Jan 11 AT 9:10 AM Anthony Domanico 30 Comments

T-Mobile CEO discusses value plans, LTE, the iPhone


T-Mobile CEO Philipp Humm sat down with Ina Fried of AllThingsD yesterday to discuss LTE, the iPhone and the future of T-Mobile. T-Mobile’s merger with AT&T very publicly failed in recent months, leaving T-Mobile and its customers searching for what’s next.

From Mr. Humm’s interview, it’s very apparent that T-Mobile is still working out all the details of the post-merger fallout. Mr. Humm first discussed rate plans and indicated that T-Mobile will continue to push “Value Plans,” or plans in which customers trade handset subsidies for reduced monthly phone bills. According to Mr. Humm, these plans are aimed at folks who either need the latest and greatest devices and not so much data or those who don’t need new devices every few years but consume lots of data, ensuring that customers don’t overpay in either scenario.

When it comes to LTE, T-Mobile is taking a wait-and-see approach. Mr. Humm suggests that, although LTE is good over the long term because it reduces congestion by more efficiently utilizing spectrum, congestion isn’t a problem T-Mobile is having just yet. A speedy investment in LTE to respond to what AT&T, Sprint and Verizon are doing would be a poor move on Magenta’s part. With HSPA+ 42 providing much the same speeds T-Mobile’s rivals are offering, the consumer doesn’t really care which technology their phone is using as long as they can stream video and the like.

Finally, though we hate to admit it, the iPhone is the single best selling smartphone in the world, and T-Mobile is the only carrier without it. Mr. Humm chalked this up to T-Mobile using a different band than was used globally, which rendered the iPhone incompatible with T-Mobile’s 3G and HSPA+ networks. T-Mobile is still looking to get the iPhone, but believe the ball is in Apple’s court as to whether or not they’ll allow it.

Though Mr. Humm did not discuss T-Mobile’s plans for Android, we believe that T-Mobile will continue to bring high-powered Android phones to T-Mobile. We don’t think we’ll see any new Android phones out of T-Mobile (other than the Galaxy S Blaze 4G announced yesterday). But with Mobile World Congress and CTIA around the corner, who knows what 2012 has in store for the nation’s #4 carrier?

Source: All things Digital

Anthony loves all things technology, from hardware to apps and games. You can connect with him via Google+ or Twitter by clicking one of the fancy doo-dads above.

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  • aconner22

    I guess this is what happens when you have to regroup after your merger fails. As a Tmo customer, I’m still looking for the Galaxy Nexus to show up in the lineup.

    • Lux143

      wont happen, they want galaxy s to be their flagship phones… i’m angry birds about that one.

      • redraider133

        The galaxy s2 isn’t a bad phone. Spec wise it is better than the nexus. Other than updates from google that is about the only thing the nexus has the sgs2(tmo variants) beat on.

    • WlfHart

      I’m still waiting for more than two top end Android choices on the carrier… Every other carrier has 4-6 top end Android options while the carrier that was first to Android only puts out two phones at a time every couple quarters. Kinda lame, especially when those phones are just T-Mo versions of phones other carriers are carrying. Almost wish they’d just go LTE already, that way I might be able to buy another carrier’s phone and use it on the network with the best prices and coverage in my area…

  • Darknight42020

    Being an almost 11yr customer (obviously the name has changed a few times) the only response I would have to this is, as much as I don’t want to admit it, the iphone is needed if only for the simple reason of giving people the choice. That’s what it really comes down to with consumers. The wider your portfolio, the more interest you get. The carrier that was first with Android, being the last with iOS. A middle ground should of been reached awhile ago IMO.

    • LukeT32

      agreed, and doesnt the iPhone on ATT offer increased HSPA speeds? What makes TMo’s network so much different?

      The thing that would save them would be the Nexus of course. :)

      • yungsir2

        Aws bands

        • Third Eye

          I will try to explain it in simple terms.

          HSPA and HSPA+ are basically extensions to the GSM 3G protocol. The 3G technology normally operates in a Frequency band. This is separate from the Voice bands Limiting to GSM the following are the Frequency bands that the carriers operate

          ATT – 800/850 MHz
          TMO – 1900 MHz
          International – 900 and 1800MHz


          TMO 3G & 4G – 1700MHz band for Uplink 2100MHz band for downlink.(This 1700/2100 data band is called AWS)

          ATT 3G & 4G – 1900 MHz band for both uplink and downlink.

          International 3G – 2100 Band

          • UMA Fan

            Any idea why they didn’t use the LOWER band, 1700, for the downlink? That would give better performance indoors.

  • http://theandroidappshow.com Lane Montgomery

    Google buy T-Mobile PLEASE!

    • spazby

      I think sprint is a better fit for google, given the current ties.

  • dcdttu

    Yea, that Blaze thing wasn’t the Nexus that I wanted to see announced on T-Mobile.

    It’s absolutely hilarious that they are talking about the iPhone not being compatible with T-Mobile’s frequencies, yet the GSM Galaxy Nexus is – yet no Nexus.

    • redraider133

      gsm nexus is quad band, iphone isn’t that is why nexus works on tmo and iphone does not.

  • yungsir2

    T-Mobile never makes noise at CES!! Don’t bank on this to determine what they have coming up.

  • Foster McLaughlin

    ” According to Mr. Humm, these plans are aimed at folks who either need the latest and greatest devices and not so much data or those who don’t need new devices every few years but consume lots of data, ensuring that customers don’t overpay in either scenario.”
    I don’t think they quite get it. Consumers who want the latest and great are probably the ones using more data. Those consumers who don’t get a new device every few years, at least once a year, I am sure that they use even less data. Can’t they offer the latest and greatest every year at very low subsidized price and offer low data prices to go along with the tech that will surely need it… That seems obvious to me.

    • honourbound68

      nod. i wonder where he’s getting his info

  • Nathan D.

    Well Hopefully they get back out with some beast phones, I’ll even wait for them.

  • kimminer1

    I hope they can figure out a good plan

  • http://photoep.com/ Elliot Powell

    I think many phone Manufacturers waited to see what was happening with the Att T-mobile before making any major commitments, Including Apple, we may yet see a T-mobile iPhone


    well Tmobile as much as I hate your lack of device announcement, im fine with it. like most things in life.. if you want something, you have to go and get it.

    • Futureboy

      Yeah, but that’s precisely the problem. T-Mobile service and coverage is decent, but if you want to get a decent phone you have to buy it somewhere else. The general public is not going to do that. They walk into a store and have a limited number of uninspiring, under-spec’d devices. They need to get some decent phones and generate some excitement about them. AT&T did it with the iPhone and Verizon does it with nearly every phone they get. For cryin’ out loud, Verizon is hands down THE MOST EXPENSIVE CARRIER and they’re killin’ everyone!

  • Dustin Earley

    The iPhone coming to T-Mobile would help Android users on T-Mobile in the long run. If it doesn’t destroy the network, it would mean more money for future Android purchases.

  • sunrise

    Time for a new CEO. In my opinion since Philipp Humm took over as CEO in November 2010 the company in a short amount of time has spiralled downwards. Customer service has gone down and the focus has switched to “value plans.” He just doesn’t appear to be leading T-Mobile in the right direction.

    Value plans are fine, my only problem with them is the requirement to sign a 2-yr contract. Customers who buy a phone at full retail should not be forced to sign a contract.

  • waltcolemansux

    I left Tmobile at the end of the year. I was with them for about 5 years, always liked the customer services and I still believe their service plans have the best prices. But at the end of the day, I couldn’t get the phones I wanted at anything close to the price I can get elsewhere.

    Remeber that Amazon .01 cent sale around Black Friday? ATT, Verizon and Sprint all participated. Where was Tmobile? Losing a customer is where they were.

    If I can save $300 on the smartphone I want, I’ll pay an extra $10 a month is service fees for 2 years. That’s simple math that works in my favor.

    I believe TMobile can survive without the iPhone, but to do so, they need to become the premier option for Android. And part of that means the best prices on top of the line smartphones.

    • UMA Fan

      They way I see it, you’re paying a tax or a premium because you can’t do simple 3rd grade arithmetic.

      The T-Mobile Value plans are a plan subsidy INSTEAD of a phone subsidy. So if you multiply a value plan times 24 months and add the full retail price to the phone to it it STILL comes out cheaper than the classic plans where you get discounts on phones times 24 months.

      …and T-Mobile’s classic plans are ALREADY cheaper than Verizon, Sprint, and at&t. It’s silly a free phone would lure you when you can’t see they recoup that LONG before your 24 months is up and if you DON’T get a new phone for whatever reason you are STILL paying for that heavily marked up plan to make up for your phone discount.

  • Phil

    Does anyone have numbers to support this contant idea that carriers “need” the iPhone. Not saying that’s whats being said here but there’s this sense that Verizon, Sprint and T-Mo HAD to get the iPhone to keep up even with Android. Sprint even claimed most people were leaving Spring because of the lack of an iPhone. However with both Verizon and Sprint now having the iPhone the overall sales rate of the phone never seemed to increase. Is it really just a battle for the never increasing share of iPhone users? Its just splitting the share across the carriers. Once they have their share are they gaining anything?

    Fix up the network and get rid of the current marketing. If they were more reliable and didn’t feel like a carrier for tweens I’m sure they could pick up more customers with the Android phones they get and their prices. It may sound stupid but I pretty sure they loose out on professionals because of their overall marketing, color scheme and the way the stores are built and run.

  • TruFactz

    T-Mobile never does do damage at CES, I did foresee the whole “Wait and see” thing coming though, they did that with 3G and look what happened, Fastest in the nation. While i do think that Value Plan crap is kinda dumb, if they let you pay over time or the device though, then i can dig it, believe it or not you pay for the device in months time and its not like you can’t pay for you device in large monthly installments.

  • n00b

    I don’t think T-Mobile will get the iPhone. After almost a year of bashing it completely, when faced with the appeal, Apple just may as well give them the biggest “Go f*** yourself” in corporate history. As for LTE, let’s face it. It’s the fastest thing out there. Just go look at the Galaxy Nexus Speed Test. You can’t argue with that. But T-Mobile has always been the pioneer in bringing Android to the table so I still have faith that they will bring the latest and greatest devices.

  • cb2000a

    Very impressed with management at T-Mo. HSPA+ is much better than the battery eating LTE at this point and who knows what is next. I really like my Exhibtion 2 (one of the first phones to use wifi auto swtich calling for carrier calls). I can go two days on a charge (what LTE phone can do that?). My folks will be switching from ATT to T-Mo prepaid very soon.

  • donger

    iphone 5!