T-Mobile US, Inc.NASDAQ
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  • Tue, Feb. 16, 8:21 PM
    • Earnings tomorrow morning should give T-Mobile (TMUS +3.8%) followers their first peek into any effects of Binge On, the carrier's free mobile video offering, on its data financials.
    • The company should also give some color into subscriber numbers that it proudly released in the first week of the year, along with how leasing is affecting full-year forecasts.
    • T-Mobile announced 2M net subscriber adds (for the third straight quarter) that led to its second straight year of more than 8M net customer adds. It added 917K branded postpaid phone subscribers on net, easily leading Sprint (366K) and Verizon (449K), as well as a postpaid customer-losing AT&T (-342K) -- though AT&T and Verizon say they are focusing not on sheer subscriber numbers but the profitability and credit profile of those customers.
    • Capital IQ consensus says that T-Mobile will report earnings per share of $0.16 on revenues of $8.23B, a 0.8% Y/Y gain. EBITDA is expected to come in at $2.02B.
    • After running drinking games for competitors' earnings calls, sporting T-Mobile has suggested rules for its own.
    • Previously: T-Mobile adds 2M net customers for third straight quarter (Jan. 06 2016)
    • Related: Cramer Likes T-Mobile - Cramer's Lightning Round (1/28/16) (Jan. 29 2016)
    • Related: T-Mobile: Can The Wireless Provider Do More Than Add Customers? (Jan. 08 2016)
    | Tue, Feb. 16, 8:21 PM | 3 Comments
  • Tue, Feb. 16, 5:30 PM
  • Fri, Feb. 5, 6:35 PM
    • Verizon (VZ +1%) is following in the footsteps of T-Mobile's (TMUS -7.9%) Binge On -- at least partway -- by offering Verizon's postpaid customers the chance to watch content from the Go90 video service without touching the monthly data allowance.
    • The latest versions of Go90 apps (for iOS/Android) are tied to Verizon's FreeBee Data 360 sponsored data service, a form of "zero rating" content so it doesn't detract from a data limit.
    • Binge On still is more expansive, offering free streaming (downcoded) video from a variety of partners instead of only Go90. But it's an interesting step for Verizon, especially with the FCC taking a closer look at zero rating and its relation to new net neutrality regulations.
    • Verizon notes that video streaming is free of the cap, but other app activity, including commenting, download, etc., will count against data plans.
    • Previously: Wheeler: FCC's look at data exemptions is still lower level (Jan. 28 2016)
    • Previously: Verizon informs FCC of sponsored data plans (Jan. 20 2016)
    | Fri, Feb. 5, 6:35 PM | 3 Comments
  • Thu, Jan. 28, 7:24 PM
    • With grumbling in the air, T-Mobile (TMUS +0.4%) is changing up the way that customers can enable (or more important, disable) its Binge On setting, part of its ballyhooed free video streaming option.
    • The company offers video that doesn't count against subscribers' data plans (but which is recoded down to 480 resolution). Complaints arose because all customers had the feature turned on by default, and the ability to turn it off was key to the company's arguments that it wasn't a net neutrality violation -- but turning it off required the settings inside a T-Mobile app.
    • T-Mobile has now added dialer settings that let customers turn Binge On off or, well, back on, using just the keypad.
    • The company says that no complaints led to the change, and that it's continuing to talk with services including YouTube about inclusion in the program.
    • Previously: Wheeler: FCC's look at data exemptions is still lower level (Jan. 28 2016)
    • Previously: T-Mobile adds services to Binge On video offering (Jan. 28 2016)
    | Thu, Jan. 28, 7:24 PM
  • Thu, Jan. 28, 7:14 PM
    • FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler says that the agency's look into so-called "zero rating" -- telecom providers exempting some services (sometimes paid) from subscriber limits -- is informational, and that he hasn't attended any meetings on it yet.
    • The talks are at the bureau level, he says: "I am not at these meetings. Nobody from the office of the chairman is in these meetings. They're gathering information and we'll see what happens from there."
    • The agency has been meeting with key providers, including T-Mobile (NASDAQ:TMUS), Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA), AT&T (NYSE:T) and surely Verizon (NYSE:VZ), now that it's rolling out its "FreeBee" sponsored data solution.
    • Meanwhile, Republican Commissioners Michael O'Rielly and Ajit Pai are expressing their concerns to the "inquistors" over a procedure they see as unnecessary.
    • Despite swirling concerns over net neutrality, Wheeler has praised T-Mobile's Binge On video streaming offering as "highly innovative and highly competitive."
    • Previously: Verizon informs FCC of sponsored data plans (Jan. 20 2016)
    • Previously: FCC summoning Internet providers to talk data policies (Dec. 17 2015)
    • Previously: FCC chairman: T-Mobile video initiative 'highly competitive' (Nov. 19 2015)
    | Thu, Jan. 28, 7:14 PM
  • Thu, Jan. 28, 12:27 PM
    | Thu, Jan. 28, 12:27 PM
  • Tue, Jan. 26, 9:03 PM
    • While AT&T (earnings) and Sprint (earnings) led telecom news today, T-Mobile (TMUS +4.1%) took the opportunity to refresh its prepaid offerings.
    • The company's new Simply Prepaid plans are an upgrade to the previous plans, and range from $25-$60 per month. A $40 plan offers unlimited text and talk along with 3 GB of high-speed data; $50 gets you 5 GB of high-speed data, and the top $60 plan has 10 GB. Those data amounts are upgrades from a previous 1, 3 and 5 GB respectively.
    • A $25/month plan has unlimited talk and text, but no data, targeted for heavy Wi-Fi users, while a $30 plan offers 100 minutes of talk and 5 GB of 4G data with unlimited texts.
    | Tue, Jan. 26, 9:03 PM | 5 Comments
  • Wed, Jan. 20, 9:19 PM
    • T-Mobile (TMUS -0.8%) still looks to walk the tightrope of maximizing revenue and growing its subscriber base, Evercore ISI suggests, expecting growth in not only users but also EBITDA for Q4.
    • The carrier had proudly leaked its subscriber numbers earlier this month, saying it added 2M net customers for the third straight quarter, and marked 8M net adds for the second straight year.
    • T-Mobile has taken a different tack than the "big two," AT&T and Verizon, which have targeted better customers in order to maximize profits rather than just growing subscribers, while T-Mobile has looked to steal customers from the others.
    • "And while strong customer adds usually pressures EBITDA (given acquisitions costs), (T-Mobile management) recently signaled FY15 EBITDA results would land in the top half of guidance ($6.8-7.2B, which excludes the impact of leasing and Data Stash)," Evercore notes. "Finally, although the ramping of handset leasing will impact the comparability of results, we expect further progress on levered FCF following the positive inflection in 3Q."
    • Evercore expects that AT&T lost 300K postpaid phone customers, while Verizon is expected to mark postpaid phone net adds of 525K.
    | Wed, Jan. 20, 9:19 PM | 1 Comment
  • Wed, Jan. 20, 5:10 PM
    • Verizon (VZ -0.9%) says it went to the FCC with news about a new sponsored data service it's offering -- likely a precaution as the agency sorts out what its net neutrality regulations mean to data traffic prioritization and so-called "zero rating."
    • Verizon's FreeBee offering will be a trial of two kinds of data service where partners will be able to sponsor content -- especially mobile video -- that would be exempt from the company's subscriber data caps. One model (FreeBee Data 360) allows partners to sponsor some or all of their content on mobile apps or websites, billed per gigabyte, and a second delivers on a pay-per-click basis.
    • Carriers including Verizon have been formulating plans for how to deal with net neutrality regulations, and they follow on T-Mobile's (TMUS -0.8%) launch of "Binge On," video streaming that is exempt from that carrier's data limits though scaled to 480p. While that launch raised flags among net neutrality advocates, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler praised it as "innovative."
    | Wed, Jan. 20, 5:10 PM | 2 Comments
  • Mon, Jan. 11, 9:06 AM
    • With the unlimited data plan slowly dying among U.S. wireless providers, AT&T (NYSE:T) is bringing it back -- but as a promotion to boost its TV business.
    • Shares are up 0.5% in premarket action.
    • The company is offering its first chance in five years to sign up for unlimited wireless data, provided customers commit to DirecTV or U-verse.
    • Subscribers can get the wireless plan for $100/month, with additional smartphones at $40. A fourth smartphone can be added for no extra cost.
    • The move hints at a response to T-Mobile (NASDAQ:TMUS), which has made video streaming free on its wireless platform via a "Binge On" promotion, as well as to Verizon's (NYSE:VZ) Go90 video service. AT&T confirms it "plans to launch a wide-range of new video entertainment options later this year."
    • Sprint (NYSE:S), along with T-Mobile, still offers an unlimited option, though it raised its price on the plan in September. AT&T raised prices on its grandfathered unlimited plans in November, following Verizon's increase in October.
    | Mon, Jan. 11, 9:06 AM | 17 Comments
  • Thu, Jan. 7, 4:50 PM
    • An afternoon rout helped push Sprint (NYSE:S) down 6.7% -- now just 8% over its 52-week low of $3.10 -- the opposite direction from T-Mobile (TMUS +1.2%), again today the only one of the big four wireless providers to gain.
    • Shareholders might take heed of Bernstein's latest report on the area, which says that even with the interest floated by cable companies, satellite firms and foreign entrants, Sprint and T-Mobile are more likely to rekindle merger talks with each other than anyone else.
    • Most observers have thought that after a failed run in 2014, any new merger talks would wait until a new presidential administration, and indeed: "The prospect of a Sprint/T-Mobile merger — the only transaction that can materially affect the mobile sector's structure, conduct, and performance — will remain an overhang throughout most of the year," says Bernstein's Paul de Sa.
    • What's more, he writes, "We think major, irreversible strategic moves (for example, a massive network investment by Sprint or the sale of a majority stake of T-Mobile or Sprint to another owner, such as Dish Network (DISH -2.1%) or cable) is unlikely to occur" until there's more clarity about a possible merger between the two.
    • Such a deal has "by far" the largest cost and revenue synergies of the possible transactions, he says.
    | Thu, Jan. 7, 4:50 PM | 59 Comments
  • Thu, Jan. 7, 12:02 PM
    • Deutsche Telekom (OTCQX:DTEGY +0.8%) is facing pressures from two major investors -- along with lawmakers in the U.S. and Germany -- over worker treatment at T-Mobile (NASDAQ:TMUS).
    • T-Mobile was found to have engaged in illegal work practices in a pair of NLRB cases and its main labor union has accused it of violating worker rights.
    • Shareholder APG Asset Management says it's requested an update from DT about T-Mobile's worker treatment; "Based on this, we will consider our position." APG had removed Wal-Mart from its portfolio in 2011, citing working conditions.
    • Meanwhile, DT's fourth-biggest shareholder, Norges Bank Investment Management, is also expressing concerns to the company about the issue.
    • Members of the U.S. Congress have sent a letter to German Chancellor Angela Merkel asking her to look into the matter, considering Germany's holdings in DT, and a German lawmakers has urged the same.
    | Thu, Jan. 7, 12:02 PM | 1 Comment
  • Wed, Jan. 6, 6:58 PM
    • After a proud early release of subscriber numbers this morning, T-Mobile (TMUS -0.4%) used its presentation at today's Citigroup investor conference to brag on financial strength well ahead of the company's Q4 earnings release.
    • "When we look forward to 2016 ... the cash generation profile gets very exciting for us," said CFO Braxton Carter. "Even with blowing away our growth numbers, we were very happy with the holiday season, we will be in the top half of our (Q4) guidance on a cash EBITDA standpoint and at the very low end of our guidance on capital spending."
    • With an understanding that many of the company's subscriber gains may be coming from AT&T and Verizon's lower-spending customers -- those two are focused on profitability over pure sub numbers -- "Focus will now shift to ARPU and margin performance as we await full Q4 results," said UBS analyst John Hodulik.
    • Carter says T-Mobile's plans for the March 29 spectrum auction will help it keep subscriber momentum: "The low-band spectrum will bring additional retention benefits to us and allow us to continue expanding the network and improve quality in urban areas."
    • Earlier, T-Mobile reported it had added more than 2M net subscribers for the third straight quarter, and more than 8M net subscribers for the second straight year.
    • Previously: T-Mobile adds 2M net customers for third straight quarter (Jan. 06 2016)
    | Wed, Jan. 6, 6:58 PM | 1 Comment
  • Wed, Jan. 6, 6:09 PM
    • Gabelli & Co. has put out its "Best Ideas" analyst roll-up for 2016, and in the technology, media, telecom area, it's highlighting a set: CBS, TRCO, TMUS, LMCA and EMC.
    • The company's analysts see T-Mobile (TMUS -0.4%) as an attractive acquisition candidate -- “essentially the only way for a domestic or foreign company to enter the U.S. wireless market in a meaningful way" -- and Sergey Dluzhevshiy names Dish Network (DISH -2.3%) or Charter (CHTR -0.5%) as possible suitors.
    • Meanwhile, the analysts see "more things that can go right for Tribune Media (NYSE:TRCO) than wrong," and echo Les Moonves' frequent assertions that CBS is "uniquely positioned to compete in a more fragmented and competitive U.S. TV ecosystem.”
    • And Gabelli reiterated its Buy rating on EMC (EMC -1%), which it calls the market leader in enterprise storage.
    • After hours: DISH +0.4%; CHTR -0.2%; EMC flat.
    | Wed, Jan. 6, 6:09 PM | 3 Comments
  • Wed, Jan. 6, 9:06 AM
    • T-Mobile (NASDAQ:TMUS) put out early customer numbers for Q4 and 2015 that boasted of more than 8M net customer additions for the second straight year after the fourth quarter saw 2.1M adds.
    • That would be the third straight quarter of more than 2M net adds, CEO John Legere says. Among those numbers, the company logged 1.3M branded postpaid net adds (917K branded postpaid phone net adds) and 469K branded prepaid net adds. Branded postpaid phone churn was 1.46%, down 27 basis points from the prior year.
    • For the full year, the company saw 4.5M branded postpaid net adds (3.5M phone) and 1.3M branded prepaid net adds. Total customer count came to 63M
    • Company execs are presenting at the Citi Internet, Media and Telecommunications Conference today at 2 p.m. ET.
    | Wed, Jan. 6, 9:06 AM | 1 Comment
  • Tue, Jan. 5, 3:49 AM
    • New York City will begin this month replacing thousands of pay phones with free Wi-Fi hot spots that will sit atop a 9.5-foot tall box featuring electronic advertising screens and an Android tablet that can be used to place free phone calls.
    • The $200M project, called LinkNYC, is being run by CityBridge, a joint venture between three tech companies: Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM), CIVIQ Smartscapes, and Intersection (which has backing from Alphabet).
    • "Free abundant Wi-Fi at those speeds could give people living in NYC, the country's largest market, a reason to spend less on wireless data services from carriers such as Verizon (NYSE:VZ) and AT&T (NYSE:T)," said Craig Moffett, senior research analyst at MoffettNathanson.
    | Tue, Jan. 5, 3:49 AM | 20 Comments