After almost two years of struggle, T-Mobile closed its acquisition of Sprint on April 1. The action immediately created a wireless network operator with almost the same number of customers as the nation's two longtime wireless leaders, AT&T and Verizon.
However, outside of the wireless industry, many regular Americans probably don't know any of this. That's because T-Mobile – an operator that has made its mark with glitzy, over-the-top press events and marketing campaigns – hasn't made much noise on the topic beyond a press release.
That should all change in July.
"Think about the summer time frame as being when we start to unify and market with all of our stores and all of our advertising and all our offers in a more unified way," incoming T-Mobile CEO Mike Sievert told CNBC last week, responding to a question about what T-Mobile might do with the Sprint brand. "Midsummer, we haven't picked a date yet. But that's certainly always been our intention."
The company has also been dropping hints about its summer plans to some Wall Street analysts. "In midsummer, we will see the formal introduction to the market of New T-Mobile," wrote the analysts at Wells Fargo in a note to investors this week.
In response to questions from Light Reading, Wells Fargo analyst Jennifer Fritzsche said she isn't sure whether the operator will make some kind of major new announcement in the summer, but that it would likely kick off a big marketing push at least.
That all dovetails with a report from Jeff Moore at Wave7 Research, which closely tracks the pricing and promotional strategies of the nation's wireless providers. He said that April 1 was considered "day zero" among T-Mobile and Sprint employees, but that July 1 is being discussed as "day one."
However, it's unclear what might happen on "day one." Officials from T-Mobile did not respond to questions from Light Reading on the topic.
At the very least, T-Mobile will likely rebrand most or all of Sprint's stores, and its website, with its own brand. It also will likely embark on a massive new advertising campaign to alert both its own customers and its potential customers that its network is getting a major injection of capacity via Sprint's massive 2.5GHz holdings.
And if T-Mobile's past behavior is any indication, the operator could also schedule some kind of "uncarrier" announcement in order to generate new interest in its offerings. Past uncarrier announcements have focused on new pricing plans or new services like free Netflix – but there's no telling what T-Mobile might have up its sleeve for the remainder of 2020. The operator could potentially launch its fixed wireless business or its new pay-TV effort, or it could open a new operation in the area of IoT or edge computing, for example.
"While this may be a few weeks behind the original timeline (due to COVID), we would not expect them to be shy or meek in their approach," wrote the Wells Fargo analysts of T-Mobile's summertime launch plans.