Last year, during one of T-Mobile’s earnings calls – I believe Q3 – the company’s executives made a passing comment about the business sector. If I remember correctly, the insinuation was that Verizon and AT&T were really big players in the world of business and enterprise. It’s something the two rely on. In fact, their success in the enterprise market is something of a comfy cushion for them, but T-Mobile was coming for them soon. And that they shouldn’t get too cosy. That is heavily paraphrased, but it has stuck in my mind ever since as being important.
We’ve been hearing from our sources, off and on for at least 5-6 months now, that T-Mo has been contemplating making a bigger push in to the business market space with its Un-carrier moves. We’ve not written about it before since there haven’t been any definite plans set in stone, it’s just something the company needs to do if it’s going to compete with the Big Two. But an email has been sent recently from a T-Mobile executive to staff. And if this communication is anything to go by, the time for the big business push is – as they say – nigh.
It begins telling employees that the carrier has “an even bigger growth opportunity directly in front” of them: “Business!” Last quarter, T-mobile gave a senior executive named Mike Katz the lead in its Business Markets team. As part of his new role, he’s made some immediate changes set to take place very soon. One of which is to “go big with business in Retail.”
This – of course – is a plan made up of several steps. First was to add Retail Small Business Managers and Representatives, and those are being hired currently. Staff in these positions will be the “key leaders and drivers of one of our [T-Mobile’s] fastest growing segments over the next few years.” They will be hired with the express task of boosting T-Mobile’s sales to businesses, and are described as being very important for the carrier’s long-term focus. But that’s not all.
Several times in the memo to staff, upcoming Un-carrier moves are mentioned. Mike Katz, the new lead of the Business Markets team is described as “an architect of Un-carrier.” Immediately afterwards:“can you guess what he has planned?:-)”. If that wasn’t enough of a teaser, towards the end of the email the executive himself pens two tell-tale sentences.
“Second, well, how many months has it been since we rolled out our last uncarrier move Data Stash??? Let’s just say I’m starting to get the itch…”
“As broken as the industry was for consumers, it is even more broken for business customers… the Un-carrier is coming!”
I mean, they may as well have just outright told staff that the next Un-carrier move was going to be big for business in bold, capital letters. But I guess there’s no fun in that.
Exactly what the carrier has in mind, my guess is as good as yours. If you are a small business owner, and your current carrier or plan leaves you feeling frustrated and you have a list of pain points, I’d start tweeting them out to @JohnLegere. Listening to customers’ desires through social media is a key part of what the company decides to launch.
As for time-frame, I’m shooting for March. T-Mobile themselves – during the Q4 earnings call – mentioned that the next move could be on its way next month. So, who knows, maybe March is the start of the network operator’s big bid for business accounts. Stay tuned, this should be very interesting.