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T-Mobile may have a Halloween surprise in store as it continues to rollout its “un-carrier” plans

Posted: , by Maxwell R.

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T-Mobile may have a Halloween surprise in store as it continues to rollout its “un-carrier” plans
T-Mobile, the smallest of the “big” carriers in the United States, has been making very big waves recently. It all started with the announcement of plans to introduce a new paradigm of being the “un-carrier” at CES earlier this year.

It is fair to say that the initial phase of this re-imaging of T-Mobile was heavily underestimated, however, John Legere, T-Mobile’s CEO has proven to be an exceptional evangelist on this front. The addition of the iPhone to T-Mobile’s ranks helped quite a bit as well.

Then we saw the introduction of JUMP!, T-Mobile’s upgrade plan which works seamlessly with the carrier’s equipment installment plans, provides total equipment coverage and allows customers to upgrade as often as twice each year.

Verizon and AT&T have their own versions of such plans, but they look like “us too” responses. T-Mobile has certainly been blazing the trail. It is ahead of schedule on its LTE network rollout, and this most recent quarter adding over 1 million customers is also seen as being ahead of the curve. Topping that sundae is record low churn, just 1.58% which may as well be not losing any customers at all.

With these initiatives performing so well, word on the street is that the mighty magenta will be taking the covers off a third phase of the “un-carrier” strategy. John Hodulik with UBS Investment Research says this early success for T-Mobile is a bad omen for investors hoping to see continued high-margins from the larger carriers.

"T-Mobile has emerged as an aggressive share-taker far sooner than expected and porting ratios in July suggest the worst may not be over. The Un-carrier 3.0 launch, expected by Halloween, will be another shot across the bow, forcing the larger carriers to sacrifice margins and/or share. Layering on a resurgent Sprint in 2014 makes higher wireless margin estimates start to look like a stretch." - John Hodulik, emphasis added

What is being projected here is something so disruptive to the industry that even the large (and largely reliable) carriers will not be able to ignore it, and will have to sacrifice their own margins to compete against whatever T-Mobile has in mind.  He is also projecting that SoftBank will have in place its plans for Sprint by early next year to compound the problem for the competition.  Certainly, customers will see this as an opportunity.

So what will T-Mobile lift the curtain for on Halloween? Your guess is as good as ours (if you work for T-Mobile and know, tip us). We can presume that network enhancements will continue to proceed at their rapid rate. Knowing T-Mobile’s straight-shooter CEO though, the carrier might point all barrels at AT&T. After all, Legere said at CES, and this is a direct quote, “The network is crap.

What do you think T-Mobile has up its sleeve? What is “un-carrier 3.0?”

source: Light Reading

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posted on 11 Aug 2013, 16:03 3

1. Shatter (Posts: 2036; Member since: 29 May 2013)

Probably has something to do with LTE Advanced.

“The network is crap.”

Ya atts towers suck but their coverage is way better than tmobile outside of cities.

posted on 11 Aug 2013, 16:10

2. Topcat488 (Posts: 1396; Member since: 29 Sep 2012)

Whatever it is I'll be home by 1 November 2013, to take advantage of it... Coming from Germany, i'll be happy to spend dollars again.

posted on 11 Aug 2013, 21:57

20. Birds (Posts: 1171; Member since: 21 Nov 2011)

Mmmmmm Germany.

posted on 11 Aug 2013, 16:28

5. rasinhussy (Posts: 88; Member since: 28 Dec 2008)

Coverage means nothing when you can't use the network. I'm my experiences, Verizon and T-Mobile have been the most reliable.

I can't wait to see what T-Mobile has up their sleeve.

posted on 11 Aug 2013, 16:48

8. Zero0 (Posts: 592; Member since: 05 Jul 2012)

Verizon's network is absolutely insane (relatively quick, outstanding coverage and reliability). However, I must say that I'm very impressed with T-Mobile. HSPA+ is pretty quick, LTE is a bit faster (and rolling out at record speed), and they're in position to deploy 2x10MHz LTE(A?) within months. Pretty reliable, and the voice quality is actually good.

Really happy with my switch. Network isn't AS good, but the phone selection is a nice step up.

posted on 11 Aug 2013, 16:46 1

7. Zero0 (Posts: 592; Member since: 05 Jul 2012)

It isn't LTE Advanced.

Legere is promising something big here. He said something along the lines of: it's going to change one of the things that pisses people off most about wireless carriers. Additionally, it'll give the big carriers a scare right as they're getting comfortable with phases 1 and 2.

I had a couple of ideas, but they didn't sound big enough. Small enough that I forgot all but one (reasonable international roaming rates, which sounds like something that DT can help out with).

posted on 11 Aug 2013, 16:23

3. DaNTRoN (Posts: 135; Member since: 23 Jul 2012)

i love t-mo

i have had all other major carriers and t-mo is the best for price and network (at least in boise) and devices

now, what with all their shaking things up, makes me like them all the more

posted on 11 Aug 2013, 16:28 3

4. Galen20K (Posts: 545; Member since: 26 Dec 2008)

T-Mobile has been doing so well lately, that even doubters have to give them credit. It's really impressive whether or not you're on their network.

posted on 11 Aug 2013, 22:25

21. skymitch89 (Posts: 1359; Member since: 05 Nov 2010)

Yep, and I'm one of them.

posted on 11 Aug 2013, 16:37

6. gazmatic (Posts: 795; Member since: 06 Sep 2012)

att sucks

go t-mobile

posted on 11 Aug 2013, 16:53

9. Mxyzptlk (unregistered)

Tmobile has the iPhone. Now there's a reason to join them.

posted on 11 Aug 2013, 18:03 1

11. Shatter (Posts: 2036; Member since: 29 May 2013)


Have fun not even like 1/50th of the network is rearmed to 1900mhz.


posted on 11 Aug 2013, 19:40 2

14. -box- (Posts: 3991; Member since: 04 Jan 2012)

It's native to t-mobile, doesn't need the refarming unless it's unlocked from AT&T.

That said, I strongly considered LEAVING T-Mo when they announced the iPhail, but then heard rumors of the other stuff they had up their sleeve. Glad I stuck around, though I hate seeing the iPhail display whenever I go to a store.

posted on 11 Aug 2013, 19:56

16. Mxyzptlk (unregistered)

Sure you're looking at a display and not your own reflection?

posted on 11 Aug 2013, 19:57

17. Mxyzptlk (unregistered)

Only if it's one unlocked from AT&T. Helps to know what you are talking about.

posted on 11 Aug 2013, 21:40

18. Zero0 (Posts: 592; Member since: 05 Jul 2012)

HSPA on PCS is ahead of LTE. That puts it at over 160 million POPs.

Still, T-Mobile's iPhone 5 works on AWS HSPA anyway.

posted on 11 Aug 2013, 16:59

10. HildyJ (Posts: 305; Member since: 11 Aug 2012)

I'd guess VOIP using LTE Advanced with everything priced based on data starting at $30 for 2gb (the current tMobile/Walmart rate).

posted on 11 Aug 2013, 18:28

12. Kreft (Posts: 84; Member since: 27 Dec 2012)

I've been with T-Mobile for years and while it hasn't been horrible I look at my girlfriends service with envy and so I will be switching to ATT soon enough.

posted on 11 Aug 2013, 19:37

13. -box- (Posts: 3991; Member since: 04 Jan 2012)

LTE-Advanced and Windows Phone 8.1 with their version of the Lumia 1020 on updated hardware would be more than satisfactory. If it's supposed to be even bigger, maybe they're expanding to Mexico and Canada for one flat fee?

posted on 11 Aug 2013, 19:43 1

15. -box- (Posts: 3991; Member since: 04 Jan 2012)

Or maybe nationwide WiFi?

posted on 11 Aug 2013, 21:57

19. Zero0 (Posts: 592; Member since: 05 Jul 2012)

Windows Phone isn't nearly big enough. Now, couple that with a whole bunch of other stuff, and maybe it'd be worthy of Uncarrier Phase 3, but I'm thinking more along the lines of your other ideas.

Leveraging DT's holdings overseas is an obvious first choice. I think there are some weird accounting hurdles there, but international roaming charges are a huge complaint for travelers -- if T-Mobile were to somehow become a global carrier for a single fee, or even give reasonably low roaming rates, it would be a massive step forward. I don't think DT has any mobile subsidiaries in Canada or Mexico, but a buyout or better roaming agreement could probably be made at some point.

Not sure what you mean by nationwide Wi-Fi: more hotspots (like what Comcast did) or the TV white-space "Super Wi-Fi?" Would be a nice way to offload traffic from the network, either way, but I don't know how it necessarily corrects a major issue that customers have (with data already being unlimited).

A couple of interesting possibilities:
-Paying ETFs for people moving to T-Mobile (unlikely)
-Unlimited unlocking of phones
-Bloat and interference-free Android
-Financing offers for bring your own phone customers

Some of these are too small for the way Legere is talking -- he said this would be the most fun.

posted on 12 Aug 2013, 00:19

22. jamesedward318 (Posts: 99; Member since: 25 Dec 2010)

I had T-Mobile service and quickly switched back to AT&T. Until they can come up with a reliable network I'm staying put.

posted on 12 Aug 2013, 11:39 1

23. linaresx (Posts: 101; Member since: 13 Jun 2013)

Maybe jetpacks 8^)

posted on 12 Aug 2013, 18:02

24. scsa852k (Posts: 331; Member since: 16 Oct 2012)

Damn.. What's phase 3.0 gonna be?!?!
Even lower rate plans?

posted on 16 Sep 2013, 03:18

25. Custnam (Posts: 1; Member since: 16 Sep 2013)

After joining T-Mobile, watching Uncarrier Phase 2, and a little research I think Phase 3 will be mainly about ETF's. One reason is because Legere said it would be about one of the things that consumers hate the most about carriers. I think it will be something like this. Join T-Mobile now and we will pay off your ETF for you now so you will be clear of the carrier, and then whatever amount you owed would be paid back to T-Mobile in installments added to your monthly bill. Just my guess. And along with this discussion about LTE expansion plans.

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