May 10, 2012 at 11:07 AM EDT
T-Mobile Is Taking The Gloves Off (And Subsequently Punching AT&T In The Face)
You've seen the ads. What once was Carly in a pink dress, talking about her myTouch 4G that let her Facebook her face off and while making little "digs" at AT&T, has now become a biker chic badass whizzing by an iPhone biker with a wink and a hat tip . She's now edgy, and has the leather to prove it. But T-Mobile is getting punchier on its own. Even in its earnings call today, T-Mo's CEO Phillip Hume said it himself, "the iPhone is slow, even on AT&T's network." If you can't join 'em, might as well start punching, right?
Screen shot 2012-05-10 at 11.18.04 AM

You’ve seen the ads. What once was Carly in a pink dress, talking about her myTouch 4G that let her Facebook her face off and while making little “digs” at AT&T, has now become a biker chic badass whizzing by an iPhone biker with a wink and a hat tip. She’s now edgy, and has the leather to prove it.

But T-Mobile is getting punchier on its own. Even in its earnings call today, T-Mo’s CEO Phillip Hume said it himself, “the iPhone is slow, even on AT&T’s network.”

If you can’t join ‘em, might as well start punching, right?

It was just five months ago that the deal between AT&T and T-Mobile fell through, taking what was already a rather fierce rivalry and turning it into an advertising blood bath.

But T-Mobile is choosing to throw some stones with its new pile of rubble, and the refocus may actually pay off. According to the call, the social media feedback on Carly’s new look has been great, but without more real-world action the increase in mindshare means nothing. That said, T-Mobile is adding more than 7,000 doors in the first half of next year, with remodeling of stores still underway.

The carrier is also making a push in the enterprise market. B2B activations are up 15.5 percent year-over-year as of Q1.

Most importantly, T-Mo is putting a huge effort into building out its 4G LTE network to be ready by 2013. Currently, the carrier only touts up to 42Mbps speeds on its faux-”4G” HSPA+ network, which isn’t legitimate 4G LTE by any means, but Hume made sure to point out that T-Mobile 3G is still faster than AT&T 3G.

In fact, the CEO pointed to a test done by PCWorld that claims that “T-Mobile’s HSPA+ 21 service won in the 3G bracket of [the] study, and the company’s high-end HSPA+ 42 service competed reasonably well with other providers’ 4G service.”

T-Mobile plans and prices are already lower and more flexible than most carriers, so if Pinky can stay afloat while building out more stores and a better network, this fight may get even more interesting as time goes on.



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