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T-Mobile USA Inc. with its headquarters in Bellevue, Washington, is the fourth largest U.S provider of data communication, messaging, and wireless voice services with a capability of reaching out to 293 million Americans. T-Mobile employs over 36000 employees. It is a subsidiary of German-based Deutsche Telkom.
T-Mobile is a boost of a strong brand quality and recognition in Europe and United States. It has a strong 3G network base and a large customer base. The major competency of T-Mobile is its prices. The companys prices and services plan are considerably pocket friendly compared to other mobile companies in the U.S. For instance, T-Mobile family plan costs $ 49.99 for the unlimited talk, text, 4G data and the nationwide coverage, while the same family plan of the mobile company AT&T costs $ 69.99. The customer centric organization network is also one of its strong points. The company has twenty four call centers across the United States. In 2007, the wireless service users gave T-Mobile the highest numerical score.
With appearance of the refined and more advanced mobile gadgets, T-Mobile needs to establish a more competitive advantage in its operations. Mobile services are created to dominate the future revenue opportunities. Mobile cloud, mobile payments, and machine to machine (M2M) thought to hold most value potential. Mobile services in the areas such as networking and social-media, location-based technologies and general mobile commerce will have more potential value than the display advertising, search advertising, and mobile software application. T-Mobile should embark on providing a service platform for the mentioned services. Offering free social media services would play a large role in customer retention and enhancing customer loyalty. T-Mobile should also collaborate with mobile manufacturing companies in order to develop the location based technologies such as IPhone maps, Blackberry maps, and Android maps. The major mobile operation system players are shown below.
As shown in the diagram, the open source platform, such as Android, continues to grow rapidly in the open market era. Most key players in the mobile market strongly believe that an open platform OS will dominate the mobile OS market in the future. Although security concerns have been associated with the open source platform, T-Mobile should tailor its services to be in line with the open source OS. It should also put in place a sound security system to ensure its future open source OS users get proper and apt services.
The continued change in the mobile power structure should be considered by T-Mobile. The new entrants continue to change the dynamics of the mobile industry. The research undertaken by Deloitte showed that the majority of stakeholders in the mobile industry believe that the web-based or Internet-based companies, such as Google and Apple, rather than the handset makers or network carriers, will dominate the mobile industry in a few years. The role of the carriers will be restricted to delivering data access. To sustain the competitiveness and relevancy in the years to come, T-Mobile must change the old mobile model of providing of all services with a new organizational model built around an open development ecosystem. In addition, T-Mobile must greatly collaborate with the web-based companies and incorporate any needed change in their services.
Innovation and leadership will be crucial in the early stages of adoption of the 4G network. T-Mobile should have the capability to innovate both at the service and business levels. T-Mobile must also ensure it poses of a visionary and committed leadership, since critical and apt decision will be made. In March of 2011, AT&T announced that it would take over T-Mobile US. AT&T had a market share of 31.7%, while T-Mobile had a market-share of 11.6%, and together they would have had a market share of 49.3%, making the biggest company by market share as shown.
Had the merger been successful, it would have accelerated the 4G wireless deployment, thus making the wireless services available to the rural areas and disadvantaged urban communities. It was also vastly opposed by those who believed that vesting much of the industry in one company would result in a monopolized market. Moreover, this would result in the higher prices and stifled innovation, which is promoted by the reduced competition. Therefore, it was rejected by the Congress.
In October 2012, MetroPCS and T-Mobile were in talks of a potential merger. The merger joined two of the US largest low-cost wireless networks. Although the companies have been struggling, they will have 42.5 million subscribers. The sales will increase to nearly $25 billion, which will also save the company an estimated cost of $ 1.5 billion per year and create an easier path to the 4G-Lite network deployment. A combined wireless spectrum, finance and more customers will help the new company with the needed scale, resource and capacity to succeed in the AT&T and Verizon dominated market. Although the two companies have different wireless technologies, the deployment of the 4G-Lite network will greatly harmonize the two networks. The phase of harmonization will take several years.
Cricket Wireless is likely to have a potential alliance with T-Mobile. It has a market share of 2.2 percent, network coverage of 95% and provides services to IPhone. This is what T-Mobile lacks and what has cost it a big chunk of the US. Although highly improbable, a merger with Cricket Wireless will be a great value addition to the T-Mobile supply-chain and the overall output.
Although T-Mobile profitability has shown a mixed reaction in the recent years, its future seems bright. With its recent mergers and my proposed suggestion with regards to the future of the mobile industry, T-Mobile can improve its performance and capabilities. The advent of 4G network has provided a new and dynamic platform for competition as the stakes are higher than ever. With a proper and visionary management, proper policies, and responsive and dynamic innovators, T-Mobile may need a competitive edge to survive and exist as a major and relevant mobile carrier.