Hearken back to a simpler time of three years ago, when T-Mobile was struggling and AT&T stepped up to the plate and offered to purchase T-Mobile. Within months, the deal fell through and T-Mobile was again left in a valley. Nigh on a year later, Deutsche Telekom brought John Legere on as CEO in an attempt to save the floundering company. Two years later, we’re looking at a radically changed company that defies the norms and does what it wants.
Earlier this morning, as we all awoke, bleary-eyed and drowsy, T-Mobile announced its results from Q2 2014. Revenue is up, subscribers are up, customer service is up, and network enhancements are well ahead of schedule. All of this comes as a result of two years’ effort by John Legere and the rest of the T-Mobile team to revitalize the company and turn it into something that consumers had never before seen.
In 2013, T-Mobile announced its Uncarrier initiative, a program designed to turn the company away from the big, bad carrier stigma and towards a fresh, vibrant future where T-Mobile worked solely for the betterment of the consumer. While some points of that could be contested, there’s no doubt that T-Mobile has done a 180° turn. The once-struggling corporate giant has become a scrappy, youthful company that behaves more like a startup than the massive corporation that it is.
We are either going to take over this whole industry, or these bastards are going to change, and the whole industry is going to shift. I don’t give a goddamn which. I can’t wait to watch the peckers scream and cry.John Legere, CEOT-Mobile
See, T-Mobile’s gone against tradition. Rather than adopting what other carriers have grown used to, T-Mobile has rejected them and turned the American wireless system on its head. Gone are the contracts, roping customers in. No longer are you tied down to a particular carrier, with stiff penalty fees holding you in. T-Mobile has even gone as far as to break people out of those contracts by paying their penalty fees. Having experienced this firsthand, I can vouch for the liberating feeling of getting out of a contract.
A year and a half ago, unlimited data had become extinct among AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile. With the Uncarrier initiative, T-Mobile broke that boundary. Unlimited data returned, stopping many in their tracks and making them look again at the smallest of the four major carriers. T-Mobile once again proved that it was willing to think outside the box and make changes that no other carrier dared to.
As the flow of Uncarrier changes has continued, other carriers have begun to take notice. Sprint, AT&T, and Verizon have all made changes in order to try and have the same sort of appeal as T-Mobile. Sprint has even gone as far as reportedly offering to purchase T-Mobile and merge the two companies. While some could argue that these companies are simply trying to keep up with the market, it’s really T-Mobile who has spurred them on to try different things.
But for every mountain, there must be a valley. For a year and a half now, T-Mobile has been climbing without any sign of stopping. The climb can only go so far before dropping, though. As T-Mobile continues to send out quarterly results showing rapid growth and expansion, they get nearer and nearer to the top. As it becomes more and more of the Uncarrier, the cart comes closer to the peak of the hill. The only question remaining is, when? When will T-Mobile finally crest, before coming back down, gaining speed all the way, until the valley floor once again reaches up to greet it?
The ride up is the exciting part. This is the moment where we all get on board, sit back, and enjoy the show. But we know that it can’t last forever, and someday, the ride will stop and we’ll all get out, brush ourselves off, and move on.