T-Mobile's Roadmap to the Enterprise

By Lori Castle, Editor in Chief — August 26, 2013

According to 7UP’s history, “The UNCOLA campaign set 7UP apart from its competition and became part of a counter cultural that symbolized being true to yourself and challenging the status quo.”

T-Mobile CEO John Legere is also bucking the establishment—ditching his 3-piece suit from his Global Crossing’s days, to wearing a t-shirt and jeans, as he told Mobile Enterprise via email in March—and positioning the company as the “un-carrier.”

This messaging was first delivered in March at a press event and Legere has continued on his self-titled “disruptive” path. So what’s been going on at T-Mobile since then?

More Than Words
Legere wants to make it clear that T-Mobile is not all talk, and, on a recent quarterly earnings call, said “the Un-carrier is a philosophy as well as a marketing proposition.” In fact, his goal is to create a different type of company altogether —one that he calls flat and fast that can react to the market.

To do this, they are involving “every single employee in the Company” —as a “shareholder.”  On this “purpose driven march to solve all customer pain points and change the way this industry operates,” T-Mobile first rolled out Un-carrier 1.0 in the forms of no annual service contract offer and lower out of pocket cost on the most popular devices (Simple Choice plans).

In July, for Un-carrier 2.0, the company introduced a no-contract family plan, as well as  the JUMP program, which enables users to upgrade phones when they want, up to twice a year as soon as six months from enrollment.

The company now also offers a full line of devices with “strong partnerships with Apple, Samsung and other key suppliers,” according to Legere.

Business First
As a next step, to winning business and on the path to the enterprise, T-Mobile is starting with the small-to-mid-sized (SMB) market.  The company just announced its Simple Choice for Business and Simple Classic Choice Plan.

The plans are designed to give business customers more flexibility and choice in both device purchase and plan. The goal is eliminate the potential for the unpredictability, overages and overspending that can be associated with traditional plans, plus more easily enable BYOD.

For example, the Simple Choice for Business1 separates the cost of mobile devices from wireless service; and extends device monthly installment benefits for business customers with more than five lines of service. Because it de-couples service from the cost of device, the plan can seemingly benefit organizations with bring-your-own-device (BYOD) programs and policies.

Most organizations, however, still have a mix of corporate-liable and BYOD, so for those that need to bundle device and service fees into a plan, T-Mobile still offers its Simple Choice Classic plan.

Like Simple Choice for Business, the plan allows customers to choose number of lines and how much high-speed data they want. Both plans have standalone mobile broadband options beginning at 500MB and building to 12.5GB of data, and the plans can be customized.

Enterprise 3.0?
On the quarterly call, Legere said to “stay tuned” for Un-carrier 3.0, which is “coming soon” and can only be leading to the enterprise as evident in other moves made by the company as well.

In April, Drew Kelton was brought on board in a newly created position of EVP, Business-to-Business, and, in a discussion at the CTIA show in May, representatives from T-Mobile told Mobile Enterprise that the company had indeed created a B2B unit that reports directly to the Legere along with a marketing unit dedicated to B2B.

In June, T-Mobile added to its managed mobility portfolio with SOTI MobiControl  as an MDM solution.

Nonetheless, the company isn’t directly talking enterprise as such. Legere was asked by an analyst on the Q2 call about “momentum with commercial accounts.”  He said there is “quite a bit of upside” but then deferred Kelton, who he cited as “very quietly creating the next phase of our B2B process.”

Kelton mentioned an 11% year-on-year growth in the business portfolio and predicted a dramatic shift to come. Legere added, “We are a small player in a big market and we are going to choose the pain points that we can solve and starting Q4, Q1 you will start to hear more from us in this space.”

Related Content
T-Mobile Changes Clothes and Contracts
Mobile Device School of Management
BYOD Exposed

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