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August 18, 2016
T-Mobile US was once again full of self-praise as its energetic chief announced the launch of its latest Un-Carrier initiative, as well as taking the opportunity to have another shot at AT&T and Verizon.
Un-Carrier 12 was announced by CEO John Legere in a typically buoyant manner, as he declared the end of data plans with unlimited data plans known as T-Mobile One. The new tariffs will charge $70/month for the first line, $50/month for the second, and $20/month for additional lines up to eight, if the customer has auto-pay enabled. For a family of four, this will mean an average cost of $40/month, which includes unlimited talk, texting and 4G LTE smartphone data.
In comparison, the highest data plan offered by Verizon seems to be 100G for $450 a month, though AT&T does offer an unlimited plan, priced slightly higher at $55/month per devices for a family of four. Our sister site Light Reading covered the shots fired by Legere more extensively.
“Hey everybody, surprise,” said Legere on a YouTube video blog. “I’m here to announce Un-Carrier 12. I couldn’t wait any longer, this is just too big. No long build up, no suspense, no leaks, today we’re smashing another major pain point for wireless consumers. This is huge, this is historic and this will change the industry forever. You at T-Mobile we go all in and we’re going all in on unlimited. I declare that the era of the data plan is over. We are completely destroying the whole concept of a data plan. It’s gone. We have one single offer which banishes data buckets forever.”
Joking aside, the company has addressed one of the areas of the wireless industry which has caused confusion and frustration for customers throughout the world. Legere claims the majority of wireless customers do not know how much data will be consumed while watching a movie, as a typical example, and therefore cannot make anything more than an educated guess at what data plan is right. This could lead to under-consumption with the customer feeling they do not have a fair deal, or over-consumption with the customer facing charges from the provider (your correspondent has occasionally fallen into the latter).
Aside from praising his own team’s successes, Legere was once again less complimentary of his competitors. “Verizon safe-mode – it’s basically mafia fees,” as well as, “you know yesterday AT&T jacked up prices on all their data buckets again. If you’re not p*ssed off already, you should be, its total bullsh*t,” were two such instances.
The explanation from Legere, AT&T and Verizon’s networks are old and not built for how customers use devices today. T-Mobile however claims it has the most modern network, and the one which is capable of such an offering. While AT&T and Verizon may have something to say about these claims, the effectiveness of the network has been backed up by OpenSignal, which has stated T-Mobile has the fastest LTE network in the US.
Although Legere’s spirited style may rub some up the wrong way, few will argue with the success T-Mobile has undertaken under his leadership. Only last month, the company reported another quarter of positive growth, and took the opportunity to have a swipe at the lesser fortunes of competitors. Across the quarter, the company saw 1.9 million total net adds, the 13th consecutive quarter of additions over 1 million. This number also included 646,000 branded postpaid phone net adds, as well as the company’s lowest postpaid churn of 1.27%.
Unlimited data plans have captured the attention of customers in the UK and there certainly is potential in the US. The Un-Carrier initiatives to date have proved a success, and Legere has once again laid down the gauntlet to competitors stating “the carriers limit you, the Un-Carrier unleashes you. I told you we won’t stop, and I meant it”.
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