The mobile phone market in the United States has two carriers that dominate the game with AT&T and Verizon. Sprint Nextel is owning the third place and defends it with their early 4G roll-out. T-Mobile, owned by German Telekom, wants to finally kick Sprint and become the number three carrier in the United States. T-Mobile USA CEO Philipp Humm told the Financial Times Deutschland that he wants to achieve this goal within the next four years.
While Verizon and AT&T are out of reach for T-Mobile, Sprint Nextel could be tackled by the pink T. Sprint has 50 million customers and T-Mobile has around 35 million. One of the things T-Mobile is focusing on to grow are budget Android phones that sell for less than $100.
Mr. Humm introduced the Apple iPhone in Germany while he was the bost of T-Mobile Germany. He of course would also love to have the iPhone in the United States, but that is Apple's decision. With the iPhone, T-Mobile would have a much easier path to become the third largest carrier. T-Mobile raised a lot of awareness with their HSPA+ network calling it 4G. The speeds today are on par with what other carrier offer with LTE and WiMAX, but that will change soon and T-Mobile will also have to upgrade their networks further.
At the CES 2011, T-Mobile USA said to double the speed of its 4G network this year, which will be capable of delivering peak download speeds of up to 42 Mbps. Moreover, the company announced that in 2011 it will launch at least 25 new 4G devices, starting with its first 4G tablet — the Dell Streak 7, expected to be available at T-Mobile stores across the country soon. T-Mobile plans to expand and evolve its 4G smartphone portfolio, launching additional devices capable of delivering peak download speeds of up to 21 Mbps in the first half of 2011, and smartphones capable of delivering peak download speeds of up to 42 Mbps in the second half of the year.
The main problem for T-Mobile is to not offer a must have device. To offer low-cost Android phones is a good idea, but the impact is questionable as you can by a T-Mobile myTouch 4G on Amazon Wireless today for $49.99 with new contract. There you have a sub-$100 Android phone and it is even the top of the line device from T-Mobile. T-Mobile has not a single device under the top 10 selling phones on the Amazon Wireless Store. Sprint has though in their with the Samsung Epic 4G.
The 4G age, if you want to call it that way, will reach mass market within the next four years. We will be running around with 4G phones and 4G Tablets. The principles stay the same though as for the 3G age. The carrier with the must have devices wins as long as his network does not suck too much.
The next big thing T-Mobile has up their sleeves is the Dell Streak 7, hailed as T-Mobile's first 4G Tablet. The Dell Streak 7 is supposed to run Android 2.2, making it already obsolete wth the Motorola Xoom set to launch on Verizon with Android 3.0 (Honeycomb). It is not easy to be a player on the top.