T-Mobile has been teasing its bold new "Uncarrier" initiative since late 2012, and on March 26th, 2013 finally laid out its plans. The carrier has announced all new service plans that do away with contracts, and has launched LTE and support for the iPhone 5 as well. Follow along to see the details on T-Mobile's new direction, and how it works out for the carrier.
Sep 10, 2014
T-Mobile makes it easier for all its customers to use Wi-Fi calling
T-Mobile has long touted Wi-Fi calling as one of its key features, and the carrier has been better than its competition at implementing it — and now the company is making it easier for every one of its customers to take advantage. As part of its latest round of Uncarrier announcements, T-Mobile today revealed that every smartphone it sells from here out will be capable of Wi-Fi calling and texting. Furthermore, the carrier is letting users who may not have a smartphone capable of Wi-Fi calling upgrade their device through T-Mobile's Jump program, even if they aren't currently eligible for an upgrade. Between the two initiatives, virtually every T-Mobile customer on one of its contract-free Simple Choice plans will be able to use Wi-Fi calling with minimal effort.Read Article >
T-Mobile claims that with its current Wi-Fi calling technology, customers won't have to set anything up — their phones should seamlessly transfer between available Wi-Fi connections and the carrier's LTE network without disruption. And while any Wi-Fi network should work, T-Mobile is going to give away a Wi-Fi router so that more customers can take advantage of Wi-Fi calling. T-Mobile is confusingly calling the device a "Personal CellSpot," but it's simply a router that supports 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac wireless networking on both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands. It does have a special feature, though, which preferences your local voice traffic over other traffic on the Wi-Fi network so your call will be less likely to drop if somebody else in the house is streaming HD video.
Aug 29, 2014
T-Mobile's next 'Uncarrier' announcement coming September 10thRead Article >
T-Mobile is going to try shaking up the wireless industry again on September 10th. The carrier has just sent out invitations for an "Uncarrier 7.0" event taking place at one of its own stores in San Francisco early next month. There's no big stage show this time, and T-Mobile's tagline for the upcoming news is: "This time it's personal." The event's scheduled to kick off at 1PM PT / 4PM ET, and we'll be bringing you whatever announcements John Legere and Co. make to set T-Mo apart from the competition once again. In case you've forgotten, some of T-Mobile's previous "Uncarrier" initiatives have included a move away from two-year service contracts, 200MB of free tablet data each month, free international data coverage, unlimited music streaming that doesn't affect data usage, and more. What's next? We'll find out soon enough. September's sure shaping up to be a busy month.
Jun 19, 2014
T-Mobile's latest 'Uncarrier' feature: Rhapsody Unradio, an odd streaming music service
While Rhapsody Unradio doesn't have the same kind of hype that Spotify or Beats Music enjoy, it does boast a catalog of 20 million songs and is the second most popular streaming music service in the world. But this isn't really an attack on Spotify or Rdio — it's going straight for Pandora, which is more popular than any other streaming service. Pandora claims to have 77 million active users as of May 2014, while Rhapsody says it has 1.7 million paid subscribers and Spotify is reported to have 10 million paid users (with another 30 million that take advantage of Spotify's free, ad-supported service).Read Article >
Paul Springer, Rhapsody senior vice president, says that the goal with Unradio was to "bridge the gap between free and on-demand, but still come up with something people are willing to pay for." Unlimited skips, no ads, and access to the full catalog of Rhapsody songs are all features that customers are looking for in a streaming radio service, claims Springer. Rhapsody Unradio also lets users save songs offline for listening in the subway, on a plane, or any other time there isn't a constant connection. Users can also tune in to thousands of AM/FM radio stations from across the country via the app — but it lacks the ability to listen to full albums consecutively or organize a library of music, something that separates it from Spotify, Rdio, and Beats Music (all of which also offer internet radio features). If you want those capabilities, Rhapsody is offering its premium, on-demand streaming service to T-Mobile Simple Choice Unlimited customers for a discounted rate of $5.99 per month (the service normally costs $9.99 per month).
Mar 7, 2014
T-Mobile adds more data, international texting to its Simple Choice plans
T-Mobile is today announcing new versions of its Simple Choice plans that include more high-speed data and unlimited international texting services. The Simple Choice plans were first introduced last year as part of the carrier's Uncarrier rebranding, and are designed to make it easier for customers to choose a rate plan when buying wireless service. T-Mobile says that all 13 million of its customers already on Simple Choice plans will automatically get upgraded to the improved plans on March 23rd.Read Article >
The new plans double the amount of high-speed data service available before T-Mobile will throttle connection speeds — customers will now get 1GB of high-speed data along with unlimited talk and texting services for $50 per month. Three gigabytes of high-speed data is available for $10 more per month, while 5GB can be purchased for $70 per month. T-Mobile is also raising the price of its unlimited plan and adding 5GB of data (twice as much as before) for tethering to a tablet or laptop to $80 per month ($10 more than it was previously). As with all Simple Choice plans, these do not include a subsidy for a smartphone, so those that purchase a phone to go along with them will have an additional monthly fee (a 16GB iPhone 5S costs an additional $27 per month, for instance).
Jan 22, 2014
T-Mobile wants to be your next bank
After announcing a number of "uncarrier" campaigns, what's T-Mobile's next step? Apparently, becoming a bank. The carrier today announced Mobile Money, a way for users to manage their finances. The scheme combines a money management app with a prepaid T-Mobile Visa card, offering "$0 cost" services to existing T-Mobile wireless users.Read Article >
Clearly targeted at the bottom of the financial ladder, for those who don't currently have checking accounts, the services offered by T-Mobile don't stray too far from those found in regular accounts. Users will be able to deposit paychecks, pay for items, withdraw cash from ATMs, pay bills, and use their smartphone's camera to deposit checks to their accounts. There are no minimum balance requirements, and T-Mobile says there are no fees for in-network ATM withdrawals, replacing lost or stolen cards, activation, or monthly maintenance.
Jan 8, 2014
Ad leak suggests T-Mobile will pay for customers to switch to its service
The brief appearance of a T-Mobile banner discovered by Droid Life appears to confirm that T-Mobile will cover an entire family's Early Termination Fee (ETF) if they switch to its network. It's long been rumored that T-Mobile's eccentric CEO John Legere would use his company's CES press conference to announce a plan that will make it easy to switch from rival carriers. Given the company's ongoing spat with AT&T, many assumed the offer would be limited in some way to would-be switchers with AT&T lines, but the banner ad, if genuine, dispels that theory.Read Article >
Nov 5, 2013
Uncarrier strategy helps T-Mobile add another million customers to its books
T-Mobile has just announced its Q3 financial results, and they represent a dramatic improvement in fortunes. Compared to last year's third quarter, when the carrier dropped 492,000 postpaid customers, T-Mobile added 643,000. Postpaid are by far the most valuable customers to T-Mobile, so retaining existing customers while adding new ones is important.Read Article >
Average revenue per user (ARPU), a figure that defines how much each user is worth to the company, raised year over year from $42.78 to $52.20, but that represents a second consecutive quarterly drop. When compared to recent results the pickings may look slim — the company added more subscribers in the previous quarter — but those figures were inflated by the amalgamation of MetroPCS' business into T-Mobile's anyway.
Oct 15, 2013
T-Mobile moving old, grandfathered plans over to its new 'Uncarrier' options in November
It's been a big 2013 for T-Mobile — the fourth-largest wireless carrier in the US has turned its back on its larger competitors and embraced a new role as the "uncarrier," eliminating contracts and subsidies, pushing unlimited data, and other things to differentiate itself. The key component of the "uncarrier" strategy reveal back in March was simplifying the wireless plans it offered customers and removing contracts, and now T-Mobile is starting to push its existing customer base over to its new plans. As noted by some Howard Forums posters, customers on older plans are receiving letters from T-Mobile saying that their old plans will be "retired" in November and their lines will be moved over to new plans that T-Mobile will continue to offer.Read Article >
Engadget has confirmed T-Mobile will be making these changes — in a statement, the carrier said that "we're giving customers on these plans the opportunity to choose a plan that best meets their needs. For the vast majority, their plan will provide similar or better features at a comparable price." As with the other carriers, unlimited voice minutes will be the only option, but it looks like T-Mobile will continue to offer a less expensive option to customers who were on cheaper plans than its default $50 / month option. According to a letter posted on Howard Forums, at least one customer is being moved over to a "select value" $45 / month plan that offers unlimited voice, text, and "4G data." If accurate, that's a pretty good deal — customers on T-Mobile's base $50 plan only get 500MB of full-speed data every month before being throttled.
Aug 8, 2013
T-Mobile keeps improving with 1.1 million new customers, increased revenues
T-Mobile has just released its financial results for Q2 and it looks like the new "Uncarrier" strategy is paying off. The fourth-place mobile operator scooped up 1.1 million net new customers, more than half of which signed up for T-Mobile's own postpaid phone service. T-Mobile says it’s the strongest growth it’s had in four years, representing a big turnaround from its net customer loss of 205,000 a year ago.Read Article >
Naturally, revenue is up as well — 27.5 percent year-over-year, primarily thanks to the addition of MetroPCS, T-Mobile says. And as you might guess from its marketing, average revenue per user (ARPU) for T-Mobile’s own branded postpaid service is down, sinking 6.5 percent year-over-year to $53.60. That’s what happens when you position yourself as a low-cost carrier; in comparison, AT&T managed to increase postpaid ARPU in the latest quarter.
May 8, 2013
T-Mobile sells 500,000 iPhone 5s in first month of availability, but quarterly profits take a hit
T-Mobile has officially released its earnings for the first quarter, and with that the carrier released its first iPhone sales numbers. Since launching on April 12th, T-Mobile says that the company has sold approximately 500,000 iPhone 5 smartphones — not a bad rate, but far behind the 4.8 million iPhones that AT&T sold in the first three months of the year. Of course, AT&T's numbers are surely boosted by the free iPhone 4 and $99 iPhone 4S. T-Mobile also sells Apple's older phones, but it didn't give a combined total for its sales of Apple's line — we'd expect that to come next quarter, when it has a full three months of data to report.Read Article >
As for the rest of the results, they pretty much matched up with what T-Mobile shared as preliminary numbers last month. The carrier added a total of 579,000 new customers — but only 3,000 of those were branded T-Mobile customers. The rest was made up of MVNO and other unbranded users of T-Mobile's network, but that was still the first branded customer increase the carrier has seen since the first quarter of 2009. To go along with that slight increase in branded customers, T-Mobile also noted that its branded customer churn rate (percentage of customers who left the carrier) was 1.9 percent, the lowest since the second quarter of 2008. Still, the carrier lost 199,000 branded postpaid customers — though the company managed to slow the losses in that category it has been experiencing for many quarters. One year ago, T-Mobile lost 510,000 postpaid customers.
May 1, 2013
T-Mobile and MetroPCS merger finalized, company to begin trading as 'T-Mobile US'
T-Mobile and MetroPCS have successfully closed the merger both wireless carriers set out on last year. Confirmed in the newly-merged company's fact sheet and investor page, the deal pairs T-Mobile USA's 34 million subscribers with the near 9 million tallied by MetroPCS. The Associated Press first reported that the merger was nearing finalization yesterday, and both companies' investor pages confirm the new company will trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol TMUS.Read Article >
The joined entity will operate under the T-Mobile brand, with plans calling for MetroPCS customers to be migrated over to T-Mobile's network by 2015. Once that's done, the spectrum previously devoted to MetroPCS' CDMA network will be repurposed to help build out T-Mobile's LTE network. The goal is to establish a 4G presence rivaling those of larger competitors Verizon Wireless and AT&T. Even as a combined company, the new T-Mobile lags behind Sprint in subscriber count and will maintain its position as America's fourth-largest wireless provider — at least for now.
Apr 4, 2013
T-Mobile stops hemorrhaging customers in 2013, adds half a million in first quarter
Not yet ready to make its full financial disclosure for the first quarter of 2013, T-Mobile has nonetheless decided to release some preliminary customer churn numbers to show its improving performance. Having spent most of the past few years losing customers, the company's rather delighted to disclose that in Q1 of this year it actually saw an improvement in net customer growth. That increase was a paltry 3,000 in terms of new clientele on the T-Mobile-branded service, however once you include MVNO and other unbranded users of its network, the net number is a far more satisfying 579,000.Read Article >
As CEO John Legere points out, even the infinitesimally small growth in total T-Mobile customers is notable, as it's a marked improvement from the previous quarter's net loss of 349,000. Plus it's the first time in some four years where T-Mobile's branded services have added more customers than they've lost. This stabilization of customer numbers has taken place in advance of the network operator's big "Uncarrier" event last week, showing that it was already doing a few things right. The big hope now is that the new and differentiated services T-Mobile offers will drive it on to some real growth.
Bringing your iPhone to T-Mobile? Better think twice
In a grand, provocative fashion, T-Mobile officially announced and launched its new 4G LTE network earlier today. As part of its new network, the carrier also unveiled new contract-free rate plans and that it will be offering the iPhone starting next month. Additionally, T-Mobile is essentially opening the door to customers of other carriers to bring their phones over — including their iPhones — and sign up for T-Mobile's more aggressively priced plans. But thanks to a variety of factors, you may not want to do that.Read Article >
The biggest issue with bringing an AT&T iPhone 5 (we're going to use the iPhone for most of this article, but it can also apply to a number of AT&T smartphones) to T-Mobile is compatibility with T-Mobile's network. T-Mobile has been working feverishly to "upgrade" its network across the country to support the frequencies used by AT&T's iPhone, but that is limited to the slower, HSPA+ service, and does not apply to T-Mobile's faster 42Mbps HSPA+ network.
How much do T-Mobile's new plans really save you on an iPhone 5?
On the surface, T-Mobile's new plans sound like a significant discount over the competition — the carrier now offers unlimited talk, text, and data for only $70 per month ($120 per month if you're a couple of two, or $150 per month for a family of four). However, once you start to pull apart the new plan, it's not quite the dramatic difference it seems at first glance. Let's dig into T-Mobile's new offerings and see what the best option is for buying an iPhone 5 now that the nation's fourth-largest carrier is finally offering Apple's flagship handset. For the purpose of this comparison, we'll be looking at the costs for individuals, as well as two-person and four-person family plans. We also ignored the standard activation fees, as carriers pretty frequently remove them during promotions.Read Article >
The nation's largest carrier did away with unlimited data and moved to its new "Share Everything" plans last year, which get you unlimited voice, text, and a pool of data between devices. For an individual buying a single iPhone 5, you'll pay $100 per month for 2GB of data. Over the course of two years, you'll pay $2,599.99 for service and the device.
Mar 26, 2013
Is T-Mobile finally a real threat to AT&T and Verizon?
"Anybody here from New York? Any of you use AT&T? Any of you that use them, you happy? Of course not, the network's crap."Read Article >
And with those fierce words from freshly-minted CEO John Legere at CES this January, T-Mobile's new offensive — a coordinated barrage against rivals several times its size — kicked off, bolstered today by its complete elimination of the two-year contract and the long-awaited introduction of the iPhone. "You'll see some swagger, you'll see some attitude, you'll see some aggressive attacks on our competition... all in fun, of course." The language was even fiercer at today's event.
Mar 26, 2013
Samsung Galaxy S4 launching on T-Mobile on May 1st
At T-Mobile's "UNcarrier" event, the company has listed the phones it will sell that include LTE. One of the most important on that list the Samsung Galaxy S4, which T-Mobile says is launching on May 1st. Despite the carrier's claims to being radically more open than other carriers, the Galaxy S4 (and other phones) will be locked — at least until it's paid off. The Galaxy S4 will work on T-Mobile LTE network, which is currently live in seven cities.Read Article >
Although Samsung's phones have been important to T-Mobile, the main hardware focus of the event was obviously the iPhone 5, which T-Mobile will begin offering on on April 12th for an initial $99 outlay along with a monthly $20 payment plan. That's the same price the carrier will be charging for both the HTC One and the BlackBerry Z10. Unfortunately, T-Mobile didn't specify the exact price of the Galaxy S4, but it wouldn't be out of the realm of possibility to see it arrive at the $99 price point.
Mar 26, 2013
HTC One 'coming soon' to T-Mobile for just $99
"We're unleashing everything," T-Mobile CEO John Legere said during a candid, wild event in New York City. That includes not only new plans and the iPhone 5, but also one of our favorite Android phones in recent memory: the HTC One. It will be available on T-Mobile's new LTE network and available with its new rate plans, for just $99 up front. Along with the iPhone, the Galaxy S4, and the BlackBerry Z10, it brings T-Mobile an impressively competitive portfolio of LTE devices, even as it continues to roll out its LTE network.Read Article >
Unfortunately, while we're glad to see the One confirmed and announced, it looks like HTC's supplier woes continue — there's no word on when the device will actually be available.
Mar 26, 2013
'Stop the bullshit' in wireless pricing says T-Mobile CEO John Legere
"Customers love smartphones, everyone hates contracts," he said, equating the longstanding industry model to "smartphone hell." He said, "if you come to T-Mobile, you've signed your last contract." The verbal barbs kept coming as Legere touted T-Mobile's just-launched LTE network. To demonstrate his confidence in the carrier's s new strategy, Legere said plainly "if we suck this month, drop us. Go somewhere else."Read Article >
And months after the AT&T / T-Mobile merger fell apart, there's clearly no love lost between the companies. "Customers don't need another AT&T," Legere chided. "Customers need someone to stop acting like AT&T." Legere eventually departed the stage, but not before he'd made it abundantly clear that America's number four carrier is on a radical new path.
T-Mobile LTE network officially goes live in seven US cities
T-Mobile has officially launched its 4G LTE network today with service in Baltimore, Houston, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Phoenix, San Jose, and Washington DC. The carrier expects to deliver LTE to 100 million people by the middle of 2013 doubling that to 200 million customers nationwide by year's end. Customers will be able to use the new faster service with the carrier's new rate plans, which initially went live this past weekend.Read Article >
T-Mobile has a long way to go to catch up to the other major carriers when it comes to LTE coverage. Both Verizon Wireless and AT&T have been rolling out LTE service for a couple of years now, and Sprint launched its LTE network last summer. T-Mobile will be using its purchase of MetroPCS to help it launch LTE on the AWS frequencies, in addition to the spectrum it gained from AT&T's failed buyout in 2012. The carrier plans to have 200 million people covered by LTE by the end of this year.
T-Mobile to carry the iPhone 5 on April 12th for $99 up front
At long last, T-Mobile will be carrying the Apple iPhone starting on April 12th. The fourth place carrier announced the news during a press event in New York on Tuesday. T-Mobile, the fourth largest carrier in the US, is the last national carrier to offer the iPhone, following behind AT&T, Verizon Wireless, and Sprint. The iPhone 5 will be compatible with T-Mobile's new LTE network, which was also officially launched on Tuesday, and will also feature HD voice. The carrier is also selling the iPhone 4S and iPhone 4 in "select markets"; naturally, the older models will only not run on T-Mobile's LTE network. The iPhone 5, however, will run on LTE, T-Mobile's "4G" HSPA+ network, and older GSM / EDGE networks — it sounds like T-Mobile's iPhone 5 either has slightly different radios than the current GSM version to enable full compatibility with its HSPA+ network or had these new bands enabled through a software update.Read Article >
As part of T-Mobile's new Uncarrier branding and initiative, it will be selling the iPhone 5 slightly differently than its competitors. Instead of pressing customers to sign a two-year agreement, T-Mobile will let iPhone buyers either pay full price for the device at the time of purchase, or spread the cost over 24 months with installment plans. A 16GB iPhone 5 will sell for $99 up front with 24 months of $20 payments — that's $579 over the two years, $70 less than buying an unlocked iPhone 5 from Apple. Similarly, the iPhone 4S will cost $69.99 down plus $20 per month and the iPhone 4 will cost $14.99 plus a $15 monthly charge. Unfortunately, there's no word yet on what happens if you cancel your plan or want to buy a new phone before those 24 months are up.
T-Mobile's first LTE hotspot launching at the end of March alongside the carrier's new networkRead Article >
T-Mobile's holding an event today to formally announce its new LTE network and "Uncarrier" pricing plans, and now the company has also its first LTE-capable hotspot. T-Mobile's press release says that its new Sonic 2.0 hotspot will be available by the end of the month — just more evidence that the launch of T-Mobile's LTE network is imminent. The hotspot itself will run on LTE as well as T-Mobile's 4G, 3G, and EDGE networks and its 3,000 mAh battery should run for about seven hours. It's not technically the first LTE-capable device T-Mobile has launched, as both the Galaxy S III and Galaxy Note II are currently enabled to run on T-Mobile's new network, but it's the first new device to be released for T-Mobile LTE. While a new hotspot isn't exactly going to help T-Mobile dig its way out of fourth place in the US carrier market, we expect we'll be hearing more about devices that might help its causes — like the iPhone — very, very soon.
Mar 26, 2013
T-Mobile will reportedly detail iPhone plans at its 'Uncarrier' event tomorrow
It looks like the iPhone is finally making its way to T-Mobile. CNET reports that Apple’s flagship device will "play a prominent role" at tomorrow’s "Uncarrier" event, citing an unnamed source familiar with the plans. T-Mobile has been saying that the sought-after phone is on its way to stores this spring since January, and the news of tomorrow’s big announcement is being corroborated by All Things D. It's not known when the device will actually be available for purchase, only that it will be announced at the event.Read Article >
In addition to its lack of two-year contracts, T-Mobile's "Uncarrier" pricing will be devoid of another carrier mainstay: handset subsidies. Subscribers will likely be expected to pay full retail price for their devices — $649 in the case of a 16GB iPhone 5 — but T-Mobile thinks its comparatively inexpensive service plans will offer a better value than its major competitors. And compared to smaller prepaid carriers, T-Mobile has its own nationwide network, with LTE service going live later this month.
Mar 24, 2013
T-Mobile's new contract-free pricing plans: $70 per month for unlimited data, talk, and text
As expected, T-Mobile has pulled the wraps off a new plan structure that eliminates two-year contracts altogether, part of its upcoming "Uncarrier" initiative to streamline pricing. A base price of $50 per month buys you 500MB of high-speed data (with overage-free throttled data after that), unlimited voice minutes, and unlimited texts; you can step up to 2GB of data for $60 per month, get unlimited data on the phone alone for $70 per month, or up to 12GB of hotspot data through tiers of up to $110 a month. The new plans would seem to complete T-Mobile's move away from deeply-subsidized phones in exchange for two-year agreements, a bold strategy that the other nationals — Sprint, AT&T, and Verizon — have yet to adopt.Read Article >
To go along with these new plans, T-Mobile announced new unsubsidized device pricing — the iPhone 5 will cost $99 up front, but will also carry a $20 per month charge. If you leave the carrier before the 24 months are up, you can receive a "fair market value credit" to put towards the full cost of the phone. Somewhat surprisingly, phones are sold locked — T-Mobile says that they are unlocked when traded back in or paid off.
Mar 20, 2013
T-Mobile 'Uncarrier' pricing possibly leaked, removes guesswork with flat rates for data (update)Read Article >
The prices are definitely low, but what makes them even more compelling is how simple figuring out your bill becomes. Add that to the absence of a two-year contract, and it’s an attractive offer. Of course, there are still people that wouldn’t switch to a lower-priced carrier without LTE — hopefully, we’ll hear about T-Mobile’s long-awaited 4G rollout plans at next week’s event.
Mar 18, 2013
T-Mobile may finally make good on its 'Uncarrier' promise at March 26th event
Earlier this month we heard that T-Mobile would soon unveil its new contract-free approach to wireless, moving customers away from industry-standard two-year agreements and subsidies. Now it seems that "Uncarrier" philosophy could be coming to fruition; the carrier just dispatched invitations for a March 26th event in New York City. "We're still a wireless company," the invite reads. "We're just not going to act like one anymore." Aside from detailing this fundamental shift in strategy, T-Mobile may choose to flip the switch on its LTE network at the New York event — if not sooner. The company could also expand on how it plans to ease consumers into paying full price for mobile devices through installment payments and other measures. And following approvals from both the Justice Department and FCC, T-Mobile's merger with MetroPCS is on track to be finalized before much longer. The Verge will be on hand at the event, so you'll want to stay tuned for the latest on T-Mobile's new direction.Read Article >
Update: The always-resourceful @evleaks just tweeted an image that essentially confirms T-Mobile will use the March 26th event as a launchpad for its 'Uncarrier' campaign. The text, which looks to be taken from a consumer-facing website or email, also reveals that T-Mo will offer payment plans for "most" phones in its lineup after a $99 down payment — for well-qualified buyers, of course.