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Print 19 comment(s) - last by karimtemple.. on Apr 17 at 9:55 AM

T-Mobile to drop overage charges, throttle data instead

T-Mobile CEO John Legere is at it again. The boastful Legere recently launched a three-pronged strategy to take on the U.S. wireless giants like AT&T and Verizon. He first introduced a $40/month Simple Starter plan, and followed it up with “no extra charges” for LTE versions of popular tablets (along with 1GB of additional data for voice customers).
 
Today, Legere announced that T-Mobiles is “[abolishing] consumer overage” charges. For example, for AT&T subscribers on a 10GB Mobile Share plan will pay $15 per gigabyte for usage over their monthly data allotment. Instead of hitting customers with fees, T-Mobile will simply throttle your data connection to sub-LTE speeds. T-Mobile's fine print on the announcement stipulates:

No overages for U.S. domestic calls, texts, and data usage only

With most customers opting for unlimited plans for voice and texting, T-Mobile’s latest announcement will mainly benefit those on grandfathered voice/texting plans that regularly blow past their plan limits.
 
"Today I'm laying down a challenge to AT&T, Verizon and Sprint to join T-Mobile in ending these outrageous overage penalties for all consumers - because it's the right thing to do," said Legere in T-Mobile’s official press release on the change. "Overage fees are flat out wrong.”


T-Mobile CEO John Legere
 
Legere, however, took to his own blog to use more colorful language to berate AT&T and Verizon, while praising his “Un-carrier” strategy.
 
“If I’m right, the consumer wireless movement is rapidly approaching a tipping point. And that’s when things really get interesting. The first year of Un-carrier has been terrific, but it’s going to pale in comparison to what lies ahead,” Legere continued.
 
“Imagine the smile on my face as I watch millions upon millions of Americans flipping the bird to the insanity and pain of the past and joining this consumer revolution – while I sit back and watch the competition flounder.”
 
Those are strong words from the underdog in the U.S. wireless market. But it’s only a matter of time before AT&T and Verizon respond by making adjustments to their policies as well. After all, nearly every new initiative introduced by T-Mobile over the past year has resulted in copycat responses from the two largest wireless carriers.

Sources: T-Mobile, John Legere's T-Mobile Blog



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Interesting
By NellyFromMA on 4/14/2014 11:39:46 AM , Rating: 2
I'm really liking a lot of the messages coming from T-Mobile lately. They seem intent on shaking things up in order to be viable by appealing to what consumer's vocally hate about their providers.

They are really striving for consumers to pose the question "What would it take to get me to dump my carrier and switch to T-Mobile right now" as a likely litmus test to see whether or not T-Mobile is a viable competitor in the space and whether they can ever break "also-ran" status.

A hidden advantage I perceive with T-Mobile is their phones are very easily made compatible with ATT, provided you actually own the phone.

The trouble for me, however, is that while I own my S3 and do have the unlock code, its substantially easier for me to just continue doing Pay-as-you-go / GoPhone with ATT. I pay 65 a month and get 4G LTE (ATT's version anyways) unlimited minutes & text and 2GB of data.

At that rate, I find myself asking the same question, but find it hard to come up with an answer. Granted, I'm a VERY niche class of consumer as compared to the broader market.

Still, I'm very interested in T-Mobile's direction as US consumers have been taken advantage of for far too long. Consumers on other carriers may very well see advantages by T-Mobile's disruptive behaviors, and I'm ALL for that.




RE: Interesting
By Nutzo on 4/14/2014 12:09:56 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The trouble for me, however, is that while I own my S3 and do have the unlock code, its substantially easier for me to just continue doing Pay-as-you-go / GoPhone with ATT. I pay 65 a month and get 4G LTE (ATT's version anyways) unlimited minutes & text and 2GB of data.


With T-Mobile, I pay $90/month for 3 lines. Unlimited voice/text and now 1GB data. We rarely even came close to the 500MB of data we had before, since we're mostly on WiFi, so 1Gb is more than enough.


RE: Interesting
By rocketbuddha on 4/14/2014 1:13:43 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly. Once we add more family members to your plan, T-Mo becomes exponentially cheaper than most pre-paid services.

It is basically
50 + 30 + 10 + 10 + 10

for 5 lines Unlimited Talk + Unlimited Text + 1GB of LTE data per line.


RE: Interesting
By NellyFromMA on 4/14/2014 2:39:36 PM , Rating: 2
Thanks for sharing. For me, personally, I never exceed 2GB but 1GB is just too low, even using WiFi at home it seems.

I'm not really trying to debate if pre-paid is better than contract. I think there are enough variables that you have to take into account to determine that on a case-by-case, but thankfully, the choices are out there to suit each need.

Rather, I was just expounding on my personal thought process. I don't have other lines (obviously) to take into consideration. There are disadvantages to family plans, all revolving around overages, which is why the T-Mobile news is so great.

It just that I bought my phone for full cost and have a single-line. I'd either need to get more features or less cost to get me to switch, especially if coverage could be affected by a move. But, for the other 99% of more typical cases, T-Mobile is really sounding more and more compelling.

I hope they do well because I personally think US carriers have gotten away with far too much for far too long.


RE: Interesting
By Souka on 4/15/2014 7:01:49 PM , Rating: 2
But when you hit the 1GB limit with Tmobile, you just get throttled to "sub-LTE" speed... that can still be plenty fast for basic video watching, and plenty of bandwidth for typical apps, or web browsing.

On ATT/Verizon you get more data, but hit the limit and you're smacked with overage charges.


RE: Interesting
By Samus on 4/16/2014 3:20:56 AM , Rating: 2
We left T-mobile in 2011 (when they were still crap) and switched to Ting. We pay $56/month for 2 phones and a tablet (3 lines) and like yourself, rarely go over 500MB because we're on Wifi.

As T-mobile changes and their prices come down, I keep considering switching back. Their phone selection is better than Ting (who lets you bring just about any compatible phone to their service, but still no iPhone 5s and no Windows Phones) and honestly, T-mobiles coverage is on par with Sprint here in Chicago (both equally suck.)

I like options and T-mobile is trying to give them.


RE: Interesting
By Mitch101 on 4/14/2014 12:10:14 PM , Rating: 2
This is starting to shape up as a better deal than Straight Talk. Im glad to see the day is finally coming to where you pay one low price for everything and have a decent phone selection. Some of T-Mobiles phone costs are not bad either unless you want cutting edge then it closes the gap of other plans where you get the phone a very reduced rate but higher plan fees.

T-Mobile is really onto something here.


RE: Interesting
By karimtemple on 4/14/2014 1:33:38 PM , Rating: 3
The problem being that with Straight Talk, I get AT&T coverage. T-Mobile's "three-pronged attack" better include some damned towers and spectrum or it really won't mean anything, lol. You can have the best everything and it won't matter because most people can't get a good signal. Not all of us live in NYC.


RE: Interesting
By Nutzo on 4/14/2014 2:04:26 PM , Rating: 2
No problem with coverage where I live in Southern California, or when I've traveled to Washington, Oregon, Nevada or Utah.


RE: Interesting
By NellyFromMA on 4/14/2014 2:43:11 PM , Rating: 2
I used to do the straight-talk thing using ATT SIM. ATT coverage here is more reliable than T-Mobile's at the time.

For 50 a month, it was actually a great value. However, the data speed was too slow for music streaming and you don't get 4G LTE with ST. So, I swapped to ATT as it was easy enough to do.

I'd go back to Straight Talk if ATT prepaid rates when up at all.


RE: Interesting
By karimtemple on 4/17/2014 9:55:24 AM , Rating: 2
Straight Talk has had AT&T LTE for several months now. It's pretty nice. So I save $15 each month by sticking with ST instead of AT&T prepaid (I too was on the verge of switching to AT&T prepaid for the LTE).


RE: Interesting
By NellyFromMA on 4/14/2014 2:46:45 PM , Rating: 2
Luckily, buying an ATT phone and putting it onto T-Mobile is a very easy task. As long as it is Android anyways. Reportedly WP and iOS phones are less apt to allow for carrier changing?


RE: Interesting
By rocketbuddha on 4/14/2014 1:26:27 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I pay 65 a month and get 4G LTE (ATT's version anyways) unlimited minutes & text and 2GB of data. - See more at: http://www.dailytech.com/Article.aspx?newsid=34713...


Look at this page
http://www.t-mobile.com/cell-phone-plans/family.ht...

For the first phone it costs you 60 USD per month for 3GB worth of data.

Now I agree T-Mo is not for everyone. Esp. in the non-city environments, rural areas etc. For example when I drove to Disney in 2012 along I-95 there were areas around Carolinas where I saw not even 2G but a "G" service. I know that Taxes and Fees will add up to that. For my 2 line plan of 80$, taxes and fees are 11$. Unless the pre-paid includes taxes & fees, you may actually be paying more....


RE: Interesting
By NellyFromMA on 4/14/2014 2:45:18 PM , Rating: 2
For sure. The savings just aren't enough for me to switch, but only because I purchased a good phone and ATTs prepaid is arguable better than their contract plan.

If I was on contract or a lack luster value/feature plan I would be VERY interested in T-Mobile right now.


Like his approach
By aurareturn on 4/14/2014 11:38:13 AM , Rating: 5
Why aren't more CEOs like this guy? Seriously. He's not afraid to be personable and he's not afraid to stir things up.

I'm a T-Mobile customer. I genuinely think that T-Mobile is giving me more now than when I signed up. This never happens with big communications companies.

I will say that the service isn't as good as AT&Ts but I'm willing to stay with T-Mobile and stick it to the big blue.




RE: Like his approach
By Dorkyman on 4/14/2014 12:00:33 PM , Rating: 1
From what I've read about the guy, he's a coarse scumbag, perfectly willing to shake your hand while he stabs you in the back.

And I'm glad that he's shaking up the conventional wisdom, but keep in mind that the MVNOs like Ting are rapidly eating everyone's lunch with even-cheaper prices.


Better - not great, better.
By SAN-Man on 4/14/2014 12:19:13 PM , Rating: 2
Make all your plans flat rate and eliminate contracts all together. For non-unlimited plans simple turn the service off when the limit is reached.

I think T-Mobile sees the writing on the wall.

The days of high prices phone plans where a family of four pays $350+ a month for phone service with overages, entangling contracts, etc is coming to an end - it has to.

Honestly T-Mobile still can't compete with Republic Wirelesss or Virgin but with this step they are getting better.




Coverage
By Spuke on 4/14/2014 12:24:01 PM , Rating: 2
Too bad their coverage sucks in my area otherwise I'd still be their customer.




T-Mobile and no overcharges
By poweratlast on 4/16/2014 4:53:29 PM , Rating: 2
I am not suprised at the recent aggressive behavior of T-Mobile Leadership. However there are some other MVNOs that are even more agressive at pricing, service and return on investment as well. My current 4G provider offers its customers the opportunity to fully eliminate their monthly bill while enjoying the same amount of service each month. For more info go to www.metallicheaven.com for details about this amazing offer.




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