Ina Fried

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Lacking an iPhone, Scrappy T-Mobile Promises to Stay Aggressive in 2011

With shades of Avis’s old “We try harder” campaign, No. 4 U.S. carrier T-Mobile said on Thursday it will claw its way up in the market with aggressive pricing and new product launches.

At a meeting with investors in New York, the company said it aims to cut the rate of customer churn and return to growth as early as this year. Among its financial goals are to increase U.S. revenue by $3 billion by 2014 while at the same time shaving a further $1 billion in costs.

“T-Mobile is ideally positioned to grow in the expanding U.S. market with the mobile Internet, if possible to a disproportionately large extent,” T-Mobile Group CEO Rene Obermann said in a statement issued by parent company Deutsche Telekom. “Philipp Humm and his team have a broad-based strategy to put T-Mobile USA back on course for growth.”

Among its plans are to offer the most competitive data rates while also introducing a faster version of its HSPA+ network, the one T-Mobile bills as America’s largest 4G network. Lacking an iPhone to offer, T-Mobile has been running a pointed ad campaign poking fun at AT&T and, more recently, also at Verizon.

T-Mobile also hopes to boost its fortunes by increasing sales efforts to businesses and allowing other carriers–so-called MVNOs–to sell services on its network.

The company reiterated its plans to eventually move to a Long-Term Evolution network (the same technology being adopted by Verizon and AT&T). However T-Mobile said this will “probably not be for a few years.”

While T-Mobile spoke to the business and technical hurdles associated with moving too quickly to LTE, it also acknowledged the other big stumbling block–it lacks enough spectrum to do so.

“Deutsche Telekom is exploring various options to acquire additional spectrum and reduce the gap regarding economies of scale compared with its larger competitors, including partnering with other companies,” T-Mobile said.

T-Mobile also announced the Samsung Galaxy S 4G and said it would bring back the Sidekick brand with a 4G, Android-based device to be introduced in the spring.


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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald