CTIA 2012: T-Mobile USA sets sights on enterprise


NEW ORLEANS – Following on news earlier this week flushing out more details of its network plans, T-Mobile USA continued to hammer home the point that it wants to re-establish its position as an industry disruptor.

Highlighting that cause, the carrier is looking to reclaim some lost ground in the fiscally lucrative enterprise market, a segment that it sees itself as currently being under represented.

Speaking at this week’s CTIA event in New Orleans, Marc Rohleder, director business sales engineering at T-Mobile USA, explained that the carrier sees itself with approximately 12% of the domestic cellular market, but just 5% of the enterprise segment. To help support those goals, Rohleder noted the carrier’s previously announced plans to hire up to 1,000 new sales associates tasked with generating business in the enterprise market.

Rohleder further explained that support for his efforts are coming from the top as CEO Philipp Humm, who noted earlier this year and reiterated during a keynote address that T-Mobile USA will aggressively target enterprise customers.

These goals also dovetail with T-Mobile USA overall plans to re-establish its position as a disruptor in the domestic mobile market, having come off basically a lost year while AT&T pursued its attempt to acquire its smaller rival.

Matt Millen, VP for T-Mobile USA small- and medium-business sales, noted that 2012 will be a time for the carrier to re-launch its brand into the market, including the enterprise space. T-Mobile USA used to have a significant presence in the market due to its leadership position in offering aggressive rate plans and the latest devices from one-time enterprise darling Research In Motion. Rohleder noted that RIM’s signature BlackBerry smartphones and service offering continue to be a strong attraction for enterprise customers, especially those that favor security over all else.

However, with the enterprise market quickly evolving into a bring-your-own-device environment, RIM’s lack of consumer appeal has led to lost market share for the device maker and forced adjustments to those carriers looking to bring tailored platforms to business customers.

One move that could help T-Mobile USA in this BYOD transition are plans to re-farm its current spectrum support so as to allow its HSPA+-based network run across its 1.9 GHz spectrum holdings, a move that will align with support currently embedded in Apple’s iPhone device. That move will also help align the carrier’s network to support inbound roaming from international travelers sporting HSPA+ devices as well as align the carrier’s LTE network plans in the 1.7/2.1 GHz spectrum bands with those of larger rivals Verizon Wireless and AT&T Mobility.

Rohleder also noted that T-Mobile USA continues to have in its hip pocket its relationship with parent company Deutsche Telekom that provides an embedded international roaming component to its enterprise offering that most of its rivals lack.

As for more immediate plans, Millen noted the carrier was set to begin rolling out a new rate plan for small business – up to 99 lines – that would provide unlimited voice, messaging and 5 gigabytes of data transmission for smartphones tied with 5 GB of data transmission through a mobile hot spot device for $100 per month. (Sorry consumers; tax identification number required.)

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Dan Meyer

Editor-in-Chief, Telecom Software, Policy, Wireless Carriers
Dan Meyer started at RCR Wireless News in 1999 covering wireless carriers and wireless technologies. As editor-in-chief, Dan oversees editorial direction, reports on news from the wireless industry, including telecom software, policy and wireless carriers, and provides opinion stories on topics of concern to the market such as his popular Friday column “Worst of the Week.”