Carter: Several more Un-carrier moves coming in 2014, some non-traditional


Speaking at an investor conference today, Braxton Carter confirmed that we can expect “several more” Un-carrier moves from T-Mobile over the course of this year. While remaining silent on the specifics – as you’d expect – he did state that some of those will be “non-traditional.” Carter was invited along to the 42nd annual J.P. Morgan Global Technology, Media and Telecom Conference, and you can catch the entire webcast of the opening interview at T-Mobile’s investor site.

Questions – of course – eventually got around to the hot topic of the moment: Will a Sprint/T-Mobile merger happen, or have any positives? Again, as you’d expect, there were no definitive answers. Except to say that if the proposed Sprint/T-Mo partnership was going to happen, it’d only be a strong carrier and network operator if the new, larger company kept hold of T-Mobile’s Un-carrier mentality and momentum.

The interview lasts under 40 mins, but you could find interesting, to heat insights on T-Mobile and his thoughts on the future of telecom, and what the future holds. Of particular interest to me was his comments on T-Mobile entering the content services market. With AT&T having bought DirecTV, there’s a potential to start bundling services together. But for T-Mo, that doesn’t appear to be in the near future. Carter remarked that, while it was something the company could consider in the future, it needs to continue its current course and focus: Removing customer pain points and expanding/improving coverage.

To listen in on the call yourself, head on over to the investor site. It’s available to stream now.

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  • archerian

    Uncarrier initiatives are good to create hype and bring price conscious customers over, but they will not be sustainable over the long run. Some of the Uncarrier initiatives like removing contracts and paying ETFs are mutually combined self destructive once the competition starts cutting prices and their costs look nearly as the same as T-mobile’s. The same tactics that played into increasing T-mobile’s customer base via Uncarrier brings a lot of customers who’s only Loyalty is price. Not a good business strategy for the long term.

    • The paying of ETFs is designed to be non-promotional, but also short-term. By doing that, T-Mobile is forcing the entire industry to switch away from the subsidy model. T-Mobile won’t pay for you to switch if you’re using AT&T Mobile Share Value or Verizon EDGE EIP programs, for example.

    • Ben

      So far, T-Mobile has lower churn without the annual service contracts than with them, ironically enough.

      ETFs will start becoming less frequent as more carriers put users into the new ‘Value’ and ‘Framily’ plans they now tout, so that cost will likely go down for T-Mobile, although it wouldn’t shock me to see them reformulate it into a bill credit down the road.

    • If you’re an investor in T-mobile, then you’re right about being concerned about this. But, if you’re a customer, then it should be the last of your concerns.

      • itguy08

        I am an investor and not worried at all. Why? Cause long term it will work out. Get people in the door and they will stay if they are happy – the inertia for someone to switch just because is really not there. The expense of all new phones alone kills it for most, ETF or not.

        The important thing is keeping people happy and with increased customers that means more money for things like network upgrades and such.

        Taking a short term loss is nothing – look at Amazon – looses money in the vast majority of quarters it has been in business. Yet nobody claims their model is unsustainable!

        Sure there could be a price war. But none of the others really want to go there as with their larger costs and maintenance costs it would kill them in the eyes of investors.

        T-Mo is doing all the right things and long term I think it will play out well. Investors need to take a long term approach, not the short term BS that is all too popular today.

        • mikey

          I agree with you, charging full price for the phone is payments, and eliminating terminatiopn fees was a great idea. Do the math. If you try to drop an ATT contract after a year of service, your etf would be about $200, tmobile pays it for you then lets you get a $600 or $700 phone on payments, you hate tmobile after a few months and decide to leave, they still charge you for whatever payments you have left on the phone which is yours to keep instead of the only $200 you paid ATT to keep their phone and leave. So basicaly you would have to pay more to tmobile to switch from them, unless you bought a cheap sub $200 phone that is, but who does that.

        • Dakota

          Well if the ATT/DirectV merger goes through they’ll be able to maybe package TV and cell (and internet) for prices that are lower

      • archerian

        I see your point, but if the company cannot sustain this momentum, then the only way out is to increase prices or decrease services/quality – which ultimately affect the customer.

        • I disagree. Uncarrier is the way carriers in Europe do business. They are profitable and offer prices 1/2 to 1/3 of the gouged up prices in the US for the same service. If European carriers can still be profitable, like T-mobile Europe itself, surely TMO can be likewise profitable.

        • Drew Vallejo

          Not that I’m defending our carriers prices but having a lower cost overall to maintain the networks in Europe must play a big role in the cost to profit ratio. TMO prices WILL rise (Unlimited data) . What they really need to do is diversify if they want to keep prices low and still turn a healthy profit. It’s the only way. The larger carries understand this. (Verizon/ Comcast relationship and AT&T/Direct TV)

        • Dakota

          Prices in other countries are much much cheaper. A friend in Austrlaia gets a cell phone, home phone and internet for what the average American pays for cell only
          I don’t understand why we have CDMA and GSM and wonder if that contributes to higher prices. I wish all the phones ran on the same networks and we had the option of just buying a phone and taking it to any carrier we want. If the pricing , coverage, service is not to our liking, we could just easily switch to another carrier. They could still do contracts and subsidies to lock people into contracts but for those who don’t want that, it would be good to be able to have real compeition. Right now have a GSM phone, you can’t even go to Sprint or Verizon

    • DDLAR

      T-Mobile has managed to make the combination of initiatives work so far.
      These moves are less of a risk than they might appear. For example, to get them to pay the ETF you have to buy a T-Mobile phone. Unless you are willing to pay off that phone, you may be hesitant to switch carriers. Another thing that T-Mobile is probably looking at is their attempt to be the most attractive carrier (cost, policies, etc.) for most customers. That is, they may feel if they can get customers to try them they won’t want to switch back. And, of course, there’s always customer inertia.
      I don’t think they will pay ETF forever. However, the fact that they continue to do it shows that T-Mobile management thinks it’s working well so far.
      I don’t think it’s a bad business strategy unless they plan to scrap everything else they’ve done in the past couple of years.

      • Dakota

        Well at least you kind of admitted that the phone payment ends up being ‘like a contract’ ….if the whole point was that tmobile doesnt make money on phones and is out of the device business, w hy make people buy a tmobile phone

    • ThinkBeforeHittingPost

      “Some of the Uncarrier initiatives like removing contracts and paying ETFs are mutually combined self destructive once the competition starts cutting prices and their costs look nearly as the same as T-mobile’s.”

      If you bother to think about that statement for more than the two seconds it took you to write it, you might find that the “problem” solves itself. To explain so you don’t have to bother with the whole “thinking” bit:

      Once competition starts matching T-Mobile’s costs, fewer and fewer people will be bothered enough to jump to T-Mobile, which pretty much takes care of the problem quite nicely.

      • archerian

        Dear deep thinker – The point is once the competition starts matching T-mobile’s costs, there is nothing preventing poached customers from GOING BACK to them, especially when there is superior coverage and wider range of devices at other providers. Chew on that.

    • Dakota

      They’ve already done that. ATT and VZ already now have lowered prices when you bring your own home. Ive never understood Legere saying he’s changing the industry vs changing Tmobile. Nothing he’s done is exclusive; anyone can copy it. And if their network gets bigger, they won’t be able to offer truly unlimited. They’ve already raised rates once during the uncarrier period

  • besweeet

    That “non-traditional” move probably includes being acquired by Sprint. Actually, acquisitions seem to be a trend these days…

  • sushimane

    T-Mobile better not merge. FCC and doj better reject it.

    • you tell ’em!

      …or else?

      • sushimane

        I don’t know I’m just saying I don’t want t-mobile to disappear. Sprint never had the best track record with anything they deployed in the past or now. So yeah just my opinion

        • ⓜ@®!ⓞ G@®CI@ ™


        • sushimane

          What are u talking about I’m replying to you tell’em

        • ⓜ@®!ⓞ G@®CI@ ™

          You’re absolutely right! My dumb chrome browser showed it as you were replying to yourself….. :( I need to switch browsers

    • noelsito

      maybe they’re doing this so they can get rejected on purpose so they’ll get money over the failed merger :)

      • sushimane

        That’s what I’m thinking too lol. But its only a 1 billion should have asked for 2

  • Aurizen

    When is the next uncarrier announcement?

  • philyew

    There were some very interesting take-aways from this. From my point-of-view, among the most interesting was the acknowledgment that the key to regulatory approval had to be the ability to prove that competition would be increased by the establishment of a large scale 3rd competitor, and the key to that would be maintaining the continuation of Uncarrier behaviors.

    My own opposition to a merger with Sprint has been based firmly on the expectation that any company reaching the scale to match AT&T and Verizon will inevitably adopt their behaviors in order to close the gap in margin which currently exists (AT&T and Verizon actual 45-50%, TM target 34-36%). Carter argues that the difference in achievable margin is accounted for entirely by scale and that TM could maintain current Uncarrier behaviors and improve their margin simply through the growth that a merger would bring.

    I don’t accept his argument from two angles.

    First, if it was simply a matter of scale, then Verizon’s ARPU would be much closer to TM’s. Instead, TM’s $50.70 is significantly lower than Verizon’s. VZW no longer report ARPU, but if you use their new reported value ARPA (Average Revenue Per Account) and divide it by the average number of connections per account, you can get an ARPU value, which is $57.64. That’s a difference of almost 14% – nearly the same as the difference between TM’s target margin of 36% and Verizon’s actual margin of ~50%.

    Second, I don’t accept that a target margin of ~50% is an Uncarrier objective. It’s a bloated ambition which reflects only the most exploitative industries and cannot possibly be seen as indicative of a company which is genuinely aiming to share the benefits of scale and efficiency with its consumers.

    The conversation addressed several other interesting areas, such as investment plans and raising revenue to support them, but this was the most important issue for me.

    • Nice analysis. For me, this is nothing more than an “enjoy it while it lasts” ride. The FCC is such a problematic regulatory body when you look at its recent history which suggests that it’s practically a de facto requirement that you had to have lobbied for the big carriers in a significant way if not having had been directly employed by them.

      As much as I somewhat find Wheeler’s public persona likeable, recent decisions suggest that this is the same ol’ FCC conducting business as usual with not a single care for protecting and ensuring a competitive marketplace but rather protecting and ensuring the bottom line of the big players. His position on net neutrality benefits the big players as well as the allowance of the Comcast/TW and AT&T/DirecTV mergers.

      It’s bizarre and, dare I say, contradictory that they blocked the buyout of TMO by AT&T on the premise of competition but have had zero problems permitting similar problematic acquisitions in the cable marketplace. Something doesn’t add up and I have to believe there was more to that decision than what is known publicly (perhaps a concerned VZW indirectly involved?).

      The recent auction decision suggests an interesting aberration to their usual decision-making procedures rather than the norm (and I again have to wonder what influenced the outcome). So, assuming that what one normally does predicts fairly reliably what one will do, we only need look at how the FCC has handled the internet (Google Fiber has had an incredible number of obstacles to surmount in its sloth-like deployment) and cable marketplaces to get the picture that an oligopolic marketplace is the endgame. It’s not a matter of IF Sprint or TMO get absorbed or merge, but WHEN. And when that happens, their respective competitive strategies will also adapt to the change in their relative market shares.

      • Fabian Cortez

        When was Comcast and AT&T allowed to acquire TimeWarner Cable and DirecTV respectively?

        Do you even know how long it took the DoJ and FCC to oppose the AT&T/T-Mobile merger?

        • Regarding the first paragraph, this is a quick rundown on the latest:

          The two proposed acquisitions are pending review but there’s been no indication to the contrary that they’ll be blocked.

          Regarding the second paragraph, it took place within a year’s time frame (2011).

        • Tried to post a news link along with some commentary but am not being approved to do so. I apologize.

          The short of it is that both have been proposed and are awaiting approval by both shareholders and the FCC. There’s been no indication that any such acquisitions are going to be blocked in spite of outcries by public interest groups. In fact, both AT&T and Comcast stated that they expect the deals to close by the end of the year.

          Regarding your second paragraph, I’m not familiar with any specific timetable from when it hit the desks of the FCC to when they made their decision, but from public proposal to termination of the deal, it took a good part of a year, most of 2011.

        • Fabian Cortez

          There were no indications that the AT&T/T-Mobile deal would have been blocked either.

          Also, AT&T mentioned that they expected the T-Mobile deal to be complete by a certain date as well.

          All of this is taken care of after these companies come together and announce their respective deals.

        • That’s technically true. I’m drawing inferences from my familiarity with the FCC and corporate PR (not personal experience). Generally, no public comments are made until an idea has been thoroughly vetted behind the scenes. By the time public statements are issued, it’s usually the case that corporations have some degree of approval by regulatory bodies. For example, it’s no secret at this point that Son has met with Wheeler at least once. Conversations at this stage are of the persuasive and hypothetical kind, i.e., “If I were to X, would you Y or not-Y?”

          For the AT&T / TMO deal to go as far as it did, there had to have been some sort of indication that there wouldn’t be any obstacles that could not be overcome. The fact that it did take the direction that it did, considering the FCC’s general favorability to AT&T/Comcast/VZW, leads me to believe that something else influenced the outcome other than their newfound appreciation for competition. Ask why, if competition is important, so few customers in the cable marketplace have real choices between their providers. I know a handful of people in the DC, MD, PA, VA, WV areas who literally have one option. This is not an accident.

          A lawyer I know who practiced in DC said of the FCC that it is one of the more corrupt areas of regulatory enforcement in the United States. This issue stems from the fact that its members usually worked for big telecom before switching over to the FCC. Consider, for instance, that former FCC Chairman, Michael Powell, is now president of the National Cable and Telecommunications Association, which represents the interests of big telecom. Now consider that current FCC Chairman, Tom Wheeler, held that same position before being named Chairman. They essentially swapped places.

          It doesn’t stop there though. Daniel Alvarez was an attorney who represented Comcast before becoming an FCC commissioner. Senior Counselor Philip Verveer worked for Comcast before his FCC affiliation. FCC commissioner Ajit Pai was also an associate general counsel for Verizon. Pai’s legal counselor, Brendan Carr was an attorney for AT&T and Verizon.

          This is nothing new with the FCC though. Like I said, it’s practically a requirement that you have to have worked with big telecom in some significant capacity to have an influential role there and herein lies the problem. Many of them played roles at their former employers drafting regulations that would be to their benefit. They then get transferred to the FCC where, if they don’t directly vote on those regulations they helped draft, they give counsel to those who do. The problem is pretty evident.

          All of the above is why I’m 99% sure that everything will move forward without a hitch. If there is a hitch, you can bet that, in spite of public appearances, it has little to do with competition.

          After the TMO deal was killed, nobody expected them to pose a serious disruptive threat to the industry. It was like stopping a bully from picking on the skinny kid because he might be your boss some day. Nobody seriously expects that to happen. TMO’s role was supposed to play little carrier and be that budget wireless provider without a real network. The fact that it worked out the way it did was a happy accident involving catching lightning in a bottle named John Legere. And, only in irony, can the FCC point and say, “Look! We knew what we were doing and are helping the consumers after all.” They knew about as much as someone who gets lucky and haphazardly guesses the scoring outcome of the Superbowl having not watched a game of football in their life. That was NOT the intended outcome.

          I’m keenly interested now in watching developments because I know Legere has met with Wheeler on several occasions. I am in disbelief that he has any more persuasive power with him than VZW, Comcast, or AT&T considering the compositional makeup of the FCC. I am, rightly in my opinion, both skeptical and cynical of any decisions that the FCC makes because I cannot believe that it will not benefit big telecom in some way in the long run. In fact, given the auction decision, I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that AT&T and VZW were told to swallow this now but they’ll be helped somewhere else down the line. The “I scratch your back; you scratch mine” is more pronounced in this industry, historically, than any others (other than banking) that I can think of.

          I hope I’m wrong, but I want to see how the dynamics change, what decisions are made, and who benefits (consumers, little guy, or big telecom) before I decide to celebrate the ushering in of a new era of anti-cronyism and pro-consumer interests.

        • philyew

          You’re focusing on the FCC, but it’s the FTC and Department of Justice that oversee anti-trust and competitive marketplace legislation. The DoJ law suit to block the AT&T takeover was what killed it off.

          The FCC handle the competitive implications of license ownership, and they can’t approve license re-assignment which clearly breaches the relevant legislation on competition.

        • I wasn’t thinking in terms of legislation; my post was about the irony in how the FCC drafts rules and regulations and makes decisions that impact the wireless industry that largely benefit big telecom. Also, IIRC, the FCC was jointly reviewing the AT&T/TMO merger with the DoJ.

          Regardless, in each of these cases, they have to review the proposal and approve it or deny it. You’re right that the DoJ was the first to intervene and halt the move; the FCC, however, soon piggybacked on that opposition…in a sense. Several media outlets reported that the chief obstacle within the FCC to the AT&T/TMO deal was the Chairman, Julius Genachowski, and that the other commissioners were actually warm to the idea.

          You can actually see the whole history of the transaction from its genesis to its death here:


          It’s pretty interesting to see all of the parties who were involved. Petitions to deny the proposal were dating back as early as May.

        • philyew

          Yes, multiple strands of government are involved. The FCC is involved because all of TM’s license holdings would have to be transferred to the new owner and the anti-competitive ramifications have to be considered before those transfers could be approved.

          My point is that the decision isn’t exclusively or even primarily in the hands of the FCC. While the current team of FCC commissioners seems to have been loaded with people from “big wireless” backgrounds, that won’t be reflected in either the FTC or DoJ (though, of course, they too could be politically compromised).

          I think the key to the future of TM doesn’t rest with the FCC, but rather it is with the DoJ. It was widely suggested back in 2011 that the speed with which they brought their opposing lawsuit (barely 5 months) indicated a toughened stance. Unless the personnel have changed significantly in the subsequent three years, I think that they will continue the same position and all indications so far support that.

          If you read their legal submission made in 2011, you will see that they could go through most of it now simply substituting “Softbank/Sprint” for “AT&T” in the text and the document would be just as relevant in 2014 for the proposed transaction as it was back then.

          The only concern that I have is that the most recent statement from the DoJ in their submission to the FCC about the 600MHz auction had the following words:

          “Therefore, the Department believes it is essential to maintain vigilance against any lessening of the intensity of competitive forces, or reduction in the number of effective competitors, in the wireless industry.”

          They sound fine, but I’m a little worried that “effective competitors” might eventually be interpreted to exclude Sprint and/or TM independently, if either or both start to argue loudly and consistently that they simply cannot survive as independent entities.

        • Good points. I didn’t analyze the DoJ or FTC angles because I’m not nearly as familiar with their members and whether there is any conflict of interest there. I’m glad that you were able to fill those blanks. With Genachowski gone, the FCC lost its most independent member. Has there been any turnover in either of the other agencies in any of their significant positions since 2011?

          I don’t disagree that the DoJ holds the keys to TMO’s future and I regret if any of my preceding posts left that impression. My main point was simply that the FCC doesn’t offer itself as any kind of obstacle in these matters and that’s a significant problem in my opinion.

          Your last point is well noted. The same cause for concern can also be raised with their use of the modifier “intensity” with respect to “competitive forces.” That’s such a vague word to employ, allowing one to draw an arbitrary line when interpreting what counts as an intense competitive force and what doesn’t.

  • Bull Winkle

    I prefer to pay $200 up front and have lower monthly bills than add an additional $25/mo for two years. I do not like T-Mobiles Uncarrier. I do like free international texting and upgrades. Service price is still the best. If Sprint takes over, I’m not even going to wait for the downfall. I’m going to AT&T. Verizon is too expensive and doesn’t use GSM.

    • sushimane

      i feel the same way i would rather down sumthing and get a low monthly payment then doing the 0 down and have a 20-30 dollar payment.

      • s

        You have the option to put extra money down to lower your monthly payment.

        • sushimane

          They never told me that when I was looking at z1s it was 0 down 23 dollars, but if i did the build up credit u down 198 14.50 a month.

        • Bull Winkle

          Exactly. It’s way too convoluted & confusing. …and fanboys looking out for T-Mobile by quoting random stats don’t change anything. (side eye… gum pop)

        • itguy08

          How hard is it to take the service price * 24 and then add in the phone cost?

          If you do that you’ll see the T-Mobile way is cheaper. Nothing to do with random stats. It’s good old math!

        • randomnerd_number38

          The beauty of T-mobile is that they don’t try to hide the cost of the device you’re getting in service contracts with inflated monthly bills. You just get a good deal on service and have the option of financing a phone. If you finance a top-of-the-line phone, you probably won’t save a ton over the other guys. If, on the other hand, you finance something thats cheaper, you can save bucketloads. I snagged up a refurbished Note 2 about a month ago and paid 0 down and 13 bucks a month. Of course, there’s always the option to get a phone from somewhere else and find an even better deal. You can see it as “convoluted and confusing” to know what you’re really paying for the phone if you want, but I think it’s a great way of doing things. If you’re happy with the phone subsidy model, the other carriers will help you out there :)

        • sushimane

          No I mean they don’t advertised it to say if u down a certain amount u would have a lower monthly payment instead of doing the 0 down deal. Because I did the pick ur credit if it excellent,building credit, or no credit. I did the build credit And saw down 198 for a z1s and the was 14.50 but with the 0 down its 23.

        • Dakota

          If you’re in a store, ask the employee. Otherwise, contact customer service. They do a lot of zero down because people like the thought of walking out with the phone without paying anything up front. But theres never one size fits all.

        • Dakota

          You can just pay the entire price of the phone. Thats just not affordable to most people. Thats one way the Nexus phones were so attractive and rumors that they are discontinuing that plan for Android Silver is concerning.

    • mikey

      monthly payment doesnt matter if you got the jump program when it came out and you like switching phones. I’d rather switch phones every 6 months without having to do my normal routine of buying it cash and searching for a buyer when im ready for a new phone and losing money on the deal. At least now I break even when I switch phones every few months and only end up paying the same amount my phone bill was with tmobile before uncarrier.

      • Dakota

        you are not the typical customer though. The average person doesnt want to or need to change phones every six months, especially iPhone owners

        • mikey

          Even if its just once a year to the new version of the same phone, still nice deal

      • Jon

        Tmobile has what they call Jump “2” program. It allows you to upgrade whenever you want as along as you meet 50% of your device EIP balance. Sweet deal. I was able to get a note 3 a month before my six month jump.

    • Matt

      What you’re not thinking is AT&T will take your $200 to “buy” the phone up front, then charge you what you would have been paying at T-Mobile INCLUDING the phone payment.

      At AT&T a Galaxy S5 will cost you $200 up front, then $110 a month for unlimited talk, text and4GB of data. You’ll spend $2840 in those two years!

      Same deal at TMO – $0 up front for the Galaxy S5, then $97.50 a month for the device, unlimited talk, text and 5GB of data… a two year cost of $2340, with more data, no overage, and global usage.

      So, which do you want to pay? $2840 or $2340?

      • Dakota

        I rather pay $350 for a Nexus 5 (If they get rid of Nexus price points, thats going to be a problem), and $45 a month from Straight Talk for 3gb of LTE data along with the unlimited talk and text. Thats cheaper than Tmobile pricing. for me

        • maximus1901

          Necus is going away; see “android silver”

        • seancaldwell

          or Silver is coming and Nexus is staying as well. Silver will be in stores and for the general public. Nexus will be for developers that want a clean and inexpensive Android experience.

        • bob90210

          If it’s better for you then you should get it. MVNOs are usually cheaper than the national carriers’ for individual post-paid plans.

      • maximus1901

        People want coverage – indoor and outdoor – and if $500 over 2 years is the price of getting indoor lte and lte past city limits, then that’s not so much.

        • bob90210

          If you value the extra coverage then by all means, go with AT&T. But that’s not what the original post was about.


          Bull winkle said that he doesn’t like uncarrier, would rather pay more up front AND every month. Was just pointing that out. Nothing was mentioned about coverage.

  • Jax

    I hope any possible T-Mobile + Sprint merger fails so with the break up fee TMO can just aquire USCellular, and continue to grow sufficiently…

  • landmarkcm

    Nice & I like Tmobile, But they have real competition on their hands now (vs there Metropcs especially) with the relaunch of Cricketwireless. I have been pretty happy when it was AIO & they are keeping the same type service.. I was a bit leary as Cricket has more of a bad rap. But they are even going to be retraining them to be more friendly the aio way etc.. If Tmobile could match the coverage etc. (although they are getting better) I may consider them again in the future.. :) Right now happy with Moto G on Aio well now Cricket. The Ironic part as well is how you can buy phones on Metro without a plan online and then have them unlocked to use on Cricketwireless if you want! Not to mention any AT&T branded phones etc…

    • Dakota

      Straight Talk also recently increased the high speed data on its $45 plan to 3gb. Thats quite a deal. Unfortunately ST still only has LTE on ATT so I assume Tmobile doesnt want to give them that option. Granted you have to bring your own phone so if you can’t afford to pay for that in installments, you probably can’t take advantage of the low monthly price.

      • Stefan Naumowicz

        Straight talk looks like a great deal on paper, but they are notorious for their shady policies regarding data consumption (people getting cut off or throttled before their monthly data allowance is exceeded) and their abysmally slow data speeds, even on LTE.

      • Guest

        Good if they work for you :) I didn’t have a good experience with Straightalk or Net10 when I tried them before.

      • philyew

        All live links to any web sites (including links to older articles here) go through a process of moderation before they are displayed.

        The way that I get around this is to substitute a single dot (.) in the URL with {dot}. That way it will appear, for example, as http://www.tmonews{dot}com.

        It’s then easy enough to correct so the link works.

        • philyew

          You’re welcome

      • landmarkcm

        Ya I saw that as well. I did not have a good experience with them or Net10 though in the past.. Their LTE speeds weren’t even close to LTE either. At least when I tried them..

    • Ghosty

      Rep not rap you moron

      • thepanttherlady

        Bad Rap vs. Bad Rep

        Is there a difference? Apparently slightly so!

        According to Merriam-Webster, in this context:

        A rap is “a negative and often undeserved reputation or charge —often used with bum or bad”

        A rep is slang for “reputation; especially : status in a group (as a gang)”

        So, from these definitions and other things I’ve read:

        If someone has a “bad rap”, it’s typically because that person is
        getting blamed for or associated with negativity for something that
        person may not have done.

        If someone has a “bad rep”, others also think poorly of that person,
        but likely for something that person did, or for a track record of
        sketchy behavior.

        • burn


        • landmarkcm

          Not sure if you were trying to defend me or what lol :). See my above comment to the person who has nothing better to do then troll!

        • Stone Cold

          She was defending you.

        • landmarkcm


      • landmarkcm

        Really.. LOL & I can’t believe I am even taking the time out to reply to you.. Who cares if I meant rap or rep. I prob meant to put rep.. You have nothing better to do then call people names for something like this.. Sad.

  • maximus1901

    People left TMO cause of coverage, not because they didn’t have international coverage or any of the other stunts TMO is pulling.
    Upgrade ALL 2g sites to lte and densify so I can at least get Hspa+ inside buildings and then people will talk.
    Not even the etf buyout affected att cause people want coverage.

    • Maximus

      That’s exactly what they are doing…

      • D Nice

        Does anyone have a link to that article?

        • philyew


          Replace {dot} with .

        • TMCraver

          wonder if anyone has seen improved lte in 2g areas yet?

    • Alex Zapata

      If memory serves me well, they announced that they’re going to have their entire 2G footprint covered with LTE by mid-2015. Pretty sure that TMOnews actually released an article about it…..

    • philyew

      LTE to all 2G-only sites is already happening, but it can’t be magicked in overnight.

      If I caught Carter’s comment correctly, TM have already equipped over half the 700 MHz A-block license areas ready to turn up LTE service on that band, but are awaiting the arrival of devices capable of utilizing it.

      However hard you try to play down the fact, people are willing to move to TM despite remaining coverage issues. TM are growing organically and have now experienced their 4th consecutive quarter with over 1 million total net customer additions.

      • taron19119

        Where u get this from

        • philyew

          Which part?

          TM announced in March that they were launching a new network modernization phase which would use existing PCS spectrum to deliver LTE service in those areas where only 2G service is currently available. The program is scheduled to be completed by mid-2015.


          The comment about progress with deployment of the 700MHz spectrum was made in the discussion which is linked from this article. I can’t remember exactly where it falls in the recording.

          Four consecutive quarters with over 1 million total net customer additions was announced in the Q1 2014 earnings statement.


        • taron19119

          So how do I listen I can’t listen

        • philyew

          Have you managed to get to the JP Morgan page? If not, you need to click on the word “Webcast”.

          Once there, it really depends on the device and browser you are using as to whether you should use the HTML5, Flash or Windows Media link on that page. Just click on each until you get one that works.

        • taron19119

          It tell me to sign up

        • philyew

          Sign up as Mickey Mouse, if it bothers you. They just want contact details to use for marketing.

        • taron19119

          No what u put for companie

        • philyew

          I entered “Independent”

      • vrm

        I heard that webcast and I think he meant that they were going to actually ADD sites wherever necessary to improve coverage (presumably in suburbs/cities etc) and THEN, the low frequency would be icing on the cake.

        I understand him to mean that they would not be relying on low spectrum to improve coverage, at least in the populated areas. Perhaps in unpopulated areas, yes.

        This actually makes sense because there is no guarantee that they will acquire any 600 mhz spectrum in the auction. Everyone can bid on unreserved and at least at&t and sprint can bid on reserved so t-mobile has its work cut out.

        I also took a different view on the consolidation/scaling issue (in another post of yours). He is all for organically scaling and is planning for it. The “inorganic” scaling does not necessarily refer to sprint. T-mobile execs have carefully avoided mentioning sprint and only mention consolidation. I believe that they are implying buying other carriers similar to the size of metro PCS when it makes sense and is beneficial. Of course, being acquired is also a possibility but t-mobile has absolutely no control over it, IMO; it is entirely DT’s decision.

        I do agree with your statement that ARPU as high as vz can only be achieved with pricing that is akin to theirs. Margins are not the same as ARPU. Margins do improve with scale and perhaps as CFO, he knows something there. But I don’t necessarily think he is implying sprint there.

        • philyew

          There was a lot in the 37 minutes of that address to catch and digest.

          As far a low band is concerned, he strongly emphasized its value for structural penetration in urban areas and deployment efficiency outside of the urban and suburban areas. He made a very specific point that it takes around three towers using mid band spectrum to cover the area served by one tower using low band for rural service.

          What I didn’t hear was any commitment to add new sites. His reference to “even more densification” referred to the theoretical requirements in providing comparable coverage using high band licenses (i.e. 2.5GHz). This reinforced his earlier point that “not all spectrum is created equal”; which is of course true.

          I’m not sure you can interpret low band as “icing on the cake” when he said the following:

          “We’re very aggressively commencing the build out and deployment of low band spectrum. Over half the licenses we obtained in that recent transaction are fully usable today.”

          Like you, I also heard an indication that they would consider inorganic growth by further acquisition, if the opportunity arose. But let’s be absolutely clear: the only way that they get to the scale of “the 3rd competitive entity” – whose existence, according to Carter, is a question of “when, not if” – is by merger with Sprint. No other route would get them there in a credible time frame.

          Margins of course aren’t the same as ARPU, but if TM had the same scale as Verizon, as long as the latter retained a 14% advantage in ARPU, then Verizon’s revenue would by 14% more than TM’s. Assuming comparable operational efficiency, then VZW’s margin would continue to outstrip TM’s significantly, for as long as their revenue was significantly greater. That is why I don’t accept that scale is the sole reason VZW’s margin is so much higher right now.

      • maximus1901

        Too bad all executives at TMO and DT want to merge with sprint.

        • philyew

          Carter almost makes it sound like a worthy aim…”Uncarrier on steroids”.

          A shame his logic supporting it is flawed.

          He believes the only reason the duopoly have margins “north of 50%”, while TM’s 5-year guidance is 34-36%, is scale …despite the fact that VZW’s ARPU is considerably higher than TM’s.

          He also seems to believe that a margin of 50% or more is a valid Uncarrier, consumer-friendly objective.

          The reality is that the only way Uncarrier ultimately succeeds for the consumer is if it leads to industry-wide reductions in that margin.

          Fortunately, it won’t matter what the executives at TM and DT want, as long as the DoJ continues to oppose such a deal because of its potential to damage the long-term interests of the consumer.

    • While I look forward to better coverage and beyond 2G, I’ve been with TMO for several years, in spite of it. I’m not on the move all the time, so the hassle of having poor connection in some trips, though in many trips connectivity is fine, doesn’t affect the value of TMO to me. Of course, those on the move often are better off with other major carriers. However, I do travel internationally fairly frequently, when the hassle of getting a local SIM and not be reachable at my US number is great. This convenience has a high value to me, along with international text to keep in touch with relatives abroad. So, neither ubiquitous coverage nor included international services is important for everyone, it really depends on one’s needs.

    • xmiro

      Not really. People left because of no iPhone and bad phone selection.

      It’s stupid to pay $700 more a year for coverage in Wyoming in the off chance you’d need it some day.

      I’ve been cross country twice on T-Mobile and had no issues whatsoever

  • taron19119

    How do I listen to it

  • Taxes Gone

    Get rid of taxes and fees on customer bills and have it included in the monthly rates. No surprises. Just unlimited talk, text, and choice of high speed data for a set monthly price. Watch all carriers cry and whine if T-Mobile did this move….


      They already do it with the Metro PCS. brand. 40 Bucks a month for talk, text and like 500Meg of data all fees included

    • Rob

      VERY difficult to do since every sate has different levels of taxes. Then you can have county and city taxes. That means that they would get different amounts really from different customers depending on where they live. That isn’t really a good way to run a business.

    • xmiro

      doubt it would happen. In Florida alone taxes would be $15 for two lines. Pre-paid if I’m not mistaken is also not taxed like regular mobile service is