AT&T, T-Mobile Square Off With Dueling Rollover Data Plans

 
 
By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2015-01-08
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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    1 - AT&T, T-Mobile Square Off With Dueling Rollover Data Plans
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    AT&T, T-Mobile Square Off With Dueling Rollover Data Plans

    by Don Reisinger
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    2 - T-Mobile Kicks Off Data Stash Free Data
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    T-Mobile Kicks Off Data Stash Free Data

    T-Mobile distances itself a bit from AT&T in this matchup by offering 10GB of free data as part of its Data Stash initiative. T-Mobile customers are able to use up their free 10GB of mobile data first. The Data Stash kicks in after it's used up. AT&T is not offering any free data with its plans.
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    3 - AT&T's Data Rollover Plan Starts on Jan. 25
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    AT&T's Data Rollover Plan Starts on Jan. 25

    Although AT&T announced the news on its Rollover Data on Jan. 7, the company says that the service won't actually start for its Mobile Share Value customers until Jan. 25. The feature will be available to all current Mobile Share Value subscribers as well as new customers that sign up along the way.
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    4 - T-Mobile: Rolled Data Is Good for 12 Months
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    T-Mobile: Rolled Data Is Good for 12 Months

    T-Mobile is allowing customers to roll over their data for a period of 12 months. What that means is if data use is consistently under the amount that a customer paid for, they can continue to roll it over for 12 months without worry about losing it. T-Mobile's outspoken CEO John Legere made clear that data should remain in customers' hands for as long as possible, and that appears to be the case with Data Stash.
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    5 - AT&T Says Rolled Over Data Is Good for One Month
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    AT&T Says Rolled Over Data Is Good for One Month

    Unlike T-Mobile, AT&T is not offering free rollover data for a period of 12 months. Instead, the company says that customers must use up the rolled over data in one month or lose it. So if a person uses 5GB less of data in their plan and goes over the paid-for amount by, say 2GB the next month, the remaining 3GB of "free" data would be lost.
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    6 - T-Mobile's Deal Applies to Individual Customers
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    T-Mobile's Deal Applies to Individual Customers

    One important thing to note about the T-Mobile Data Stash is that it's available to individual customers who are enrolled in its postpaid Simple Choice plans. That means that individuals who use less data will see that data rolled over month after month solely on their own mobile devices. It's a feature that AT&T says is too restricting.
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    7 - AT&T's Deal Applies to 'Share' Plans
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    AT&T's Deal Applies to 'Share' Plans

    As noted, AT&T's Rollover Data plan is offered via its Mobile Share Value service, which is essentially its family or group plan. In addition, AT&T doesn't distinguish data usage by individual devices. So if, in aggregate, a group doesn't use up all data and it's rolled over to the next month, the entire group can have that extra amount at their disposal. The unused data is not tied to individuals.
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    8 - T-Mobile Sets a 3GB Floor on the Offer for Smartphones
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    T-Mobile Sets a 3GB Floor on the Offer for Smartphones

    T-Mobile has made clear that, in order to receive its Data Stash offer, customers must have Simple Choice plans with 3GB or more of 4G LTE data attached to them. For tablet-only customers, the deal is available to customers who have plans with 1GB of data attached to them.
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    9 - AT&T Claims 50 Million Customers Are Covered
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    AT&T Claims 50 Million Customers Are Covered

    AT&T made a big fuss about the fact that its service currently covers 50 million people. AT&T's Mobile Share Value plans are among its most popular and account for around 50 percent of its customer base. So, out of the gate, the company is offering the Rollover Data to about half its customers. Considering T-Mobile has about 53 million customers, in total, its service can't come anywhere near the coverage AT&T is offering.
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    10 - T-Mobile Contends This Isn't Just a Consumer Play
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    T-Mobile Contends This Isn't Just a Consumer Play

    Although much of T-Mobile's sales pitches have been focused on consumers, the company isn't limiting its deal to consumers. In a December press release announcing the Data Stash offer, T-Mobile stated the offer applies to business customers as well as individual consumers. The move makes it clear that T-Mobile wants to use the Data Stash offer to attract more business customers.
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    11 - AT&T Confirms That Its Data Rollover Plan Is Also for Businesses
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    AT&T Confirms That Its Data Rollover Plan Is Also for Businesses

    Not surprisingly, AT&T, which delivers mobile service to big corporate customers, said that its offering will also apply to businesses. According to AT&T, its Data Rollover plan will apply to consumers who have up to 10 lines on a single account or corporate users who have up to 10, 25, 50 or 100 Corporate Responsibility User (CRU) lines.
 

Wireless carriers AT&T and T-Mobile, which at one time reached an ill-fated merger agreement, may be trying to outdo each other with rival data rollover services. Each has been claiming the other was delivering subpar service. T-Mobile has been calling itself the "uncarrier" with claims its big competitors were overpriced, unreasoning behemoths. By the look of things, the sniping won't abate in 2015. On Jan. 7 at the International Consumer Electronics Show, AT&T announced that it would bring back its Rollover service, allowing customers to retain any data capacity they didn't use the previous month. The announcement came a few weeks after T-Mobile unveiled its own rollover service, Data Stash. While T-Mobile argues that AT&T is just reacting to its announcement, AT&T says its plan was in the works for months and that it has intended to announce it at CES. Mobile customers would be justified in dismissing all the sniping as so much market posturing. But it's still good news for mobile users who have been getting hit by hefty fees on data overages. This slide show looks at the data rollover services offered by AT&T and T-Mobile to help readers select the one that looks best for their needs.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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