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T-Mobile to invest $20M in 4G LTE network in ’14

Jim Alling, chief operations officer of T-Mobile Business

Jim Alling, chief operations officer of T-Mobile Business

A month after launching its “contract-free” business model, T-Mobile announced a new $20 million investment to upgrade its Puerto Rico 4G LTE infrastructure and add 100 new jobs to its payroll, a high-ranking parent company executive said Thursday.

In a meeting with local media, Jim Alling, chief operations officer of T-Mobile Business, discussed telecom industry projections as well as the carrier’s future plans for Puerto Rico.

“Puerto Rico is a very important market for T-Mobile USA as it has experienced consistent growth in recent years and maintains a successful local operation,” Alling said, while announcing the creation of 100 new jobs and the expansion of the carrier’s distribution channels.

Alling’s visit comes about a month after T-Mobile Puerto Rico adopted its stateside parent’s “un-carrier” mode, through which it offers clients contract-free service. Earlier this week, the company stepped up its offer by launching the second phase of its business strategy, offering wireless customers up to $650 for switching to T-Mobile.

Since launching the local platform dubbed “Libérate,” T-Mobile’s operations have seen a 150 percent increase in sales, mostly due to its own customers changing to the new plans and adding new service lines, signing up for family plans that offer up to five lines. T-Mobile also said it has seen migration from other local carriers, particularly AT&T and Claro, which it has been targeting directly through its advertising campaigns.

The new $20 million is added to the more than $130 million T-Mobile has pumped into its Puerto Rico network over the past year that included installing new cell sites and radios, and buying additional spectrum.

During the meeting, Alling also reaffirmed T-Mobile’s commitment with Puerto Rico by providing resources to better serve customers and “positively impact Puerto Rico’s economy” in the areas of customer call centers, distribution and logistics as well as phone sales, which are all run locally.

“We’re very proud of the achievements that our employees have achieved in Puerto Rico, where more than 500 people work to offer our clients the best service and the latest equipment,” Alling said.

The 100 new jobs to be created are in addition to the 50 that company General Manager Jorge Martel announced earlier this year.

“The success we have in Puerto Rico is largely due to the support T-Mobile USA give us, as they give us the tools necessary to adapt the strategy to the local market,” Martel said. “The flexibility and openness that they provide is critical to success. In this way we have been able to provide customers different offers and products tailored to the Puerto Rico’s economic reality.”

Author Details
Author Details
Business reporter with 29 years of experience writing for weekly and daily newspapers, as well as trade publications in Puerto Rico. My list of former employers includes Caribbean Business, The San Juan Star, and the Puerto Rico Daily Sun, among others. My areas of expertise include telecommunications, technology, retail, agriculture, tourism, banking and most other segments of Puerto Rico’s economy.

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