Light Reading
T-Mobile promises to pay early termination fees, and offer trade-in cash, to get families to switch from its US carrier rivals.

T-Mobile to Pick Up 'Evil' Family Fees

Dan Jones
1/9/2014
50%
50%

LAS VEGAS -- CES 2014 -- T-Mobile USA's latest bid to tempt customers from its rivals is to pay the early termination fees on family plans and offer trade-in cash for eligible devices.

CEO John Legere, who wasted no time here in describing the way family plans are currently operated in the industry as "evil," said T-Mobile will offer families up to $350 to cover early termination fees on up to five lines from another carrier and up to $300 trade-in value on working devices.

(Note: A friend used an estimate tool to see how much they would get in trade-in for a couple of older Android devices on Verizon, and found they would get only a few dollars, so consumers should check out such details first.)

Family Ties
The backdrop is always pinker at a T-Mobile event.
The backdrop is always pinker at a T-Mobile event.

T-Mobile's move comes only days after Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) announced its "Framily" plans, where members don't have to share data (or anything else). (See Sprint Launches No-Sharing 'Framily' Plans.)

And, of course, it's less than a week since AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) made a pre-emptive strike on T-Mobile's subscriber base with its offer of cash for any of Legere's customers who want to switch. (See AT&T Lures T-Mobile Subs With $450 Promise.)

Legere claimed that T-Mobile US Inc. 's "Uncarrier" strategy to date is already paying big dividends. He said the operator added 1.6 million subscribers net in the fourth quarter of 2013, making it the "biggest quarter for 8 years" for the operator. Overall, it added 4.4 million subscribers in 2014. (See T-Mobile Talks Up a Banner Year in LTE.)

Rising Subs
Legere trumpets the success of the 'Uncarrier' strategy.
Legere trumpets the success of the 'Uncarrier" strategy.

He brushed off questions about Wall Street fears that T-Mobile might be instigating a price war amongst mobile carriers in the US. "A price war? No... But we're going to shake them up... A healthy profit [and a] growth business is clearly our objective."

Related posts:

— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading

(8)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
DanJones
50%
50%
DanJones,
User Rank: Blogger
1/10/2014 | 11:42:47 AM
Re: Anyone switching?
Well Neville Ray is the one that would deal with the spectrum in that situation, he wasn't exactly complimentary about Sprint's network and upgrade efforts either.
SarahReedy
50%
50%
SarahReedy,
User Rank: Blogger
1/9/2014 | 5:43:00 PM
Re: Anyone switching?
I took that to mean, "a pile of [valuable] spectrumi n search of a [T-Mobile network] capability" -- that they could do more with it than Sprint. Either way, he may have talked smacked but he didn't protest much about rumor speculation.
DanJones
50%
50%
DanJones,
User Rank: Blogger
1/9/2014 | 5:11:13 PM
Re: Anyone switching?
Legere also called Sprint, "a pile of spectrum in search of a [network] capability," so there's no love lost there. And laughed at  the "framily" plans and "spanky" (spark) network upgrade.
SarahReedy
50%
50%
SarahReedy,
User Rank: Blogger
1/9/2014 | 5:02:46 PM
Re: Anyone switching?
Wonder how Softbank feels about that. And, Hesse has a contract that he's in for the next five years. Would that still apply if they merged?

Before Legere came along, I always thought Hesse was the funny CEO. His humor was also more subtle. He once compared de la Vega to John Wilkes Booth, but at least he didn't say he "liked him better when he was fat."
DanJones
50%
50%
DanJones,
User Rank: Blogger
1/9/2014 | 4:51:03 PM
Re: Anyone switching?
My read on what he said was that if it was to happen he wanted to be leading brand in the organization.
SarahReedy
50%
50%
SarahReedy,
User Rank: Blogger
1/9/2014 | 3:28:07 PM
Re: Anyone switching?
There is little, if any, further consolidation available among the large telecom providers.

That theory will very soon be checked!  Legere seemed to really hint that the Sprint merger was happening in his keynote. We'll see if it passes regulatory muster if so.
Phil_Britt
50%
50%
Phil_Britt,
User Rank: Light Sabre
1/9/2014 | 3:21:24 PM
Re: Anyone switching?
You're reight about a price war, and it's probably about time for one. Prices have been going up uncheckeck for a while, and this type of price war can help force them compete on service.

Of course, such a price war can have long-term unitended consequences as well, hurting the long-term health of the companies, as happened with the airlines. The air carriers were perennial money losers until the recent consolidations. There is little, if any, further consolidation available among the large telecom providers.
SarahReedy
50%
50%
SarahReedy,
User Rank: Blogger
1/9/2014 | 1:08:33 PM
Anyone switching?
Smells like a price war to me. Verizon and Sprint's CEOs both dismissed these kind of offers as marketing stunts that are usually short lived, but T-Mobile's offer is pretty big. I bet it will get a lot of takers. There's little to no risk if there is no ETF.
Flash Poll
From The Founder
It's clear to me that the communications industry is divided into two types of people, and only one is living in the real world.
LRTV Interviews
The New Wave of IP + Optical Integration

11|21|14   |   04:29   |   (7) comments


At the Alcatel-Lucent Technology Symposium, Heavy Reading senior analyst Sterling Perrin talks about how SDN has reshaped the discussion around packet and optical integration.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Highlights at BBWF 2014

11|20|14   |   3:40   |   (1) comment


Broadband World Forum is one of the world's largest telecoms, media and technology events with over 7,800 senior executives from across the globe converging on Amsterdam every year to identify the Next Big Thing. BBWF is an exciting place to meet the entire industry under one roof and identify the latest in network innovation, service optimization and customer ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
How Will BCMS Stimulate Margin for Broadband Operators?

11|19|14   |   6:52   |   (0) comments


In BBWF 2014, Liu Shuqing emphasizes the value of FMC 2.0 based full service experience by throwing light on the BCMS solution. The underlying principle of this innovative technique is to create network robustness and driving network from connection oriented to ACE – BAND oriented infrastructure, in which applications, cloud, and user experiences will be an asset ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
SingleFAN3.0: Better Connected Experience

11|19|14   |   3:06   |   (1) comment


At the BBWF 2014, David Hu, the VP of Huawei Access Network Product Line, talked about the future of access networks – SingleFAN3.0: faster broadband, wider coverage, and smarter connection.
LRTV Interviews
Basil Alwan Interview: The Road to Cloud

11|19|14   |   09:09   |   (0) comments


Alcatel-Lucent's head of IP and Transport talks about the migration towards a web-like networking environment, the impact of the cloud, SDN and NFV, and the yet-to-be-announced FP4 chip.
LRTV Documentaries
FairPoint Makes a Fair Point About Analytics

11|19|14   |   1:56   |   (1) comment


The US-based communication service provider gets to grips with advanced analytics, tackling data and breaking down the silos within its own business.
LRTV Documentaries
Analytics Lets C Spire Get to Know Subs

11|19|14   |   3:01   |   (2) comments


It's all about the data for US operator C Spire as it uses analytics to personalize its customer service down to individual subscribers.
LRTV Interviews
Nuage Branches Out With SDN: CEO Interview

11|17|14   |   9:32   |   (0) comments


Sunil Khandekar, CEO of Alcatel-Lucent's SDN-focused unit Nuage Networks, talks about the opportunities and challenges of breaking out of the data center into wide-area networks.
Light Reedy
Telecom Analytics Grows Up

11|14|14   |   1:15   |   (4) comments


The big data analytics debate has moved on from a year ago, with some experts suggesting it's no longer a technology challenge.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Compass

11|14|14   |   3:17   |   (1) comment


At OpenStack Summit 2014, Shuo Yang, Huawei Principal Cloud Infrastructure Architect introduced Huawei Compass, the software tool for solving customers' problems on the journey of OpenStack Cloud.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Cloud Strategy in European Region

11|14|14   |   2:56   |   (1) comment


At OpenStack Summit 2014, Dr. Gotz, CTO of Huawei IT in European Region introduced Huawei's cloud strategy in European region.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Contribution on OpenStack

11|14|14   |   5:58   |   (0) comments


At OpenStack Summit 2014, Dennis Gu, Huawei Chief Architect of Cloud Computing introduced the relationship between OpenStack and cloud computing, and Huawei's contribution on OpenStack.
Upcoming Live Events
December 2, 2014, New York City
December 3, 2014, New York City
December 8-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
February 12, 2015, Atlanta, GA
April 14, 2015, New York City, NY
May 6, 2015, McCormick Convention Center, Chicago, IL
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
Irish Telecom outlines the rise of VoIP technology, including its adoption within businesses and their perception of its quality.
Hot Topics
Bell Labs Chief Slams 'Toy' Networks
Robert Clark, 11/19/2014
$38.3M: Ain't That a Kik in the SMS
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 11/20/2014
Do You Have a 2020 Vision?
Dennis Mendyk, Vice President of Research, Heavy Reading, 11/21/2014
The New Wave of IP + Optical Integration
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 11/21/2014
Google, AT&T, BT Unite on Network Data Models
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 11/20/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed