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Print 24 comment(s) - last by retrospooty.. on Jul 12 at 2:08 PM

Plan is only $2 USD/month more than the previous equipment protection plan, which it overlaps

Deutsche Telekom AG's (ETR:DTE) T-Mobile USA has been drawing a lot of attention lately.  First, there's the merger of the budget carrier with MetroPCS.  Then there are the signs of recovery T-Mobile has been showing after many quarters of losses.  Lastly, there's the company's dramatic decision to move away from subsidized handsets and long-term contracts, becoming the only carrier to move towards a more European model.

Today the carrier unveiled another unique offer to customers that's sure to draw interest -- a biannual phone replacement plan called "JUMP!".  Here's how it works.

Currently T-Mobile offsets the sting of unsubsidized handsets by splitting the lumped cost into payments under its two-year "Equipment Installment Program" (EIP).  For instance, an iPhone 5 costs $20 USD/month under the EIP, plus a one-time payment of $99 USD (for a total of $580 USD).  But that still leaves customers in a bind, as they either have to pay the full remaining cost of the device, if they choose to upgrade early or leave T-Mobile.

That's where JUMP! comes in. It costs $10 USD/month, or $120 USD/year, but entitles you to trade in your handsets twice every 12 months.  T-Mobile USA will presumably resell these relatively new handsets to non-JUMP! customers, under the standard EIP.  Meanwhile, your remaining payments are voided and you get to pick a new phone.

To be clear, you still have to pay your monthly EIP fee, on top of $120 USD annual JUMP! fee, so the plan will only save you if you want expensive flagship phones (which makes sense, as otherwise why would you be upgrading biannually?).

But the plan also brings extra benefits -- protection against "malfunction, damage, loss, or theft".  T-Mobile had previously charged $8 USD/month for that protection alone, so the JUMP! plan looks like an even better deal in that light.

T-Mobile USA store
JUMP! both protects your phone and allows you to take it in to a store every sixth months for an upgrade. [Image Source: Bloomberg]

T-Mobile USA President and CEO John Legere brags, "At some point, big wireless companies made a decision for you that you should have to wait two years to get a new phone for a fair price. That's 730 days of waiting. 730 days of watching new phones come out that you can't have. Or having to live with a cracked screen or an outdated camera.  We say two years is just too long to wait. Today, we're changing all that with the launch of JUMP! Now, customers never have to worry about being stuck with the wrong phone. And, yes - it's really as good as it sounds."

Additionally, the carrier unveiled a $100 USD/month family plan that supports unlimited calling and text on four lines, plus 500 MB of high speed data to split (additional data is available for free, but at 3G speeds).  

T-Mobile also gives an update on its 4G LTE network, which it is currently in the process of rolling out.  T-Mobile USA is the last major carrier to deploy LTE, but it's planning an aggressive deployment to catch up.  According to today's release, the LTE network now covers 116 cities, or roughly 157 million Americans.

Source: T-Mobile USA



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I like it.
By retrospooty on 7/10/2013 5:47:45 PM , Rating: 5
At least they are thinking of things that people might like, unlike most other carriers that are only thinking of new ways to screw you.

If I weren't on a company paid phone/plan I would go with T-Mobile immediately.




RE: I like it.
By flyingpants1 on 7/10/2013 6:00:12 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly. At least it's a step in the right general direction.


RE: I like it.
By JasonMick (blog) on 7/10/2013 6:58:15 PM , Rating: 2
I agree... hopefully they get the Lumia 1020... I'm eyeing that, but I'm not necessarily sure I'm sticking with Windows Phone in the long run (I really like what HTC did with the One), so the 6 months would be perfect to keep my options open.

T-Mobile's coverage is actually slightly better in my area, according to my friends than AT&T's.

Being on AT&T has been a NIGHTMARE.

Now I know a bit how iPhone owners must have felt back in 2007 and 2008; I love my Windows Phone (the Lumia 900) but hate hate hate AT&T... sh!tty prices... even worse coverage.... about the only good thing about AT&T's network is it's rather fast WHEN it works.


RE: I like it.
By greenchinesepuck on 7/10/2013 7:13:28 PM , Rating: 1
I dunno man, I pay 10 cents a minute for prepaid AT&T GoPhone plan and I pay only $25 every 90 days, this is THE CHEAPEST prepaid plan in the US, just like $8 a month! Sorry to rain on your parade Mick but seems like you're BSing us all again :P


RE: I like it.
By JasonMick (blog) on 7/10/2013 7:25:52 PM , Rating: 2
Derp.

My comment was on AT&T smartphones.

Prepaid =/= smartphone contract

My bill is typically $98 (w/ fees) for 3 GB of data, unlimited texts, unlimited nights & weekends & 450 anytime minutes....

I dont get what's so hard to believe about... That was the contract rates when I got my phone...


RE: I like it.
By greenchinesepuck on 7/10/2013 8:01:18 PM , Rating: 1
OK if AT&T sucks for CONTRACTS only - that I have nothing to say about, I just mentioned that AT&T is the best prepaid carrier here in the US, that is all I have to say. I don't use contracts and plans anyway because it is essentially illegal product bundling (can't get data only, MUST pay for voice even when you do not use it at all) and the only reason why telcos always get away with it is because they purchased a few big politicians in Washington. I don't want to pay for illegally bundled products, hence I use prepaid which has exactly what I need, and no other illegally bundled shit.


RE: I like it.
By Mint on 7/11/2013 8:42:50 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
this is THE CHEAPEST prepaid plan in the US
quote:
I just mentioned that AT&T is the best prepaid carrier here in the US
It really isn't.

You seem to be concerned with voice rates only, and you can get 4c per minute with PagePlus cellular (which uses Verizon's network). $80 per year.

T-Mobile's Prepaid is 10c/min - same as AT&T - but once you hit $100, you can extend your minutes for a year for $10. So for $110, you get 1030 minutes lasting 2 years. They also have good prepaid data plans (we are talking about smartphones, after all).

The cheapest of all is LycaMobile. It uses T-Mobile's network, and 2c/minute, 4c/text, 6c/MB. Your money basically doesn't expire. They're new, though.


RE: I like it.
By Alexstarfire on 7/11/2013 10:46:33 AM , Rating: 2
Interesting rates, but as with all pre-paid plans it really depends on your usage. With the amount of data I use monthly, mostly with Pandora mind you, I'd never save money with a pre-paid plan even if I didn't use text/voice.

It would be awesome if I could get a text/data plan and then have voice minutes for pre-paid since it's use so infrequently. One can only dream.


RE: I like it.
By ChoadNamath on 7/11/2013 1:14:52 PM , Rating: 2
You should check out the T-Mobile $30 prepaid plan that gives you 5GB of data, 100 minutes, and unlimited texts each month. It's hard to beat if you're not going over 5GB on a regular basis.


RE: I like it.
By Alexstarfire on 7/11/2013 1:21:08 PM , Rating: 2
I suppose I should have specified pre-paid plans that are per minute/text/MB.

The plan you are talking about sounds like a regular plan except that you're not on a contract.

I should have checked out T-Mobile when I got my S3 last year, but I did not so I'm still on my parents plan.


RE: I like it.
By Mint on 7/12/2013 2:40:41 AM , Rating: 2
Anything without a contract is prepaid, hence the name.

I'm also on T-Mobile's $30/mo plan, but I don't use quite enough data for it to be better than Lycamobile, so I'll probably switch.


RE: I like it.
By retrospooty on 7/12/2013 2:08:06 PM , Rating: 2
"You should check out the T-Mobile $30 prepaid plan that gives you 5GB of data, 100 minutes, and unlimited texts each month. It's hard to beat if you're not going over 5GB on a regular basis."

The other good thing is, when you go over on T=mo, you arente changed through the nose, your speed simply drops, so you can still at least function. I am not sure about ATT, but with VZW, you go over and you owe them your firstborn child.


RE: I like it.
By Samus on 7/11/2013 2:09:27 PM , Rating: 2
If you rarely use a phone and want some actually features when you do, you'd be better off with Ting over GoPhone.

www.ting.com

6 bucks a month + usage. if you use 100 minutes a month and send 100 texts and download 100 megabytes, then your total cost is 15/month. this is perfect for aging parents.


Two every new?
By dokein on 7/10/2013 7:38:06 PM , Rating: 2
Article calls this new innovation a "biannual" phone replacement plan. I believe the word the author was looking for is SEMIannual. This distinction is rather key to the story, as it is what makes the idea newsworthy in the first place.




RE: Two every new?
By whateverman on 7/10/2013 8:56:32 PM , Rating: 4
Biannual is semiannual. You are thinking of biennial, which is once every two years. The key part of your comment was the fact that it was made on the internet, which also has the ability to check your "facts".


RE: Two every new?
By stm1185 on 7/10/2013 9:31:49 PM , Rating: 2
Does no one watch Archer?


I want to dump Verizon
By phatboye on 7/10/2013 8:30:00 PM , Rating: 2
I am currently using my SGSIII on Verizon I have been with them since 2005. The only reason I stick with Verizon is because their network is awesome. I would get rid of Verizon in a heart beat if T-mobile had a network comparable to Verizon's. I can count on one hand how many dropped calls I've had on vzw's network and usually it's beacuase I drive over a mountain or inside of an elevator or deep inside a large cinderblock building. I like this new upgrade plan from T-mobile and I hate vzw's data caps. If only T-mobile would invest more in its infrastructure.




RE: I want to dump Verizon
By Roffles on 7/10/2013 8:52:01 PM , Rating: 2
Same here going back to ~2001. Verizon's plans, contracts and general policies are anti-consumer and they become even more so every year. But they get away with it because of their excellent performance. I would jump on the T-mobile bandwagon right this second if their coverage map was more robust. I'm a phone geek and a new flagship phone every 6 months makes me drool a little.

I wonder if T-Mobile can offer a demo phone so you can test their coverage for a day or two before taking the plunge.


RE: I want to dump Verizon
By os2baba on 7/10/2013 9:22:32 PM , Rating: 2
They have a 14 day return policy. Some stores charge a re-stocking fee. But some are pretty good about it. The manager at one store was great about taking a phone back. If you talk to a manager and tell him you just want to test the coverage, they might waive the restocking fee. If they see it's a genuine possibility of getting a Verizon customer to switch, it would be worth a gamble for them.


RE: I want to dump Verizon
By StormyKnight on 7/11/2013 12:15:00 AM , Rating: 2
I'm grandfathered under an old Alltel plan. The National Family plan - 900 minutes, free nights and weekends $59.99/mo + $30/mo for unlimited data. This is one of the reasons I don't want to leave Verizon. Now if T-Mobile had better coverage for both wireless and LTE, I'd probably jump ship.


Sounds almost too good to be true
By jimbojimbo on 7/10/2013 5:49:05 PM , Rating: 3
John Legere makes some incredibly sane points that no greedy corporation would ever say. What's going on here? $120/year to trade in your phone TWICE a year? That's practically incredible and I'd jump on it in a second if I could. That family plan sounds incredibly reasonable as well. What's going on here?




By flyingpants1 on 7/10/2013 5:55:46 PM , Rating: 2
But he said it's as good as it sounds.


This should do well...
By drumsticks on 7/10/2013 5:52:48 PM , Rating: 2
I really hope this goes well. It would be really nice for Tmobile and everybody!




Former AT&T
By Ammohunt on 7/11/2013 1:08:17 PM , Rating: 2
I switched to T-Mobile a couple years back and and very happy with their service. I am not a huge data user though if i do use data it happen over wifi.




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