10 Years of Un-Carrier, 3 Years Into Merger… Forever Disrupting!
By Mike Sievert, CEO of T-Mobile
At T-Mobile, we refuse to ever be satisfied with the status quo because customers are never satisfied. And as the world changes at an insanely fast pace, customers’ expectations only continue to grow. We believe it is important to meet them where they are, but also to stay ahead by constantly looking around corners to understand what they will need in the future. So, we do something that is incredibly unusual in the wireless industry: We listen to our customers. We find solutions to smash their pain points. We innovate on their behalf. And above all else, we never, ever stand for “good enough,” an approach that is all too common among the carriers. Instead, we disrupt.
This Un-carrier ethos we have lived and breathed for 10 years now has delivered 20+ Un-carrier moves, including some of this industry’s biggest moments. Music Freedom in 2014 marked the beginning of unlimited as we know it today. Unlike the carriers who charged for every song their customers streamed, we hooked up our customers with the top music streaming service of their choice — without data charges. And in 2016, our Unlimited Talk, Text & Data move abolished data limits forever. Despite saying they’d never offer unlimited, eventually the other guys followed our lead. Another favorite is Coverage Beyond, a 2022 move making it easier and more enjoyable than ever for travelers to stay connected around the world and in the air.
And one of the most important moves of all happened just over three years ago. After merging with Sprint in 2020, we put the “new” T-Mobile in the best position to realize our most audacious Un-carrier dream yet: breaking down the wireless industry’s decades-old forced choice between the best value and the best network. And that’s exactly what we’ve been working to do. Just as we said it would when we first announced the combination with Sprint, our merger over the past three years has created titanic shifts in wireless and broadband that have led to massive benefits for consumers and businesses!
When we combined forces with Sprint, again, we listened to our customers. We knew they wanted reliable connectivity, so we bet on mobility and mid-band spectrum — what we call “Goldilocks” spectrum. Meanwhile, our competitors were insisting nationwide mmWave technology would be the future, a strategy that would cost them $1.5 trillion. Eventually, the others were forced to shift their strategies and make huge investments to try to catch up with us. Our merger became the catalyst for an all-out race to connect Americans, with the U.S. rolling out 5G nearly twice as quickly as we rolled out 4G! We are proud of that fact and believe consumers should be the winners here — and they are.
Today, we cover 98% of Americans with T-Mobile’s transformative 5G network, and third parties are recognizing us as the OVERALL network leader! Considering that the U.S. didn’t have nationwide 5G until T-Mobile launched it at the very end of 2019 makes our progress even more remarkable!
Our network not only enables us to offer customers and businesses amazing products and benefits, but it has also created unbelievable competition in wireless and beyond. We’re delivering reliable connectivity — with great value — to those who previously lacked choice, increasing 5G coverage in rural areas by 90% since we closed the merger three years ago! We are also using our network capacity to transform broken industries like big cable. Communities now have access to T-Mobile 5G High-Speed Internet for only $50 a month with AutoPay — and peace of mind with Price Lock, our promise to ALL new postpaid and broadband customers that we won’t EVER change the price they pay for their talk, text, and data, and home internet.
Speaking of Price Lock, the value this merger enables us to deliver is another thing the carriers have rushed to replicate. We’ve shaped a market that’s become so competitive that there has never been a better time to be a wireless consumer. T-Mobile customers on our lowest-priced plans are paying about four times less per gigabit today than they did pre-merger. And customers on our best plans are also getting tremendous value-adds. For example, customers with two or more lines of our Magenta MAX plan get $225 worth of added value every month with things like Apple TV+ on Us, Netflix on Us, free high-speed data abroad, free in-flight Wi-Fi, AAA for a year on us, free Scam Shield Premium and so much more — all on top of their wireless service on the nation’s largest, fastest and most awarded 5G network. Non-T-Mobile customers are winning, too. To keep pace with the Un-carrier, the carriers have been forced to get rid of things like 5G surcharges and launch unlimited 5G smartphone plans. This is all especially meaningful to American families who are doing everything they can to reduce costs in this inflationary environment.
And our commitment to customers extends to putting our network to use for GOOD through programs like Project 10Million and other education initiatives, which in just a few short years have connected more than 5.3 million students with $4.83 billion in services. As a company whose mission is to become the best in the world at connecting customers to their world, nothing’s more gratifying than helping bridge the nationwide digital divide that still exists.
Undeniably, this merger — the most successful one in telecommunications history — has changed the shape of this industry for consumers because T-Mobile has been even more empowered to continue being all that the Un-carrier set out to be a decade ago. We’ve accomplished so much over the past 10 years and even in the last three years, but we won’t stop now! We are a company on the move, storming and prioritizing to do BETTER and do MORE for customers. Dream Big and Deliver is one of our company values for a reason. It reminds us to aim higher, and to never stop being restless and relentless about putting customers first. These are the qualities that have made the Un-carrier who we are past and present — and will lead us into the future.