T-Mobile Buys Mint, Plum, Ultra

The Six Five team discusses T-Mobile’s purchase of Mint, Plum, and Ultra.

If you are interested in watching the full episode you can check it out here.

Disclaimer: The Six Five Webcast is for information and entertainment purposes only. Over the course of this webcast, we may talk about companies that are publicly traded and we may even reference that fact and their equity share price, but please do not take anything that we say as a recommendation about what you should do with your investment dollars. We are not investment advisors and we ask that you do not treat us as such.


Patrick Moorhead: Basically, T-Mobile is buying everybody left out.

Daniel Newman: I heard it was a deep fake of Ryan Reynolds.

Patrick Moorhead: Yeah. So carriers for years have operated as MVNOs, which is, if I have excess capacity, I’m going to let somebody ride in the back of it. Come up with maybe a prepaid or a challenger brand that enables that. And if the network gets congested, they get bumped to the back of the line in terms of how fast it can go. So this has been in there for years and Mint has always ridden on the back of T-Mobile’s 5G network. So T-Mobile bought Mint, that’s their prepaid pay. Ultra, which is an international heavy duty, South America. And then Plumb, which is a wholesaler that sells to other people at bulk, and they went in there and bought all three with one fell swoop. Cash and stock deal. Less cash more stock. They’re going to operate these as separate brands.

And I have to talk about just the hilarious quote that Ryan Reynolds had where he talked about – he did some corporate stuff but he said, “Hey, we are so happy T-Mobile beat out an aggressive last minute bid for my mom, Tammy Reynolds.” So, I mean, it just shows how much fun the Un-carrier can have on the consumer side. I sometimes wonder how this impacts their T-Mobile-for-business side. I do think you can be cool, edgy and enterprise. I saw Sun do it back in the day when a sea of black and gray boxes… They came in with purple boxes and just made it fun. I think you see a lot of companies out there that have fun in the storage. I mean, the EMC was notorious back in the day for having fun and being cool and being enterprise grade.

But, anyways, hats off T-Mobile. Before 5G even came out, I wrote that they would be the number one 5G and they had the lead in the US on 5G network, and the company keeps making me look smart every day. And this is, basically, a way to soak up capacity.

Daniel Newman: Yeah, it was a pretty smart move. And I think the just Gravity, whether it’s been Rex MFC or Mint Mobile, Ryan Reynolds is not just an actor. He may be a better entrepreneur than actor. I’m being honest about it because he’s done quite well. T-Mobile has had a few challenges with things like security that have been notable, but its expansion on 5G has been significant, rapid and has quickly jetisoned the company, in my opinion, to the number one mobile company. I know there are different metrics in which they use to assess number one, but I think its coverage and, of course, it’s connection to Deutsche Telekom makes it a very pleasurable experience for me, at least, traveling around the globe with T-Mobile.

I will say, though, Pat, I was in Dustin or in that area this week and I had endless blackout spots down on the Gulf Coast of Florida. And I’m not talking about a three bars of 5G. I’m on T-Mobile by the way, my whole company’s on T-Mobile. So maybe a little service request. I could not get a text out with three bars supposedly of 5G, and it was very stressful for me.

Having said that, these buys, Pat, continue to show incredible ambition, and beyond the fact of my own little whining for maybe not being able to get a connectivity in a certain spot-

Patrick Moorhead: That’s a big deal. That’s not whining. I mean, that’s a big deal. You have to have connectivity, and I don’t know if it’s just sheer luck, but that was an issue that I had with T-Mobile before and the reason that I didn’t have a phone. My second phone is T-Mobile now. But, no, they need to look at that. Could have been over-saturation network. Whatever it is, it can’t happen. Did you have a chance to ask if Verizon and AT&T folks were having a challenge?

Daniel Newman: There was a fairly robust set of complaints running in this little area. I was in that little area. You remember the movie The Truman Show in Seaside? And there was this cute little quaint town and it’s like I, literally, could not get on a phone call and get audio through. Sometimes a Zoom call doesn’t go well or a Teams meeting when you don’t have great bandwidth. But I had two or three bars and nobody could hear me. So it was actually funny. I was able to hear in. So it was almost like… Remember those old video calls where you could only hear but you couldn’t see because of the encryption? It was really frustrating, though.

So it also shows, by the way, that we left Mobile World, Pat, and you and I kind of laughed about how people were saying we were in the late stages of 5G and it’s like, no, no, no, no. Not only do we have a lot of opportunity ahead with enterprise 5G, but we still have a long way to go on the consumer side. But, like I said, I’m very bullish on T-Mobile. There’s some cleanup to do, but its acquisition and M&A strategy and its overall Un-carrier persona has definitely transcended what has long been a well-disliked industry by most people and it’s created a cool sort of buzzy brand. So good for T-Mobile. Work to do, but, heck, Pat, isn’t there always?

Patrick Moorhead: There really is. I mean, we’re not there. And I remember saying,” Hey, we’re 50% through the build out.”

Daniel Newman: Oh, yeah.

Patrick Moorhead: I want to revise that. I think we’re 35% of the build out when I look at massive MIMO and some of them that you said that are there. I think the industry way over-promised on 5G and now it’s paying the price for it.

Author Information

Daniel is the CEO of The Futurum Group. Living his life at the intersection of people and technology, Daniel works with the world’s largest technology brands exploring Digital Transformation and how it is influencing the enterprise.

From the leading edge of AI to global technology policy, Daniel makes the connections between business, people and tech that are required for companies to benefit most from their technology investments. Daniel is a top 5 globally ranked industry analyst and his ideas are regularly cited or shared in television appearances by CNBC, Bloomberg, Wall Street Journal and hundreds of other sites around the world.

A 7x Best-Selling Author including his most recent book “Human/Machine.” Daniel is also a Forbes and MarketWatch (Dow Jones) contributor.

An MBA and Former Graduate Adjunct Faculty, Daniel is an Austin Texas transplant after 40 years in Chicago. His speaking takes him around the world each year as he shares his vision of the role technology will play in our future.


Latest Insights:

On this episode of The Six Five – On The Road, hosts Daniel Newman and Patrick Moorhead welcome Intel’s Greg Lavender and Sandra Rivera for a conversation on Intel’s AI Portfolio during Intel Innovation in San Jose, California.
A Ride-Hailing Service Powered by 100% Renewable Energy
Clint Wheelock, Chief Research Officer at The Futurum Group, examines Waymo’s announcement that it has decided to focus its efforts and investment on Waymo One, its ride-hailing service.
From Digital Transformations To Periodic Software Reviews, Increased Visibility Can Help Reduce Costs and Improve Application Utilization
Keith Kirkpatrick, Research Director at The Futurum Group, covers WalkMe’s Digital Adoption Platform and discusses why the tool is useful for organizations that are expanding or consolidating their software tech stacks.
Are Consulting Firms Best Positioned To Lead Enterprise AI Transformation?
Mark Beccue, Research Director at The Futurum Group, examines the EY and BCG announcements about major AI initiatives and how these offerings will affect the market.