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December 30, 2015

T-Mobile's Wireless Predictions in 2016: More Un-carrier, More LTE, More...Panic?

To hear T-Mobile's John Legere talk about it—which he recently did at the T-Mobile blog—2016 for T-Mobile will be all about “more.” More un-carrier services, more LTE expansions, even more panic, at least for T-Mobile's competition. The predictions may be optimistic, but from what we've seen so far, Legere and company may be up for the job.

One of Legere's biggest predictions was essentially more of the same, at least as far as T-Mobile goes. Its “un-carrier” initiatives have already given industry analysts pause, and Legere promises plenty more such initiatives to come. Legere looks to address industry “pain points” and put increased focus on the consumer.

T-Mobile also looks to further augment its LTE coverage; while AT&T and Verizon added precious little coverage in 2015, T-Mobile more than doubled its own operations, adding just short of a million miles of new coverage. This isn't just to trounce current competitors, though; this is also a means to put T-Mobile in a better position for when 5G coverage starts up in earnest. T-Mobile is also anticipating the lowband spectrum auctions coming soon, calling such “...the most important in recent U.S. history.”

More binge watching is also on T-Mobile's list, as Binge On will be one of T-Mobile's most popular moves ever. Users routinely take to T-Mobile to enjoy video on demand without counting every byte for an approaching data cap, and T-Mobile expects to add many more services to the Binge On roster in 2016, making itself more popular.

Finally, more panic is also on T-Mobile's radar, though in this case the panic comes from Verizon. Legere noted that Verizon's already been taking pages from T-Mobile's book, starting with Carrier Freedom, and that Verizon's also been enthusiastically taking on T-Mobile in the press field.

That wasn't all of Legere's predictions; he had several more on wireless proper and several more that didn't have anything to do with wireless like the oncoming rush of opportunity in the virtual reality market. While some or even all of these may not come to pass, it's still worth watching . It's possible that Verizon will use its greater standing in the market to put down T-Mobile for good with, say, a Walmart-esque floor pricing strategy that runs T-Mobile out of the game. It's possible that T-Mobile may get together with Sprint after all and form a new powerhouse that's accepted by regulators and embarks on a whole new plan.

The future is a strange place, and it's usually changing based on circumstances. Still, T-Mobile's predictions seem rational enough, and should make for an exciting mobile landscape in 2016.

Edited by Kyle Piscioniere

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