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 Or having to live with a cracked screen or an outdated camera.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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RE: I like it.
By JasonMick on 7/10/2013 7:25:52 PM , Rating: 2

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
this is THE CHEAPEST prepaid plan in the US
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.

"Spreading the rumors, it's very easy because the people who write about Apple want that story, and you can claim its credible because you spoke to someone at Apple." -- Investment guru Jim Cramer

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