Sometimes, properly taking your lumps is the best way to learn a lesson and move forward, and Deutsche Telekom -- T-Mobile USA's corporate parent -- isn't pulling any punches about the mess it's gotten itself into in recent years. CFO Timotheus Hoettges has gone on the record in Germany this week saying that there's "no question that [they] lost customers because many of [their] customers couldn't get 3G," a painful acknowledgment that T-Mobile's old attitude toward high-speed data -- rely on EDGE supplemented by an extensive WiFi hotspot network -- as its larger competitors built out large swaths of genuine 3G coverage has ultimately hit the company in the pocketbook. For what it's worth, they seem to be making up for lost ground with a mega-rapid HSPA+ rollout
(which Hoettges says will command some €3.5 billion -- about $5.2 billion -- of DT's investment cash this year), and there's still this whole Project Dark
mystery to occupy our collective imagination, so the depth of the company's commitment to its American subsidiary seems genuine. Interestingly, Hoettges went on to say that they still haven't decided on a 4G strategy with "all options" still on the table. Ultimately, "all options" is going to mean either WiMAX
, or capitulation, so we'll just have to sit back and wait to see how this develops.