& cplSiteName &

T-Mobile Drops LTE iPad Prices to WiFi Levels

Sarah Thomas
4/11/2014
50%
50%

WiFi tablets have always been the bigger sellers over their LTE counterparts, but T-Mobile is testing the theory that it was only price dictating that decision. The carrier announced Thursday evening it would drop prices on LTE iPads to match the WiFi-only versions.

That's a price drop of up to $130 for Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL)'s iPad. T-Mobile US Inc. says it will also drop prices $10 on any LTE-enabled Android tablets as well. The "uncarrier" is also offering 1.2 GB of free LTE data each month for the rest of the year, as part of its "Operation Tablet Freedom" promotion. When it expires in January of next year, its customers will pay $10 per month if purchased with a postpaid voice plan. (See T-Mobile Zeros In on Tablets.)

Given the significant price delta, consumers have traditonally migrated towards WiFi-only tablets, although sales of the LTE versions have been on the upswing as operators have offered more packages and promotions. What will be most indicative is how often LTE gets used once T-Mobile's customers have to start paying for it, but even $10 per month is cheaper than most of its competitors offer. (See T-Mobile Not Stealing Customers… Yet .)

This is the latest in a long string of shake-ups from T-Mobile in the past year. Earlier in the week, it dropped prices on its lowest-tier "Simple Starter" plan offering unlimited talk and text and 500MB of data for $40 per month. CEO John Legere has promised at least one more rapid-fire change still to come on Monday, so stay tuned to the boisterous CEO's Twitter handle. (See T-Mobile to Pick Up 'Evil' Family Fees, Sprint Launches No-Sharing 'Framily' Plans, AT&T Lures T-Mobile Subs With $450 Promise, Look Inside T-Mobile's 'Uncarrier' Transformation, T-Mobile Kills Contracts, Launches LTE Network, and T-Mobile Zeros In on Tablets.)

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, Light Reading

(13)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Page 1 / 2   >   >>
Sarah Thomas
50%
50%
Sarah Thomas,
User Rank: Blogger
5/13/2014 | 1:53:28 PM
No more tablet discounts
Well that was short-lived. The tablet discount promotion is over as of yesterday. The fine print in the release was that it was for a limited-time only, and it looks like that was just one month: http://www.tmonews.com/2014/05/t-mobile-ipad-returns-to-full-price-after-operation-tablet-freedom-discount/
kq4ym
50%
50%
kq4ym,
User Rank: Light Sabre
4/14/2014 | 6:57:34 PM
Re: tablet time
As a test program T-Mobile will quickly find out if prices are the motivator for sales. I suspect it's true, but getting those monthly charges down seems to be the plan for the month. Even though the data allowances are pretty meager on the newer plans, the consumer will bite and buy when the prices seem to drop, even though they may possibly be surprised when they find the monthly bill pretty close to what they were paying before.
Sarah Thomas
50%
50%
Sarah Thomas,
User Rank: Blogger
4/14/2014 | 9:26:13 AM
Re: Probably a distraction
Well it doesn't report its Q1 earnings until May 1st, so its timing is a little off if that's the case.
Sarah Thomas
50%
50%
Sarah Thomas,
User Rank: Blogger
4/14/2014 | 9:24:53 AM
Re: tablet time
ha, my comment is kind of funny now that we see its latest move is to abolish overage charges...
Sarah Thomas
50%
50%
Sarah Thomas,
User Rank: Blogger
4/14/2014 | 9:23:58 AM
overage overhaul
Ready for move #3? T-Mobile says it today it will do away with all overage charges on its data plans, and it's calling on AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint to do the same. The release doesn't say what happens when caps are met, however, I'm guessing speeds are throttled way back.

http://investor.t-mobile.com/file.aspx?IID=4091145&FID=23193775
Ariella
50%
50%
Ariella,
User Rank: Light Sabre
4/13/2014 | 10:25:39 PM
Re: tablet time
"Plus, tablets are more of a devices that stays in one place unlike a smartphone." @danielcawrey I wonder if there are stats on that. I notice people carrying their tablets around and using them as cameras at museums sometimes. Granted, they're more awkward to use that way than phones, but I suppose they find them light enough to carry with them. 
jabailo
50%
50%
jabailo,
User Rank: Light Sabre
4/13/2014 | 9:06:34 PM
Re: tablet time
Well it comes down to the power requirements of the chip and its transmitter.

Remember unlike the short ranges of Wifi, with Wimax or LTE the distances to the network antennas are much longer.   If you use a dongle, typically the device powers it and that will drain a small device like a tablet quickly I would think.  I know it drains my laptop battery a bit faster when it's plugged in.

I've seen very unobstrusive Bluetooth USB dongles that are nearly flush with the edge of the USB port.   That's probably where they should aim, very low power and very streamlined, but again, if you make the antenna surface slim...more power is probably required!

The external hotspot solves the problem of devices that are not LTE/WIMAX ready, but then you also have to carry around (and charge as you note) an extra device.  But again, a device without its own battery is going to be draining the main battery that much more!
Gabriel Brown
50%
50%
Gabriel Brown,
User Rank: Light Sabre
4/13/2014 | 1:32:35 PM
Re: tablet time
There are plenty of LTE dongles. Some people like them, but I've always found them too much of a hassle. Mainly, it's another device to keep charged, remember, etc.

They are good if you also want to run a laptop over LTE, or for that matter, an older 3G smartphone or WiFi-only tablet over LTE.
jabailo
50%
50%
jabailo,
User Rank: Light Sabre
4/13/2014 | 1:06:41 PM
Re: tablet time
Are there dongles or hotspots available for LTE?

I have a USB dongle for my Clear Wimax service (but it requires a device that is RNDIS compatible).   

Ideally you could just plug a really minimal USB dongle in your tablet for wireless broadband.
danielcawrey
50%
50%
danielcawrey,
User Rank: Light Sabre
4/12/2014 | 5:49:43 PM
Re: tablet time
I think that it has always been about price for LTE tablets. Plus, tablets are more of a devices that stays in one place unlike a smartphone. Because of that, for the most part WiFi has usually been enough functionality for connectivity. 

I've always wondered why LTE-enabled tablets were so much more expensive. It only served a niche need. Now, many people have said that T-Mobile's LTE coverage and speed aren't great. But this deal is still a good value, even given some carrier shortcomings. 
Page 1 / 2   >   >>
From The Founder
Download our complete guide to de-risking NFV deployment in 2016, including:
  • An eight-step strategy to deploying NFV safely, based on input from the companies that have already started virtualizing their production networks.
  • Interviews with leading executives at Colt, AT&T, Deutsche Telekom, Cisco, Nokia, ZTE, Ericsson and Heavy Reading.
  • Flash Poll
    Live Streaming Video
    Prepping for the Future: Upskill U Explained
    During this short kick-off video, Doug Webster, Vice President of Service Provider Marketing, Cisco, and Light Reading’s CEO & Founder Steve Saunders give an overview of Upskill U.
    Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
    Atrinet's NetACE – Migration to NFV & SDN With NetOps-Driven LSO

    5|4|16   |     |   (0) comments


    At Atrinet's headquarters, Ray Le Maistre sits down with Roy Silon to get an in-depth look into the company's focus and the secret recipe for their success.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    Amsterdam ArenA, Powered by Huawei

    5|4|16   |     |   (0) comments


    Huawei's ICT solutions power the state-of-the-art Amsterdam ArenA, turning it into a smart stadium.
    LRTV Interviews
    Testing When There's No 'There' There

    5|4|16   |     |   (0) comments


    The benefits of SDN/NFV are well known, but the transition comes with some challenges, prominent among them is: how do you test a network that has been abstracted and has the potential to be endlessly reconfigurable? Light Reading was at NFV World Congress in Santa Clara, Calif., where we bumped into Mats Nordlund, CEO and co-founder of Netrounds, a Swedish ...
    LRTV Interviews
    Ditching the Slash & the Orchestration Wars

    5|3|16   |     |   (2) comments


    SDN and NFV have been inextricably bound with each other for so long that on a conceptual level, smooshing them together into one catch-all phrase – SDNFV – is now justifiable, according to Dan Pitt, executive director of the Open Networking Foundation (ONF). Light Reading spoke to Pitt at the NFV World Congress, where he explained that the next ...
    LRTV Custom TV
    ZTE TV Connect Highlights

    5|3|16   |     |   (0) comments


    ZTE gives us a tour of its booth and new products at TV Connect in London.
    LRTV Custom TV
    Deluxe's Unified Delivery Solution

    5|3|16   |     |   (0) comments


    Join Alan Breznick of Light Reading and visit the Deluxe booth at NAB! Here you'll find Deluxe's Unified Delivery Solution, OTT video, virtual reality, HDR, 4K and much more!
    LRTV Interviews
    Verizon Puts Gray Boxes in the Shade

    5|2|16   |   04:33   |   (1) comment


    When it comes to the white box trend, "gray" boxes, which have a slight proprietary twist, don't give service providers and end users the advantages they're seeking, according to Verizon's Vice President of Product and New Business Innovation Shawn Hakl.
    LRTV Custom TV
    Dealing With a Disrupted Video Market

    5|2|16   |     |   (0) comments


    Ericsson's Simon Frost discusses how traditional pay-TV providers can cope with the big changes wrought by the rise of OTT video and IP technology.
    LRTV Custom TV
    The VNF Responsibility of Red Hat

    5|2|16   |     |   (0) comments


    At MWC, Caroline Chappell of Heavy Reading visits the Red Hat booth and sits down with Chris Wright to talk about the responsibility the VNF needs to take on in order to ensure the operators get the carrier-grade performance they expect for their network.
    LRTV Interviews
    AT&T Expert on the Key Pillars of UC

    4|29|16   |   03:58   |   (0) comments


    Vishy Gopalakrishnan, AVP of product marketing at AT&T, talks about the three developments that are making unified communications and collaboration secure and reliable for enterprise users.
    LRTV Documentaries
    LRTV Report: Mobile Core Innovation

    4|28|16   |   25:32   |   (0) comments


    Hear from multiple industry experts from Deutsche Telekom, SK Telecom, Heavy Reading, Huawei, Cisco, Ericsson, Nokia, NEC and many more about developments in the mobile core as operators virtualize their IMS and evolved packet core systems and prepare for a 5G world.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    NFV World Congress Highlight

    4|26|16   |     |   (0) comments


    The highlight of the NFV World Congress contains exciting telecom news. Join us for an inside look at Huawei's ICT 2020 plan and its latest collaboration with industry leaders.
    Upcoming Live Events
    May 23, 2016, Austin, TX
    May 23, 2016, Austin Convention Center
    May 24-25, 2016, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
    September 13-14, 2016, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
    December 6-8, 2016,
    June 16-18, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
    All Upcoming Live Events
    Infographics
    A new survey conducted by Heavy Reading and TM Forum shows that CSPs around the world see the move to digital operations as a necessary part of their overall virtualization strategies.
    Hot Topics
    WiCipedia: Woman Cards & Bitch Switches
    Sarah Thomas, Director, Women in Comms, 4/29/2016
    Amazon AWS Reports $2.6B Quarterly Revenue, Up a Colossal 64%
    Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 4/28/2016
    Sprint CEO: Our Spectrum Is for 5G
    Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 5/3/2016
    Amazon & Other 'Big 4' Cloud Providers Crushing Competitors
    Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 4/29/2016
    FCC Poised to Re-Regulate Wholesale Access
    Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 4/28/2016
    Like Us on Facebook
    Twitter Feed
    BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
    In this latest installment of the CEO Chat series, Craig Labovitz, co-founder and CEO of Deepfield, sits down with Light Reading's Steve Saunders in Light Reading's New York City office to discuss how Deepfield fits in with the big data trend and more.
    Grant van Rooyen, president and CEO of Cologix, sits down with Steve Saunders, founder and CEO of Light Reading, in the vendor's New Jersey facility to offer an inside look at the company's success story and discuss the importance of security in the telecom industry.
    Animals with Phones
    Sloth Mail Click Here
    Sloth mail -- somehow even slower than snail mail.
    Live Digital Audio

    Of all the tech companies in the Valley, Intel has made the most aggressive commitment to building a diverse and inclusive workplace culture. It's doing so by taking concrete, measurable steps, making a large financial investment and through a commitment to complete transparency about its progress. In this radio show, WiC Director Sarah Thomas will be joined by Shlomit Weiss, Intel's Vice President, Data Center Group, and General Manager of Networking Engineering, who will share with us why Intel is tackling this huge challenge, how and to what effect. She will also discuss her unique experiences leading development of Client SOC development in the past and today leading development of all of the chipmaker's silicon hardware for networking IPs and discrete devices and managing a team of 600 engineers across Israel, Europe and the US.