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Comments on news posted 2012-11-09 09:39:37: T-Mobile's latest quarterly earnings (pdf) indicates that T-Mobile continues to struggle. The company added 160,000 net wireless customers overall, but lost 492,000 valuable post-paid wireless subscribers during the third quarter. ..

page: 1 · 2 · next

elefante72

join:2010-12-03
East Amherst, NY
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS

Structural Issues

Tmobile and Sprint are the junior cell companies and they are at the tip of the spear in an accelerating trend: prepaid. The lowering cost of cell phones (look at Nexus 4) will only increase the flight to prepaid because the value is enormous compared to retail.

Now that TMO has the bandwidth--esp in the NE now, they need to fill out their spectrum and get 1900 online.

If you extract the market for Postpaid: Apple iphone. Since they don't have it, it is going to cost them millions of customers. Very few people are going to shell out $650-$850 upfront for an iphone, so that locks them into the three major vendors. Since Sprint spectrum is a mess they are having issues so T and VZW are keeping their postpaid STABLE or slight growth. The real growth is coming at prepaid, everywhere.

Even big red is going to have to cave and let LTE on MVNO because they know that now deployed there are practically no phones left out there in the wild that can be easily added to MVNO (no LTE sim phones without costly reflashing).

So I would say that loss of customers is from:

1. Big fat iphone buyers, and 1700 HSPA. Even if GSM buyers wanted to go prepaid, its only EDGE for now...They need to get 1900 up ASAP. That still does NOTHING for postpaid, which will continue to suffer.
2. Churn over the merger.

Their churn numbers are really high, even in prepaid so they will have to work on that.


pjcamp

@spelman.edu

It's customer service

T-Mobile completely destroyed their customer service during the attempt to be acquired by AT&T. That's why I left them. They used to be good but they laid off thousands of people to increase their value to AT&T and it became positively painful to be one of their customers.

Killersaurus

join:2012-09-17
reply to elefante72

Re: Structural Issues

said by elefante72:

Tmobile and Sprint are the junior cell companies and they are at the tip of the spear in an accelerating trend: prepaid.

Agreed. People are sick of being locked into overpriced 2 year contracts. I went to Virgin from Verizon and got more minutes, more texts, and kept unlimited data for half the price. My signal is even better at work and at my house. I now that last point won't apply to everyone, of course, but this has been a total win for me. There's not reason I'd ever go back to post-paid. Maybe I'll switch again to the new Nexus and T-Mobile, because with no ETF I could just sell my current Evo V and subsidize the purchase that way.

ssavoy
Premium
join:2007-08-16
Dallas, PA
Reviews:
·Anveo

Double-edged sword

I just switched to T-Mo three days ago, mostly for price ($10 to add a smartphone to a plan with data). They're facing two problems - they don't have the cash to build out a network like AT&T and VZ, and they use higher frequencies that don't travel far enough or penetrate buildings. It's a double negative.

Their HSPA+ speeds are on-par with VZ LTE in my area but they're way too limited in coverage. I'm sick of looking at their coverage maps and seeing a "new cell site" with a range of 1500 feet. But 90% of my time is spent in good 4G areas so I'll deal.


winsyrstrife
River City Bounce
Premium
join:2002-04-30
Brooklyn, NY

Prepaid for about 1 month now

$30 - 100 minutes & 5GB data for myself
$30 - 1500 minutes & 30 MB data for my wife

Having a hard time managing 100 minutes, since it counts for every single thing involving a phone call. Even so, my bill is no longer $110 a month for things my wife and I barely use.

I love T-Mobile. In the (about) 10 years I've had their service, I never had serious problems. For me, it's simply a question of cost.

Groove IP, in my personal experience, has been a terrible supplement. Lag, failed calls, etc. I may try Skype and see how that goes. Anyone have any other suggestions?
--
"Suddenly everything is fainting, falling from a broken ladder's rung. There's a jolt exhilarating from the phone I'm holding...
I hear the words of what I'll become, how eager the hands that reach for love."
- Blind Melon - New Life

ssavoy
Premium
join:2007-08-16
Dallas, PA
Reviews:
·Anveo
I haven't found one good VoIP client for Android. They all have one problem or another and have terrible integration. ICS has built-in VoIP, but carriers strip it out. I take a more complex route and use Anveo (since it can mask caller ID to my number) and Zoiper...which isn't too bad. Anveo is about $0.01/min.


88615298
Premium
join:2004-07-28
West Tenness
reply to Killersaurus

Re: Structural Issues

pre-paid phones suck ass and cost a ton. Straight Talk has the Galaxy S II which is a decent phone, especially for prepaid but it's $350. Where is the savings when you have to cough up $350 up front? I can get a Galaxy S III for $230 from Verizon and I'm including the upgrade fee in that. Besides the fact Straight Talk uses at&t network which only recently added 3g to my area. Maybe when at&t adds 4G or even just fake 4G I would consider pre-paid.


Kommie
Premium
join:2003-05-13
united state
kudos:3

Prepaid

Simple Mobile which runs off of T-Mobile

$50

Unlimited Text + International Tex, Unlimited Calling, and Unlimited Data(4g)

elefante72

join:2010-12-03
East Amherst, NY
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
reply to ssavoy

Re: Prepaid for about 1 month now

I struggled with it, and decided that straighttalk/Tmo was better because my wife is not technical and a smartphone to begin with is pushing her technical ability So it's $45, but the service is awesome. I was on VM/$25 plan but there was no joy in sight for them upgrading their backhaul. On a good day the phone would get 128 kbps. That's old skool edge speeds, and it was on 3G. She now is getting 9 Mbps which is 72x faster for $20 more a month and unlimited voice (she uses a lot of voice).

In any case with her employer discount I could have gotten a good deal for $67 + taxes but in NY taxes are like $20 so that would have been $87 which is $350/yr or $700 over the life of the contract more and you are locked into the contract. If I don't like this, I put in a new SIM and off to the races. The Nexus 4 is the perfect defector's phone.....

tkdslr

join:2004-04-24
Pompano Beach, FL
Reviews:
·T-Mobile US
reply to winsyrstrife
100 minutes/month.. don't worry.. Each minute over the 100/(30 days), costs only 10 cents/minute.

Just keep a little surplus in your prepaid account.. When you go over the monthly limit the appropriate amount will be automatically deducted. I usually keep 10 to 20 dollars surplus in my prepaid account.

Simple, easy.. no hassles.. It sure beats paying XXX$ a month extra for a plan with more minutes..

Suggestion, send more text messages(unlimited), instead if calling each time.

tkdslr

join:2004-04-24
Pompano Beach, FL
Reviews:
·T-Mobile US
reply to elefante72
In my area.. South Florida.. Prepaid plans are only have sales tax(6%) added to air-time/service purchase. It sure beats the typical POT's(40-50%)/cable(13.2%)/wireless (postpaid)20-30% tax rates by a long shot.

All this is beat by using SKYPE/Laptop tethered to Android.. Zero tax.. 2 cents a minute(zero, if to another Skype user).. (note: requires rooting, Browser ID changes, etc..)


winsyrstrife
River City Bounce
Premium
join:2002-04-30
Brooklyn, NY
reply to tkdslr
Oh, so that's the trick. I did go over my 100 minutes and it said I would be charged 10c per minute, but I could never make any calls. It's because my account balance was $0.00. I'm still getting used to prepaid systems. I assumed I'd just get a bill for how many minutes I went over 100 minutes, but it sounds like there MUST be a positive balance in the account.
--
"Suddenly everything is fainting, falling from a broken ladder's rung. There's a jolt exhilarating from the phone I'm holding...
I hear the words of what I'll become, how eager the hands that reach for love."
- Blind Melon - New Life


Erb1969

@cavtel.net
reply to winsyrstrife
I have Sprint, I downloaded Google Voice while I had my Android phone active, worked fine with my separate GV phone number. Sprint had offered to integrate my Sprint number with GV, but I declined for the privacy issue on principal alone. When I later re-activated my windows phone back on my Sprint account, GV stopped working on my android phone thru WiFi, but I could use GrooveIP thru WiFi without being active on Sprint except a lot of echoing. I want to try Talkatone with GV next.

You may want to ask T-Mobile to integrate GV with their network, then you should be able to use GV alone without needing GrooveIP or anything else besides GV. I take it Sprint would not use subscribers minutes if activating GV onto their phones with their number, but would use your data without WiFi. When I do have Sprint active on my android phone, everytime I went to make a call it would ask if I want to make the call with GV or without GV, I should be able to change it in settings if I wanted. Also with Sprint I can call Canada for free with GV; although I read Sprint to credit accounts in the beginning.


userpro

@tresourcegroup.com
reply to 88615298

Re: Structural Issues

do the math prepaid vs post paid over 24 month with initial phone purchase

TBBroadband

join:2012-10-26
Fremont, OH
reply to 88615298
The value is Straight Talk is a flat $45 per month before taxes- about $50 with taxes. Also ST uses more than just AT&T. You can find the carrier that the phone uses by looking at the model sticker on the side of the packing.

T= T-Mobile
A= AT&T
S= Sprint
V= Verizon

And Metro has even shown that prepaid customers tend to upgrade MORE often than post paid customers at the rate of every 6 months.

watts3000

join:2002-01-21
reply to Kommie

Re: Prepaid

I have T Mobile now and I'm coming up on one year left after my contract is up I'm going prepaid. The funny thing is I can save about 20 to 30 a month the prepaid phone has the same exact package as my over price post paid one.

TBBroadband

join:2012-10-26
Fremont, OH

1 recommendation

reply to userpro

Re: Structural Issues

I'll pay $1205 over the course of 2 years if I keep the same phone. Compared to $2000+ on post paid. Especially since postpaid unlimited normally starts at about 100$.

Telco

join:2008-12-19
reply to elefante72
The problem with tmobile is that their plans are not competitive and their network is stuck on frequencies used by nobody but themselves. This enormous limitation has prevented a lot of people from switching.

TMobile's PAYG
$100 10¢/min 1 year
$50 13¢/min 90 days
$30 19¢/min 90 days
$10 33¢/min 90 days

10¢ texts, 25¢ MMS

PagePlus (Verizon)
$80 4¢/min 1 year
$50 5¢/min 120 days
$25 6¢/min 120 days
$10 10¢/min 120 days

5¢ texts, 25¢ MMS

--------------

TMobile's $30
Talk or Text: 1500
Data: 30mb

PagePlus (Verizon) $29.95
Talk: 1200
Text: 3000
Data: 250mb

thor793

join:2005-09-10
Schaumburg, IL

2 edits

1 recommendation

reply to 88615298
Except you're not stuck with using the phones provided by the carriers for prepaid...not in the slightest. With AT&T and T-Mobile you have GSM...same with their MVNOs. You can use any phone that uses a GSM Sim and supports that carrier's frequencies. Just get a sim from the carrier and setup and account with the carrier and you're good to go. I should know....I switched from Sprint post-paid to T-Mobile prepaid.

I'm using my Galaxy Nexus bought direct from Google in the summer. I'm on the $30/100 minute/unlimited text/5GB data plan. I don't go over the 100 minutes as I use VOIP at home and at work when on Wifi.

With that plan I save about $60 per month over what I was paying with Sprint (450 minute plan). In December I will have saved enough to offset the cost of the ETF. By June I will have saved enough to offset the cost of my GNex as well.

With Sprint, had I stuck with them, I wouldn't have been able to upgrade my phone until February...and that's with a new 2 year contract. Now I'm seriously considering upgrading for a second time to get Nexus 4.

Just depends on what you use with Prepaid...I'm saving tons.

Used this guide more or less..
»forum.xda-developers.com/showthr ··· =1646755

thor793

join:2005-09-10
Schaumburg, IL
reply to Telco
Look into their Monthly4G plans
Two I know of:
$30, 100 minutes, Unlimited Texts, 5GB Data (what I use)
$70, Unlimited minutes, Unlimited Texts, 5GB Data

I use VOIP with the $30 plan when on wifi at work and at home to stay under the 100 minute cap. Even after that it's only 10 cents per minute...which means I can use up 400 more minutes before it reaches the unlimited plan. If I were to reach that regularly , I would switch...but I don't exceed it at all thanks to VOIP. I have never exceeded the 5GB cap...most of the time I stay under 2GB...and that's with tethering my tablet via wifi.

And use a phone like the Galaxy Nexus which is a pentaband phone built to support both T-Mobile and AT&T.

»prepaid-phones.t-mobile.com/mont ··· 4g-plans

thor793

join:2005-09-10
Schaumburg, IL

1 edit
reply to winsyrstrife

Re: Prepaid for about 1 month now

pbxes.org

free voip up to 2000 minutes...integrates with Google Voice and can be integrated with the stock dialer. What I have been using for a few months now.
»forum.xda-developers.com/showthr ··· =1646755


IowaCowboy
Iowa native
Premium
join:2010-10-16
Springfield, MA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Verizon Broadban..
·Comcast

Because Verizon is better...

Verizon has many parts of their footprint upgraded to LTE. I also like postpaid as well because I can budget for it every month. I also have access for all of their features as well if I wish to subscribe to them.

I have less than thirty days until I can buy the iPhone 5. Going to love having LTE on an iPhone.

I am still deciding between the OtterBox Defender or the LifeProof case.

BiggA

join:2005-11-23
EARTH
reply to elefante72

Re: Structural Issues

It's tough to make that case though when StraightTalk offers real AT&T service for $45/mo, unlimited (at least for voice, text, and web).

Unlimited might help a little, and T-Mobile's network is very fast in the few places it covers... and therein lies the problem...

openbox9
Premium
join:2004-01-26
Germany
kudos:2
reply to ssavoy

Re: Prepaid for about 1 month now

said by ssavoy:

ICS has built-in VoIP, but carriers strip it out.

Root and fix. Or buy a Nexus and avoid the restriction from the get go. I use the built in SIP/VoIP with my GSM GNex all of the time. Works wonderfully.

tanzam75

join:2012-07-19
reply to winsyrstrife
said by winsyrstrife:

I'm still getting used to prepaid systems. I assumed I'd just get a bill for how many minutes I went over 100 minutes, but it sounds like there MUST be a positive balance in the account.

If you were to get billed for it, then that would be postpaid.

Prepaid means exactly what the word says. You pay for the service before using it. This is why there are no credit checks for prepaid service -- they aren't extending you any credit at all, not even for one month.

thor793

join:2005-09-10
Schaumburg, IL
reply to IowaCowboy

Re: Because Verizon is better...

And you can't budget on prepaid? LOL...I budget for prepaid like I budgeted for Postpaid with Sprint...I just spend $60 less.


IowaCowboy
Iowa native
Premium
join:2010-10-16
Springfield, MA
kudos:1
Try buying an iPhone 5 on prepaid, you would go into a VZW/AT&T store and they'd laugh at you in the face.

I'll pay a premium to have the iPhone 5. I just have to wait until November 29th to get it at discount pricing.


buddahbless

join:2005-03-21
Premium
Reviews:
·T-Mobile US
reply to Telco

Re: Structural Issues

I would semi agree with you however as other users have stated look at there monthly plans vs other monthly prepaid plans and not by the min plans, TMOs majority prepaid client el are on monthly plans. And even though TMO has exclusivity to 1700 aws band as long as there phones are multi-band/quad band and can roam there would be no problem ( If there was a real nationwide roaming agreement in place).

That is the major hurdle that holds TMO back. TMO does not have to fully cater to rural areas as there main goal is major metro areas. However the need to have basic service in these rural areas is a major drawback. One even straight talk knew and made sure not to ignore with there agreement with ATT. Anyone who has ever had straight talk knows there is no data coverage nationwide but access to talk/txt is. TMO You may not be able to have data access everywhere but you should be able to access talk and txt everywhere and thats the bottom line in claiming nationwide service.

With there prepaid rate plans I do believe they need to be more competitive. Similar to there plans on Walmart mobile, TMO very own prepaid 4G plans should have a add a line feature. $50 unlimited should be( or similar) add line 2 for $40, line 3 for $30, and line 4 for $20. An entire family of 4 could have unlimited everything for $140 a month and since that includes taxes it would even undercut all the big 3s offers. That would woo a lot of postpaid family plan customers of the big 3 to TMO. I previously had a family plan on sprint for 4 and it was not even unlimited and it was costing me $225 a mth for 4.

Im just waiting on the bump in data usage the 100mb has to go! It was talked about last yr before the buyout that they would raise that to a full 1GB of 4G before throttling and that still has not happened ( the pricier plans would be raise respectively as well). Well come on TMO time to shake up the prepaid world again.


buddahbless

join:2005-03-21
Premium
Reviews:
·T-Mobile US
reply to tkdslr

Re: Prepaid for about 1 month now

said by tkdslr:

In my area.. South Florida.. Prepaid plans are only have sales tax(6%) added to air-time/service purchase. It sure beats the typical POT's(40-50%)/cable(13.2%)/wireless (postpaid)20-30% tax rates by a long shot.

I believe thats all of FL, Central FL taxes as well if you purchase a prepaid refill it has the same tax of 6%. Thats why I purchase mine on ebay and the callingmart not only is there no tax I also get a 5% discount ( which makes a$50 refill $48.50) and ebay bucks for each purchase.

BiggA

join:2005-11-23
EARTH
reply to buddahbless

Re: Structural Issues

With ST, if you have an AT&T SIM, you will get data everywhere the AT&T network is, including roaming partners.