The wireless industry has seen some huge changes in the past four years. Not all because of T-Mobile – although the most of the recent changes have been due to T-Mobile – but also the Obama administration who blocked AT&T from buying out T-Mobile in 2011, and also kept Sprint from attempting to buy T-Mobile in 2014. The AT&T attempted merger actually turned out to be a blessing in disguise for the magenta carrier, back in 2011. AT&T was going to buy the carrier – and leave us with three national wireless carriers – for $39 billion. In addition to that, AT&T was so confident that the merger would be approved by regulators, the they also gave T-Mobile a $3 billion break up fee, and a ton of spectrum. Well the deal was rejected, and T-Mobile got nearly a billion dollars worth of spectrum, in addition to $3 billion. Which has helped fuel the comeback they are showing right now.
Shortly after the deal with AT&T was denied by regulators, Deutsche Telekom decided it was time to get a new CEO. They brought in John Legere in 2012. Legere worked for AT&T for nearly 20 years under Dan Hesse, who was Sprint’s CEO up until 2014 when Marcelo Claure got the nod. But when Legere took the job at T-Mobile, we saw a whole other side to him. No more were the suits and ties. He decided to grow out his hair, and use a lot more curse words. Legere started the “Un-Carrier” approach to things in the beginning of 2013, where the first move was getting rid of contracts. And as of this week, the other three carriers – AT&T, Sprint and Verizon – have finally followed suit. So T-Mobile has instilled change in the wireless industry, even if it does take nearly three years to happen.
T-Mobile has been thriving under John Legere. Going from losing nearly a million customers a quarter to now adding over a million each quarter, and in 2014 and 2015 combined the company added 16 million customers. Overtaking Sprint to become the third largest carrier in the process. Talk about a great turn around. And now, they even have Verizon worried about losing customers. Verizon recently started running ads stating that they will give you up to $650 to come to Verizon. That includes paying to get you out of your contract, and paying your device payment fees. Something that Verizon said they’d never do. We’ve seen Sprint drastically lower prices, Verizon and AT&T begin lowering them as well. And that’s largely thanks to T-Mobile.
However, getting back to the Obama administration. The reason T-Mobile was able to be the change in the wireless industry, and fuel this comeback is due to Obama’s administration forcing T-Mobile to stay in the US and stay independent. Now that T-Mobile is showing big strides and adding over 2 million customers per quarter, Deutsche Telekom isn’t in a hurry to get out of the US. Like they were less than 5 years ago.
Now when you walk into a store to get a new phone. Whether that be from Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile or AT&T, look at the prices. Not only for the rate plans, but also the devices. Things are getting cheaper, much cheaper. And there are two big reasons for that. President Obama, and T-Mobile. And things are only going to continue to go down. Many users have seen their bills cut by about 20-25% in the past 3 years.