dslreports logo
site
spacer

spacer
 
   
spc
story category
T-Mobile Admits it 'Lost its Way' After AT&T Disaster
Company Promises to Return to Putting Consumers First
by Karl Bode 06:16PM Thursday Sep 27 2012
Speaking at the Competitive Carriers Association conference in Las Vegas this week, T-Mobile COO Jim Alling acknowledged that the company lost its way after the failed merger with AT&T, putting investors far ahead of consumers. "Every single customer matters," Alling told attendees. "That is most important thing we have to rekindle," said Alling, adding that "we are on our way."

Click for full size
The company recently took a step in that direction by returning to the investor-hated idea of unlimited smartphone data plans. Fired T-Mobile employees were the ones who paid for executive missteps and probably don't find the belated mea culpa worth much.

Meanwhile, the company itself made out ok, receiving a consolation prize of $3 billion in cash, roughly $2 billion in AT&T spectrum and a roaming agreement valued at around $1 billion. That was apparently enough to keep T-Mobile owner Deutsche Telekom interested in remaining in the U.S. mobile market -- for now.

view:
topics flat nest 

FLATLINE

join:2007-02-27
Buffalo, NY

Fail

When you put investors ahead of your customer base you fail your investors.

dvd536
as Mr. Pink as they come
Premium
join:2001-04-27
Phoenix, AZ
kudos:4

Re: Fail

said by FLATLINE:

When you put investors ahead of your customer base you fail your investors.

Every publicly traded company does that.
that why suckage and rapage among wireless providers runs rampant.

oxymoron: fair cellphone plan.
--
Despises any post with strings.

Alex J

@sunwave.com.br
It's a balancing act. Investors are just fine watching a company burn to the ground as long as they see short term gains. There's no vision or devotion there, and companies who focus too heavily on making investors happy often field shit products and poor support. The check for that approach comes due in the long game, something modern investors care nothing about.

djdanska
Rudie32
Premium,MVM
join:2001-04-21
San Diego, CA
kudos:4
Yes. Cause clearly raping the customer has treated D.T. very well. LOL!
elefante72

join:2010-12-03
East Amherst, NY

Re: Fail

I'm sure Verizon is kicking itself every quarter when it has to pass the envelope over to Vodafone.

Back in b-school in mature markets the settle on competitors is usually 2-3 (2 is too close to a monopoly)--with the top 2 taking a majority, so if you look at the US there are 4. That will probably shake out. VZW and T are about equal, Sprint is about half that size, and TMO about half Sprint's size. T's coverage outside metros is very poor, so this is pure urban dwellers....

Spectrally speaking, it would make sense to go down to 2-3 wireless (and of course the regional ones).

The T infusion will probably get them LTE, and then they will go back on the auction block. If the SpectrumCo swap happens that may give them some new breathing life and some lower frequencies to play with...

djdanska
Rudie32
Premium,MVM
join:2001-04-21
San Diego, CA
kudos:4
Reviews:
·Cox HSI

Re: Fail

In more and more rural areas, they are adding AWS HSPA+ ONLY coverage. No 2g. For example, in nevada, virginia, md, ohio, indiana, etc. Im talking tiny places. So, in time, it seems to be getting better.
--
The day the child realizes that all adults are imperfect, he becomes an adolescent; the day he forgives them, he becomes an adult. The day he forgives himself, he becomes wise.
Alden Nowlan

footballdude
Premium
join:2002-08-13
Imperial, MO
In their defense, there isn't much point in serving your customers when you're selling the company. Let AT&T take care of them. Whoops!
--
Concentrated power has always been the enemy of liberty - Ronald Reagan

Trinijoy
Premium
join:2005-09-12
Brick, NJ
I got NET10 and will never look back. Simple. Easy. No issues. No hidden fees. Fuck the contract companies. If I want a new phone: Ebay or Craigslist. I love that NET10 uses others companies towers and I don't have to deal with the BS. Unlimited Text, Internet, Talk. for $45.00 a month. THANK YOU NET10. (Screw you T-Mobile and 89.00 a month.)

(I get the same service as I did with T-Mobile. Before you ask. So just as shitty LOL.)
corinthos

join:2007-10-09

Lost its way the moment the merger wasn't announced

I left because I didn't want upgrade my contract and eventually become an ATT customer. They started making changes like a week after it was announced.

tiger72
SexaT duorP
Premium
join:2001-03-28
Saint Louis, MO
kudos:1

1 recommendation

Re: Lost its way the moment the merger wasn't announced

said by corinthos:

I left because I didn't want upgrade my contract and eventually become an ATT customer. They started making changes like a week after it was announced.

Can you clarify that a bit? I have no idea what you're trying to say here.

IMO, when the merger was announced, everything stalled and customer service went straight to crap. But after the merger was officially dead, they got back on the right track. Almost instantly they started the effort to test on the 1900 band and refarm their network. They changed gears on LTE and decided to begin rolling it out by 2013 (rather than keep upgrading HSPA+ indefinitely). They've aggressively began acquiring and harmonizing spectrum - ATT merger breakup fee, Leap-TMO spectrum swaps, and VZW dealings. They began offering arguably the best smartphone deal in America - 5GB+unlimited texting for $30/mo prepaid. They're rolling out true unlimited data again, and their network's data speeds consistently test better than any other 3g network, and most other 4g networks (2nd to VZW).

Considering almost all of this has happened since the merger was killed, I'd say they lost their way when the merger was announced, and have been working pretty hard to get back on track since then.
--
"What makes us omniscient? Have we a record of omniscience? ...If we can't persuade nations with comparable values of the merit of our cause, we'd better reexamine our reasoning."
-United States Secretary of Defense (1961-1968) Robert S. McNamara
BlueC

join:2009-11-26
Minneapolis, MN
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Comcast
·Integra Telecom

Re: Lost its way the moment the merger wasn't announced

Agreed. I filled out a survey a few months ago and mentioned how their customer service had gone downhill. A rep called me up just recently and offered me a discounted plan (one they were not offering to customers openly) and I got a sweet deal on a new GS3. Paying less per month and have a new phone, can't complain.

Their speeds have also improved lately. Used to only get around 4-8mbps downstream, now seeing 12-20mbps downstream.

They are clearly showing effort in improvement. You can't argue against that.

NJBoricua75
Born And Raised

join:2000-09-13
Brooklyn, NY

3 edits

1900MHz 3G/4G

It's a shame. I like T-Mobile. They may not have the coverage the other big 3 have but they're a good company. Good customer service, plans. I never had any issues but then again I mainly stood in my metropolitan area. NYC to be specific.

1900MHz 3G/4G could help them. Their HSPA+ network is not bad at all. Almost close to Verizon's LTE. 8-10Mbps I've seen on friends phones but I heard some get even faster than that. It's a good thing the iPhone 5 is unlocked. Well I know Verizon's is and I hear the AT&T version is easy to unlock.

They just got to refarm their 3G more quicker

Selenia
Gentoo Convert
Premium
join:2006-09-22
Fort Smith, AR
kudos:2

Re: 1900MHz 3G/4G

I get 7-12 mbps on AT&T HSPA+ and I don't even remotely live in a metro area. What is all this talk about T-MO HSPA+ somehow being faster?

nothing00

join:2001-06-10
Centereach, NY

Re: 1900MHz 3G/4G

Just so you know, everyone doesn't get those speeds. I get ~400-500kbps in a metro area on AT&T.

XANAVirus
Premium
join:2012-03-03
Lavalette, WV
Reviews:
·Callcentric

Re: 1900MHz 3G/4G

I get only +-1Mbps (frequently less, and sometimes even slower than dial-up) on AT&T HSPA+.

Of course I'm in a rural area so the trade-off is less people, but at the same time all these iPhones and other smartphones are still slowing the network down (hence, why I most of the time see sub 512Kbps speeds).

djdanska
Rudie32
Premium,MVM
join:2001-04-21
San Diego, CA
kudos:4
I generally get 18 to 22 mbps down with T-Mobile in third Midwest and east coast. Unlimited, with no caps and throttling.

jseymour

join:2009-12-11
Waterford, MI
said by Selenia:

What is all this talk about T-MO HSPA+ somehow being faster?

Here ya go: Fastest Mobile Networks 2012

Selenia
Gentoo Convert
Premium
join:2006-09-22
Fort Smith, AR
kudos:2

Re: 1900MHz 3G/4G

Interesting article, but if they are calling AT&T HSPA+ 3G, then I really have to call them out. I regularly see speeds above the Max they showed in excess of 10 mbps. I'd say around 9 is my average. My phone is LTE capable but their LTE don't reach me yet. I also don't believe in penalizing a carrier for lack of coverage in a city. The article is supposed to tell the fastest 4G network, which is AT&T, despite their scoring. Coverage is important, but a different topic. Some who never leave the city may only care about who is fastest in their city who may be covered by both. They are welcome to rate coverage, but make it a separate score.
--
A fool thinks they know everything.

A wise person knows enough to know they couldn't possibly know everything.

There are zealots for every OS, like every religion. They do not represent the majority of users for either.

jseymour

join:2009-12-11
Waterford, MI
said by NJBoricua75:

It's a shame.

What's a shame?

It would've been a shame if they'd been borged by the death star TelCom. It's great that they weren't. Now they appear to be taking the money and spectrum they won from "AT&T" failing to take them out and using it to improve and expand their network.

Yes, following the failed borging, TMO's CS took a hit. They lost a ton of customers during the failed attempt on the death star's attempt to eliminate competition. But now they look like they're turning it around.

said by NJBoricua75:

I like T-Mobile.

I do, too. They kind of look like Sprint did back when I signed up with them. They're kind of disruptive. Yes, coverage outside of major metro areas and along major transportation arteries is thin-to-non-existent. But their coverage within those areas appears to be at least as good as Sprint's, if not better. They come out way ahead in data performance in the cities.

I've been researching this a lot, lately. I've been kind of thinking about a smartphone. VZ and "AT&T" are out of the question on cost. Sprint is really no better, their data network currently... well, it sucks, and I've even been experiencing increasingly wonky voice performance, lately.

But T-Mobile... Of the people to whom I've talked that either have or have had TMO, and their friends that have it: Everybody pretty much loves it. And in a recent wireless data performance survey: TMO beat the death star in many regions and came out 2nd over-all.

As for mergers: The only logical suitor is "AT&T," and the U.S. government already shot that down. I doubt that's going to be tried again anytime soon. I cannot imagine VZW being the least bit interested, and they're even less likely than was the death star to prevail. It's a bad fit for Sprint. Sprint is CDMA. T-Mobile is GSM. So who could possibly buy T-Mobile?

I think DT either has to make TMO succeed in the U.S. or shut it down and write it off.

I would like to see T-Mobile succeed, not least in part because they may soon be my wireless carrier.

Jim

SmallDog

@rcn.com

They're trying hard to drive what's left into the ground

They went from having world-class customer service to farming it out (AGAIN!) to worthless non-English-speaking script-readers. They stupidly fired, I believe, all of the US based CSRs.

Until they restore CS to what it had been, Jim Alling is just another smoke-blowing, FOS, over-paid, under-useful corporate shill.
hottboiinnc
ME

join:2003-10-15
Cleveland, OH

Re: They're trying hard to drive what's left into the ground

TMO-USA's tech support is mostly outsourced anyway. The call centers are US Based with one of them being in Lorain Ohio.
decifal

join:2007-03-10
Bon Aqua, TN
kudos:1

must

Must have a yeng and yang when it comes to business. Profit yes, raping customers and having them defect, no..
AVonGauss
Premium
join:2007-11-01
Boynton Beach, FL

Nope...

I was with T-Mobile for many years, but the article is wrong; T-Mobile lost their way far before the AT&T merger agreement - hence why it even came about in the first place.

cork1958
Cork
Premium
join:2000-02-26

They lost their way because

They were simply to greedy and ready to run with that money from AT&T, without even batting an eye!

Of course every single customer matters now that they have to deal with them again!!

I've had both TMO and Verizon previously, and TMO was 10 times better than Verizon here. Verizon totally sucked green donkey d**k!!
--
The Firefox alternative.
»www.mozilla.org/projects/seamonkey/

buddahbless

join:2005-03-21
Premium
Reviews:
·T-Mobile US
·AT&T DSL Service

lost there way? heres a few ways to find it again!

1) ALL customers ( post and prepaid ) who where sticking around during the sale should be offered A loyal customer incentive for sticking it out. Maybe start a bill reduction plan similar to boost. An instant $5 of every phone line you have activated and then another drop in 6 months or so.

2) Raise the Data allotment for all those customers who stuck around and those who have signed up even when you were ready to bail. Its utter nonsense the new plans have options to carry real unlimited data. people already on plans should be give a data raise for there loyalty. example IE: $50 prepaid customers who were only given 100mb of 4G should get 1GB of 4G, $60 customers given 4GB, and etc....

3) raise the throttle! If you Want to compete with and steal ATT customers well given your going after there Iphone customers a lot of them will be coming over with there 3/3g/4/4g etc. there going to mostly be attracted to the prepaid options as they have no need for a contract as they own there phones. well there not going to be happy with a 120kbps connection when there coming of at least a 1-3 mb connection from ATT. After testing it for a few months I can see alot of people just switching back or going on ATTs prepaid at that point.
ATT claims no smartphones on there $50 prepaid option however Ive seen some people do it and not pay the overage data plan and ATT just throttled there connection to 128-256kbps.

4)Tmobile should raise there throttle for all customers "across the board" to 256-512 kbps. that is more than enough to keep up with most streaming apps, maps, streaming music players. and not break the TMO piggy bank or cause data instability issues. It would allow androids and iphones to still be very usable even after the throttle. you just wont have lightning fast downloads which im sure most customers would accept happily as compromise.Want to stream netfix well you will need more 4g access as in 1.5mbps and above, but google map and pandora/ slacker will work just fine together at 512 kbps. even tethering a laptop or tablet at 512 is acceptable for general Internet usage, 120 is like being on dial up.

5) Ive got more suggestions but they (TMO) would have to contact me directly and ask for them with a nice check, for I may do an "apple" and Patent all this and then sue TMO if they ever try to use my ideas..LOL