T-Mobile has issued two important pieces of news in the span of 24 hours. The first, and arguably the less important of the two, is that iPhone owners in Washington, D.C.; Baltimore, Maryland; and Houston, Texas will now have access to high speed internet. T-Mobile’s network, for the longest time, used the AWS band (1700/2100 MHz) for 3G, but recently they’ve started turning on 3G in the 1900 MHz band. That’s one of the two bands that AT&T uses for their 3G, so technically an AT&T iPhone user can migrate to T-Mobile and still have high speed data on their smartphone. Mind you, this writer classifies 42 Mbps HSPA+ as a “4G” technology, so that means T-Mobile’s network does provide 4G connectivity, though obviously not everywhere.
The other major announcement is of course T-Mobile Q3 2012 financial results. Here are the numbers: 492,000 postpaid customers left the network. ARPU, an acronym for the average revenue per user, fell 7.4% compared to Q3 2011 to just $42.78. And finally, profits are down over 15%.
Does T-Mobile stand a chance? That’s hard to say. They’re supposedly going to launch LTE next year, and they’re going to pour roughly $4 billion into their network to make it better, but history has shown that once you start falling in this business, it’s damn near impossible to get back up. You have to remember, Sprint is going to get a huge injection of cash from the Japanese operator SoftBank, so that’s going to make them even more competitive. And let’s not forget about the big boys. By the end of next year, Verizon’s 4G LTE network will cover pretty much every American in the contiguous United States.
We’d like to remind you that our favorite option, if you’re OK with dealing with HSPA+, is Straight Talk. For $45 per month you get unlimited everything and access to AT&T’s network. You really can’t beat that price.