What T-Mobile's Latest Mobile Deals Mean for Customers
Under the simplified "Un-carrier for Business" pricing, businesses will pay $16 per line per month for up to 19 lines of service, with each one including 1GB of high-speed data. Pricing for 20 to 999 lines is $15 per line per month, including 1GB of high-speed data per line, while pricing for 1,000 lines or more is $10 per line per month. More data can be added as desired for $10 per user for 2GB of data per month. Larger "pools" of data are also available for purchase as needed, starting at $4.75 per GB for up to 100GB or $4.50 per GB for up to 500GB. Data pools of more than 1TB per month are priced at $4.25 per GB. In addition, the Un-carrier for Business program also offers SMBs a free and simple way to start their own Websites through a free dot-com domain and Website tools in a partnership with Web hosting company GoDaddy.com for all business customers who purchase data allocations from T-Mobile. Business customers will also gain the ability to get branded email addresses for their companies, rather than generic Gmail or ISP-based email addresses through an arrangement with Microsoft that will allow customers to now have custom-branded email domains, according to T-Mobile. T-Mobile will also create a specialized 24/7 customer care center for small businesses so they can get help when they need it, according to Legere. Business customers will also be able to pass on discounts to family members so that they also can save on their personal phone plans with savings up to about 50 percent. "This is a not a diving 'Hail Mary' pass for us," said Legere of the new initiatives. "We are expanding like crazy. This is logical planned growth."Avi Greengart, research director for consumer platforms and devices at Current Analysis, told eWEEK at the T-Mobile announcement in New York that the moves are good ones for the company to be pursuing. "They're aiming it at the part of the market where they have the biggest opportunities," said Greengart. "Small businesses are likely to be the most price-sensitive. They are likely to be the most receptive to policies designed for easy interaction. And it's an area where Verizon and AT&T have existing advantages." For large enterprises, they may not be seeking the lowest prices for mobile services, but are looking for extra flexibility and logistics services that could be available through larger carriers like Verizon and AT&T, said Greengart. "But with small and medium businesses, T-Mobile has identified real pain points" that they can use to try to capture new business customers. "And as their network improves in its rural coverage, they'll have a better story to share." Greengart said that he agrees with Legere's recent comments that T-Mobile's network has vastly improved and been expanded in recent years. "Looking back over the last two years, the network improvement at T-Mobile has been extraordinary," said Greengart. Susan Welsh de Grimaldo, a global wireless analyst with Strategy Analytics, told eWEEK that T-Mobile is finally ready to do more in the small and midsize business marketplace because the company now has its network more developed so that it can better serve such customers. "You've got to get your network right," she said. "They've always had a big consumer business, and they had to get that right to expand." The new T-Mobile consumer offerings are also interesting, she said. The device payment pay-offs for new customers "target a specific set of consumers—notably new iPhone 6 purchasers who may have switched carriers or upgraded with an [installment plan] on an existing carrier but who want to try out T-Mobile," she said. "Sometimes people have not switched carriers [simply] because of inertia, or they are happy and have not seen a major reason to move. This particular offer is more targeted to unhappy customers, but it doesn't really compel people who are relatively happy with their current provider to consider switching."
T-Mobile Making Savvy Un-Carrier 9.0 Moves, Say Analysts