T-Mobile: Our 5G network is open for wholesale business

AUSTIN – Big 5G Event – "Growth is our priority," said T-Mobile's Dan Thygesen during a keynote presentation here. "Let's get people on the network."

Thygesen is the SVP and general manager of the operator's wholesale and platforms business, which means he's in charge of dealing with companies like Altice USA, Google Fi and others that resell access to T-Mobile's 5G network under their own brands.

Now that T-Mobile has passed the two-year anniversary of its blockbuster acquisition of Sprint, Thygesen said it's time for the company to open up its 5G network to wholesale customers more broadly.

T-Mobile faces competition from AT&T and Verizon, which also offer wholesale services. For example, Comcast and Charter offer mobile services through their MVNOs with Verizon via a wholesale arrangement.

But T-Mobile has been working to build a speedy 5G network with the spectrum resources it acquired through Sprint. That network now covers more than 200 million people.

Thus, the time is right for T-Mobile to begin offering wholesale access to it, Thygesen said, in order to complement the company's efforts to sell access to it via its own T-Mobile-branded sales channels.

Thygesen declined to name any of T-Mobile's wholesale customers – a stance that's relatively common in the wireless industry. But there are indications that he has been busy recently.

Dish Network, Google Fi and Altice have all reported obtaining new wholesale agreements with T-Mobile in the past few months. Further, Ultra Mobile and EarthLink have begun offering fixed wireless access (FWA) services via what appear to be new agreements with T-Mobile.

Thygesen confirmed that T-Mobile is looking for new wholesale deals in the smartphone and FWA sectors. He also said that T-Mobile is keen to ink new wholesale agreements with companies in the Internet of Things (IoT) sector. T-Mobile's wholesale relationships are managed through vendor Netcracker, he said.

Thygesen declined to discuss the rates that T-Mobile might be charging for wholesale access to its network. Presumably those rates have declined based on the 5G improvements T-Mobile has rolled out into its network.

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Mike Dano, Editorial Director, 5G & Mobile Strategies, Light Reading

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