Since launching its Simple Starter cellular phone plans in April, T-Mobile has been offering customers unlimited talk and text, plus 500MB of data per month, for $40. Now those same customers can quadruple their monthly data helping to 2GB for only $5 more per month, under a new option announced by the company on Aug. 25.
The new 2GB data offer is a limited-time promotion, according to the company, and it follows another limited-time data promotion that was unveiled last week, when T-Mobile offered free unlimited mobile data for one year to any Simple Choice customer who gets a friend or relative to move his or her service from Sprint, AT&T or Verizon Wireless. That offer came just two weeks after a long-rumored T-Mobile merger with Sprint was called off.
"People who use loads of data use T-Mobile," John Legere, the president and CEO of T-Mobile, said in a statement. "And it's no wonder. The old guard telecoms punish people for using more data on their networks with crazy overage charges and fees. Get Verizon's $50 plan and use just one gig more data, and the price jumps to $65. It's crazy. At T-Mobile, we designed our network data-strong so our customers could use the hell out of it. And that's just what they're doing."
The new offer for 2GB of data for Simple Starter customers begins on Sept. 3, according to the company. There are no contracts for customers under the plans.
T-Mobile unveiled the Simple Starter plan in April with the promise of no overage fees ever, according to an earlier eWEEK report. After 500MB, customers are pushed to a slower network.
Both offers for increased free data continue a pattern that T-Mobile has been apparently heading down since the failed merger possibility was scuttled by Sprint earlier this month. At the same time that the merger plans were dropped, competitor Sprint simultaneously replaced its CEO, Dan Hesse, with Marcelo Claure.
It's been a busy time for T-Mobile in the aftermath of those events.
The new data plan increases for customers come as T-Mobile is going on the offensive for new customers, which it primarily hopes to poach from its biggest rivals: Sprint, AT&T and Verizon Wireless.
Earlier this month, T-Mobile US claimed rights to the top spot in the growing prepaid wireless marketplace in the United States. T-Mobile US said in an announcement that it now has 15.64 million prepaid wireless customers, compared with 15.19 million such customers for rival Sprint. AT&T has 11.34 million prepaid customers, while Verizon Wireless reports 6.04 million prepaid customers, according to T-Mobile.
In 2013, T-Mobile moved away from the industry-standard model of tying subsidized devices to two-year service contracts. It began offering monthly device financing plans; made it possible for customers to upgrade their devices more frequently; did away with international roaming fees for text messaging and data in more than 100 countries; and began offering 200MB of free data a month to anyone with a tablet that can access its network, encouraging people to use their tablets outside their homes.
The company additionally offered to pay the early termination fees (ETFs) of any subscribers wanting to leave a Tier 1 carrier for T-Mobile, offering many people, especially on family plans, their first real, cost-free option to change networks.