T-Mobile's Humm: We don't need to make a deal with another carrier

T-Mobile USA CEO Philipp Humm said the nation's No. 4 carrier does not need to make a deal with another operator and that it is on the right path for growth, echoing comments made last week by Timotheus Höttges, the CFO of parent company Deutsche Telekom.

T-Mobile USA CEO Philipp Humm


"We are pretty sizable company; we are profitable and we are on the right path to growth. ... That's really our main point of view, to strengthen our own business and come back to growth," Humm said in an interview with the Seattle Times. "Beyond that we will always look at opportunities to gain additional scale or additional spectrum or strengthen capital structure in the U.S. market. Those are always things we will be looking into."

There has been a flurry of speculation that  DT might try to merge T-Mobile with prepaid player MetroPCS (NYSE:PCS), which some analysts have dismissed as nonsensical. In the interview, Humm did indicate he thinks some industry consolidation is coming, but declined to be more specific. He also said that if more spectrum is added to the market, it will remain competitive on its own. "Overall we are in the infrastructure business. Infrastructure business always leads to a certain consolidation as a matter of principle," he said. "Based on today's model you would expect some sort of consolidation in the years to come."

However, he said if government regulators add "lots and lots of spectrum into the market, the barriers of entry for new people to come into the market would be lowered and you would have new competition."

The T-Mobile chief was also asked about the latest round of restructuring at the company, which will lead to a net loss of 350 jobs, in addition to the 1,900 T-Mobile cut earlier this year when it consolidated its call centers. Humm said the cuts are meant to make T-Mobile more agile and to allow it to focus on the B2B market, where it will be adding 1,000 more jobs.

Interestingly, Humm said T-Mobile would have had to do the reorganization regardless of whether AT&T's (NYSE:T) now-failed $39 billion acquisition of the company had gone through. 

Humm also said that T-Mobile and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) have worked well together so far to sell Microsoft's Windows Phone smartphones, which have been struggling to gain traction in the marketplace. "I think we have a very good relationship with Microsoft, and we discovered that, in particular, for customers who are new to smartphones, they really enjoy the simplicity of the Microsoft [user interface], so they like the design and the ease of it," he said, adding, "We are so far quite pleased and I think Microsoft, if you talk to them, [is] quite pleased with T-Mobile."

For more:
- see this Seattle Times article

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