Where did the 2.1 million net wireless customers that T-Mobile US (NYSE:TMUS) added in the fourth quarter come from? According to T-Mobile CMO Mike Sievert, those customers were lured away from AT&T Mobility (NYSE: T) and Verizon Wireless (NYSE: VZ). And T-Mobile plans to do more of the same in 2015.
"We are taking share away from our competitors. They are complaining about irrational pricing and saying things will get back to normal. There will be no more normal. This is the new normal," Sievert said while speaking at the 2015 Citi Internet, Media & Telecommunications Conference in Las Vegas Wednesday.
Earlier that day, T-Mobile pre-announced some of its fourth-quarter results, including the fact that it had added 2.1 million total net wireless customers in the fourth quarter, 1.3 million of which were branded postpaid net subscriber adds. For the full-year 2014, T-Mobile reported branded postpaid net customer additions of 4.9 million.
Sievert also talked about how the T-Mobile brand is now associated with innovation and differentiation in the market. "When our competitors copy us, our differentiation improves," Sievert said. "We are known for changing the rules of the industry."
On the network front, CTO Neville Ray, who was also participating in the Citi conference, said that he is focused on increasing T-Mobile's LTE footprint in 2015. Specifically he plans to increase LTE coverage from 264 million POPs at year-end 2014 to 300 million POPs at year-end 2015. Much of that increased coverage will be in the 700 MHz A Block spectrum covering 150 million POPs that T-Mobile acquired from Verizon for $2.4 billion a year ago.
T-Mobile is calling deployments of LTE in 15 x 15 MHz channels of spectrum "Wideband" LTE. T-Mobile has deployed wideband LTE in 27 major markets and 121 metropolitan areas. In addition, the company has said it plans to expand its LTE coverage to 280 million POPs by mid-2015.
Ray said that while other operators are talking about densifying the network with small cells and distributed antenna systems, he is focused on adding to his macro network. "I'm not running around adding small cells. I have a strong macro network on the ground. They are investing around capacity but we already have that asset," he said, adding that T-Mobile has 12,000 DAS nodes already.
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