T-Mobile (Deutsche Telekom Capital Markets Day 2012) December 7, 2012 14:55There were several interesting details that came out of the Deutsche Telekom Capital Markets Day 2012. The primary announcement concerned T-Mobile USA being blessed with the ability to sell the iPhone. T-Mobile's new CEO, John Legere indicated that it will have a dramatically different experience than the other iPhone on the market. In addition T-Mobile will sell it unsubsidized, although they will offer financing plans. This should continue to drive T-Mobile's Cost Per Gross Add (CPGA) down, although they didn't disclose if this only affects their iPhone retail business or potentially all of their retail. This is a dramatic step which eliminate the primary issue that I have had with the subsidy pricing model. I have a problem with paying the same monthly rate for my smartphone if I am out of contract as the guy that who just got a new device. With T-Mobile's plan the true cost of upgrading will be carried by the customer, with the expectation of lower monthly rates.
Above is a restatement of the testing data from PC Magazine which T-Mobile released. It is interesting to note how far their speeds have fallen from their early announcements in late 2010 concerning the HSPA+ network. It is also worth noting that they compared AT&T's LTE network. You can again see the loading effect on the network. AT&T's Chicago network was launched September 2011 so it has been loading for over a year reflecting the slower speeds. AT&T's complete New York and San Francisco networks are much newer, launching September 2012, thus carrying less traffic. I am curious why T-Mobile did not chose to compare themselves to AT&T's 4G (HSPA+) network.
From a LTE network build perspective, this was the first time I have heard clearly that T-Mobile is deploying tower top electronics. It is interesting that they state that they are the first carrier in North America to broadly deploy radio-integrated antennas. Clearwire was the first carrier to deploy tower top base stations, followed by Sprint with their Network Vision project. T-Mobile is playing up the fact that their radios are some how integrated into the antenna. Not really an earth shattering announcement. From a technology perspective, deploying the tower top base stations will fill in coverage holes and improve data speeds so it is a good move. In addition, these base stations will be Release 10 capable, meaning a software update will move these radio from the LTE features to the LTE Advance features.
- Current 4G Network covers 225 million POPs
- Release 10 Equipment being deployed to 37,000 cell sites
- T-Mobile and MetroPCS: Migration not Integration
- With MetroPCS Spectrum Position across Top 25 service areas is improved by 21%
- Planning to shutdown 10,000 macro sites from MetroPCS
- Retain and integrate 1,000 MetroPCS sites
- Operating MetroPCS Markets
- San Francisco
- New York
- Florida (except panhandle)
- MetroPCS brand will increase coverage from 105MPOPs to more than 280MPOPs.