Will T-Mobile Gain Ground in the Enterprise? Maybe.

By Matt West

Director of Telecom Services, NPI

November 18, 2013

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When T-Mobile decided to bet the farm on its “un-carrier” strategy, critics wondered if it was “too little, too late” to turn around the wireless giant’s declining business. Early this month, the critics got their answer.

By all accounts, T-Mobile is on a tear. On November 5, the mobile provider reported it added 648,000 net subscribers in the third quarter. That’s nearly 200,000 more than expected by industry analysts.

But, the real shock is how the carrier has outpaced its competition. Reuters reports:

“While its biggest rival, Verizon Wireless, reported a bigger overall subscriber growth number of 927,000, T-Mobile blew past No. 2 U.S. mobile provider AT&T Inc, which added 363,000 subscribers, and Sprint Corp, which lost 360,000.”

As the 4th largest U.S. mobile provider, T-Mobile has always been considered a consumer carrier – rarely a provider of choice for the enterprise. But that may be changing. For starters, its parent company is Deutsche Telekom, the 10th largest carrier in the world, which has strong enterprise market share outside of the U.S. Furthermore, BYOD has had a neutralizing effect as fewer enterprises dictate which carriers and devices must be used to conduct business.

With these factors in mind, it’s hard to get a clear view of whether T-Mobile is capturing a larger portion of the enterprise user market. But, one thing is for certain, T-Mobile is becoming a more attractive option.

One example of this is the carrier’s Simple Choice Plan. The plan includes unlimited texting and data in 100+ countries. For the global and traveling workforce, consider the implications on cost and ease-of-use. T-Mobile is also the only carrier to separate the plan from the phone. There are no annual service contracts, and plans are charged separate from devices.

Are these decisions game-changers? Maybe. They’re certainly a step in the right direction. Enterprises and enterprise users are fed up with the complexity of doing business with telecom and IT providers. Those providers that make it easier to purchase, maintain and upgrade technology have a tremendous market advantage.

T-Mobile may belong in the mix for enterprise telecom expense management strategies, particularly for multi-national businesses.