T-Mobile USA, the North American Un-carrier, has been a disruptive influence over the last year. The carrier has contributed, perhaps even kick started, a price war for consumers. AT&T and especially Verizon Wireless have tried to avoid being involved with this price war for a number of reasons, including that their size gives them a certain security. For whilst T-Mobile USA has managed to unsettle the market, there is a financial cost to the network and one which it cannot afford forever. We have seen rumblings from T-Mobile’s parent of this nature.
There is another reason why AT&T and Verizon Wireless can afford to be relatively sanguine about the consumer price war in the North American market: they have considerable exposure to the business, enterprise and corporate customers, which affords them something of a buffer. This is a market that T-Mobile has not been ignoring but instead appears to have been biding their time. We have word today that after six months of contemplation, T-Mobile USA is about to embark on a push into business sales following an email from a T-Mobile executive to all staff. T-Mobile have named senior executive Mike Katz the lead in the Business Markets Team and his first change is to “go big with business in Retail.”
T-Mobile’s plan has several discrete steps and it will start by the company adding Retail Small Business Managers and Representatives to the business. This process has started immediately and the new staff will be the key drivers of the business push in the coming months and years. There is another string to T-Mobile’s push into business plans, because Mike Katz is described as “an architect of Un-carrier.” Later on in the email it says: “Second, well, how many months has it been since we rolled out our last un-carrier move Data Stash??? Let’s just say I’m starting to get the itch… As broken as the industry was for consumers, it is even more broken for business customers… the Un-carrier is coming!” It would appear that T-Mobile’s plans are to unsettle and disrupt the corporate and business markets in a similar vein to the approach on the consumer markets. Of course, the business and enterprise market behaves differently to the consumer market. What has worked in the consumer sphere may not work in the enterprise world