By Andrew Levy
Over the last couple decades, Americans have grown accustomed to getting shafted in every possible way, shape, and form by the nation’s four main wireless companies, AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile. On Tuesday, T-Mobile USA’s CEO John Legere kicked off an event in New York with a passionate performance, denouncing the wireless industry status quo and announcing T-Mobile’s new strategy.
“Stop the bullshit,” Legere said, referring to the other carriers’ traditional subsidy contract models. Up until now, American consumers were forced into two year contracts with all four major carriers. These contracts also included baked-in subsidies that would pay for the (locked) phones a consumer would buy, falsely inflating the cost of wireless service.
T-Mobile is now offering “UnCarrier” plans which are contract free. “If you come to T-Mobile, you’ve signed your last contract,” Legere continued, speaking of the company’s officially named Simple Choice plans. Customers will be able to get unlimited text and talk and 500MB of unthrottled high-speed data for $50/month, after the 500MB has been reached, data speeds will be throttled to 2G speeds. For an additional $10/month consumers can do away with the throttling altogether. For an additional $20/month ($70 total) consumers will be able to access T-Mobile’s unlimited 4G data which will either consist of the existing HSPA+ network, or the company’s brand new LTE network. An extra line can be added for $30/month and $10/month for every additional line after that.
Rather than offering the traditional subsidy model, consumers will either be able to put money down on a phone and pay the rest off over the course of two years, or pay for the phone straight up. Though it is important to note that consumers are not locked into a plan, even if they have chosen to pay-off a phone. Instead they can give the phone back and only be charged a “market-priced” usage fee. Finally, consumers are welcome to bring their own unlocked phone to T-Mobile, which should jibe nicely with Google’s low-priced Nexus program. T-Mobile will also be offering the iPhone 5 which will allow the company to play on the same field as the other three carriers.
Hopefully, T-Mobile’s aggressive new strategy will sway the current direction of the wireless industry. We, along with the other major wireless carriers will be watching closely to see whether or not T-Mobile can succeed as the self proclaimed “UnCarrier”.
Sources: Engadget, The Verge
Image Source: USA Today