AT&T made waves on Thursday morning with the announcement of its new Mobile Share Value plans, offering a large segment of its customers cheaper data plans just in time for the holidays. Perhaps unsurprisingly, T-Mobile was chomping at the bit to issue a response. CNET received an email from T-Mobile marketing executive Andrew Sherrard in which Sherrard said that AT&T’s new Mobile Share plans are confusing, expensive and miss the mark. More →
Here’s a sign of just how much burning hatred T-Mobile and AT&T have for one another: They’re willing to engage in a public social media fight over one single customer. The Next Web notes that AT&T customer Jay Rooney took to Twitter this week to voice his frustrations with AT&T and asked the carrier why he shouldn’t switch to T-Mobile to take advantage of its free international data roaming plan. AT&T warned Rooney that switching to T-Mobile would be “scary” and took a shot at the carrier’s much-maligned wireless network. T-Mobile hit back and asked AT&T whether its “kindergarten panel” wrote its jokes. In the end, Rooney said that he’d visit a T-Mobile store and would ask about switching to its services.
T-Mobile’s plan to shake up the wireless industry has always had one fatal flaw: The poor reputation of its wireless network. The carrier is taking steps to get its network up to speed, however, and has gotten a big boost on the spectrum front from its acquisition of prepaid wireless carrier MetroPCS. An unnamed source tells Reuters that T-Mobile has set aside $3 billion that it wants to use to buy up unused spectrum from Verizon, a move that “would give T-Mobile additional network capacity to help it catch up with its bigger rivals in delivering high-speed wireless services.” Verizon has said that it’s interested in selling off some chunks of spectrum it owns on the coveted 700MHz band so it looks like this would be a natural place for T-Mobile to invest to improve the reach and power of its LTE network.
T-Mobile has certainly been making waves with its aggressive moves to ditch wireless contracts and offer more frequent smartphone upgrades. However, there’s one area the company desperately needs to address if it’s going to compete with the big boys at Verizon and AT&T: Its network. Per Reuters, it looks as though T-Mobile is ready to make a bigger push to add more spectrum to its portfolio by pushing a stock offering that it estimates could generate up to $2 billion a year that will be used for spectrum purchases. T-Mobile has also been getting some fresh spectrum from its acquisition of MetroPCS and from AT&T as part of its severance deal after the companies’ failed merger.
Get ready for some more John Legere trash talk because T-Mobile’s “uncarrier revolution” is still going strong. T-Mobile reported on Tuesday that it had a net gain of more than 1 million customers in the third quarter this year, highlighted by a net gain of 643,000 branded postpaid subscribers. The subscriber additions helped T-Mobile post quarterly revenue of $6.69 billion, which beat the consensus estimate of $6.56 billion. Although the company still posted a net loss of $36 million on the quarter, that is still a significant improvement from Q3 2012 when the carrier posted a net loss of $7.71 billion. T-Mobile, which also said it sold 5.6 million smartphones on the quarter, saw its shares rise by more than 7% in pre-market trading on the news. The company’s press release follows below. More →
T-Mobile made a splash last week by announcing a completely free data plan available to anyone purchasing a new tablet with the carrier. The announcement aligned perfectly with the release of the iPad Air, but customers found a surprising $10 monthly fee attached to their orders on Friday, which was tied to an On-Demand plan that T-Mobile requires all new customers to sign up for just to keep the SIM card active. T-Mobile clarified to CNET that this was nothing more than “an executional mistake,” and all customers who paid the fee will be refunded. But the saga doesn’t end there. More →
T-Mobile’s “uncarrier” crusade may not be hurting AT&T’s bottom line yet but that doesn’t mean the company isn’t inhibiting its rivals’ subscriber growth. Reuters has talked with several analysts who all say that T-Mobile’s recent aggressive moves are giving the company a significant boost as it tries to compete with Verizon, AT&T and Sprint. MoffettNathanson analyst Craig Moffett even went so far as to say that T-Mobile is “taking market share from everyone,” and in particular said that AT&T should be feeling nervous now that T-Mobile is offering tablet users 200MB of free data every month. More →
Smartphone service is expensive, and wireless carriers will do everything in their power to keep it that way. Even comparatively cheap plans often have shortcomings that require pricy supplemental add-ons, or they have limitations such as poor 4G wireless coverage or a weak selection of smartphones. This is why plans like T-Mobile’s somewhat secret $30 unlimited option are so intriguing, but that plan only includes 100 monthly voice minutes which can dwindle very quickly and lead to overage charges. As it turns out, however, there’s a simple and free way to add unlimited talk to that dirt cheap plan, likely making it the best value in America right now, pound for pound. More →
As part of the latest initiative in its ‘uncarrier’ program, T-Mobile has set its sights on the tablet market. In an effort to give consumers more reason to buy data-enabled tablets, T-Mobile will give customers 200MB of data every month for the entire lifespan of any tablet for free starting on November 1st. That means no service contracts are required to reap the benefits of this new plan — devices will be completely separated from rate plans. More →
T-Mobile isn’t the biggest carrier in America, but it is quickly becoming the most important. The company struggled for years to compete with Verizon Wireless and AT&T, but now T-Mobile is finally gaining traction thanks to CEO John Legere’s big personality and his team’s even bigger ideas — ideas that are forcing the market leaders to do what they have always tried to avoid: change. The executive on Wednesday unveiled the third stage of his “Uncarrier” initiative, which so far has helped T-Mobile to not just slow subscriber bleeding but actually add branded subscribers for the first time in years. How are Legere and company turning things around? With some slick marketing and even slicker strategic shifts that dare to go where AT&T and Verizon have historically feared to tread. More →
Evidence keeps piling up that American consumers really do want an alternative to traditional wireless carriers. A new report from Kantar Worldpanel shows that T-Mobile’s share of American carrier smartphone sales grew to its highest in a year during the quarter ending on August 2013. In all, T-Mobile sold just over 13% of all smartphones between June and August this year, an increase of 1.1 percentage points from the previous quarter. Kantar says that the carrier has benefited from finally getting to sell Apple’s popular iPhone to its customers and from its “uncarrier” plans that offer popular smartphones such as the Galaxy S4 and the HTC One for little to no money down. T-Mobile in August posted a quarterly net addition in postpaid subscribers for the first time in four years so it seems that the company has continued to build its momentum all summer.
As BlackBerry fights for its life, the hits keep on coming. T-Mobile confirmed on Wednesday evening that it will stop carrying BlackBerry smartphones in its stores and will instead only ship them directly to businesses. “Keeping stock in the retail distribution system was inefficient,” T-Mobile’s executive vice president for corporate services, David Carey, told Reuters. He explained that the reason is simply that the phones have not been in high demand among consumers. BlackBerry said recently that it plans to stop marketing its phones to consumers and instead focus on enterprise business, something a number of industry watchers called for years ago. BlackBerry signed a letter of intent earlier this week and may soon be acquired by Perm Watsa’s Fairfax Holdings for $4.7 billion.
Is T-Mobile’s recent subscriber growth a flash in the pan or is it part of a sustainable trend? Per Barron’s, Credit Suisse analyst Joseph Mastrogiovanni thinks that T-Mobile’s new “uncarrier” initiative is the real deal and that it will help the company see sustained subscriber growth going forward. In dubbing T-Mobile “the little engine that could,” Mastrogiovanni writes that the carrier is poised for stronger post-iPhone success than Sprint because it has a stronger network now than Sprint did when it launched the iPhone and it is being much more aggressive in its pricing and marketing than Sprint was. More →