The 2014 Tech Impact Awards: Mobile



T-Mobile US

Location: Bellevue | Employees: About 38,000

There’s a long tradition of companies running ad campaigns against their competitors. Even against this historic backdrop, T-Mobile’s “Un-carrier” strategy has stood out, both for its aggressiveness and its effectiveness. 

The campaign has employed numerous tactics against T-Mobile’s rivals, from paying customers to break their mobile contracts early to attacking aspects of other mobile contracts that consumers hate, such as overage charges. Most recently, CEO John Legere has invited mobile customers to “cheat on your carrier,” offering to send them a new iPhone for trying T-Mobile’s service for a week. 

Legere’s strategy has succeeded in shaking up an industry long dominated by AT&T and Verizon. In fiscal year 2013, T-Mobile went from losing customers year over year to becoming the nation’s fastest-growing wireless company, with a total of 4.4 million new customers. Combined with an aggressive nationwide upgrade of his company’s data networks and other low-cost, innovative arrangements for consumers, Legere has made T-Mobile a force for the giants to contend with, all while attracting takeover bids from mobile players as far afield as Japan and France. 



Location: Bellevue | Employees: 150

Fewer dropped calls. Faster data and texting. Mobile carriers are engaged in a war for supremacy on numerous fronts, and RootMetrics is there to help determine the winners. This analytics firm conducts in-depth performance testing of mobile networks, offering comprehensive comparisons to both customers and the industry itself. With testing on a statewide, citywide and even neighborhood level in the United States and the United Kingdom, RootMetrics provides the information necessary for carriers to improve their networks and for consumers to make informed decisions.


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Susan Gates, left, and Kate Isler

Longtime friends Kate Isler and Susan Gates encourage consumers to shop with purpose