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The New 5G Un-Carrier: T-Mobile and Sprint to Supercharge 5G Competition and Innovation

by Philip Kendall | Feb 11, 2020

Service Providers (carriers and the Un-carrier) must hone their 5G value propositions

Susan Welsh de Grimaldo, Director, Service Provider Strategies

With the greenlight for the T-Mobile Sprint merger today, we enter a new era of 5G competition in the US with two new players: The New T-Mobile and the evolving Dish Networks.

With these "new" disruptive players, what lies ahead for the US wireless market?

What does this mean for T-Mobile?

  • Better 5G: Better ability to position for nationwide 5G with speeds that rival the mmwave deployments by Verizon.
  • More opportunity to be disruptive in consumer services: Opportunity to go after multiplay bundles with fixed wireless home broadband and improved 5G for emerging immersive content for consumers.
  • Big upside potential for enterprise and IoT space, building on the strengths of the Sprint IoT play. My colleague Andy Brown in our enterprise team states:
    • “T-Mobile and Sprint trail AT&T and Verizon in the enterprise space, so they can now break up the duopoly those companies have over business customers.”
    • There will still be lots of work to do on the IoT ecosystem-I still think the new company lags the two giants significantly….The new company can use the Curiosity (Ericsson) IoT platform as standard. T-Mobile has not been a significant IoT player-but they can now get back into the game with Sprint.”

What will be disrupted?

  • Enterprise services on 5G and SD-WAN – 5G, fiber, Wi-Fi 6 along with edge compute, AI and IoT platforms all drive value (and security is tablestakes!), as do collaborative partnerships with both customers and broader ecosystem players. Private LTE and 5G build and operated by wireless carriers will grow alongside public 5G networks and cloud services.

Which carrier (or Un-Carrier) can out maneuver and outperform on customer centricity and differentiated value propositions?

Strategy Analytics TIP: know your customers, guide them in change that impacts their bottom line, iterate and be open to true collaboration

Strategy Analytics TIP: don’t forget – wireless and broadband and IoT themselves are being disrupted by huge players globally – this is no longer just a competition among wireless carriers

Where will the competitive battle edge be?

  • Consumer services, centering around launches of new 5G smartphones later this year that tap into multiple spectrum bands and introduce mid-tier (lower cost) smartphones alongside flagships and bundled content – think cloud gaming, great video
  • Public safety, smart cities and enterprise: solving issues with the benefits 5G (not selling tech)
  • Who has the best 5G – and what is best? How do you educate the public and sell 5G?

Strategy Analytics TIP: know your customers and focus on defining dynamic value propositions – yes – be iterative and evolve. Focus on delighting and surprising customers and winning (and keeping) their trust. Focus on customers not competitors!

The bigger picture: we are in this together. Make your voices, and your network, really count:

I'm hoping we see a new level of using 5G as real platform to drive collaborative innovation and digital transformation of our lives, companies and societies, not just for US residents and companies but for global collaboration. I want to also see a continued drive by all the operators of network transformation with relentless customer-centric focus, automation, intelligence with AI and rethinking architecture and energy efficiency for sustainability  and supporting new partnership monetization models.

We have enough negative campaigning in the election year. Don’t trash your competition – sell me on why I should be proud and satisfied being your customer – and teach me how I can improve my life/city/business with your 5G enhanced services. How will you solve my problems? How will you help me to innovate, to creatively solve issues and see new ways to do things?

Good luck to all in this new competitive age - let's all push in friendly competition to reach our higher industry goals!

Bigger pie = bigger pieces for all

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