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  • The benefits of the T-Mobile & Sprint merger

    T-Mobile and Sprint, two of the largest mobile phone operators in the United States, will try to merge again, in an agreement that is expected to revolutionize the US mobile phone market, leaving it with three large companies.

    Transactions would be entirely by actions. Sprint would be valued at $ 59,000 million, while the combined company would have an estimated value of $ 146,000 million.

    The new company will be the “only one with the capacity to create a broad and deep 5G network nationwide,” said T-Mobile CEO John Legere in a video along with Sprint’s Marcelo Claure, published on his personal account of Twitter.

    The operators said in a statement that they will preserve the name of T-Mobile, have a dual headquarters and will be a “force for positive change in the wireless, video and broadband industries in the US.”

    The new T-Mobile will be controlled by Deutsche Telekom, which owns 42 percent of the shareholding, compared to 27 percent of SoftBank and 31 percent of the public. Legere will remain as CEO, while Claure is one of four candidates nominated by the Japanese firm for the board of directors, which will consist of 14 people.

    The agreement announced on Sunday would help companies reduce costs and compete with the largest AT & T and Verizon. However, the rates could increase since there would be less competition to attract customers due to less competition.

    The sum of T-Mobile, a subsidiary of the German group Deutsche Telekom, and of Sprint, controlled by the Japanese group SoftBank, gives rise to an estimated 100 million customers, placing it second in the market behind the Verizon group, if the process goes ahead.

    “This combination will create a fierce competitor with a [sufficient] scale to give more to consumers and businesses in the form of lower prices, greater innovation and an unsurpassed network experience,” explained Legere.

    Only the new T-Mobile, the operators insisted, will have enough capacity to lay the foundations of the 5G network in its early years, thanks to Sprint’s 2.5 GHz expansive spectrum, T-Mobile’s 600 MHz national and other assets.

    AT & T and Verizon “have either to get their existing LTE clients out, which would take years, or use a type of spectrum that can carry the signal 2,000 feet [about 600 meters] from a cell site, and that almost makes impossible “that they can build a 5G network” quickly “in the US, the companies explained.
    Sprint abandoned its attempt to acquire T-Mobile in 2014 due to concerns of the then government that it would incur monopolistic tendencies. The two companies tried to merge again in October, but again the plans were frustrated.

    According to market prices after Friday’s Wall Street shutdown, Sprint is valued at approximately $ 26,000 million, while T-Mobile is valued at around $ 55,000 million.

    After Sunday’s announcement, Sprint’s stock rose more than 8% in electronic trading and T-Mobile’s shares rose 0.66%.

     

  • Wireless Retail: 4 trends that will redefine retailers in the future

    In the approaching world (almost arriving), wireless networks optimize the experience of the new retail consumer.

    For some years now, the retail sector has faced the challenge of adapting to the technology that consumers use in their daily lives in order to offer them an experience in line with their current shopping habits, that is, more digital.

    To achieve this, some retail organizations are facing the complexity of existing systems already implemented in all stores, while others identify organizational and budget constraints.

    However, now more than ever, advanced technology has become a critical factor for retailers as they aim to:
    • Offer optimal customer experiences.
    • Optimize the work force.
    • Coordinate supply chains.

    Connecting with consumers

    Retailers are in the midst of a technological revolution that is transforming the business.
    The new retail model includes:
    • Serving online shoppers able to shop online.
    • Satisfy physical store customers who often demand assistance from smart devices

    This new business model is based largely on technology, specifically, wireless technology.

    That is why 56% of retail stores worldwide will provide Wi-Fi to their consumers during this year.

    We repeat: the backbone of this advanced technology is an efficient network.

    Network retailers

    Retail networks must be complemented by future-oriented improvements that result in a more adaptable, reliable and flexible wireless system.

    With the rapid pace of technological change and the increasing number of requests from business customers, technology professionals in the retail industry often strive to identify what solutions are needed to prepare for the next THREE (03) through FIVE (05) years.

    Let’s now look at the main trends that configure the unique needs and demands of the wireless network in today’s retail, in order to take advantage of wireless networks to offer attractive experiences to connected buyers:

     

    Trend 1. Increase in the importance of mobile access

    A college student shops for a new equipment in a large warehouse.

    He identifies several things that he likes but he wants the opinions of his friends. To do this, he uses his smartphone: he takes pictures of himself and prepares to tweet his friends.

    But the department in which you are buying is located in a section of the store that does not have good cellular coverage, so you cannot connect to the Internet. Disappointed, leaves the store without making the purchase.

    When a current buyer cannot get an optimal connection in the store, retailers are in danger of losing more than just that sale.

    Why? Because they run the risk of losing loyal buyers.

    In the connected world of today it is difficult to offer a satisfactory shopping experience without Internet access.

    But offering it can also be a challenge. When customers want to use apps in the store, surveys reveal that almost 40% of the time they cannot due to bad connectivity. There are also significant gaps in coverage in up to 90% of certain popular store formats.

    What is the problem? Cellular coverage has some internal limitations.

    Trend 2. Enable customization through analytics

    A member of a grocery store loyalty program purchases TWO (02) times per week, usually on Monday and Thursday mornings.

    Almost always he buys fresh products and, thanks to the information obtained from his Wi-Fi network, the store knows his shopping habits.

    On Wednesday afternoon, the store pushes an e-coupon to your smartphone, offering a special price on a new salad dressing. On Thursday, the buyer uses the coupon, buying the new dressing and increasing the size of his cart.

    As the retail industry looks for solutions to its challenges, a growing relationship is emerging between IT and marketing .

    It is a relationship greatly facilitated by wireless networks.

    More specifically, it depends on the collection of information and the analysis that will make it possible to sell one by one.

    Currently, retailers can already design and implement a reliable Wi-Fi access network that gathers information from wireless devices of buyers, provided they are in their sales floor or connected to their network.

    You can use this information in several ways.

    For example, 77% of retailers plan to connect shoppers’ online activities with what they do in the store.

    And you can never have too much information about your buyers .

    As you add customers to loyalty programs and provide them with free customer access in your sales floor, you get valuable information about them:
    • Demographics (of course) …
    • … but also crucial buying behaviors.

    Analytics also allows you to get a picture of connectivity from customers, providing aggregate data such as traffic volume.

    It can also help you identify the trends of various segments of buyers and people.

     

    Through this resource you can learn:
    • How often and when do buyers arrive at the store?
    • How much time do they spend in the store: what sections they visit; what they buy; and how often do they buy it?
    • When they are online in your store: what searches do they perform, what applications do they use, what sites do they visit?

    With this data, IT can team up with marketing to create and promote loyalty and promotion programs. Equally important, this information is the basis for personalizing the customers’ shopping experiences: both on their website, on their mobile devices and in their store.

    Trend 3. The functionality of the location

    The network of a library detects a customer’s smartphone and notifies the store that the customer is in the parking lot of the mall.

    Do you plan to visit the store? The network can make that more likely.

    The information shows that the person regularly buys mystery novels from a specific author.

    Before entering the building, the store can send a message saying that the author’s new book is in the store, and offer a 25% discount coupon, just for today.

    Satisfied by the offer of the store, the customer feels the duty to visit and the store makes the sale.

    Location, location, location. It has become one of the fundamental principles of multichannel wireless retail. Where the customer is at a given time, inside or outside your preferred store.

     

    Where are the clients? In most retail stores, managers do not know who is in their store until they have finished their purchases and are in the registry.

    Even more worrisome is the fact that. All too often, retailers are unaware when a customer came to the store and left because they could not find what they were looking for.

    Fortunately, there is a way for people to know when customers are in the store and even close to the facilities.

    Location functionality begins with sophisticated presence services that help detect customers when approaching or entering the store.

    This knowledge allows you to create push programs based on rules:
    • Welcome messages.
    • Special offers daily or per hour.
    • Coupons based on customer purchasing trends that are activated as soon as they become aware of your presence.

    And is that 47% of retailers want to receive an alert when a loyal customer is near the door.

     

    Trend 4. Differentiate the shopping experience

    A video surveillance camera in the wine shop shows a customer who examines first quality selections.

    Through the Wi-Fi network of the store, a sales associate is alerted and, equipped with a tablet, arrives to offer personalized assistance.

    • The client asks a series of questions, such as the classification of the wine and the history of the winegrower, which the associate can quickly search on his tablet.
    • He mentions that he wants a wine to attend a barbecue and the associate makes additional suggestions
    • When the client makes a decision, the associate uses his hand reader to accept the payment of the customer’s credit card on the spot.

    The sale is made and the client is happy with his experience, creating a clear and sustainable competitive advantage.

    PREDICTIONS

    A wide range of analysts predict that, in the next FIVE (05) years , the number of wireless retail networks offering Wi-Fi access will increase significantly.

    The customers agree. Studies show that most consumers would shop in stores that offer free Wi-Fi, and 42% of shoppers would specifically access retailers’ networks to search for product information.

    In a way, we are reaching a complete circle: the personalized retail is making a comeback, bringing the revitalization of sales.

    All this is possible and profitable thanks to wireless networks that allow retailers to connect with buyers and provide information about them and their desires.

    By making the shopping experience more informative, more focused on individual technology, more convenient and more interesting, it leads to a new era of the seller-consumer relationship.

     

  • T-Mobile retail stores are Growing Rapidly

    After only two years, T-Mobile authorized retailers and distributors have already surpassed AT&T . Two years ago, T-Mobile fell behind AT&T’s approximately 3,600 physical stores, followed by T-Mobile CEO John. After Legere announced a major reform, T-Mobile quickly occupied the market and surpassed AT&T.

    These increases have benefited from the huge retail expansion. T-Mobile has increased to an estimated 5,300 authorized retail stores as the price war continues to increase. AT&T remained stable around December 2015, and this month’s forecast is 5,200, Verizon is the first, and it is estimated that there are about 7400 retail stores.

    T-Mobile is still working. The company has no specific plan for retail store expansion for the current year. The company will open stores in new markets by using 700MHz and 600MHz spectrum as it said.

    “It’s focused on Greenland,” CEO John Legere said in the beginning of this year of T-Mobile’s retail planning. According to a Seeking Alpha transcript of the company’s fourth quarter earnings conference call. “It’s focused on places where the network’s deployed where there is no competition, that sad, little town that just has Verizon or maybe Verizon and AT&T, and they hate them both. And when we open a door in those towns, I mean, the mayor comes out, there’s marching bands and people just march right into our store and move over to us. So that’s the—that’s kind of where we are.”

    Analysts conclude that the T-Mobile’s retail expansion efforts are high appreciated during the past few year. According to analysts of MoffettNathanson in the recent report of the carrier, “The new store openings have dramatically improved T-Mobile’s position relative to its peers. At the end of 2015, T-Mobile had the fewest doors of any of the Big Four (not surprising so, given its much more limited footprint). Today, the company has already passed AT&T”.

     

    This progress likely will continue. Analysts at Barclays pointed out in the recent research that T-Mobile recently announced that retail expansion and ongoing network would add 30 to 40 million POPs on the top of the operator’s existing 230 million addressable POPs.  It is noted that T-Mobile want to have a store within 10-15 miles of those 30 to 40 million new POPs.

    In the new report of T-Mobile, it is said that most T-Mobiles stores will be opened in the “greenfield” markets in 2018 where T-Mobile is not offering service before this. “Although we expect the company will add fewer stores than the ~1.5k in ’17, we’re confident in its ability to gain share in markets dominated by AT&T/Verizon,” the Macquarie analysts wrote. “Over time, it looks poised to achieve the ~20% share it has in urban markets.”