T-Mobile Announces Jump Upgrade Program
T-Mobile unveiled its "boldest moves yet" to release customers from restrictive two-year device contracts.NEW YORK—Following its shift to contract-free cellular plans in March, T-Mobile announced during a press event here its latest efforts to further the company's "un-carrier" approach to wireless communications. On March 25, the company unveiled a contract-free smartphone plan with unlimited talking, texting and 500MB of 4G data (subject to slowdowns after that limit is hit). On July 10 T-Mobile CEO John Legere took to the stage to announce a new program called Jump and a major expansion of the company's 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) network. T-Mobile has been setting out to "redefine a stupid, broken and arrogant industry," said Legere in an address delivered to press and analysts. Riffing on AT&T's kindergartener series of television ads, the outspoken CEO indicated that his company's approach is resonating with customers. "Our churn is lower than it's ever been," he added. Later, CTO Neville Ray, with the help of T-Mobile girl Carly Foulkes, symbolically "lit up" the company's expanded 4G LTE network. The event, suggested Ray, symbolized the "dramatic change that we're delivering on the network from T-Mobile U.S." The bigger network, due in part to the incorporation of MetroPCS' spectrum, now reaches 157 million people in 116 networks, surpassing the company's goal of reaching 150 million people by July 1, he said.
Legere retook the stage, saying that his company was attacking "the single most offensive wireless practice." Namely, locking customers into two-year device contracts, restricting their device choices and limiting their upgrade options.