Light Reading

T-Mobile: How Low Can It Go?

Sarah Thomas
12/21/2011
50%
50%

T-Mobile US Inc. is getting $4 billion and spectrum as part of its breakup with AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), but that won't earn it a spot as a real contender for wireless subscribers again. (See AT&T Drops Bid to Acquire T-Mobile and T-Mobile Gets Spectrum in AT&T Breakup.)

Instead, the fourth-largest U.S. carrier, written off by many subscribers in the nine months that the merger attempt has dragged on for, could be planning steep price cuts to regain market share. And, that could have reverberations for the entire industry, according to one analyst.

Mizuho Securities USA Inc. analyst Michael Nelson put forth this theory Tuesday, noting that an independent T-Mobile could lead to incremental pricing competition, since the value provider is losing post-paid market share to the national carriers and pre-paid market share to MetroPCS Inc. (NYSE: PCS) and Leap Wireless International Inc. (Nasdaq: LEAP).

"With the deal now dead, we believe there is increased risk for the industry that T-Mobile may pull the pricing lever and implement disruptive pricing plans in an effort to regain market share," Nelson writes in a research note.

Without the iPhone or a clear path to Long Term Evolution (LTE), T-Mobile has already started down the price-slashing road. Jim Alling, T-Mobile's COO, took to the company's blog to remind consumers about these plans once news of the merger fail broke.

"We’re offering our best plan ever -- 2 lines for $49.99 each that includes voice, text and data (including 2GB at full-speed) on each line with a new 2-year agreement," he wrote. "We also now offer a Monthly4G no annual contract plan that gives you unlimited talk, text, and web (including 100MB at full-speed) for $50.

T-Mobile claims its new value plans already represent savings of $35 compared to AT&T, Verizon Wireless or Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S). But the question is, can T-Mobile go even lower? (See T-Mobile Stems Sub Losses With Pre-Paid Plans, T-Mobile & Walmart to Offer $30 HSPA+ Plan and T-Mobile Shakes Up Pricing Sans Unlimited Data .)

Right now, the carrier isn't saying how, or if, it will change its data plans, but it will likely have to do something drastic to get back on track in the U.S. Mizuho's Nelson believes pre-paid users will be its first target, which could put pressure on its smaller competitors, as well as Sprint's four pre-paid brands.

"Increased price competition would be negative for the entire industry; however, we believe PCS and LEAP are most at risk since they compete largely on price and we would expect T-Mobile to target prepaid customers," he says.

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile

(3)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
SReedy
50%
50%
SReedy,
User Rank: Blogger
12/5/2012 | 4:45:53 PM
re: T-Mobile: How Low Can It Go?


Right now, T-Mobile caps its data and slows down speeds once it's reached. If it can't lower prices anymore, then maybe one thing it could do is bring back truly unlimited data. Then it'd have a more powerful message - cheaper than Sprint AND unlimited still. 

kaps
50%
50%
kaps,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:45:52 PM
re: T-Mobile: How Low Can It Go?


What about trying a data-only plan that uses VoIP and no voice "minutes" to pay for? The deal they recently announced with Walmart ($30 a month, 100 minutes and 5 GB data) is a step in this direction... why not $20 or $25 for an all-data plan?


Then we'd see how "4G" the T-Mob network really is... 

kaps
50%
50%
kaps,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:45:52 PM
re: T-Mobile: How Low Can It Go?


What about trying a data-only plan that uses VoIP and no voice "minutes" to pay for? The deal they recently announced with Walmart ($30 a month, 100 minutes and 5 GB data) is a step in this direction... why not $20 or $25 for an all-data plan?


Then we'd see how "4G" the T-Mob network really is... 

goundan
50%
50%
goundan,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:45:45 PM
re: T-Mobile: How Low Can It Go?


T-Mo's post paid small business plans are even better. $44.99 (+$9 in taxes and standard fees) for unlimited talk, text and 5GB of data. Granted you have to pay full price for your phone on the value plans, but that still saves you a bundle over any other carrier or for that matter even Simple Mobile (TMo MVNO). Ask and recieve a free Cell-Fi repeater for improved in-building coverage for coverage weak spots. Add to that the best customer service among the major cell carriers. I'm surprised why more people don't switch to T-Mo.


Based on seeing T-Mo spectrum refarming exercies going on in the PCS band and the 2013 GSM shutoff, I think they may be going the HSPA-84 route until they can figure out the LTE transition. Not a bad option IMO.

Flash Poll
From The Founder
Ericsson's Hyperscale Datacenter System (HDS) 8000, featuring Intel's Rack Scale Architecture, caused a stir when it was announced at MWC 2015. For more on this revolutionary product, join me on Thursday, April 30 at 12:00 p.m. EST for a Super Webinar event, A New Hardware Paradigm for the Telco Data Center.
LRTV Documentaries
CableLabs' Clarke Updates Cable Virtualization

4|23|15   |   05:41   |   (1) comment


Former BT exec now leading CableLabs' NFV and SDN efforts explains key role of open source and updates efforts to virtualize the home network.
LRTV Interviews
Ericsson's CTO Talks Transformation: Pt. II

4|23|15   |   08:19   |   (1) comment


In the second installment of an in-depth two-part interview, Ericsson's CTO Ulf Ewaldsson talks to Light Reading CEO and founder Steve Saunders about cultural change, network slicing and technology advances.
LRTV Interviews
Ericsson's CTO Talks Transformation: Pt. I

4|23|15   |   09:27   |   (3) comments


In the first installment of an in-depth two-part interview, Ericsson's CTO Ulf Ewaldsson talks to Light Reading CEO and founder Steve Saunders about the incredible transformation underway in the communications networking industry.
LRTV Documentaries
LTE Paves the Way for the 5G Revolution

4|20|15   |   4:20   |   (0) comments


Håkan Andersson, head of 5G product strategy of the Radio Business Unit at Ericsson, discusses the role of LTE, the US and other industry verticals in building a true 5G ecosystem.
LRTV Documentaries
The 3GPP's Road to 5G Standardization

4|17|15   |   4:43   |   (0) comments


Satoshi Nagata, chairman of the 3GPP's TSG-RAN group and a manager at NTT Docomo, explains the standardization process for 5G, as well as the biggest challenges and opportunities.
LRTV Documentaries
AlcaLu CTO Makes the Case for a New 5G Air Interface

4|16|15   |   3:54   |   (0) comments


Michael Peeters, CTO of wireless at Alcatel-Lucent, explains why 5G will require a new air interface to meet its diverse performance targets.
LRTV Documentaries
AlcaLu + Nokia: The New Uber-Vendor

4|15|15   |   2:42   |   (4) comments


Heavy Reading Senior Analyst Gabriel Brown discusses the technological and competitive opportunities and challenges if a merger between Alcatel-Lucent and Nokia comes to pass.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Data Center Power Play

4|15|15   |   6:22   |   (0) comments


Huawei has developed industry-leading energy efficiency capabilities for its indoor and outdoor data center solutions, explains Dr. Fang Liangzhou, vice president of Huawei's Network Energy product Line.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei’s Routers, Switches Get the Green Mark

4|15|15   |   2:02   |   (0) comments


TUV Rheinland's Frank Dudley explains how Huawei's routers and switches have been successfully tested by energy efficiency experts and have gained Green Mark Certification.
LRTV Documentaries
A Finn, a Frenchman & a Guy From New Jersey Walk Into a Merger...

4|15|15   |   3:17   |   (0) comments


Stop us if you've heard this one before... Light Reading CEO Founder & CEO Steve Saunders weighs in on the technical and cultural implications of a Nokia and Alcatel-Lucent merger.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Accounting for Better Solutions

4|10|15   |   02:31   |   (1) comment


Murad Yousuf, CTO at Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Finance (Dept. of Zakat & Income Tax), talks about the benefits of deploying router technology from Huawei.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
What's in Store for Huawei & DataCore?

4|10|15   |   05:44   |   (0) comments


At the CeBIT trade show in Hannover, Germany, George Teixeira, CEO of software-defined storage (SDS) specialist DataCore Software, explains why he has just signed a partnership agreement with Huawei Technologies.
Upcoming Live Events
May 6, 2015, Georgia World Congress, Atlanta, GA
May 12, 2015, Grand Hyatt, Denver, CO
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 8, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 10, 2015, Chicago, IL
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
October 6, 2015, Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
November 11-12, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
In its latest survey covering network operators' plans and strategies for ICT transformation, Heavy Reading asked telecom operators worldwide to identify the most important goals and objectives for their ICT transformation initiatives. Heavy Reading also asked operators about the importance of a "digital first" strategy, which enables customers to complete an interaction across different digital channels, such as web and mobile self-service and social media.
Hot Topics
Comcast Formally Ends Its Bid for TWC
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 4/24/2015
What if the Comcast Merger Fails?
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 4/20/2015
Google's WiFi-First Mobile Service 'Fi' Is Here
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 4/22/2015
Adtran Is Developing White Box GPON Tech
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 4/24/2015
Comcast Merger May Hinge on Hulu
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 4/22/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Many leading communications companies can claim to have undergone significant periods of reinvention during their histories, but none have been through more major ...
Data Center Interconnect, or DCI, is one of the hottest sectors in telecom currently. Since coming back to Light Reading last year, prodigal-son style, I've ...
Cats with Phones
Learning Curve Click Here
Pierre could never remember how to use Excel.
Latest Comment