April 1, 2022
T-Mobile on Friday celebrated the two-year anniversary of its blockbuster acquisition of Sprint, and the company's CEO promised that the operator would make more "uncarrier"-branded announcements in the future.
Broadly, T-Mobile's public relations efforts around the anniversary help underscore the operator's successes following a lengthy struggle to close its $26 billion purchase of Sprint in 2020.
In a blog post Friday, CEO Mike Sievert pointed out that T-Mobile ratcheted 1.2 million new postpaid account net additions last year, and that its shares are up over 50% since its April 1, 2020, Sprint closing.
He attributed much of that success to T-Mobile's extensive, speedy 5G network, which runs in part on the 2.5GHz spectrum licenses T-Mobile acquired from Sprint. Today, Sievert said, more than 40% of T-Mobile's postpaid phone customers have a 5G device, and T-Mobile's 5G network traffic already accounts for roughly half of all its network traffic. "In the space of 12 months, our 5G traffic has increased 6x while average download speeds have doubled," he wrote.
Figure 1: T-Mobile touts extensive 2.5GHz coverage.
However, T-Mobile has also suffered its share of missteps during the past two years. For example, Sievert shuttered T-Mobile's TVision Live and TVision Vibe video streaming services last year. And although T-Mobile's leadership promised the operator wouldn't cut jobs after it acquired Sprint, a recent Light Reading report found the company did just that, reducing its overall headcount during the past two years by 5,500 jobs.
Nonetheless, Sievert told Cnet the operator hopes to solidify its marketing momentum against rivals AT&T and Verizon.
"Brands are powerful and stubborn," he told the publication. "Customers give us credit for being the best value, they give us credit for providing the best service. ... But it's also hard to convince people that we're the best network when they have long-established ideas."
To further that goal, Sievert recently put longtime T-Mobile executive Mike Katz in charge of the operator's marketing efforts.
Sievert also promised T-Mobile would make more "uncarrier" announcements in the future, though he did not say when. Past announcements have ranged from free Netflix to improved customer care services, and they underpinned much of T-Mobile's momentum under former CEO John Legere.
"Not only am I focused on more ('uncarrier' announcements) in the future, but I'm also focused on making sure everybody knows the ones that we've already done. Because they are still here and they are still differentiating," Sievert told Cnet.
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