Jul 31 AT 3:26 PM Nick Sarafolean 12 Comments

T-Mobile is a roller coaster, and sometime it has to reach the top

T-Mobile Store

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.

T-Mobile Uncarrier

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.

A nerd at heart, Nick is an average person who has a passion for all things electronic. When not spending his time writing about the latest gadgets, Nick enjoys reading, dabbling in photography, and experimenting with anything and everything coffee. Should you wish to know more about him, you can follow him on Twitter @nsarafolean.

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  • uknowme

    Not trying to offend but why the pessimistic attitude?

    • http://www.androidandme.com Dima Aryeh

      It’s less pessimistic and more looking at historical trends of companies rising up from the bottom and eventually falling. But it’s definitely interesting to think when T-Mobile’s peak will be. Obviously they have quite a while until the very peak, but how much amazing stuff will they be able to do in this time?

  • OWNED by Sprint, which is OWNED by Softbank which is OWNED by ZE JAPZ

    OWNED by Sprint, which is OWNED by Softbank which is OWNED by ZE JAPZ

  • ndub21

    I got to the end of the article and smacked myself in the forehead. Such a dumb article. Why would you assume T-Mobile is going to sink down from where it is now? Why can’t it keep climbing? They have plenty of market share to steal away from other carriers and as they continue to build out their network and buck the carrier trend I think their market share will continue to increase. Really not sure of where the basis for your opinion came from.

    • http://www.androidandme.com Dima Aryeh

      A company can’t climb forever. Look at IBM, look at HTC, look at Samsung right now. This isn’t stating that T-Mo will fall anytime soon, but it begs the thought of “when will it happen?”

      • grimace006

        Nothing last forever, does that mean that T-mobile cannot move to the top of the market and profit for a substantial amount of time? I don’t think so, its about innovation and t-mobile is definitely the most innovative carrier out there. Lets not harp on old times, consumers want to see new idea’s like streaming Pandora with no affect on your mobile data. If that is not a genius move i don’t know what is.

      • Danny Tam

        this article makes it seem like it’s going to reach their peak and then go out of business the next day which it won’t. the growth might plateau for a bit but the floor is not going to drop from underneath them which makes this article completely stupid

  • sejin

    What an Idiot! of course eventually it’ll come down, but all companies have to redesign themselves or die. but right now, they are the innovators. att, sprint, verizon all were land line comp. went to bankruptcy in late 80′s and 90′s and becames wireless. before Apple redesigned themselves it looked grim, black berry and ms dominated. before samsung, it was sony, before sony it was zenith and rca. Obviously, Nick just calls himself a nerd but doesn’t do his homework!

  • Jamie Yoak

    What will happen to T Mobile is Sprint buys them, Jamie Yoak?

  • Jamie Yoak

    Poor Sprint, I hope that they do not mess up T Mobile, Jamie Yoak.

  • mwall04

    At some point, T-Mobile does have to figure out how to remain consistently profitable. While their new marketing and wireless plans are very consumer friendly, they have yet to become friendly to T-Mobile’s bottom-line. Adjusting their 2nd quarter profit to back out the one-time spectrum swap with Verizon, T-Mobile lost 100′s of millions for the quarter and the losses look to be rapidly increasing.

    Continuing to add subscribers at an increasingly larger loss will both limit their ability to invest capital back into their network and force them to find ways to increase revenue per subscriber.

  • delfrogo

    I just switched to T-Mobile from Verizon. I love the money that I am saving and the great service I get in the D.C. area. Not to mention I have unlimited everything and I don’t mind that I will get throttled after 1 GB. I’m mostly always on my home Wi-Fi anyways.