T-Mobile, though one of the smallest carriers within the United States, has certainly left their mark on the mobile market, whether it be through their pseudo-4G network, or the diversification of their hardware portfolio. However, the carrier is falling victim to its top three competitors – Sprint, AT&T, and Verizon. How can the company expand its user base to stay competitive with the ever-evolving mobile industry?
Yesterday the company held its press conference at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), where CEO Philipp Humm announced that T-Mobile’s network covers 200 million Americans. Then, Mr. Humm stated that T-Mobile has the fastest network in the top 100 US markets, the information coming from an unidentified source.
According to T-Mobile’s research, 81 percent of Americans want smartphones, but only 31 percent actually own them. This is the market that the carrier wants a piece of – the casual, affordable smartphone users. They desire to have the simple ability to access the Internet in an intuitive way, browse their email, and share experiences with friends; they want all of the features of an advanced phone in an cheap package.
How exactly does T-Mobile plan to sway the casual user to buy more advanced hardware? Through extremely aggressive pricing of their data plans. They announced plans that they would put forth a data plan that costs $10 per month, with limited data of course.
While they might be able to sway some with their data plans, many want to be on the nation’s largest network, part of the “popular” crowd if you will. CTO Nevill Ray shared a statistic with those in attendence – T-Mobile’s 4G network is 160 percent larger than Verizon’s LTE network. While it makes me cringe a bit to call T-Mobile’s HSPA+ 4G, it is still a raw number that could grab the attention of consumers.
Mr. Ray then announced that the company plans to double the speed of its network in 2011, from 21 Mbps to 42 Mbps. This would put T-Mobile on par with Verizon’s LTE speeds, which is quite an achievement. The company explained its plans for long term evolution of their HSPA network, which could theoretically make the carrier end up with speeds up to 672 Mbps.
To compliment its 4G network, T-Mobile announced two major tablet devices – the Dell Streak 7 and the LG G Slate. The former will run on Android 2.2, as almost everything does, and will allow users to browse the internet on the go at blazing fast speeds due to the processing power it possesses. The latter will run on Google’s much anticipated next-gen Android OS, Honeycomb, which will provide users with a fresh UI that will put the device in direct competition with companies such as Apple.
What do you think? Is T-Mobile set up to go head-to-head with the leading carriers? Is their product line diversified enough to catch the interest of consumers? Let us know.
T-Mobile Press Release
Las Vegas, Nev. — Jan. 6, 2011 PST
Today at the 2011 International CES, T-Mobile USA CEO and President Philipp Humm highlighted the company’s network leadership, supported by Nielsen data confirming that T-Mobile delivered the fastest wireless data performance in the top 100 U.S. markets during the second half of 2010.1 In addition, Humm announced the nationwide availability of T-Mobile’s 4G network, now reaching approximately 200 million people in 100 major metropolitan areas.
“In 2010, we delivered on our ambitious goal to become America’s largest 4G network, and this year our customers will be able to experience speeds equivalent to home broadband while on the go,” said Humm. “We’ll continue to focus on fueling the adoption of mobile data, by offering innovative and affordable smartphones and tablets, as well as aggressive data plan pricing and rich and compelling data services.”
T-Mobile also unveiled plans to double the speed of its 4G network this year, which will be capable of delivering peak download speeds of up to 42 Mbps. Moreover, the company announced that in 2011 it will launch at least 25 new 4G devices, starting with its first 4G tablet — the Dell™ Streak 7, expected to be available at T-Mobile stores across the country in the coming weeks. The company vowed to aggressively expand and evolve its 4G smartphone portfolio, launching additional devices capable of delivering peak download speeds of up to 21 Mbps in the first half of 2011, and smartphones capable of delivering peak download speeds of up to 42 Mbps in the second half of the year.
The cutting-edge download speed was demonstrated today by company representatives using a T-Mobile laptop stick developed by ZTE, capable of delivering peak download speeds of up to 42 Mbps and slated to launch in the first half of 2011. By doubling the speed of its 4G network, T-Mobile will offer its customers an unprecedented wireless experience, fueled by improved performance in the use of rich media applications, including creating and sharing mobile content, streaming video, and participating in multi-player gaming and videoconferencing.
The company expects 140 million Americans in 25 metro areas to have access to these increased 4G speeds by mid-2011. T-Mobile’s enhanced speed capabilities will also benefit its customers using existing 3G devices for data services, as the backward-compatible network enables 3G devices to achieve their maximum speed performance.
“We are pleased to support T-Mobile as it continues to deploy and develop its 4G network, which today is delivering next-generation speeds and performance to hundreds of millions of customers,” said Angel Ruiz, president and CEO, Ericsson North America. “We are confident that HSPA+ will continue to offer a viable and cost-effective alternative to LTE and WiMAX, providing a comparable 4G experience to customers for the foreseeable future. And, with a strong and growing ecosystem of network equipment and handsets, we anticipate that HSPA+ can develop into one of the most advanced technology platforms in the industry.”
“Consumers are increasingly embracing the benefits of smartphones, with 80 percent of U.S. mobile customers wanting a smartphone, and as many as 100 million of them not yet having one,” said Cole Brodman, chief marketing officer, T-Mobile USA. “Our compelling offering of affordable broadband devices and consumer-friendly data plan pricing will enable customers to step up to mobile data and 4G, and our customers will not pay a toll to ride on our 4G superhighway.”
About the Dell™ Streak 7
T-Mobile’s first 4G tablet, the Dell Streak 7, is capable of peak speeds up to 21 Mbps to provide super-fast 4G mobile broadband experience for watching movies and entertainment through preloaded content and thousands of widgets, games and applications available on Android Market™. Running the Android 2.2 operating system, the Dell Streak 7 features a brilliant 7-inch WVGA touch screen with Gorilla® Glass, dual core NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor and full Adobe® Flash® Player 10.1 support.