DT chief: Uncarrier branding “one of the most impressive marketing stories I have ever seen”

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A lot of change has happened for T-Mobile over the past couple of years. At one point it was rock bottom and hopeless after the attempted buyout by AT&T fell flat. Then Uncarrier happened. And it has to be one of the biggest turnarounds in telecoms history. As well as breaking down customer pain points, getting the iPhone on its store shelves and offering fantastic deals, the company has been rolling out its LTE network at incredible pace. And Deutsche Telekom’s CEO has noticed. I mean, how could you not?

On DT’s quarterly earnings conference call, Tim Hoettges stated that he is convinced that T-Mobile US will continue to be a source of great satisfaction for us.” And also that he believes T-Mobile can continue to bolster its spectrum holdings without any further financial help from Deutsche Telekom. So despite the fact that DT is the majority shareholder, there’s a real sense now that T-Mobile is going it alone. And he’s not concerned about the short term losses made. 

Last quarter, T-Mobile US made a loss of $94 million. And that’s to be expected as it continues to add new customers to its ranks. But Hoettges is very calm about the future, believing – like T-Mo’s executives do – that in the long run, the addition of customers and loyalty will result in the company turning to profit within the next few quarters.

During the call he also paid tribute to the work done by Mike Sievert and John Legere, in driving the Un-carrier brand forward, calling it “one of the most impressive marketing stories I have ever seen.” Before going on to say, “I am very lucky that I am part of this success here.” 

This of course goes some way to confirming the rumors from the past couple of months, claiming DT had decided not to sell T-Mobile way before Iliad came in with its own bold bids to get in to the U.S. market.

In short: We’re definitely following the right carrier.

Sources: Reuters, Deutsche Telekom (PDF), Fierce Wireless

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  • chickenfactory

    this gives assurance that as long as Legere and his team stays in place and continue what they’re doing, DT will not want give them up. DT wants to take some credit

    • Verizonthunder

      DT will get no credit for what John Legere did to renergize the T-Mobile brand period.

    • TechnoRealz

      I think the only credit DT wants is on the balance sheet. If TMO becomes an appreciating asset, then it raises the asking price if DT ever actually wanted to sell. Of course there isn’t much profits to take credit for on the DT P&L yet so that’s a little premature.

  • elmo1182

    I still think DT should be willing to invest more in its US company to help it thrive more. Especially with the upcoming AWS 3 and more importantly the 600 broadcast auction. I don’t know but hopefully T-Mobile US can save enough cash to get enough low band spectrum to fight against AT&T and Verizon and also Sprint now that it’s backed by SoftBank.

    • Fabian Cortez

      DT says that T-Mobile US has enough/can raise enough money for the upcoming auctions.

    • TechnoRealz

      Sorry for my noobiness – but lower frequencies such as the 700/600 spectrums are where TMO is lacking – true?

      Do those frequencies help provide better coverage in buildings, rural or both?

      • Mr.Radar

        Both. Lower-frequency signals travel farther and penetrate buildings better. The flip side is that you can’t pack the cells as closely together as you can with high frequency signals so you get overall lower bandwidth for the same coverage area. Not a problem in rural areas where population density is low, but as AT&T and Verizon have learned it becomes a major issue in urban areas.

  • taron19119

    When t-mobile becomes the number 3 carrier what will they say and more importantly do

    • monkeybutts

      Aim for the #2 spot.

      • Paul

        True Story

    • Jeremy Turnley

      The gap between 2nd and 3rd is so wide that there is a lot of growth needed to even make a dent. What’s important is that they continue to prove that they can gain customers and improve their network, while shaking up the market so that the other carriers have to adapt. If they can do that, the playing field will slowly level out.

  • wazmo

    Actually, Legere should fix DT Deutschland, since that’s where they’re so screwed right now.

  • mingkee

    This can be a main reason the parent company (Deutsche Telekom) put the US division selling aside…for now.
    Sprint really needs this type of CEO to turn from the trench.

    • FILA

      No they don’t, that would mean competition with T-Mobile. We want sprint to keep loosing!

      • danielhep

        Don’t forget that we are consumers. When there is competition in the market, then we get better service.

        • mingkee

          It’s indeed a good thing to put denial on buyout/merger among the big 4.
          Sooner or later, Sprint will learn and make a turnaround instead of dragging T-Mobile to Hell altogether.
          While Sprint and T-Mobile grow healthily, it will be a real threat against ATT and VZW.

        • Bklynman

          Don’t forget now everyone,sprint has new a ceo,once Sprint has everything in order,I am sure he has his tech people working on it as fast as they can put in new network,don’t really follow what they are doing,or what they are going to call it,keep reading about how slow they are on here,but if they are revamping it,wouldn’t that made it slow down? Anyone who is more knowledge in the way cell companies work care to answer this?

      • TechnoRealz

        FILA – competition is good for every one in the economy.

  • shamatuu

    Give me a good deal.

  • MMA Prints

    I was nervous that Legere, known for his work at Global Crossing, would come into T-Mobile, slash jobs, cut tons of costs, and make the company barely profitable again with the same boring plans and phone subsidies. Fortunately my fears were unfounded and Legere has done so much more than just turn T-Mobile into a customer acquisition machine, he has rejuvenated and shook up a once very stagnant and predictable industry and should be given 100% of the credit for his work.

    • Volker

      I’m pretty sure that Legere did cut a lot of jobs when he first came. A bunch of call centers. Which is unfortunately the norm nowadays. Off topic, I’ve noticed a better chance of getting North American (not sure if its truly US-based) representatives if you call late at night as opposed to another time of day. Not that it makes a huge difference, they are all competent, I just find that sometimes offshored representatives have a hard time understanding the point that I am trying to get across. For example a year or so ago all data on my phone stopped working and it took me 20 minutes for the rep to understand that it was on-phone data that wasn’t working. She tried to get me to buy more hotspot data thinking I couldn’t access hotspot data anymore.

      • howieg

        Just waited 1hour and 22minutes for a customer service rep to answer. Watch the churn rates when those of us that came from real phone companies regularly have to wait an hour plus for customer service to answer. And then they’re clueless when they do answer.

  • vinnyjr

    T-Mobile USA is the most exciting Carrier in the World to be covering, no other Carrier has Mr John Legere leading the charge. The Mobile Industry in the US has been completely flipped upside down because of one guy, John Legere. Because of his market genius the customers now have real solid choices on all Carriers. Every Carrier in this Country has switched to new business practices due to T-Mobile’s way of doing business. Every Mobile Customer in this Country should be thanking John Legere. Thank You T-Mobile, Thank You John Legere.

    • KijBeta

      The exciting part is not just DT showing confidence in TMUS. John Legere being crazy and looking to shake things up. It’s all those people working for T-Mobile that are pitching ideas for change. And in many cases getting it finished much faster than anyone thought was possible.
      All the talk would mean nothing if they were not making progress at a good pace.

      • NinoBr0wn

        I wonder how many execs are still in place from before the at&t fallout. I love John Legere and his “antics,” but like you said, it’s been a team effort, and I’m sure a lot of people we don’t even know deserve much appreciation too.

  • Mirad77

    This is hoping for no more sales talk in the near or far future, and for Tmo to start converting those added customers into profit for them.

  • macman37

    Way to go T-Mobile USA!! Nothing like music to our ears when we hear great news like this! I’m really looking forward to see how T-Mobile USA will stand in comparison to the other Big 3 after the AWS-3 and the 600Mhz auctions; there is no doubt in my mind when it comes to the management staff of John Leger and Mike Sievert’s decisions. They not only made the US subscribers happy, but the parent company Deutsche Telekom very proud enough to where they won’t even consider looking for another company to acquire T-Mobile USA. Great job, John Legere!!

  • Paul Garrison

    TMUS keeps growing there could be a T-Dish, but Dish will be the one getting gobbled up.

  • notyourbusiness

    This is a really positive article. Great to know that DT’s CEO knows T-Mo is not worth losing.

    • markw

      He looks like Col.Klink from Hogan’s Heroes.

      • socalrailroader

        Not even, I’d be insulted if I were Werner Klemperer .

  • Singleweird

    what a great business lesson to other huge companies: stop whining, focus on customer service and providing a service the way customers want it, and they will come.

  • Walker

    What I dont understand is that if Tmobile is doing so well, why isnt DT pumping cold hard cash into Tmo to help bolster its coverage instead of looking to sell? I mean its not like they aren’t gonna be very profitable. Theres no way in hell I’m selling this company, not anytime soon, especially since they’re really only just getting started. Give them the money to purchase some good quality spectrum like the 600 mhz or 700mhz, and I guarantee DT will be swimming in more cash than they could ever image.

    • macman37

      Although you do bring up a good point in why not fund your profitable subsidiary, the reason that I read a few months ago is that Deutsche Telekom does not have the funds to do so due to their debts that they have to pay off. It’s this reason of having to pay off their debts that they constantly look for someone/another carrier to acquire T-Mobile USA. Up until having a great management staff that John Legere currently has put together, the idea of being of losing more money and being in more debt constantly worried them. Hats off to John Legere and his management staff for putting this fear of Deutsche Telekom to rest!

    • maximus1901

      Because he’s essentially bsing. Gov won’t allow sprint to buy and no Iliad offer is too low so nothing to do but go forward.

    • xmiro

      because the rest of their operations in Europe are dogs, and in need of money. And the German government is twisting their arms to participate in a spectrum auction that will cost several billion Euros

  • Matt

    I like T-Mobile because it is shaking up the industry. However, this isn’t marketing genius or anything really new. It’s simply playing to the consumer frustration with the status quo. It’s a time-honored way of gaining people’s interest. By paying attention to the needs of the consumer, the service provider gains favorable rapport with it’s customers and enticing others to come.