This week marks the one-year anniversary of our official close to the T-Mobile and Sprint merger — two sets of amazing employees, the best leadership team in the industry, and an unmatched set of network assets and resources that have come together to create a Supercharged Un-carrier.
Over this past year, despite an unprecedented set of external circumstances, we’ve been all systems go. In fact, 2020 was our best year ever as a company, as we recorded a record 102 million customers and overtook AT&T to become America’s #2 wireless provider! But this merger was always about more than just financial and subscriber results. Much more. It was about a promise of 5G FOR ALL and taking on the competition like never before.
Combining our companies gave us even more fuel to take that Un-carrier spirit to new heights … and to more boldly challenge the status quo — fighting harder than ever to eliminate customer pain points. This merger made us bigger and gave us the opportunity to be better for our customers — and we’ve seized it.
A Year of Progress Builds a Foundation for What’s to Come
Back when we announced this deal, we said that a combined T-Mobile would deliver a transformative nationwide 5G network, better products at unmatched value, increased competition and access to underserved communities. Over the past year, we have used our increased size and scale to deliver on all of this, while also driving toward even bigger aspirations.
We said 5G for ALL, and we meant it. Neville Ray and his team are delivering a network build that is second to none and bringing that transformative 5G network to millions of people. Our 5G network benefits from a unique combination of dedicated low-band and mid-band spectrum assets from the merger, and these assets — along with our record-breaking build-out pace — have put us in the clear leadership position at the start of the 5G era.
In fact, we have the largest, fastest and most available 5G network in the country. Period. In 2020, we launched the world’s first nationwide standalone 5G network, and today it provides on average 2x faster speeds than LTE to more than 287 million people across 1.6 million square miles — more than two times the geographic coverage of AT&T and nearly four times that of Verizon’s 5G. Our Ultra Capacity 5G covers 125 million people already in 2021, providing game-changing speeds across the country. And we’ll cover 200 million people by the end of this year! We said we’d build a transformative 5G network, and that is exactly what we are doing.
We also shared that we had big plans to offer better products and unmatched value that would increase competition. Leveraging our network’s unprecedented capacity, we can now offer customers a combination of BOTH quality and value. As our competitors scramble to get out of the starting blocks on coverage (just look at the recent C-band auction results for proof!), we are busy using our well-established assets to offer our customers the best rate plans at low prices, including free access to 5G.
Just a few of my favorite examples of our progress include Connecting Heroes, our free service for first-responder agencies that can save them up to $7 billion over the next decade. Or services like Scam Shield that protect our customers from the billions of scams and robocalls they get every year. And maybe the best one yet, Magenta Max, the first plan that truly unleashes the capacity and speed of our 5G network to ensure customers will never be slowed down based on how much data they use.
We’re also squarely taking on the Cableopoly with our expansive home broadband plans and our evolved TVision TV solution — including incredible value and choices from our partners like Google and Philo. We have big goals to increase competition in home broadband over the next five years and bring 7 million to 8 million customers the benefit of our low costs, high speeds and 5G reliability, as well (stay tuned for more on this soon!). And not to be forgotten, maybe one of our largest opportunities to shake things up is in the Enterprise and government segments. We are already bringing new choice and competition to millions of business and government customers, including long-overlooked small businesses. We are approaching 10% share in Enterprise but see room to run here with a market share over the next 5 years reaching about 20%!
We also said that we would expand access to underserved communities, and we are. Before the merger, T-Mobile committed to providing network coverage for 90% of rural Americans in the next few years, and we’re well on our way to achieving that goal. Through network coverage and a growing retail fleet of 15,000 branded stores, we’re starting to bring more choices and access to small towns and rural markets than ever before.
We also launched our $10.7 billion Project 10Million initiative during a time when connectivity has been more important than ever. To date, we’ve helped bridge the digital divide for more than 2.5 million underserved students nationwide with free or highly subsidized connectivity, and we are just getting started. Top that off with our five-year Equity in Action plan, fueled by a $25 million investment over the next five years, and I’m immensely proud of our dedication to diversity, equity and inclusion across this entire business. We all still have work to do, but we are helping to create opportunities for underserved and underrepresented communities every single day.
Most important, our obsession to make customers happy remains front and center. It is an important differentiator, and customers have noticed. We’re proud of our record-breaking win from J.D. Power U.S. Wireless Customer Care — for the 21st time in a row! We’re going to keep delivering incredible experiences from end to end. Sprint customers who are coming over to our network and enjoying Un-carrier benefits are happier, too — to the tune of net promoter scores that are about 100% higher for those who have migrated into the T-Mobile system.
In the end, our mission is simple. We want to be the Best in the World at Connecting Customers to Their World, and I believe we are well on our way. During this first amazing year, we’ve done exactly what we set out to do from the very beginning. We’ve strived to deliver better service, at the best value, with standout customer service and experiences. And I’m more confident than ever about what’s to come with our industry-leading 5G network and expansion into rural America, broadband plans, business and government expansion … and more. Best of all, the scale and synergies from our merger allow us to grow and innovate as a business, achieve record financial results and ultimately pass that value on to our customers!
As we enter our second combined year as T-Mobile, our future is so bright — and you can see it in the audacious goals we now aspire to achieve. It’s clearer than ever why our future ambitions are bigger and bolder than our standalone companies ever could have been. Simply put, we have the winning formula to achieve our vision — to be #1 in customer choice and #1 in customers’ hearts!
We’re just starting to write this story. As exciting as it was to close our merger, Year 2 is already shaping up to be at another level.
This blog includes forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. All statements other than statements of historical fact, including information concerning T-Mobile US, Inc.’s future results of operations, are forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are generally identified by the words “anticipate,” “believe,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intend,” “may,” “could” or similar expressions. Forward-looking statements are based on current expectations and assumptions, which are subject to risks and uncertainties and may cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking statements. Important factors that could affect future results and cause those results to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements include, among others, the following: natural disasters, public health crises, including the COVID-19 pandemic (the “Pandemic”), terrorist attacks or similar incidents; adverse economic, political or market conditions in the U.S. and international markets, including those caused by the Pandemic; competition, industry consolidation and changes in the market condition for wireless services; data loss or other security breaches; the scarcity and cost of additional wireless spectrum, and regulations relating to spectrum use; our inability to retain or motivate key personnel, hire qualified personnel or maintain our corporate culture; our inability to take advantage of technological developments on a timely basis; system failures and business disruptions, allowing for unauthorized use of or interference with our network and other systems; the impacts of the actions we have taken and conditions we have agreed to in connection with the regulatory proceedings and approvals of the Transactions (as defined below), including the acquisition by DISH of the prepaid wireless business under the Boost Mobile and Sprint prepaid brands (excluding the Assurance brand Lifeline customers and the prepaid wireless customers of Shentel and Swiftel), the complaint and proposed final judgment agreed to by us, Deutsche Telekom AG (“DT”), Sprint Corporation (“Sprint”), SoftBank Group Corp. (“SoftBank”) and DISH Network Corporation (“DISH”) with the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, which was approved by the Court on April 1, 2020, the proposed commitments filed with the Secretary of the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”), which we announced on May 20, 2019, certain national security commitments and undertakings, and any other commitments or undertakings entered into including but not limited to those we have made to certain states and nongovernmental organizations (collectively, the “Government Commitments”), and the challenges in satisfying the Government Commitments in the required time frames and the significant cumulative cost incurred in tracking, monitoring and complying with them; our inability to manage the ongoing commercial and transition services arrangements that we entered into with DISH in connection with the Prepaid Transaction, which we completed on July 1, 2020, and known or unknown liabilities arising in connection therewith; the effects of any future acquisition, investment, or merger involving us; any disruption or failure of our third parties (including key suppliers) to provide products or services for the operation of our business; the occurrence of high fraud rates or volumes related to device financing, customer payment cards, third-party dealers, employees, subscriptions, identities or account takeover fraud; our substantial level of indebtedness and our inability to service our debt obligations in accordance with their terms or to comply with the restrictive covenants contained therein; adverse changes in the ratings of our debt securities or adverse conditions in the credit markets; the risk of future material weaknesses we may identify while we work to integrate and align policies, principles and practices of the two companies following the Merger (as defined below), or any other failure by us to maintain effective internal controls, and the resulting significant costs and reputational damage; any changes in regulations or in the regulatory framework under which we operate; laws and regulations relating to the handling of privacy and data protection; unfavorable outcomes of existing or future legal proceedings; our offering of regulated financial services products and exposure to a wide variety of state and federal regulations; new or amended tax laws or regulations or administrative interpretations and judicial decisions affecting the scope or application of tax laws or regulations; the possibility that we may be unable to renew our spectrum leases on attractive terms or the possible revocation of our existing licenses in the event that we violate applicable laws; interests of our significant stockholders that may differ from the interests of other stockholders; future sales of our common stock by DT and SoftBank and our inability to attract additional equity financing outside the United States due to foreign ownership limitations by the FCC; the volatility of our stock price and our lack of plan to pay cash dividends in the foreseeable future; failure to realize the expected benefits and synergies of the merger (the “Merger”) with Sprint, pursuant to the Business Combination Agreement with Sprint and the other parties named therein and the other transactions contemplated thereby (collectively, the “Transactions”) in the expected timeframes or in the amounts anticipated; any delay and costs of, or difficulties in, integrating our business and Sprint’s business and operations, and unexpected additional operating costs, customer loss and business disruption, including maintaining relationships with employees, customers, suppliers or vendors; unanticipated difficulties, disruption, or significant delays in our long-term strategy to migrate Sprint’s legacy customers onto T-Mobile’s existing billing platforms; and changes to existing or the issuance of new accounting standards by the Financial Accounting Standards Board or other regulatory agencies. Given these risks and uncertainties, readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on such forward-looking statements. We undertake no obligation to revise or publicly release the results of any revision to these forward-looking statements, except as required by law.