Telecommunications/Technology

T-Mobile Puerto Rico is among ‘most profitable’ units

Jorge Martel Jorge Martel

T-Mobile Puerto Rico is ending a very active 2014, during which it set out to break industry rules by launching a slew of offers — including doing away with annual contracts and unleashing unlimited data for smartphones and tablets.

The Puerto Rico unit, which has been following its stateside parent’s pursuit of strategies to “free” customers and lure them away from competitors, has also secured a place for itself as one of T-Mobile’s “most profitable” operations, said T-Mobile Puerto Rico’s General Manager, Jorge Martel, during a meeting with members of the media and technology bloggers Wednesday.

“Two weeks ago, we presented our plans for 2015 to our CFO and our results show that the Puerto Rico unit is among one of T-Mobile’s most profitable,” he said. “It’s not the largest in terms of size, but in term of network investments and the number of stores, it is one of the largest when considering Puerto Rico’s population.”

This year, T-Mobile pumped more than $130 million into network upgrades to prepare the island’s infrastructure for the expected surge in data usage resulting from unlimited data plans.

“The offers that we have in Puerto Rico are unlike any available in other markets, because we have considered the local customer and, of course, the economy,” said Martel, adding that T-Mobile’s local monthly plans are lower than any offered stateside.

“The latitude that T-Mobile gives the Puerto Rico market is also extremely high in comparison to other stateside companies that operate in Puerto Rico,” Martel said. “This operation reports directly to the COO, unlike other units. That’s how we’re treated.”

And apparently, the carrier is not done shaking up the wireless sector, with plans to jumpstart the Christmas shopping season by holding an early “Black Friday” sales event tomorrow. The lineup of devices comprises the Samsung Galaxy Note Edge, the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus, as well as a variety of tablets, including the Alcatel One Touch Pop 7 that will be sold with zero down payment and no monthly fees — in other words, free, Martel said.

“The tablet is on the house, when signing up for a monthly broadband plan,” he said.

Also on deck for 2015 is the opening of at least 10 new stores next year, building on the network of outlets that opened this year. For the holiday season, the carrier will open a number of temporary kiosks throughout the island to handle the Christmas volume, Martel said.

Author Details
Business reporter with 25 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 areas of the economy.

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