their core users.

  • Anonymous

    absolutely…funny part is tmobile could have been number two right now……but the effed up. The stubborn, non imaginative idiot who was running tmobile at that time could have promoted the living crap out of android and tmobile could have easily bumped sprint out of place and took over and put either att or verizon behind them…they had excellent cs, a new platform to make money with, but they didnt want to promote it….well guess what… effed up….but theres still a chance…find the right ad agency…fix customer service (dont see anything wrong with them) offer lte, the same services the rest of them are offering, but offer it at less price than them…and offer a option for a family data plan (i wish). and dont listen to the haters. they dont know any better. they’ll jump ship for anything…aparently they have money to waste.

  • Cole Yarkoni

    A few questions for you folks in the know, thanks in advance:

    1. Does the switch over to LTE mean that I will have to upgrade my existing phones?
    2. Will the new LTE network be an easier acquisition target down the road? It was always said a deal with Sprint would not make sense due to network incompatibility, but does the LTE upgrade change that?
    3. Anyone have link(s) to info that spells out this technology in layman’s terms?


    • Anonymous

      1) Yes you will need a new phone that supports AWS LTE in order to get LTE service. 

      2) I do not believe it makes it an easier target, but it does make them a more appealing target.  Buyer would still need to pass FCC//DOJ, which rules out ATT/Verizon.  Actually this makes it harder to deal with Sprint. They both will have LTE, but Sprint’s LTE is on PCS, while TMO is on AWS. If tmo had went with LTE on PCS, then it would have made it easier or at least a network sharing agreement easier. Also with both switching to Multimodal base stations, the technology incompatibility is not major. Now Tower can handle GSM/WCDMA/LTE/HSPA+ etc.

       3) I would say wiki is the best place to start, but LTE in general is just a new technology that is data optimized instead of voice optimized like previous technologies. It is capable of speeds in the 1Gbps range.

  • Guest

    The future plans are to ditch T-Mobile USA?

  • Winski

    IF the current 3rd level management and above ( to the CEO LEVEL) aren’t COMPLETLY ERASED (fired or forced to leave) T-Mumble probably won’t exist by 2013. This has got to be the most incompetent team on earth!

  • Cityofnewyork3000

    It’s a wonder that these guys are even still around, I say that because last night I called in the customer service to order a simple sim card for service and was treated like I was just totally unimportant and that my order was unimportant. I can see why they are number four and probably will stay there until they finally die a horrible death. With people like the service rep that handled my called  working for them they may as well hang it up and just find a way out of the US market because they are dead in the water.

    • Mark Schmaling

      IF you have to call Customer Service, when the auto-response asks you “how can I help you today” SAY CANCEL MY SERVICE.  You will get connected to the US call center where people know what they are doing!  Shame on T-mobile for forcing us to game the system.

  • Mark Schmaling

    I would never buy an iPhone.  I can understand however why not technology users are confused by Android and just assume an iPhone is better.  I work with someone who didn’t know she could use here Android as a GPS or had voice commands.  Microsoft needs to turn Windows Phone into a viable easy to use alternative to the iPhone.

  • Kevin

    I love how people complain about T-Mobile and then so many people got mad when they heard about AT&T taking them over… The fact is that no service provider can make everyone happy. People have to understand that T-Mobile has only been in the US market for about 11 years where as ATT and Sprint have been here for several years. Other providers are going to have more money to build out an LTE network. I know T-Mobile has been through so many stuggles including getting a new CEO…. T-Mobile is a great company overall and I can tell you that as a T-Mobile employee for going on 8 years  they care about thier customers! I know for myself personally I love talking to the customers and I am greatful to them because with out loyal customers I wouldn’t have a job.

  • Imran

    T-Mobile now must have Iphone to be hip they always wanted to be. For GOD sack now Cricket is going Apple. Can someone wake up Philip who is in so much love with Window.  Window is past, apple is current and Andriod is future….  Focus on currrent for now to built up client base but stay focus with Andriod.

    • David

      What are you talking about? Philip is in love with Windows Phone? Do you see the same T-Mobile Windows Phone lineup as the rest of us?