T-Mobile US is one of two smaller national cell ‘phone carriers, or mobile networks, operating in the United States of America. Along with Sprint, T-Mobile US faces a different set of challenges compared with the two larger carriers, AT&T and Verizon Wireless. T-Mobile has a smaller network in terms of customers and for coverage. Because it handles fewer customers, all being equal the business is not able to leverage quite the same discount from hardware manufacturers for volume purchases – this includes the device manufacturers providing the smartphones and tablets that end up in the hands of customers, to the infrastructure vendors building out and maintaining T-Mobile US’ network. T-Mobile also has shallow pockets for other projects, such as the spectrum auctions such as the up and coming 600 MHz FCC auction to be staged early in the New Year, however the regulator recognizes this and through a convoluted series of rules and is modifying the rules for T-Mobile US so as to allow the smaller carrier to compete with the larger carriers. And whilst T-Mobile’s business is smaller and has to work harder for customers,
One of T-Mobile US’ moves has been around calling itself an uncarrier, except it has made a number of these moves from the original Uncarrier 1.0 announcement in March 2013. The original Uncarrier announcement is arguably one of the biggest game changes in the US cellular market’s life as it was here then the business announced it was doing away with traditional contracts and moving to phone leasing instead. This meant that the customer could move away from T-Mobile at any time by returning their device or paying the remaining balance and keeping it. T-Mobile has progressively built upon the original announcement with improvements to the service, such as adding JUMP for early upgrades, offering cheaper international roaming offers, offering Voice-over-LTE and wideband LTE networks, paying early termination fees for customers joining from other carriers and bringing back rollover data, amongst other offers.
During T-Mobile US’ earnings call today, the carrier teased the next Uncarrier move, dubbed Uncarrier X. Unfortunately, details are sketchy at present. We understand that the event will be hosted in Los Angeles, California, on the 10 November but we do not otherwise know any additional details. This may be a relatively small announcement or perhaps T-Mobile are planning a major piece of news. We will update you on the 10 November.