T-Mobile Chief: Company in 'Fighting Shape'

By Josh Long Comments
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The top executive of T-Mobile USA this week sought to assure the public that the fourth-largest U.S. wireless operator is in a position to get back and keep customers just weeks after the company's $39 billion merger with AT&T Inc. collapsed.

"Last year, T-Mobile made solid progress during uncertain times, doubling our 4G network speeds and launching 25 new 4G devices," T-Mobile USA President and CEO Philipp Humm said Tuesday during the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. "We are here, in fighting shape, and we will compete aggressively to win and retain customers by delivering compelling 4G services -- all at a great value."

T-Mobile USA on Tuesday revealed doubling the speed of its fourth-generation network in 12 additional markets, meaning it now offers faster speeds on an HSPA+ 42 network to 184 Americans in 175 markets.

Mobile subscribers are increasingly becoming tethered to their smartphones, and wireless operators need the latest and greatest gadgets to attract subscribers. Of the four largest wireless operators, T-Mobile USA is the only one that doesn't carry Apple's phenomenally popular iPhone.

The mobile operator is banking on other gadgets to attract customers and stop it from continuing to lose hundreds of thousands of subscribers on contract every fiscal quarter. On Tuesday, T-Mobile USA announced that it will carry two new smartphones, the Samsung Galaxy S Blaze 4G and the Nokia Lumia 710. Powered by Microsoft's Windows Phone operating system, the Lumia 710 is available today at T-Mobile retail stores, select dealers, retailers and online at http://www.t-mobile.com. T-Mobile said the Lumia 710 will cost $49.99 after a $50 mail-in rebate card with a two-year service contract and qualifying Classic voice and data plan. T-Mobile USA expects to sell the Samsung Galaxy S Blaze 4G later this year.

Although AT&T last month abandoned its bid to acquire T-Mobile USA, Bellevue, Wash.-based T-Mobile USA said it's in a better position because it expects to obtain mobile spectrum in 128 cellular marketing areas, including 12 of the top 20 U.S. markets. T-Mobile USA is getting the airwaves from AT&T as part of the multi-billion dollar breakup fee that T-Mobile's parent Deutsche Telekom negotiated under the merger agreement with AT&T. T-Mobile USA, which served 33.7 million customers at the end of the third quarter, must obtain regulatory approval to get the spectrum.

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