T-Mobile Adds over 5 Million

With that being said, let me suggest something the payments industry should strive for this year: a smoother mobile payments experience.

Today’s mobile payments experience has too many potential cracks in the system waiting to form that put a snag in the potential of a smooth ride start to finish. That is a ginormous problem for the industry because consumers can be finicky and have a one-and-done mentality about the products and services they choose to try. If something doesn’t work on the first couple of tries, they’ll move on.

And some will move on after one bad experience.

But what happens when the initial attempts are successful, but a problem occurs down the line? That’s another stumbling block for the industry as the new year gets started. If the industry as a whole needs a resolution, it should be to work together to prevent those cracks from forming before they turn into a full-blown pothole.

The reason I mention any of this is because two separate incidents I had with proximity mobile payments last month has caused doubt in my mind about using my smartphone to pay for something in certain situations.

Coffee run

After an initial problem with Samsung Pay (another issue altogether), I reloaded my card into the wallet and finally saw that my purchases were going toward my Samsung Rewards stash.


So, I started using Samsung Pay everyday to pay for my coffee at Dunkin’ Donuts. Except, one day, it didn’t work on the first try.

I went to pick up my coffee at the designated area and the person behind the counter asked me to come back because the payment didn’t go through. I walked back to the register, tapped my phone again, and we both stared at the terminal. Then, after about 20 seconds, everything was all good.

Was it just an anomaly? Maybe. I haven’t had another problem since then, but the experience planted a seed of doubt in my head. Would I now need to carry my wallet every time I made a coffee run?

Yes, this is a first-world problem, but think about what the card networks and mobile payment providers are trying to do. This idea that you should be able to make a payment at any time with the device of your choice is something we’ve been hearing and reading about for some time. But if I can’t truly do that, then how I can feel comfortable leaving my wallet at home like the industry suggests I do?

Transit issues

My second incident is way more severe than my coffee problem because it involved a call to my bank to get some charges reversed.

I tweeted about the situation last month.

Bad experiences can stop people from using mobile payments. Had a situation today where I used Samsung Pay on the bus here in Chicago. Wallet said transactions went through, but message on reader said insufficient fare. Tapped another time. Same thing.

Ended up having to use my Ventra card as a back up. But guess what? My bank still ended up charging me for the two reps. So now I have to call the bank to get those charges removed. Mobile payments!

You can see why the experience was infuriating. That type of stuff just can’t happen, especially in a transit environment where there’s likely someone or several people behind you waiting to board a bus.

And this is not the first time I’ve had this problem on the CTA here in Chicago.

I understand glitches can happen. They’re inevitable. But when you experience those type of failures within days of each other, doubt creeps into your mind.

No matter how many times I want to just grab my phone and walk to Dunkin’ to buy a coffee, I still have my wallet on me as a backup just in case.

That same mentality applies to my transit adventures. I now make sure my Ventra card has value on it just in case something goes awry with Samsung Pay. But that shouldn’t be a worry if everything just worked the way it’s advertised.

Going forward

We’re past the stage in the U.S. about unfamiliarity with proximity mobile payments. The majority of consumers are aware of mobile wallets and have tried them. What we’re still not past is whether such transactions will go through 100 percent of the time.

An app itself might work great and be intuitive to a consumer, but if the final leg in the journey (the actual payment) hits a wall and doesn’t work, then everything that preceded the final actions meant nothing.

I understand there are a lot of moving parts. You have the mobile wallet providers, card issuers, processors, point-of-sale manufacturers, merchants, etc. All of those have to be on point to eliminate problems going forward.

And that’s what the industry should resolve to work on in 2018. Be better. Be nearly flawless.

Topics: In-App PaymentsMobile/Digital WalletPOSRestaurantsRetail

Companies: SamsungDunkin’ Donuts.

January 19, 2018
Language, this great social and symbolic resource we possess, is amazingly mysterious. It has been the centre of contentious debates dating back to ancient Greek philosophers. One particular topic that has stirred a lot of discussion in linguistic and non-linguistic circles is that  of nature vs nurture. That is, whether language is an innate universal capacity humans are born with and are predisposed to automatically acquire or whether it is a learned competence that requires some sort of formal/informal instruction. Proponents of the innateness hypothesis (a.k.a linguistic nativism) argue that language is acquired because, as Chomsky contended, humans are born equipped with what he called language acquisition device (LAD). LAD is an inherent biological mechanism that enables us to  easily acquire and produce language. One strong evidence in favour of innateness hypothesis is the fact that we can understand and produce sentences and utterances we have never heard. On the other hand, there is the empiricist camp (linguistic empiricism) which views language as a product of learning. To them all forms of knowledge is learned through senses and that “language and grammar are only learned through exposure and accumulated experience. This is also called the “nurture” perspective as opposed to the “nature” perspective (linguistic nativism).” Check out this Wikipedia page for a detailed discussion of these two hypotheses.

Regardless of which hypothesis provides a valid account of the acquisition vs learning problematic, one solid fact remains indisputable: language or more precisely linguistic performance, parole in de Saussure’s terminology, is an exclusive human feat. It is a source of fascination and wonder, a theme which I want to highlight in today’s post through a curated list of wonderful TED Ed talks. These are educational talks that tackle a wide variety of interesting topics related to language from contentious issues in language philosophy to the syntactic and semantic  mechanics of  language learning. You may want to use some of these talks with your students in class to engage them in fruitful discussions about language. Check them out and share with us your feedback in our Facebook page.

1- Where do new words come from? – Marcel Danesi
2- The benefits of a bilingual brain – Mia Nacamulli
3- Where do new words come from? – Marcel Danesi
4- How to use rhetoric to get what you want – Camille A. Langston
5- How interpreters juggle two languages at once – Ewandro Magalhaes
6- The pleasure of poetic pattern – David Silverstein
7- Does grammar matter? – Andreea S. Calude
8- How miscommunication happens (and how to avoid it) – Katherine Hampsten
9- How computers translate human language – Ioannis Papachimonas
10- How did clouds get their names? – Richard Hamblyn
11- Buffalo buffalo buffalo: One-word sentences and how they work – Emma Bryce
12- Where did English come from? – Claire Bowern
13- The language of lying — Noah Zandan
14- How languages evolve – Alex Gendler
15- Speech acts: Constative and performative – Colleen Glenney Boggs
16- A brief history of plural word…s – John McWhorter
17- Why is there a “b” in doubt? – Gina Cooke.

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T-Mobile Adds over 5 Million Customers for the Fourth Year in a Row, Stock Repurchase Program off to a Strong Start

Q4 2017 Delivers 1.9 Million Total Net Additions, 891,000 Postpaid Phone Net Additions with Record Low Q4 Postpaid Phone Churn

Preliminary Fourth Quarter 2017 Customer Highlights:
•             1.9 million total net additions
•             1.1 million branded postpaid net additions
•             891,000 branded postpaid phone net additions
•             149,000 branded prepaid net additions
•             Branded postpaid phone churn of 1.18%, down 10 basis points year-over-year

Preliminary Full-Year 2017 Customer Highlights:
•             5.7 million total net additions
•             3.6 million branded postpaid net additions
•             2.8 million branded postpaid phone net additions
•             855,000 branded prepaid net additions

Stock Repurchase Program:
•             Approximately 7.0 million shares repurchased in 2017 at an average price per share of $63.34 for a total purchase price of $444 million – approximately 30% of total authorized amount of $1.5 billion.

BELLEVUE, Wash. — January 9, 2018 – T-Mobile US, Inc. (NASDAQ: TMUS) today provided a preliminary view of key customer results for the fourth quarter and full-year 2017 as well as an update on its stock repurchase program for the fourth quarter of 2017.

“The most passionate, customer-obsessed team in the wireless industry just delivered its 19th quarter in a row with more than a million nets! It’s incredible,” said John Legere, President and CEO of T-Mobile. “It just proves that putting customers first quarter after quarter and delivering on our promise of the fastest 4G LTE network in the country is a winning combination for everyone! In 2017, more than 5 million customers came to the Un-carrier for more choice and a better wireless experience. These results speak for themselves and we are ready to continue the fight for consumers in 2018!”

Preliminary Fourth Quarter and Full-Year 2017 Customer Results

In the fourth quarter of 2017, T-Mobile added approximately 1.9 million total net customers, bringing its total customer count to nearly 72.6 million at year-end 2017. This marks the 19th consecutive quarter that T-Mobile has generated more than 1 million total net customer additions. Full-year 2017 also marked the fourth consecutive year that T-Mobile added more than 5 million net customers.

Over the past five years, T-Mobile’s reported customer base has increased by more than 39 million in total.

T-Mobile also saw continued strength in branded postpaid customers, reporting net customer additions of 1.1 million in the fourth quarter of 2017. Branded postpaid phone net customer additions were 891,000 in the fourth quarter of 2017. This is expected to be the sixteenth consecutive quarter in which T-Mobile has led the industry in branded postpaid phone net customer additions. For full-year 2017, we added over 3.6 million branded postpaid net customers, coming in at the top of the revised guidance range for branded postpaid net customer additions of 3.3 to 3.6 million.

Branded prepaid net customer additions in the fourth quarter of 2017 were 149,000. For full-year 2017, we added 855,000 branded prepaid net customers, primarily driven by the continued success of our MetroPCS brand. Migrations to branded postpaid plans reduced branded prepaid net customer additions by approximately 180,000 in the fourth quarter of 2017 and 700,000 for full-year 2017.

Wholesale net customer additions were 633,000 in the fourth quarter of 2017 and 1.2 million for full-year 2017.

Branded postpaid phone churn was 1.18% in the fourth quarter of 2017, down 10 basis points year-over-year and down 5 basis points sequentially. This represents T-Mobile’s best-ever fourth quarter branded postpaid phone churn result.

Branded prepaid churn was 4.00% in the fourth quarter of 2017, up 6 basis points year-over-year and down 25 basis points sequentially.

Stock Repurchase Program

On December 6, 2017, we announced our Board of Directors authorized a stock repurchase program for up to $1.5 billion of our common stock through December 31, 2018. The repurchase program does not obligate us to acquire any particular amount of common stock, and the repurchase program may be suspended or discontinued at any time at our discretion. Repurchased shares are retired.

During 2017, we repurchased approximately 7.0 million shares at an average price per share of $63.34 for a total purchase price of approximately $444 million. The maximum approximate dollar value of shares that may yet be purchased under the program was $1.1 billion as of December 31, 2017.

We also understand that Deutsche Telekom AG, our majority stockholder, or its affiliates, is considering plans to purchase additional shares of our common stock. Such purchases would likely take place through December 31, 2018, all in accordance with the rules of the Securities and Exchange Commission and other applicable legal requirements.

Preliminary Customer Results

Our customer results for the fourth quarter and full-year 2017 are preliminary and subject to completion of our year-end closing review procedures. America’s Un-carrier plans to share more details and its full financial results for the fourth quarter and full-year 2017 in February 2018.

(1)          During 2017, we retitled our “Branded postpaid mobile broadband customers” category to “Branded postpaid other customers” and reclassified DIGITS customers from our “Branded postpaid phone customers” category for the second quarter of 2017, when the DIGITS product was released.
(2)          We believe current and future regulatory changes have made the Lifeline program offered by our wholesale partners uneconomical. We will continue to support our wholesale partners offering the Lifeline program, but have excluded the Lifeline customers from our reported wholesale subscriber base resulting in the removal of 160,000 and 4,528,000 reported wholesale customers in the third quarter of 2017 and for full-year 2017, respectively. No further Lifeline adjustments are expected in future periods.

(1)          During 2017, we retitled our “Branded postpaid mobile broadband customers” category to “Branded postpaid other customers” and reclassified DIGITS customer net additions from our “Branded postpaid phone customers” category for the second quarter of 2017, when the DIGITS product was released.
(2)          Net customer activity for Lifeline was excluded beginning in the second quarter of 2017 due to our determination based upon changes in the applicable government regulations that the Lifeline program offered by our wholesale partners is uneconomical.

T-Mobile Social Media

Investors and others should note that we announce material financial and operational information to our investors using our investor relations website, press releases, SEC filings and public conference calls and webcasts. We intend to also use the @TMobileIR Twitter account (https://twitter.com/TMobileIR) and the @JohnLegere Twitter (https://twitter.com/JohnLegere), Facebook and Periscope accounts, which Mr. Legere also uses as a means for personal communications and observations, as means of disclosing information about the Company and its services and for complying with its disclosure obligations under Regulation FD. The information we post through these social media channels may be deemed material. Accordingly, investors should monitor these social media channels in addition to following our press releases, SEC filings and public conference calls and webcasts. The social media channels that we intend to use as a means of disclosing the information described above may be updated from time to time as listed on our investor relations website.

About T-Mobile US, Inc.:

As America’s Un-carrier, T-Mobile US, Inc. (NASDAQ: TMUS) is redefining the way consumers and businesses buy wireless services through leading product and service innovation. Our advanced nationwide 4G LTE network delivers outstanding wireless experiences to 72.6 million customers who are unwilling to compromise on quality and value. Based in Bellevue, Washington, T-Mobile US provides services through its subsidiaries and operates its flagship brands, T-Mobile and MetroPCS. For more information, please visit http://www.t-mobile.com.

Part three of my gaming pc components is on the motherboard. I’ve been building my own gaming PCs for over 20 years now and one of the major brands since the beginning is still the king when it comes to motherboards and that’s ASUS.

I’ve worked with motherboards from MSI, Gigabyte, EVGA and ASRock. There are some gems from MSI and Gigabyte, but overall ASUS is still my pick.

ASRock is gaining some momentum with good quality builds. They are actually a spin-off from ASUS initially targeting the more value-oriented segment. However, these days, they have boards that compete directly with ASUS.

Years ago, ASUS came out with their high-end ROG (Republic Of Gamers) series motherboards. I actually don’t recommend these unless you are a serious overclocker and need all those crazy features.

Do you know the saying that the more complex the system is, the more can go wrong? Well, that’s how I feel about the ROG series of boards. If you’re not an expert on all the BIOS features for motherboards, don’t bother with the ROG boards. I’ve had to fine tune and tweak settings just for the system to run stable and I wasn’t even overclocking yet.

The boards that I usually go with are their mainstream offerings, which these days they have branded them as ASUS Prime motherboards. I have also used ASUS’s commercial or business stable boards for my home server builds and had no issues.

From our previous article on this series, we chose the Intel Core i7-8700K processor, which is an 8th generation Intel Core Processor, codenamed Coffee Lake. With the 8thgeneration Coffee Lake processors, you’ll need to choose a motherboard with the Z370 chipset.

Recommended Motherboards

At this time, there are two motherboards that I would recommend: ASUS Prime Z370-P and ASUS Prime Z370-A. For most builds, I would recommend with just the ASUS Prime Z370-P motherboard, which roughly costs around $140. If you’d like a slightly higher end build with multiple graphics cards, then you should go with the ASUS Prime Z370-A motherboard.

With both boards, you’ll be able to do dual graphics cards in either SLI or Crossfire configuration. The difference is that the Z370-P only comes with two PCIe x16 slots. The Z370-A motherboard comes with 3x PCIe x16 slots so you can have a dual graphics card setup and still have another x16 slot for something else.

One thing I think about is its upgradability. If you plan on only having one graphics card and are not overclocking, then the Z370-P motherboard is good. If you plan on having an SLI or Crossfire setup, then go with the Z370-A.

In my opinion, I would always go with a single graphics card setup. With a high-end single card, you can run almost all games at very high graphic settings. But I will get into this more in the next article.

So in the end, I recommend the ASUS Prime Z370-P motherboard.


Part 2 Gaming PC Components Guide – CPU / Processors | Part 4 Gaming PC Components Guide – GPU / Graphics Card




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