Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Let's Talk T-Mobile -- The Uncarrier

The USA has some central mobile service carriers which offer contract services to its subscribers. This entails the purchase of a handset and a contract both. The contracts are two year long and ensure that users won’t be switching services anytime soon. This also means that ‘carriers’ really are those annoying contractors- -where is T-Mobile is not. Here is why.  

The iPhone is finally getting more coverage from T-Mobile USA as it is the last carrier to offer it despite the fact that it is after all the top selling smartphone in US. But this may also be in part that instance of malware or iPhone spyware are few and sparse. Nonetheless, the news is official; T-Mobile will be selling iPhone 5 sets as of April 12th onwards through installed payments. Those who are interested can purchase the devices with a down payment of 100 bucks and a monthly installment of a mere 20. The service charges begin at around $50 which includes unlimited calls and 5GB of data.

This is an intriguing change from the standard long term contracts that cellular services usually offer. According to T Mobile, it is a conscious break away and an attempt at getting phones to users without having to subsidize them in return for two year contracts. This way the carrier won’t have to depend on phone discounts and can instead get users lower service prices.
The whole point is to also attract customers and get as many people as possible on board. The incentive means that anyone with enough cash for an initial down payment can afford a T-Mobile carried iPhone 5 handset. Of course, this is a confidence move on the part of T-Mobile, who is pretty certain that none of their competition will be able to match it. This might even separate T-Mobile from the rest, namely AT&T and Verizon Wireless, which are the USA’s biggest carrier names. These companies already sell handsets at discounted rates in order to get customers. After losing 2.1 million monthly contract subscribers, this is T-Mobile’s attempt back into the big leagues.

With this also comes, T-Mobile’s launch of an LTE network. This is all part of a $4 billion investment plan and the company is offering the service in 7 different areas. Verizon already offers it in more than 485 cities, which means that T-Mobile has a lot of catching up to do. However, the “un-carrier”, as it is fondly calling itself, is also attempting to complete a merger deal with the fifth largest carrier, Metro PCS Communications Inc.

The deal is still pending and according to reports, the folks over at Metro PCS will take a vote whether to go ahead or not on April 12th. Though the merger is pending, T-Mobile is spilling confidence (perhaps over-confidence) in every technological direction.  But the fact is that PCS seems to be putting up a fight in opposing the merger, namely fearing that it will be overburdened with debt and be simultaneously undervalued. Nonetheless, the merger can prove a worthy adversary for the leading carriers.

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