First, a quick recap. Uncarrier 8.0 marked the introduction of Data Stash, which let customers save their total data from month to month. Before that, T-Mobile added Wi-Fi calling and texting, exempted music streaming services from data, and let prospective customers test-drive its network for one week, among other shake-ups.
Today, as widely rumored, T-Mobile is adding benefits to and simplifying the pricing of business plans. But the carrier also took the opportunity to announce changes that more immediately impact consumers. Dubbed “Carrier Freedom,” the program squarely targets device payment plans like AT&T’s Next and Verizon Edge.
Cheap new business plans
Concerning the business side of things, the carrier is going after companies of all sizes, but particularly the “99.7 percent of 27 million businesses in United States that have less than 500 employees” and the “90 percent of businesses that have less than 20 employees,” according to T-Mobile’s press release. It offers a pricing structure that the carrier says is 40 percent lower than comparative plans from AT&T and Verizon – it’s “the best price” and “the only price” for everyone, said Legere. The pricing in question is as follows: 10 lines of unlimited talk and text is $160 dollars, and companies with more than 20 employees will pay $15 per line. From that follows 100 lines for $1,500, but T-Mobile is also discounting the per-line cost for accounts with 1,000 or more lines. All packages include a base 1GB of data, of course, with pooled or per line additions priced at $4.70 per gigabyte for 100GB minimum, $4.50 per gigabyte for 500GB minimum, and $4.25 per terabyte minimum.
But the improvements don’t stop there. As an added benefit aimed at the 14 million businesses in the U.S. which don’t have a website, T-Mobile is offering those who sign up for higher-data business contracts a free GoDaddy.com domain name and mobile-optimized website, plus branded e-mail with Microsoft Office 365.
Alongside simpler and cheaper contract pricing, T-Mobile also announced Business Family Discounts, an ostensibly cheaper way for family members to piggyback off of business plans. Instead of, as some carriers do, treating the second line on business accounts independently from the first, discounts are applied to all add-on lines equally. That can represent a 50 percent savings compared to Verizon and AT&T in some cases, said Legere.
Carrier Freedom with Un-contracts
Finally, T-Mobile detailed its new Carrier Freedom program. In addition to paying the early termination fees (ETFs) of new customers who switch from other carriers, the carrier will now pay outstanding device payments up to $650 per phone for up to 10 lines.
Dovetailing with that news was Legere’s announcement that he’s “bringing the contract back” – a sort of reverse contract with T-Mobile subscribers, that is. As part of a new commitment to “decreases, not increases” in plan pricing, he said that plans previously designated as “limited-time” or “specialized” would become permanent on March 22. That applies to fixed plans and unlimited plans, though Legere said T-Mobile could only commit to unlimited plan pricing for two years.
To end, John Legere touted the superiority of T-Mobile’s network, promising a “bigger, broader, faster, and wider” LTE network than AT&T or Verizon by the end of 2015. Regarding the carrier’s larger un-carrier moves, “We’re not going to stop,” Legere said.