T-Mobile Intros unRadio, Streaming Music Without Data Charges

T-Mobile concluded its Un-Carrier 5.0 announcement with Un-Carrier 6.0: high-speed streaming music that never counts against your data bucket.

T-Mobile unRadio

T-Mobile followed its Un-carrier 5.0 Test Drive offer with a surprise 6.0 announcement, offering unlimited streaming music, starting immediately. T-Mobile subscribers on Simple Choice plans can now listen to streaming music from Pandora, Rhapsody, iHeartRadio, iTunes Radio, Slacker and Spotify without it ever affecting their high-speed data allowances.

All T-Mobile customers can also stream from Samsung's Milk Music and the forthcoming Beatport music app from SFX, also without data charges.

"Every single note … will come free, not against your bucket," T-Mobile CEO John Legere said at an evening event in Seattle June 18. "Even when you exhaust your high-speed data bucket, you will still stream music free at high speed."

He continued, "We figured out that Internet radio is broken, and we might just figure that out as well … It's a pain point, it's a growing one, and we decided to not step in slightly but to step in and change it forever."

Customers of T-Mobile's competitors are going to start demanding, added Legere, the "answer to why can't I have this as well?"

CMO Mike Sievert, taking the stage next, had an answer, "Either their network can't handle it, or they just won't do it."

Along with music service Rhapsody, T-Mobile also introduced unRadio, a music service with 20 million songs and six key features: ad-free listening; the ability to skip as many songs as you like; the ability to choose the music you want to listen to, including streaming on-demand or downloading for later; the option to create your own station or listen to hundreds of professionally created ones; access to thousands of stations around the world; and TrackMatch, which can ID a song playing near you.

unRadio is free to Simple Choice subscribers or available for $4 a month to all other T-Mobile customers.

Sievert noted that 113 million people currently listen to streaming music.

"We see an opportunity to set people free. Our competitors see an opportunity to gouge you," he said. "Our view is, let's just give all the streaming music services away. Let's set the price for all of these to zero. … When was the last time you heard AT&T or Verizon even utter the word 'unlimited'? Come on! They view this totally differently."

During a question period, when asked about the possibility of a merger with Sprint, Legere said that he couldn't comment on rumors. But then he added, "What's very important to me is that this Un-carrier movement will continue. The competition in the U.S. wireless industry is better because T-Mobile exists. … What the U.S. is getting to see is an inkling of what competition looks like."

The Un-carrier will continue, Legere promised. As he signed off on the event, the screen behind him flashed a message: "We Won't Stop. Un-Carrier 7.0 Coming Late Summer."

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