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Dec. 31, 2015, 10:46 AM
- T-Mobile (TMUS -2%) is making a slight change to its phone insurance plans for the new year, changing from flat rates to tiers based on the devices involved.
- It currently offers its "premium handset protection" for $8/month, or $10 if tied in to its "Jump!" upgrade package or Lookout Mobile Security.
- New rates taking effect March 1, though, will see prices drop on lower tier phones such as feature phones (to $7 for insurance or $9 combos) while rising on "smarter" phones (to $10 and $12).
- T-Mobile is making the change nationwide.
Dec. 23, 2015, 3:17 AM
- YouTube is accusing T-Mobile (NASDAQ:TMUS) of throttling its video traffic, raising a new issue as federal regulators examine the wireless carrier's streaming-video strategy.
- T-Mobile recently began offering a program that delivers video at lower quality in exchange for waiving related data fees, but YouTube alleges T-Mobile is also reducing video quality that isn't part of the program, including YouTube clips.
Dec. 17, 2015, 1:02 PM
- With new net neutrality rules in place since early this year, the FCC says it's calling on Internet service providers to discuss their innovative data policies -- with what seems like a focus on growing use of traffic exemptions from data caps.
- The agency sent letters to Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA), AT&T (NYSE:T) and T-Mobile (NASDAQ:TMUS) asking them to come in and "have a discussion with us" about their approaches to data service.
- FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler surprisingly weighed in on T-Mobile's "Binge On" free video streaming as "highly innovative and highly competitive." And Comcast's Stream TV service wouldn't count use of Comcast services against that company's data caps, while AT&T has a similar approach via content partnerships.
- So-called "zero rating" involves companies exempting certain kinds of traffic from data limits, but has drawn some criticism from observers arguing that it amounts to another form of paid traffic prioritization.
- Previously: FCC chairman: T-Mobile video initiative 'highly competitive' (Nov. 19 2015)
Dec. 16, 2015, 11:15 AM
- T-Mobile (NASDAQ:TMUS) is outpacing the market again today, up 1.6% to follow up yesterday's gain of 4.5%.
- Among its latest holiday moves, the carrier today wrapped a daily promotion wave by offering $100 off certain Samsung smartphones and throwing in a year of Netflix (another $100 value) for customers taking advantage. (And it's pushing the Netflix offer by linking to its "Binge On" offering of streaming video exempt from any data caps.)
- It's also rolled out extended range LTE in New York (the largest metro market for wireless) as well as Seattle and Cincinnati.
- Extended Range LTE uses the 700 MHz spectrum to push LTE coverage over farther distances and penetrate buildings better.
Dec. 15, 2015, 4:09 PM
- Holiday trolling is still in vogue in the battle between Sprint (S +0.3%) and T-Mobile (TMUS +4.5%), as Sprint chief Marcelo Claure is sending a gift to competing employees with a special message.
- The company sent gift baskets with coffee, candy and snacks to T-Mobile employees with a card saying that while the two companies usually try to take business from each other, it's the season for giving.
- But an additional card with the basket says "Let's Move Forward. Together," and provides a link to Sprint's sales careers website.
- T-Mobile employees were told to throw out the baskets and avoid sharing on social media.
- Sprint's recent half-off promotion could be gaining it some 50,000 customers from T-Mobile alone this quarter, Jefferies analysts estimate.
Dec. 14, 2015, 7:40 AM
- Added to the Nasdaq 100 (NASDAQ:QQQ), effective Dec. 21 will be: Ctrip (NASDAQ:CTRP), Endo International (NASDAQ:ENDP), Expedia (NASDAQ:EXPE), Maxim Integrated (NASDAQ:MXIM), Norwegian Cruise Lines (NASDAQ:NCLH), T-Mobile (NASDAQ:TMUS), and Ulta Salon (NASDAQ:ULTA).
- To be removed: C.H. Robinson (NASDAQ:CHRW), Expeditors International (NASDAQ:EXPD), Keurig Green Mountain (NASDAQ:GMCR), Garmin (NASDAQ:GRMN), Staples (NASDAQ:SPLS), VimpelCom (NASDAQ:VIP), and Wynn Resorts (NASDAQ:WYNN). Also to be removed: LiLAC Class A Shares (NASDAQ:LILA), and LiLAC Class C Shares (NASDAQ:LILAK).
- Source: Press Release
Dec. 8, 2015, 3:16 PM
- A full 42 California government entities have joined a lawsuit against the big four U.S. wireless providers -- AT&T (T -1.8%), Verizon (VZ -1%), T-Mobile (TMUS +1.2%) and Sprint (S +3.2%) -- alleging that they overcharged government customers by more than $100M.
- The entities, which include Sacramento and Los Angeles Counties and the University of California Regents, say the four have ignored cost-saving requirements that are in their contracts with state and local government customers.
- The companies were required to determine the lowest-cost plan and provide that; failing to do so meant that the plaintiffs missed out on 20-30% cost reductions, the suit argues.
Dec. 8, 2015, 12:11 PM
- T-Mobile (NASDAQ:TMUS) is bucking the market today, +1.3%, as Oppenheimer sees a strong Black Friday performance shows Sprint isn't making a significant dent.
- T-Mobile said its net adds on Black Friday nearly tripled Y/Y. Going into the Thanksgiving holiday, Sprint aimed an aggressive bill-halving promotion at subscribers to the other three U.S. wireless firms. Meanwhile, T-Mobile responded by offering $200 for each Sprint line switched to T-Mobile.
- Oppenheimer believes T-Mobile is gaining market share despite the competition, and notes the carrier estimated postpaid net adds would come in at the high end of guidance (and capex and at lower end of guidance) for fiscal 2015.
- Previously: Could Comcast make a Sprint/T-Mobile marriage happen? (Dec. 07 2015)
- Previously: Cowen: T-Mobile stock hits holding pattern as issues pile up (Dec. 04 2015)
Dec. 7, 2015, 7:34 PM
- With a hot holiday season ahead, Verizon (NYSE:VZ) has surpassed AT&T (NYSE:T) as the wireless industry's top advertising spender for November.
- Of a total $189.3M placing TV commercials, Verizon spent about $1.2M more than AT&T, for about 21.1% of the total, FierceWireless/iSpot.tv say.
- Those two were ahead of T-Mobile (NASDAQ:TMUS). Meanwhile, Cricket Wireless, AT&T's prepaid brand, was the fourth-largest spender, putting big-four member Sprint (NYSE:S) in fifth place -- with about half of its spending going to its new half-off promotion.
Dec. 7, 2015, 6:47 PM
- A serious courtship between America's No. 3 and No. 4 wireless providers went sour in 2014 after the government made it clear it wanted four players, and since then merger speculation (particularly among suffering Sprint shareholders) has held that any new move wuold have to wait for a new administration.
- But what if the relationship could be rekindled earlier? Overtures toward wireless service from Comcast (CMCSA -0.6%), or other cable firms yet to express interest, could allow for a union between T-Mobile (TMUS +3.2%) and Sprint (S +2.8%) while maintaining the desired competitive players.
- Comcast started a process that would let it resell Verizon airwaves and acknowledged it was testing a service for a launch sometimes in the future. One catalyst could be a heavy bid into the March spectrum auction.
- "It seems clear that Sprint is playing for time, presumably to try again to merge with T-Mobile in 2017-18 under a new administration," says analyst Crag Moffett. "By then, Comcast will likely have bought spectrum in the TV broadcast auction, making it plausible to argue that a Sprint/T-Mobile combination can be called a five-to-four merger, not a four-to-three."
- Several outcomes are yet possible, though, and not all favor Sprint: Comcast could use an auction bid as a precursor for its own T-Mobile buyout; firms like Alphabet or Amazon.com could buy spectrum; or private investor Chamath Palihapitiya could succeed in an audacious plan to bid billions of dollars in the auction to create a new player called Rama.
- Previously: Comcast: Testing wireless service, but in no hurry to launch (Oct. 27 2015)
Dec. 4, 2015, 1:11 PM
- T-Mobile stock (NASDAQ:TMUS) is up with a strong market today, +1.8%, but it's down about 15% from the time of the company's Q3 earnings report, and Cowen & Co. attributes that to a "laundry list" of concerns hitting the stock.
- Cowen's Colby Synesael lowered the firm's price target for T-Mobile to $42; shares are currently trading at $35.19. The firm maintains an Outperform rating on the stock.
- T-Mobile is gaining subscribers, but not for free: Marketing costs have gone up with the company throwing out $200 incentives (in billing credit to Sprint customers who switch, or in discounts to high-end iPhones for AT&T's customers).
- The company's concerns include "issues with the quarter itself; recent pricing/promo actions by Sprint and itself; and, even more recently, anticipated 2016 EBITDA," Synesael says.
- "Investors will need to remain patient as it's not clear that the stock will make any notable run in front of the (auction)."
Dec. 3, 2015, 8:04 PM
- Another week brought more promotions (at least in holiday shopping season) for U.S. wireless carriers fighting for customers.
- Verizon (VZ -0.8%) today offered 2 GB of bonus data for new phones added or upgraded on its larger data buckets (XL or XXL, in the company's clothing-size parlance). The deal is good just through Jan. 6.
- The data's shareable with devices on the plan, but tablets/connected devices alone aren't eligible to be added/upgraded for the deal.
- Meanwhile, T-Mobile's (TMUS -3.3%) target of the day is AT&T (T -1.4%); it's offering those customers an iPhone bargain (128 GB model for the price of the 16 GB model) and half off financed in-store accessories (focused on speakers, headphones, smartwatches, fitness trackers).
- T-Mobile says the iPhone deal represents a $200 value, given back via bill credit. Its deal is available Dec. 4 through Dec. 13.
Dec. 2, 2015, 3:42 PM
- It won't be the most surprising development, but Moody's is forecasting that wireless price wars will prevent real expansion in industry margins in the coming year.
- The firm estimates revenues (including equipment) to grow 3-4% overall, but that EBITDA margins will expand about 1%.
- In a bid to steal customers from the top two -- AT&T (T -0.4%) and Verizon (VZ -1.4%) -- Sprint (S -2.1%) and T-Mobile (TMUS -0.9%) have been pushing aggressive promotions, from Sprint resurrecting a "cut your bill in half" idea to T-Mobile dangling $200 in front of Sprint switchers.
- AT&T won't be chasing customers this season, says Jefferies' Mike McCormack -- the company believes the subscriber base it's losing is coming from "mostly lower-value postpaid subscribers and prepaid," he says.
Dec. 1, 2015, 6:06 PM
- T-Mobile (TMUS +1.9%) has added 11 more (if smaller) music services to its Music Freedom free-streaming initiative.
- The carrier had launched that offering -- where it exempts streaming music services from counting against subscribers' data allocations -- last year, and it proved to be a precursor to T-Mobile's "Binge On" promotion treating video as also exempt.
- Joining Music Freedom today are Aud.io, StreamOn, L.A. station KCRW, and TuneIn Premium as well as genre-based services like SomaFM and Spinrilla.
- The additions bring the total to 44 streaming music services participating. T-Mobile says its customers now stream more than 196M songs daily, up 311% from the time Music Freedom was launched.
- Previously: FCC chairman: T-Mobile video initiative 'highly competitive' (Nov. 19 2015)
- Previously: T-Mobile's video 'binge': Partners, revenue effects, fretting net neutrality (Nov. 11 2015)
Nov. 25, 2015, 7:23 PM
- Wells Fargo has picked its winners in March's FCC broadcast incentive auction for wireless spectrum -- and it figures AT&T (T +0.2%) will dominate bidding that should total $30B-$35B.
- Analysts at the bank predict up to $10B spending coming from the telecom giant for a nationwide block of 2x10 MHz airwaves.
- T-Mobile (TMUS -3.7%) -- which has been signaling aggressive moves in the auction -- will be second, with $8B spent, the analysts said, while Verizon (VZ -0.6%) should be last with $5B in bids. Sprint (S -1.8%) has already said it's sitting this one out.
- While AT&T backtracked a bit on pledges to spend $9B while it was digesting DirecTV (NASDAQ:DTV), the analysts think the benefits of a nationwide block may signal higher spending from the company.
- Verizon, meanwhile, has credit to spend up to $10B, but probably won't: "Similar to what T has said publicly and based on our conversations with spectrum experts, we look for VZ to contribute in a meaningful way if 2x10MHz bands are made available."
- Previously: T-Mobile -2.2% as it pledges $200 for each Sprint line that switches (Nov. 25 2015)
- Previously: SoftBank spending: Arora on investment universe, Sprint worries (Nov. 24 2015)
Nov. 25, 2015, 10:20 AM
- It's been nearly straight down out of the open for T-Mobile (NASDAQ:TMUS), down 2.2% after it announced a special "holiday gift" for Sprint (S -0.5%) customers: $200 to switch carriers.
- That's on top of the up to $650 T-Mobile is offering to cover early termination fees and phone payment balances, and it's $200 for each line switched.
- "I cannot think of any wireless customers in more desperate need of some holiday cheer than those Sprint customers still hanging on over there," said T-Mobile CEO John Legere. "Those poor people have put up with the nation's slowest and smallest LTE network, and their carrier throwing out a deal-of-the-month for everyone except them."
- The deal includes switching any Sprint number (postpaid, prepaid, Boost or Virgin Mobile) to a T-Mobile Simple Choice postpaid plan. It's effective starting Thursday.
- Legere promised additional "gifts" coming to Verizon and AT&T customers over the next few weeks.
T-Mobile US Inc provides wireless communication services in the postpaid, prepaid, and wholesale markets. The Company's products and services include voice, messaging, data services, wireless devices, smartphones and other mobile communication devices.
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