According to T-Mobile USA Inc. CEO and President Philipp Humm, the Number 4 U.S. wireless carrier “will invest in strategic initiatives to get the business back to growth. The most significant investment is a $4 billion network modernization and 4G evolution effort, which will improve existing voice and data coverage and pave the way for long term evolution (LTE) service in 2013.”? ?
"We want to be known for delivering the best value in wireless because of the advanced technology we deliver at an affordable price,” he continues. “Over the next two years, we’re prioritizing and investing in initiatives designed to get T-Mobile back to growth in the years ahead, beginning with the transformation of our network.” ? ?
Additional investment areas core to the company’s challenger strategy include a focus on garnering more B2B business, expanding the sales force by 1,000; ramping up ad spending; and attracting new mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) partners. It also will continue to remodel its retail stores and to expand distribution. ?
CTO Neville Ray detailed the company’s network strategy, which includes installing new equipment at 37,000 cellsites and refarming spectrum to launch LTE in 2013. The key catalyst of refarming is the additional spectrum T-Mobile will receive as a result of the termination of the AT&T transaction (click here for more information).
Just-released financials say more than 90 percent of T-Mobile device sales in the fourth quarter were 3G and 4G smartphones. As data usage and smartphone adoption accelerate, fewer customers are utilizing 2G services, allowing T-Mobile to refarm existing spectrum holdings, reducing the amount of 1900 MHz PCS spectrum being used for GSM; to deploy HSPA+ 4G services in the PCS band; and to make room in the AWS band for LTE.
In addition to creating capacity for LTE in AWS spectrum, deploying HSPA+ in the PCS band will harmonize T-Mobile’s spectrum bands with the U.S. market and international carriers. As the company refarms spectrum, T-Mobile will continue to support its 2G customers.?
In related T-Mobile news, the carrier joined nine public interest groups, including Public Knowledge and Media Access Project, and MetroPCS in asking the FCC to block Verizon Wireless’ spectrum deals with SpectrumCo and Cox (click here for more information). Signatories claim the deal to buy spectrum from Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Bright House and Cox “would fundamentally alter the nature of the telecommunications world in a manner utterly contrary to that intended by the 1996 Telecommunications Act.”
Should the spectrum sales be granted, the groups want Verizon to be required to allow data roaming on its network and that it build out its spectrum or make it available in secondary markets. They also oppose a related marketing agreement letting Verizon sell cable’s video services, arguing they raise collusion concerns.