Apr. 10, 2014, 2:22 PM
- T-Mobile USA's (TMUS -2.6%) Operation Tablet Freedom allows customers to add tablets to their postpaid plans for free. By contrast, AT&T's (T +1.1%) Mobile Share plans and Verizon's (VZ -0.4%) More Everything plans charge $10/month for each tablet that's added to an existing data bucket.
- T-Mobile is also providing customers who "bring, buy, or trade in a tablet" nearly 1.2GB/month of free data for the rest of 2014 - it'll charge $10/month for the data afterwards - and discounting 4G-capable tablets so as to price them on par with Wi-Fi-only models. A 4G 16GB iPad Air will go for $499 rather than its MSRP of $629.
- Yesterday, T-Mobile unveiled its $40/month Simple Starter plan, which provides unlimited voice/text to go with a meager 200MB of data (albeit with no overages). A third pricing announcement is due tomorrow.
- Past T-Mobile price cuts/promotions: I, II, III
Apr. 9, 2014, 11:54 AM
- T-Mobile USA's (TMUS +1%) Simple Starter plan provides unlimited talk/text and 500MB of 4G data for $40/month.
- The carrier makes a point of noting the plan lacks the data overage fees charged by rivals. Assuming Simple Starter works like other T-Mobile plans, users will simply have their data speeds throttled after going over 500MB.
- The plan is just the latest in a string of aggressive pricing moves from T-Mobile, moves that have triggered responses from AT&T and others. The company has already begun offering up to $650 in credit to get users to switch, and has rolled out relatively inexpensive smartphone upgrade and international roaming plans.
Apr. 7, 2014, 10:45 AM
- With all signs suggesting U.S. regulators remain opposed to a Sprint/T-Mobile USA merger in spite of Masayoshi Son's PR campaign, rumors have emerged SoftBank (SFTBF) will turn its sights on acquiring Vodafone (VOD +0.9%) if its efforts to fuse the #3 and #4 U.S. carriers are thwarted.
- It's worth noting Vodafone ($96B market cap) would be much harder for SoftBank ($87B) to digest than T-Mobile ($26B). If it was to try, SoftBank would doubtlessly make use of its 37% stake in soon-to-be-public Alibaba (could have a $50B+ pre-tax value).
- Sprint (S -2.6%) and T-Mobile (TMUS -1.5%) are seeing moderate declines.
Apr. 2, 2014, 10:26 AM
- Less than amused with a T-Mobile USA (TMUS -0.1%) ad campaign urging BlackBerry (BBRY +1.4%) owners to buy iPhones, BlackBerry says it won't renew T-Mobile's license to sell its products, which expires on April 25. Existing users on T-Mobile's network won't see any changes.
- As it is, T-Mobile stopped stocking BlackBerrys in its retail stores six months ago (they've remained available online). Moreover, with local sales having plunged, the U.S. now only accounts for a small fraction of BlackBerry's hardware sales, and T-Mobile (has a relatively small corporate base) a small percentage of U.S. sales.
Mar. 27, 2014, 11:52 AM
- SoftBank's (SFTBF) $3.17B sale of Japanese mobile ISP eAccess to Yahoo Japan is fueling speculation the Sprint (S +3.6%) parent is raising funds for a T-Mobile USA (TMUS +1.4%) bid.
- In spite of regulatory pushback, SoftBank's Masayoshi Son continues to press his case for a deal. "A duopoly is taking over our country," he declared today at an industry trade show. "if you look at [the past] five years … it is a fact that those two big companies increased [their market share] from 56% to 73%. What happens in the next five years?"
- T-Mobile's recent share gains (following years of losses) might have regulators thinking the next five years could go differently than the last five. The ripple effects of the #4 carrier's aggressive pricing might also influence their thinking.
- Son has promised he'd launch a "price war" if a Sprint/T-Mobile deal was approved, and that the merged carrier would act as a last-mile broadband rival to cable/phone duopolies - that could be easier said than done in densely-populated urban areas.
Mar. 11, 2014, 10:47 AM
- Ahead of a big speech at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, SoftBank's (SFTBF, SFTBY) Masayoshi Son is promising a "massive price war" if skeptical regulators allow Sprint (S +0.7%) to merge with T-Mobile USA (TMUS +2.4%).
- As expected, Son also insists Sprint and T-Mobile, who between them have a giant portfolio of high-frequency spectrum assets, could act as a credible last-mile broadband rival to phone/cable duopolies if they joined forces.
- AT&T (T -0.8%) and Verizon (VZ -0.6%) are ticking lower, while Sprint and T-Mobile are up moderately. AT&T has already been cutting prices to counter T-Mobile's aggressive moves - moves that have contributed to FCC/DOJ doubts about the merits of a Sprint/T-Mobile deal.
- Verizon, for now, is refusing to take part in a price war, and betting its service quality and unmatched 4G coverage will lead its pospaid subs to continue paying a premium.
- Yesterday: U.S. mobile roundup
Mar. 10, 2014, 2:54 PM
- AT&T (T -0.3%), which unflinchingly stuck with a premium pricing strategy for years, has announced yet another price cut for its Mobile Share plans (previous), as it tries to fend off a share-gaining Verizon and a resurgent T-Mobile.
- The price of Ma Bell's low-end 2GB Mobile Share plan has been cut by $15/month. The base price for a single user is now $40/month; adding a smartphone via AT&T's Next upgrade plan adds $25/month to the bill. Opting for a traditional phone subsidy/contract instead of Next costs $40/month.
- T-Mobile (TMUS +0.3%) , meanwhile, has simultaneously increased its data allotments for cheaper postpaid plans - a $50/month plan featuring unlimited voice/text now provides 1GB of data, up from 500MB - and hiked the price of its unlimited data offering by $10 to $80/month.
- Verizon (VZ -0.5%), which has offered some minor price cuts and promotions lately, insists it won't depart from its premium pricing strategy. CFO Fran Shammo: "We’re not going to buy customers ... You have to earn customers." Shammo also reiterates Verizon's support for subsidies (and with them, service contracts), and says the carrier will take a cautious approach to installment plans.
- Bloomberg reports SoftBank's (SFTBF, SFTBY) Masayoshi Son, facing regulatory opposition to his plans for a Sprint (S +0.4%) bid for T-Mobile, will shift from arguing a merger is needed combat Verizon/AT&T to arguing a deal will allow Sprint/T-Mobile to act as a last-mile broadband alternative to phone/cable duopolies. Son is due to make a speech tomorrow.
Mar. 6, 2014, 1:49 PM
- "I don’t want to insist on [U.S. mobile] consolidation, but I don’t want to rule it out," says Deutsche Telekom (DTEGY, DTEGF) CEO Tim Hoettges.
- The remarks come after Hoettges reportedly told DT's board he considers a sale of 67%-owned T-Mobile USA (TMUS -1.8%) unlikely in the near-term, given regulatory opposition to a bid from Sprint (S -3.6%) and parent SoftBank (SFTBF, SFTBY).
- Citing T-Mobile USA's aggressive investments, DT now expects its 2015 free cash flow to only be up "slightly" from 2014 levels. The carrier previously forecast 2015 FCF to rise to €6B ($8.3B) after hitting €4.2B ($5.8B) in 2014.
- Sources tell Bloomberg Hoettges is now "taking a long-term view in the U.S.," and is focused on converting more of T-Mobile's giant prepaid base into postpaid subs.
- DT shares fell 3.6% in Frankfurt. Both T-Mobile and Sprint are selling off in U.S. trading.
- More on Sprint/T-Mobile
Mar. 5, 2014, 4:03 PM
- Deutsche Telekom (DTEGY, DTEGF) Tim Hoettges says a sale of 67%-owned T-Mobile USA (TMUS +0.1%) is unlikely anytime soon. T-Mobile and Sprint (S -0.5%) have both moved moderately lower in response.
- The WSJ reported yesterday SoftBank's (SFTBF, SFTBY) Masayoshi Son plans to mount a PR campaign to convince skeptical businesses and policy makers regarding the value of a Sprint/T-Mobile merger.
- Sprint/SoftBank have been widely reported to be lining up financing for a T-Mobile bid.
Mar. 4, 2014, 2:02 PM
- With FCC/DOJ regulators strongly suggesting they'll oppose any attempt by Sprint (S +3.1%) to merge with T-Mobile USA (TMUS +3.6%), SoftBank's (SFTBF, SFTBY) Masayoshi Son "plans to appeal directly to the U.S. business community and policy makers" to convince them the deal would be good for customers, the WSJ reports.
- Crucial to Son's effort: Convincing his audience Verizon and AT&T currently have a de facto U.S. mobile duopoly, one that Sprint and T-Mobile can't challenge independently.
- Likely to hurt his cause: T-Mobile is now rapidly adding postpaid subs (after losing them for years) with the help of innovative pricing schemes, and regulators reportedly fear a Sprint merger could affect T-Mobile's "maverick" status within the industry.
- Sprint and T-Mobile are both outperforming today. Son plans to make a major presentation on March 11 at the Chamber of Commerce in Washington D.C.
- More on Sprint/T-Mobile
Mar. 3, 2014, 5:57 PM
- Via its new AllSet prepaid plans, Verizon (VZ) is offering unlimited voice/text and 500MB of data to prepaid smartphone users for $45/month. Users can obtain an extra 500MB for $5, 1GB for $10, and 2GB for $20. Feature phone users only pay $35/month, but their voice minutes are capped at $500.
- Previously, Verizon offered unlimited voice/text and 2GB of data to smartphone users for $60/month, with an extra 2GB available for $10. Thus the carrier's new plans amount to a price cut for light data users, but not for heavier ones.
- Verizon is looking to better compete against T-Mobile USA (TMUS), which added 112K branded prepaid subs in Q4 and is expanding the reach of its MetroPCS brand. AT&T, on the verge of acquiring Leap Wireless and its Cricket prepaid brand, has also been fighting over a prepaid market that's responsible for much of the U.S. mobile industry's remaining growth.
Feb. 25, 2014, 2:23 PM
- After opening near breakeven following its Q4 report, T-Mobile USA (TMUS -6.1%) has gradually sold off.
- The #4 U.S. carrier, which halted years of postpaid sub losses last year with the help of the iPhone and aggressive/novel subscription plans, expects to add 2M-3M branded postpaid subs in 2014, compared with 2M in 2013. Cash capex is expected to grow to $4.3B-$4.6B from 2013's $4.2B, and adjusted EBITDA (-17% Y/Y in 2013) to $5.7B-$6B from 2013's $5.3B.
- As announced on Jan. 8, T-Mobile added 1.645M total subs, 869K branded postpaid subs, and 112K branded prepaid subs in Q4.
- "Simple free cash flow" (adjusted EBITDA - cash capex) rose 79% Y/Y to $357M, and totaled $1.08B for the whole of 2013 (-59% Y/Y). ARPU fell 2.9% Q/Q to $50.70.
- Q4 results, PR
Feb. 25, 2014, 6:10 AM
Feb. 25, 2014, 12:05 AM
Feb. 24, 2014, 5:30 PM
Feb. 14, 2014, 5:04 PM
- In addition to establishing a BlackBerry position, Dan Loeb's Third Point LLC took a 600K-share stake in Baidu (BIDU), a 7.6M-share stake in T-Mobile USA (TMUS) and a 1M-share stake in NXP (NXPI) during Q4. At current levels, the positions are respectively worth $100M, $237M, and $56M. NXPI +1% AH.
- On the other hand, Loeb unloaded the 4.4M-share Tibco (TIBX) position he had at the end of Q3. There were hopes Loeb would use his Tibco stake to push for a spinoff of the company's faster-growing Business Optimization unit. TIBX -1.7% AH.
- Loeb also cut his remaining Yahoo (YHOO) position in half to 8M shares. Third Point once had a 60M-share stake in Yahoo, before striking a deal last August to sell 40M shares back to the company and leave its board.
- Third Point's 13F
TMUS vs. ETF Alternatives
T-Mobile US Inc provideswireless communication servicesin the postpaid, prepaid, and wholesale markets.The Company's products and services includevoice, messaging, data services,wireless devices, smartphones and other mobile communication devices.
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