T-Mobile CFO Braxton Carter sounded a lot like AT&T and Verizon executives prior to doing away with their unlimited plans, claiming that a disprioportionately small number of users consumes a very larger percentage of the data.
Carter said a recent $10 price increase to the company’s Simple Choice Unlimited plans were appropriate and needed to recoup the costs of providing the plan to its customers.
“I think the moves that we just made were very balanced, and give us the opportunity to realize a more appropriate value for the differentiated unlimited offering that’s in the marketplace,” Carter said during a talk at Deutsche Bank investor conference.
T-Mobile was repsonsible for spearheading the move towards device fianancing, something that Verizon CFO Fran Shammo yetserday noted could carry risks. Carter said T-Mobile had a very strict structure for offering financing to its customers.
When asked about the quality of customers being acquired through T-Mobile’s recent offer to pay customers’ early termination fees, Carter said the company has been pleasantly suprised to find that roughly two-thirds of the customers that have taken advantage of the program are of the highest credit ranking.
Commenting on the overall competitive landscape, Carter said he thought AT&T’s recent overhaul of its Mobile Share Value plans was aimed more at Verizon than T-Mobile.
T-Mobile is expected to compete in the upcoming broadcast incentive auctions for a chunk of coveted 600 MHz spectrum. Network Chief Neville Ray was skeptical that regulators will move to put restrictions on how much of the pricey airwaves the larger carriers like AT&T and Verizon can amass.
“We don’t need a huge volume of low-band spectrum…but we will need more,” Ray said, adding that the company’s recently acquired lower 700 MHz A-Block spectrum offered the carrier a good start.
Carter suggested regulators need to decide whether they really want a competitive marketplace.
“The government can’t have their cake and eat it too. If they think there really needs to be four players in this market, they’re going to have to put some structural protections in to ensure an adequate distribution of spectrum,” he said.