While T-Mobile continues to make strides on its own, the carrier still appears to be building value for a possible sale.
CFO Braxton Carter, speaking Wednesday at a UBS investor conference, asserted that T-Mobile is really “the only U.S. wireless asset that could partner with someone.”
Carter called T-Mobile’s position “very interesting strategically, and from multiple angles.”
In running through the usual list of possible suitors, Dish Network’s Charlie Ergen was mentioned. Carter called Ergen’s acquistion of spectrum “masterful,” positing that “I don’t think [Ergen] is the kind of guy who wants to cash his chips in and go home.”
When asked about whether Carter was at all concerned about keeping up with AT&T, Verizon and Sprint, he said that T-Mobile does not see the market as apple to apples, especially when considering AT&T and Verizon’s scale and bankrolls.
That said, he noted that T-Mobile can manage to continue maintaining its network for less than what AT&T and Verizon spend on theirs.
“Because of the simplicity of our band configuration…we do have some natural advantages…we’ve only dealt with PCS, AWS and now low-band,” Carter noted. “We’re spending half of what Sprint has had to spend on a per-site basis due to the simplification of our band holdings.”
So will the 4 million new subscribers that T-Mobile has added to its network over the past year have an affect on network performance?
“We’ve got years worth of cushion,” Carter said, noting that AT&T and Verizon’s recent capacity efforts are the result of hosting a lot more customer than T-Mobile serves.
Carter said T-Mobile hopes to have 90 percent of its customers covered with 20×20 configuration within the “next couple years.” The Uncarrier has converted to LTE 63 percent of the spectrum it acquired from MetroPCS and expects remaining balance will be refarmed some time in 2015.