T-Mobile US, Inc. (TMUS) - NASDAQ
  • 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, 3:16 PM | 57 Comments
  • 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. 8, 2015, 12:11 PM
  • 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, 7:34 PM | 6 Comments
  • 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. 7, 2015, 6:47 PM | 19 Comments
  • 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. 4, 2015, 1:11 PM | 4 Comments
  • 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. 3, 2015, 8:04 PM | 4 Comments
  • 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. 2, 2015, 3:42 PM | 26 Comments
  • 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)
    | Dec. 1, 2015, 6:06 PM
  • 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, 7:23 PM | 33 Comments
  • 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.
    | Nov. 25, 2015, 10:20 AM | 8 Comments
  • Nov. 20, 2015, 7:50 PM
    • Strategy Analytics is pointing to T-Mobile's (TMUS +1.9%) moves to steal more customers with its latest "Un-carrier" moves toward video streaming and bigger data buckets as likely to bear fruit in the holiday quarter.
    • By exempting video streaming from its data caps, the carrier is making a big early entrance in the next big battleground for the big four, Nitesh Patel writes, with the plan "removing consumers’ concern about blowing their data allowance or incurring competitors’ huge overage fees."
    • Meanwhile, don't overlook its network, says Strategy Analytics' Susan Welsh de Grimaldo; while Sprint talks up its network improvements, T-Mobile has made major improvements as it builds out 700 MHz spectrum.
    | Nov. 20, 2015, 7:50 PM | 5 Comments
  • Nov. 19, 2015, 3:38 PM
    • Concerns that T-Mobile's new "Binge On" free video streaming would run afoul of this year's FCC net neutrality regulations might be allayed a bit by the FCC chairman's upbeat stance on the offering.
    • "It's highly innovative and highly competitive," said Chairman Tom Wheeler of T-Mobile's plan, which exempts video streaming from subscribers' data limitations. While he says the agency is keeping an eye on the feature, the agency's new rules were intended to encourage competition and innovation, and "clearly this meets both of those criteria."
    • New FCC regulations generally call for evaluating carrier complaints on a case by case basis. Wheeler says the agency will apply a general-conduct standard to T-Mobile, looking at broad circumstances in evaluating its compliance.
    • T-Mobile (TMUS +1%) rolled out the video streaming plan at a Nov. 10 event; it's similar to its previous "Music Freedom" plan that exempted certain music streaming from data limits. Video takes a heavy data bite, but the carrier plans to serve up the feature by transcoding video requests down as far as to 480p.
    • Previously: T-Mobile's video 'binge': Partners, revenue effects, fretting net neutrality (Nov. 11 2015)
    • Previously: T-Mobile launches free video streaming at latest 'Un-carrier' event (Nov. 10 2015)
    | Nov. 19, 2015, 3:38 PM | 1 Comment
  • Nov. 17, 2015, 1:51 PM
    | Nov. 17, 2015, 1:51 PM
  • Nov. 13, 2015, 6:49 PM
    • Along with a price hike for its unlimited wireless phone plans on Sunday, Verizon (VZ -1.3%) is bringing back activation fees, instituting a $20 charge for new lines of service.
    • The carrier had waived the fees just a few months ago when it abandoned phone subsidies and service contracts; they were $40 at the time for customers who signed two-year deals.
    • AT&T (T -1.1%) charges a $15 fee for devices sold through its installment program, or $45 for a two-year contract or purchased device.
    • Verizon is raising the price of its unlimited data plan by $20/month on Sunday, a move in line with recent ones by its competitors. Sprint (S +0.7%) raised its own unlimited data plan by $10/month at the end of September.
    • At least Verizon waited until after T-Mobile's (TMUS +2%) "Un-carrier X" event to drop the news; T-Mo's John Legere is fond of lambasting competitors for broad line activation charges, though every carrier has one somewhere.
    | Nov. 13, 2015, 6:49 PM | 14 Comments
  • Nov. 11, 2015, 7:43 PM
    • T-Mobile's (TMUS +1%) "Binge On" offering, rolled out to great fanfare during its Un-carrier X event, is making waves in an industry that has been moving rapidly toward video in a different way -- by selling traditional data bundles.
    • The video offering is similar to T-Mobile's Music Freedom initiative last year, where it exempted music streaming services from data limits. In a Q&A about the launch, T-Mobile COO John Sievert noted some "conspicuous missing" partners -- YouTube and Facebook weren't listed on screen -- but said the company would work to embrace more services; CEO John Legere said he was just waiting for YouTube to ask. Technically, the company says the holdup is that T-Mobile needs a signature on the stream to show its video, and YouTube doesn't provide that in all streams.
    • T-Mobile is accomplishing the move through some kind of transcoding for video optimization, but the baseline promise for video quality is "DVD or better," which the company is setting at 480p. CTO Neville Ray said it would get better from here with improving codecs.
    • Cowen's Colby Synesael thinks the offering could have a minimal if not positive effect on ARPU, but that it will also materially help net subscription growth and (contrary to other viewpoints) alleviate network congestion. He noted the "doubled" data plans came with a subtle price increase (for example, 3 GB for $60 went to 6 GB for $65).
    • "There's no money changing hands" is Legere's mantra for net neutrality concerns. "It's a feature," he says, and customers can turn it on or off at will. "We think it's highly net neutrality ... friendly." Critics have noted, though, that seen another way, exempting some services from data caps via so-called "zero rating" is effectively making other services subject to a cap -- the kind of prioritization the FCC seemed to be opposing.
    • Previously: T-Mobile launches free video streaming at latest 'Un-carrier' event (Nov. 10 2015)
    | Nov. 11, 2015, 7:43 PM | 6 Comments
  • Nov. 10, 2015, 2:49 PM
    • At its 10th "Un-carrier" event, T-Mobile (TMUS -3.2%) is rolling out "Binge On" -- free video streaming without touching customers' high-speed data bucket.
    • Red Bull in hand, CEO John Legere promised to "disrupt the scam" over data overage charges and overbuying. He said the streaming was open to any service that wanted to come, but named 24 initial partners, including Netflix, HBO, Hulu, Sling TV, Watch ESPN, Showtime and more.
    • The company had heavily telegraphed that the announcement would target video, down to a Hollywood-ish magenta carpet that covering journalists walked down at the event
    • The move does raise the specter of net neutrality enforcement, though Legere said "This is not a net neutrality problem ... the providers don't pay, the customers don't pay ... and you can shut it off. It's complete customer choice."
    • The company also said it would double the data bucket in every plan. The move takes 1 GB, 3 GB and 5 GB plans to a default set of 2 GB, 6 GB and 10 GB respectively.
    | Nov. 10, 2015, 2:49 PM | 14 Comments
Company Description
T-Mobile US, Inc. provides mobile communications services under the T-Mobile, MetroPCS, and GoSmart brands in the U.S., Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. It offers postpaid and prepaid wireless voice, messaging and data services, and wholesale wireless services. The company also provides... More
Sector: Technology
Industry: Wireless Communications
Country: United States