Deutsche Telekom CFO Says T-Mobile USA Can Stand Alone, Doesn’t Need A Partner

Deutsche Telekom CFO came right out today speaking at the 40th Annual J.P. Morgan Global Technology, Media and Telecom conference and said that T-Mobile USA is “not a problem” for the international carrier.

“There’s always a perception that if these guys are selling an asset it must be a problem child,” Höttges said. “It is not a problem for us. And that is due to the fact that we have a clear path toward LTE. It is definitely a big opportunity in the marketplace.”

Hottges went on to say that T-Mobile USA can “self-fund” itself and future plans from the cash flow it generates. He said at the end of T-Mobile’s current plans for the network, they will have 2x10MHz channels for LTE in almost every one of their markets, which will give the company a strong spectrum position at least through 2017 or 2018.

“There is no need for us to enter into any kind of deal at this point in time,” said Hottges, seemingly knocking down any rumors that DT might try and merge T-Mobile with prepaid player MetroPCS. “We have cash flow. We are investing $4 billion.”

Hottges continued to emphasize strong position with their AWS LTE network explaining that manufacturers will support this band. In the sense that both AT&T and Verizon will also use LTE on the AWS in the US, there should be a strong choice of devices that have the 1700 AWS LTE band on board.

As for a deal with the iPhone on T-Mobile:

“We hope that we would get a decent portion without being forced into a huge volume commitment. That is something we cannot afford,” he said. “We hope that we can help grow Apple’s business in the U.S. without a different chipset.”

Sounds like all T-Mobile might need is a LTE capable iPhone with the 1700 band and that could pave the way toward a deal bringing a subsidized iPhone on the T-Mobile’s USA network. At least that’s the hope.

Fierce Wireless

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

  • alfonzso

    T-Mobile USA not having the iPhone is a weakness but it’s admirable of them to resist in order to avoid big commitments. Less is more. Focus on the strengths.

    • Havoktek


    •  If they DT cut T-mobile cord where will they get the money to invest in? As of right T-mobile stills needs DT

      • JBrowne1012

        You are so negative its unbelievable! where? how about from current customers, new customers the people who they already partner with… Its not like DT moving out means everything goes with them. 

  • Get_at_Me

    This spectrum refarming can really put Apple on the hot seat regarding the “T-Mobile IPhone”  There aren’t any excuses now.  Before, it was T-Mobile’s oddball AWS HSPA+ network and the lack of funds to pay Apple to develop a special version.  That hurdle will no longer exist in a few months.  TMO will be aligned with ATT and much of the world regarding bands.  The only issue will be volume (as the CFO discussed in the article).  I’ve stated this before in a different thread, but committing to no more than 2 million iphones over a few years seems doable for TMO (which is waaaay less than what Sprint committed to)….Apple has no reason to deny TMO the iphone as it won’t cost them any more to supply them.  It would be foolish of Apple to withhold the iphone from TMO USA.  The demand is there…Look at the 1M plus unlocked iphones being used on the network now!!!  I honestly think TMO getting the iphone officially is just a matter of time….Could these job cuts and consolidation be a part of a plan to bring the iphone to TMO…. among other things???

    •  I Agree, Sprint practically killed themselves with the expensive deal they really couldn’t afford and now they’re paying the price.  I know its been sort of a bummer that T-Mobile USA hasn’t offered it yet but honestly if the deal would cost them the entire company I can’t blame them to have waited so long.

    • Spooln

      Getting the iPhone is like making a deal with the Devil. it costs roughly $500 per device, T-Mobile or any carrier, has to purchase these at that cost and then subsidize them to the customer base. Sprint will not make a profit on that phone until 2015 or roughly $15billion later. No way can T-Mobile do this AND create a better network. The job cuts and consolidation have nothing to do with the iPhone and everything to do with trimming the fat and returning the company to one that is profitable. Making a committment to Apple is just the opposite and why would T-Mo make that deal when AT&T is unlocking them out the gate and people can just bring them over? Its just not a good business decision when we can have another carrier pay that fee for us and still benefit from the customers.

      •  T-mobile already made a deal with the devil right when AT&T deal came out

        • JBrowne1012

          Quit complaining t-mobile is still alive and kicking it. 

      • Get_at_Me

        You make a valid point about an iphone deal being counter-productive to tmo’s cost cutting measures, but i think the iphone can be a huge contributor to TMO’s success.  Ideally, a huge portion of ATT’s iphone customer base would get their phones unlocked and jump over to TMO…..I don’t see that happening unless TMO raised awareness. The majority of ppl aren’t saavy enough to go thru this process on their own…its just easier to carry the device in store and have customers buy it new…..Not having the single most popular smartphone in the world is a HUGE disadvantage for TMO at this point.  I wouldnt bet the farm on the iphone like Sprint did, but i think TMO and Apple can come to terms on a fair deal.  One more reason to join TMO and one less reason to jump ship…Think about that Sprint or VZW iphone customer that wants to switch carriers while keeping an iphone.  Or think about the ATT customer who’s growing weary of their 3GS….Im not saying TMO is doing all this in anticipation of getting the iphone, but from a business standpoint, it makes more sense to cut costs (aka save up for that big purchase) rather than finance something you can’t afford….Sprint was desperate for the iphone and they paid a hefty price.  VZW and ATT were eager to lead the LTE charge despite the tech being reliable (VZW outages and battery drain problems)…Guess which carrier will reap the benefits of being late to the game?

    • Ayodele Amadi

      Lets cut jobs and people’s livelihoods, so tmo can have the iphone. If Phillip cut his salary in half, I’m sure he could still have steak every night, and 200 of these folks could keep their job. Imagine what this does to the morale in our call centers. Imagine what this does for the call center employees keeping their job. They’re asked to pick up the slack sans a pay raise. The customer’s perspective on our customer service will decline, business will decline, and we’re not sure if we’ll get the iphone or not. Corporations are supposed to have a responsibility to their community, this is a sad example of people getting hurt by greed in the corporate world.

      • Get_at_Me

        Corporate greed at its finest….lower level employees pay the price while the fat cats up top are sitting pretty.  Its unrealistic to suggest that a CEO and senior leadership members take a pay cut to save jobs.  Sure ethically, that’s the answer, but it’s not going to happen…..If you were the CEO of a company and the board members told you you’d have to take a pay cut to save jobs would you? Meanwhile there’s a dozen  other high profile companies out there in need of a CEO and they’re willing to pay you more than what you’re making before the proposed pay cut.  Better yet, if you were a frontline employee and your manager told you you’d have to take a significant pay cut to save the company money and jobs, would you??? Or would you consider looking for another job???  I think there’s some sort of misconception about loyalty in upper management.  These ppl don’t care about the company or the people.  It’s all about numbers.  What do we have to do to get our numbers where they need to be?  That’s the question they ask themselves. 

        • TrevorMadden

          Dan Hesse of Sprint took a huge pay cut…

  • Mike

    Why is it that usually when we hear something like this, the exact opposite is usually true?

  • Fred

    LTE?  When?  I’m still stuck with EDGE….

    • MacRat

      If you don’t have a phone with HSPA+ frequencies, how do you think LTE will help?

      • TrevorMadden

        With all due respect, he’s obviously referring to the lack of T-Mobile coverage in his area

        • JBrowne1012

          every carrier has areas where they don’t get good coverage. thats why you do research and see who works best for your area… duh why would you pay to be stuck on edge?

  • Bruce Banner

    Family from the horses mouth that t-mobile can’t afford to just pay whatever apple demands. Enough with the “T-Mobile should just pay Apple what they want and give us the iPhone. I’ve said the entire time that T-Mobile can’t afford to offer the iPhone and finally validation.

    • MacRat

      Especially when people can just buy an iPhone direct from Apple unlocked and use it on T-Mobile.

      • None

        I totally would do exactly that, but I do not want to worry about MMS issues.

    • Havoktek

      No, Apple can break a carrier…look at AT&T, increases in revenue is only generated at the sale of a Fresh new device…and then apple get’s a MAJOR percentage of that.

      I dig it that we could use an Apple device, but lets not break the bank doing it! 

  • Great Job, David. I’m not even a T-Mobile subscriber anymore, yet I still check your blog daily. :)

  • Benjamin Johnson

    It’s great to know that T-Mobile USA is capable of funding itself.  Now I just hope DT will cut the cord and allow our dear magenta be more independent.  Verizon did it and they’re doing just fine so I think we can do the same.

    • Spooln

      lolwut? Verizon was GTE and Bell Atlantic before the two merged. Verizon was never a stand alone company. As far as T-Mo going public and standing on its own, that only makes sense if you don’t think about it… Where did T-Mo get that 4 Billion for its new LTE Network? Where did they get the AWS Spectrum? All of that was not got from T-Mo standing on its own. In a few years after the new network is stood up and T-Mo has positive net growth with minimal churn, ok, I can see it, but all you guys and gals calling for DT to cut the cord or putting the cart before the horse.

      • Spooln

        “Verizon was GTE and Bell Atlantic before the two merged” I meant After the two merged… Apologies…

      • JBrowne1012

        Its not about how and where they got the money its about what they do with it. T-mobile isn’t standalone right now they are backed by DT but whose to say that it couldn’t work?

  • exibitsman

    I am not only a contract customer I am also a monthly 4Gs subscriber too T-Mobile needs more customers like Me

  • Chris

    Right after saying this, there will be an announcement in a few weeks that T-Mobile is on the corner again. Fuck this guy.

  • jon

    As nice as this sounds, I think the metropcs thing is more than rumor. T-Mobile announced a change in policy last week that will bill new customers in advance. This shift from billing in arrears didn’t just fall from the sky. T-Mobile has been very calculating with everything they have done thus far and this new billing has a reason. We all know metropcs customers aren’t the most “reliable” when it comes to paying their bills. No offense to any metro customers, but just stating fact. T-Mobiles new policy on paying in advance would directly affect the new customers migrating after a merger…

    • xmiro

      don’t read too many tea leaves the other carriers bill like that too, as does Comcast and many others. Tmo was actually a weirdo for not billing the same way

    • 21stNow

      Billing in advance is not the same as paying in advance.  MetroPCS customers pay in advance.  T-Mobile will move to billing in advance.

  • But, David, we all know you’re going to be a complete Android convert by the time the LTE iPhone comes along, right? ;)

    • JBrowne1012

      I don’t believe he will. I think he is used to the iPhones ways and ease of use, not to say david is lazy but android takes some time to get used to, i don’t think 30 days is enough even with all the tips given by us all. It takes more than 30 days to get used to android and to figure out and see everything you can do with android in itself. Custom skins like sense are awesome and make the transition easier but every android is different in their own rights.

      • Yeah. I’m just giving him crap. I just think it’s great that he is giving Android a shot. It’s more that most Android fanboys (myself included) have done. To be totally honest, I don’t really want to go 30 days without an Android, but I also don’t have well-read blog…so there’s that.

        • None

          I would like to see the same 30 day test with a Windows Phone

      • FT3

        Im looking at lte iphone only cuz my android experience has been plagued with problems. I havent found it hard–judt so many glitches, Ive lost faith and unsure if a higher end phone would solve em, esp since some r clearly Google issurs

        • JBrowne1012

          IPhone has just as many glitches nowadays it’s not a android only issue it’s manufacturer defects that get solved with updates, my htc sensation was a high end device that I had to replace 5 Times due to glitches created from having dropped it and ran over with my car… But they sent a new one last month has been working great no issues at all kind of hesitant to update because that could mess it up but just know every device has its quirks.

        • JBrowne1012

          IPhone has just as many glitches nowadays it’s not a android only issue it’s manufacturer defects that get solved with updates, my htc sensation was a high end device that I had to replace 5 Times due to glitches created from having dropped it and ran over with my car… But they sent a new one last month has been working great no issues at all kind of hesitant to update because that could mess it up but just know every device has its quirks.

  • TMoFan

    I think this is the same guy who said T-Mobile is not for sale, only to sell out to at&t a few days later. Don’t hold too much of what they say in high regard.

    There will be no excuse on Apple’s end once the network is restructured. T-Mobile will do fine with an “official” iPhone or not.

  • BigMixxx

    If that’s the case, spin it public and let t mobile make it’s own set of decisions.  The is malarkey…

  • If T-mobile can stand alone then how come they tried to sell T-mobile USA to AT&T? You guys talking making a deal with Apple is like selling your to devil then you what know T-mobile is already there

    • Momark2006

      its like yes I make a billion a year but if I can sell now and get 39 billion I will ……T-Mobile didn’t have a path to lte now they do ( I kind of think the government stepped in to get T-Mobile to lte with some air waves that Att  didn’t need right away )        I THINK TMOBILE IS COMMITED  to the market  but will sell if someone gives them a lot of money and 39 billion wont cut it any more im sure because they are in a better position.

    • xmiro

      because AT&T offered them billions more than what T-Mobile USA was actually worth. $39 billion plus 8% voting stake in AT&T itself, plus board seat, all the while T-Mobile USA being worth something like 16-25 billion at most

    • JBrowne1012

      Because DT didn’t want t-mobile because t-mo isn’t considered number 1 but at the same time you don’t have to be in trouble to sell a business you just have to have enough incentive to sell it. The money AT&T offered was incentive enough for it to be considered and in the end it only bettered t-mobile. T-mobile could certainly stand alone and in the coming years i believe that will show if t-mo is to go that route. T-Mobile only wants to make a deal with apple because they are getting shafted by not offering the iPhone when everyone else is and thats the same reason for going the LTE route because the consumers in America decided thats what relevant and thats what they want no matter how better HSPA+ is and any high end android is for comparisons sake. Its all just business in the end.

      • guest

        on top of that let’s not forget that T-Mo is also one of the major carriers in Europe. therefore tmo wouldn’t be out the game completely. but they would have gotten more money to make that business better…

      • UMA_Fan

        It’s not about them not wanting T-Mobile.  It’s more about the at&t deal would have made DT the most powerful in Europe while making At&t the most powerful in the US.

    • guest

      Eventhough the merge didn”t go through T-Mobile is still standing alone isn’t it???? and you should educate yourself before making comments. (not trying to be rude) as if you don’t know T-Mobile is also one of the major carriers in Europe, so they have revenue from there as well.

  • Jarrod

    Why don’t all the T-Mobiles make bulk purchases of iPhones with them including the T-Mobile USA band included and the. Instead of each individual one having to buy its own amount they just have a huge stock pile in Germany and send them where needed they would also save money and probably be one of the largest iPhone buyers. Also something T-Mobile USA doesn’t need is all their revenue being sent back to Europe with little network expenditures.

    • EliZaveri

      Apple won’t let that happen. They wanna make more money and they know that Tmobile is the last major carrier left in the USA without subsidized iPhone. I think at some point apple will bow to Tmobile , once Tmobile starts getting new customers.

  • T-Mobile USA will spin off to its own entity in a few years, just wait. Once that happens, I think that’s when the company will flourish.

  • now_onTMO

    just keep the affordable monthly bills and don’t merge with ATT , lol .. we should also know that once tmobile started harvesting more customers, they would most likely raise their rate plans..

    any news about the T999?

    • UMA_Fan

      You can never know but I would think rate plan increases wouldn’t be likely until T-Mobile gets out of fourth place.  At this point, they could double their customer base and still be behind at&t.

  • Wilma Flintstone

    Well this article sure is NOTE-worthy ;)

  • UMA_Fan

    I think this is the first TRUE full reasoning why T-Mobile USA doesn’t have the iPhone.  Apple can make ANOTHER device to support T-Mobile but T-Mobile would have to commit to certain number of devices for it to be worth it.  Once T-Mobile’s network is no different band wise from at&t’s Apple’s might let slide T-Mobile purchasing less iPhones.

    • JBrowne1012

      This is why T-mobile encourages you to bring your unlocked iPhone to use on t-mo and with the refarming it’ll be so much sweeter for the iCult(don’t mind my hatred of apple and iOS) It not only fills the holes with people who want that device but also provides a cheaper more efficient route to allow them to use it.

      • Sajam100

        Not really cuz by then users will want the lte iphone not the 3g

  • Aol

    Make my amazing word, this is what will happen. Sprint, sucks balls so bad and they are in a lot of financial trouble, the CEO will be gone in 2 or less years and someone else will step in but it will be too late. So they will have to close, but the FCC isn’t going to let all those customers be without service, so T-MO, VER., or ATT will buy them. Then there will be 3…. T-MO is the one to watch in the coming years they are trimming the fat and work out to show their muscles, we will see expansion in service area as they gobble up small companies in less populated areas. Verizon is verizon they are good, because they have been around forever. AT&T is doing the damn thing and they are very smart and strategic, they will remain number 2 but their cable division will flourish much more in the coming years.  

  • Youngneno

    I think t-mobile just need LTE to use the iPhone. Ain’t no way around those bands. And if they do get the iPhone I’ll sell it at full price. Everybody know company’s don’t make no money off the iPhone. Better yet they wish and hope to.

    • JBrowne1012

      Verizon does but thats due to the fact that they rape you through your service prices.

  • Enoel69

    Does anyone know if the smaller companies selling the iPhone had to commit to buying huge amounts of the device? Why should Tmo have to shed billions just to get this device while it can use that amount on refarming effort to make their network compatible with devices that have similar bands to the iPhone.  I think Tmo is doing it the most prudent and cost effective way..harmonizing their network to play nice with a host of devices with the 1900 MHz band…

    • Theosqua

      Sprint made a significant commitment to purchasing iphone orders in order to get the iphone.

  • STeVeN

    Sounds like as much as they knock the iphone, they REALLY want it. Like the six year old boy with a crush who picks fights with the girls he likes

    • Esunique08

      You make it sound as if T-Mobile is desperate to get it…. No doubt they want it it would increase revenues to Tmobile and Apple…. obviously Tmobile would have waaaaay more customers if the iphone was sold… either way tmobile has some really awesome phones that can be considered better than the IPHONE. but customers are stuck on the iphone because everyone seems to have it, without educating themselves on other phones.

  • dkbnyc

    This is what that whole AT&T merger was all about.