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T-Mobile Struggles to Hold On to Postpaid Customers
Loses 205,000 During the Second Quarter
by Karl Bode 02:59PM Thursday Aug 09 2012
T-Mobile's failed love affair with AT&T -- and the distractions it caused -- continue to hurt the company, the carrier's earnings today indicating that T-Mobile lost 205,000 subscribers during the second quarter. While the company's postpaid business continues to suffer with a net loss of 557,000 contract customers, the company continues to do well in the prepaid space with a net gain of 227,000 prepaid customers. T-Mobile's strong prepaid presence resulted in a $207 million net profit for the quarter on $4.88 billion in revenue. T-Mobile, especially without the iPhone, continues to struggle in their battles with AT&T and Verizon for postpaid, while facing a lot of younger upstarts nipping at their heels on the prepaid low-cost market.

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NetFixer
Snarl For The Camera Please
Premium
join:2004-06-24
The Boro
Reviews:
·Cingular Wireless
·Comcast Business..
·Vonage

1 recommendation

T-Mobile coverage

Of course, surely their somewhat sparse coverage would not have anything to do with their problems?


T-Mobile coverage southeast of Mboro



AT&T coverage southeast of Mboro


I would gladly dump AT&T in favor of T-Mobile if I could actually use a T-Mobile phone in areas where I frequently go.

EDIT: If you see the T-Mobile map displayed as much smaller than the AT&T map, blame this site's image upload code; the images I uploaded were the same size, and displayed the same geographic area.
--
We can never have enough of nature.
We need to witness our own limits transgressed, and some life pasturing freely where we never wander.
25139889

join:2011-10-25
Toledo, OH

Re: T-Mobile coverage

You should understand how TMO gained its network- much like CellCo and AT&T Mobility- they purchased their networks. And merged them into one. TMO (like AT&T) does NOT focus on the rural areas. They focus on METRO areas thus keeping costs low. They let Cellco and Sprint worry about the sticks.

NetFixer
Snarl For The Camera Please
Premium
join:2004-06-24
The Boro
Reviews:
·Cingular Wireless
·Comcast Business..
·Vonage

Re: T-Mobile coverage

said by 25139889:

You should understand how TMO gained its network- much like CellCo and AT&T Mobility- they purchased their networks. And merged them into one. TMO (like AT&T) does NOT focus on the rural areas. They focus on METRO areas thus keeping costs low. They let Cellco and Sprint worry about the sticks.

Which is why I posted both AT&T and T-Mobile coverage maps of the same area. AT&T does indeed cover most of the rural area on that map, but T-Mobile does not appear to even cover the city of Chattanooga (which some would perhaps not consider a major metropolitan area, but would not be considered a rural area or in the sticks by anyone living outside of Manhattan).
--
We can never have enough of nature.
We need to witness our own limits transgressed, and some life pasturing freely where we never wander.
25139889

join:2011-10-25
Toledo, OH

1 recommendation

Re: T-Mobile coverage

Chances are the Mobility network was purchased. And it is probably the old AT&T Network- NOT Cingular's network.

But TMO has made it clear before- they only cover the metro areas. but does not define that. TMO coverage does look like crap until you do street level. CellCo's is the other way around- It looks great until you do zoom in and then find that it's "partner" or "extended" areas for a good share of it.
ISurfTooMuch

join:2007-04-23
Tuscaloosa, AL

Re: T-Mobile coverage

IIRC, AT&T's network in Chattanooga is a merger of Cingular's network and the old AT&T Wireless network. I hadn't gone there before they were merged, but I seem to recall hearing that Cingular had spotty coverage there then, but the merged network seemed pretty solid when I was there, albeit for only short trips.

Still, I have to agree with the OP. I realize that T-Mobile has made a decision to focus on larger population centers, but they're now paying the price for that decision. They seem to have concluded that these are the customers they want, but what they fail to realize is that people in cities are still concerned with rural coverage because they do travel into rural areas and also because they have family and friends in those areas, and, with M2M calling, people often go with the carrier that the people they know also go with.

There's one other thing that I've noticed about most carriers: their coverage around the edges of cities is often quite poor. It always seems to lag behind the development of these areas, sometimes by quite a while. In the case of carriers focused only on cities, this plays even more into people's perception that the carrier isn't a good fit for them. It would be to these carriers' benefit to make sure that their coverage grows faster than the developed areas. If they're only going to cover these metro areas, then they need to make sure they're seen to be covering them well and keeping ahead of population growth.
tanzam75

join:2012-07-19

T-Mobile Chattanooga
This is the actual T-Mobile map.

said by NetFixer:

T-Mobile does not appear to even cover the city of Chattanooga (which some would perhaps not consider a major metropolitan area, but would not be considered a rural area or in the sticks by anyone living outside of Manhattan).

That should've been your clue that your browser ran into a Javascript error while loading the overlay tile for Chattanooga. That, plus the fact that the area of missing coverage was square in shape.

T-Mobile claims 96% coverage of the US population. If they're talking about residences and outdoors, then I believe them. (Indoors would be a different matter.) The population of the US is concentrated into a few metropolitan areas: »georgiainfo.galileo.usg.edu/us-night.gif
Telco

join:2008-12-19
Reviews:
·Callcentric

1 recommendation

Re: T-Mobile coverage

This is where cell networks need to focus on.



tshirt
Premium,MVM
join:2004-07-11
Snohomish, WA
kudos:4
There is something wrong with your Tmo map netfixer (has a very sterile square over Chattanooga) but the map I get here
»www.t-mobile.com/coverage/pcc.aspx
looks a bit better.

NetFixer
Snarl For The Camera Please
Premium
join:2004-06-24
The Boro
Reviews:
·Cingular Wireless
·Comcast Business..
·Vonage

Re: T-Mobile coverage

said by tshirt:

There is something wrong with your Tmo map netfixer (has a very sterile square over Chattanooga) but the map I get here
»www.t-mobile.com/coverage/pcc.aspx
looks a bit better.

That is where I went earlier to get my previous coverage map. However, now I do see that Chattanooga is covered. I guess that T-Mobile was having a problem with their mapping service earlier.




However, the rather large no service status in the surrounding more rural areas (compared to AT&T coverage) is still enough to keep me from using T-Mobile since I frequently find myself in those no service areas. And that is a shame because I would not mind dumping AT&T.
--
We can never have enough of nature.
We need to witness our own limits transgressed, and some life pasturing freely where we never wander.

delusion ftl

@comcast.net

Re: T-Mobile coverage

What you really should be asking yourself is not "do i ever go to those places with no service?" instead it should be "is it worth me paying hundreds, maybe even half a grand a year more to have coverage in those areas?"

If you are like the average person, more often than not to the latter question is, "probably not". Remember that 911 calls are fielded no matter what, and with t-mobile, anywhere with wifi is equivalent to cell coverage to you. So if you have a friend that lives in that area that has wifi, you can talk and text just fine around their house.

NetFixer
Snarl For The Camera Please
Premium
join:2004-06-24
The Boro
Reviews:
·Cingular Wireless
·Comcast Business..
·Vonage

1 edit

Re: T-Mobile coverage

said by delusion ftl :

What you really should be asking yourself is not "do i ever go to those places with no service?" instead it should be "is it worth me paying hundreds, maybe even half a grand a year more to have coverage in those areas?"

If you are like the average person, more often than not to the latter question is, "probably not". Remember that 911 calls are fielded no matter what, and with t-mobile, anywhere with wifi is equivalent to cell coverage to you. So if you have a friend that lives in that area that has wifi, you can talk and text just fine around their house.

Gee, thank you for knowing more about my life and lifestyle than I know myself.

And, exactly where in my posts in this thread did you see me even mention 911 calls or WiFi availability or that I even have WiFi capable phones (and do you have any idea of the limited range of WiFi)? It must be nice to be so omniscient.

Also, FWIW, the only "friends" I visit in those T-Mobile wastelands don't have houses or WiFi:




--
We can never have enough of nature.
We need to witness our own limits transgressed, and some life pasturing freely where we never wander.
WirelessJunk

join:2012-08-06
Most of AT&T's rural coverage is roaming...
BiggA

join:2005-11-23
EARTH

Re: T-Mobile coverage

Verizon and AT&T have about the same roaming. Sprint has many times that.
BiggA

join:2005-11-23
EARTH
Sprint doesn't focus on the boonies. AT&T and Verizon do.
XIII

join:2010-06-16
Scottsdale, AZ
From those maps both have crappy coverage, ATT just has better roaming agreements in the area.
--
»FreeDNS.afraid.org - Free DNS dynamic DNS subdomain and domain hosting
WirelessJunk

join:2012-08-06
said by NetFixer:

Of course, surely their somewhat sparse coverage would not have anything to do with their problems?

[att=1]

[att=2]

I would gladly dump AT&T in favor of T-Mobile if I could actually use a T-Mobile phone in areas where I frequently go.

EDIT: If you see the T-Mobile map displayed as much smaller than the AT&T map, blame this site's image upload code; the images I uploaded were the same size, and displayed the same geographic area.

To be honest, both of those are pathetic.. Have you looked at Verizon's coverage in TN. It beats out any GSM carrier.
tmc8080

join:2004-04-24
Brooklyn, NY
Reviews:
·ooma
·Optimum Online
·Verizon FiOS

losing profitable customers, boo hoo

the service and handsets are not much different these days that prepaid... the only difference is the profitability of a post paid customer vs a prepaid customer

the only thing working in tmobile's favor is the rest of the small market share companies... sprint, metro, leap, are doing just as horrible.. none are cutting prices to gain market share so, that means market saturation-- there are no more customers to be had..
25139889

join:2011-10-25
Toledo, OH

1 recommendation

Re: losing profitable customers, boo hoo

Their handsets are in line with all the other carriers. The only thing is they don't offer the iPhone and pay the crazy prices Apple forces on its brainwashed customers/public.

Also Metro and Cricket/Leap are not comparable to TMO. They're sole customer base is Prepaid- much like TracFone Companies.

And why not have a company filled full of prepaid customers? At least they don't have to worry about a write off of a 400$+ phone bill that will never get paid.
moonpuppy

join:2000-08-21
Glen Burnie, MD

Re: losing profitable customers, boo hoo

said by 25139889:

Their handsets are in line with all the other carriers. The only thing is they don't offer the iPhone and pay the crazy prices Apple forces on its brainwashed customers/public.

That's the jist of it.

Many people did bring their iPhones to T-Mobile for service to get away from ATT but the data portion can be tricky to handle.
tkdslr

join:2004-04-24
Pompano Beach, FL
Reviews:
·T-Mobile US
·Speakeasy

1 recommendation

Two key indicators..

Adjusted OIBDA (operating income before Depreciation and Amortization) improved 4.8% and the margin verses last year same period also improved 3% to 31%..

I.E. Less dead weight(subsidized phones).. more profit..

And net income improved(207 M$ verses 200M$) over the previous quarter...
25139889

join:2011-10-25
Toledo, OH

Re: Two key indicators..

Which is why they do NOT have the iPhone. They don't want to pay $500+ for the device and be stuck in the whole for 2+ years trying to make $$ off it only to be back in the same whole when its upgrade time.
tmc8080

join:2004-04-24
Brooklyn, NY
Reviews:
·ooma
·Optimum Online
·Verizon FiOS
said by tkdslr:

Adjusted OIBDA (operating income before Depreciation and Amortization) improved 4.8% and the margin verses last year same period also improved 3% to 31%..

I.E. Less dead weight(subsidized phones).. more profit..

And net income improved(207 M$ verses 200M$) over the previous quarter...

That is an accountant's way of saying the sky is not falling (as fast)..

carpetshark3
Premium
join:2004-02-12
Idledale, CO

TMO

Coverage has improved. Full coverage in Moab, Utah and getting better in off the beat places.

I like the fact that TMO doesn't have the Iphone.

chong67

join:2001-11-18
Jonesboro, GA

I hope T-mobile survive

I hope T-mobile survive.

I dont like ATT. They charge way too much.

I love Sprint and I wish they would hurry up with the LTE deployment!

Lone Wolf
Almost Retired
Premium
join:2001-12-30
USA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Verizon Online DSL

Re: I hope T-mobile survive

TMo will survive.

»en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T-Mobile

Globally, T-Mobile International subsidiaries have a combined total of approximately 150 million subscribers, making the company the world's third-largest mobile-phone service provider by subscribers and the third-largest multinational after the UK's Vodafone and Spain's Telefónica.

broccoli

join:2007-11-29
Portland, OR

Re: I hope T-mobile survive

said by Lone Wolf:

TMo will survive.

»en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T-Mobile

Globally, T-Mobile International subsidiaries have a combined total of approximately 150 million subscribers, making the company the world's third-largest mobile-phone service provider by subscribers and the third-largest multinational after the UK's Vodafone and Spain's Telefónica.

Not even close. T-Mobile is not even in the top 10 world's largest. I checked the edit history of that article and noticed an IP user, probably a vandal, changed twelfth-largest to third-largest 2.5 months ago, and apparently no one noticed.
moonpuppy

join:2000-08-21
Glen Burnie, MD

Re: I hope T-mobile survive

said by broccoli:

said by Lone Wolf:

TMo will survive.

»en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T-Mobile

Globally, T-Mobile International subsidiaries have a combined total of approximately 150 million subscribers, making the company the world's third-largest mobile-phone service provider by subscribers and the third-largest multinational after the UK's Vodafone and Spain's Telefónica.

Not even close. T-Mobile is not even in the top 10 world's largest. I checked the edit history of that article and noticed an IP user, probably a vandal, changed twelfth-largest to third-largest 2.5 months ago, and apparently no one noticed.

And now it says it is the 10th largest.

Rob
In Deo speramus.
Premium
join:2001-08-25
Kendall, FL
kudos:3

No iPhone? Loser in the crowd.

Sorry T-Mobile, either get the iPhone or continue to see your postpaid customers leave. It's just a reality of life. Don't hate the player, hate the game.
--
CheckSite.us | YourIP.us | Reverseip.us

carpetshark3
Premium
join:2004-02-12
Idledale, CO

Re: No iPhone? Loser in the crowd.

This user is staying because there is no Iphone.
I use unlocked phones exclusively and I buy my own - elsewhere
Expand your moderator at work
BiggA

join:2005-11-23
EARTH

Of course

People are realizing that their network sucks.
mrexcelion

join:2008-08-06

Prepaid

I use T-Mobiles prepaid and its a good value for a non-smartphone. 30 bucks/month for 1500 minutes and 1500 texts. The jump in prepaid subs still might have to do with the value they're offering there vs postpaid.

a333
A hot cup of integrals please

join:2007-06-12
Rego Park, NY
Reviews:
·T-Mobile US

Works for me...

The fewer iPhones, the merrier it gets for people like myself... Besides, while their postpaid division is shrinking, their prepaid division is growing at quite a healthy rate, and they DO happen to be one of the few prepaid providers that provide some of the fastest 3.5G speeds without anywhere near as many strings (another big plus is complete freedom in terms of BYOD)... I would actually not mind if they increased my voice minutes to about 300 per month, capped the texts at ~ 1000, and maintained my 5 GB data cap for $40 - $50/month instead of the $30/month I currently pay... VoIP over HSPA works fairly well, but I've heard that their UMTS network voice quality tends to be better than on AT&T as they actually use AMR-FR for the codec. As to coverage, it has been established that T-mobile is catering to urban users for some time now... once they manage to get 1900 MHz HSPA to most areas and deploy LTE Advanced, they will be in the same position as the other carriers from a technology standpoint, but won't have the several billion $$$ (and the insane device subsidies) it takes to carry the iPhone dragging them down (not to mention, the cellular marketplace is competitive to the point where there are quite a few Android handsets that are beginning to become serious competitors to the iPhone)
--
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If physicists stand on each other's shoulders, computer scientists stand on each other's toes, and computer programmers dig each other's graves.

Gork
Ou812ic

join:2001-10-06
Bountiful, UT

1 recommendation

Win-win for AT&T

Stories like this make me think of AT&T's true position with regard to their attempted acquisition of TMO. I'd be surprised if they didn't know from the onset the FCC wouldn't let it happen. The whole thing could easily have been constructed as an attempt to take down TMO! But had the FCC allowed the merger, it still would have been a positive thing for AT&T.

Last I checked TMO has the best pre-paid deal for voice customers with low usage. I would think that might have something to do with those number remaining relatively stable.

jap
Premium
join:2003-08-10
038xx

Re: Win-win for AT&T

said by Gork:

Last I checked TMO has the best pre-paid deal for voice customers with low usage. I would think that might have something to do with those number remaining relatively stable.

I pay $30 flat for 1500 anywhere mins + some small amount of data I don't use. I like that T-Mo ala cartes everything: bring a smart phone/computer onto the network but only use & pay for voice. They turned off text for me too, which USCell, Virgin, and VZ(?) wont do.

Gork
Ou812ic

join:2001-10-06
Bountiful, UT

Re: Win-win for AT&T

said by jap:

I pay $30 flat for 1500 anywhere mins + some small amount of data I don't use.

I'm talking low usage, like $100 for 1,000 minutes of talk time for a year; or even if the 1,000 minutes is used in 6 months.
romulusnr

join:2007-08-01
Federal Way, WA

DT doesn't have faith in TMO, why should customers?

TMO needs to be sold, and soon, to restore confidence. With DT trying to publicly to sell it off, customers are wary of its viability, and it's sincerity in providing quality service.

TMO's CS numbers are in the trash, too, the result of jettisoning its successful domestic CS and replacing it with "who gives a fuck about service" offshored CS. Did DT's plans to shelve the company lead to that kind of cost cutting?

Once upon a time TMO rewarded its VPs for developing innovative marketing, incentives, system improvements, and features. I'm guessing they don't still do that. Probably the only new thing to come out of TMO in the past couple of years has been the no-name girl in the pink dresses who replaced the celebrity spokesperson. When your entire operation from soup to nuts is riddled with obvious skimping, customers expect service will soon follow suit.
moonpuppy

join:2000-08-21
Glen Burnie, MD

Re: DT doesn't have faith in TMO, why should customers?

said by romulusnr:

TMO's CS numbers are in the trash, too, the result of jettisoning its successful domestic CS and replacing it with "who gives a fuck about service" offshored CS. Did DT's plans to shelve the company lead to that kind of cost cutting?

You can thank ATT for the way CS is now at T-Mobile. While I had a pleasant experience 2 nights ago with one, they did learn a lot of how not to behave from ATT and their stupidity.

Daniel D

@embarqhsd.net

T-Mobile's Issues

I've had T-Mobile twice and honestly I was fairly happy with the voice coverage in my area. The problem I had is while I don't live in a major metro area I live in a decent area and some parts of this area still have 2G coverage. I mostly had 3G coverage here which gave me good speeds but the areas in which I only had EDGE speed was terrible. Verizon has solid LTE coverage here, AT&T has a speedy HSPA+ Network, and even Sprint with it's slow but decent coverage 3G here beats T-Mobile in the EDGE areas. T-Mobile's biggest issue is a lack of a decent data network too many of their areas lack HSPA+ and from what I see some decent sized areas are even stuck on EDGE with T-Mobile. Also I gotta say I had horrible CS with T-Mobile. Out of the major four carriers I've dealt with T-Mobile on the prepaid and postpaid side has the worst customer service.

T-Mobile can survive and I actually root for them despite my mixed feelings for the company. However they need to do these three things to survive. Build out your data network more, improve your CS, and carry the iPhone. If they don't do all of these three things and fast the company won't be around much longer.