Light Reading

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
The New IP is actually bigger even than business. Like another hugely important tech that Light Reading is digging into right now, the New IP has the potential to change the world by fundamentally advancing what it is possible for people to achieve with communications.
LRTV Interviews
In the Cloud With Telecom Italia

3|5|15   |   7:10   |   (0) comments


Light Reading CEO Steve Saunders sits down with Telecom Italia's Simone Battiferri at Mobile World Congress to discuss virtualization, agility and the economic advantages of the cloud.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
New Ways of Working

3|5|15   |   4:24   |   (0) comments


At the ICT Leaders Roundtable, hosted jointly by Light Reading and Huawei at the Hotel Renaissance in Barcelona just prior to Mobile World Congress, Hong Kong Telecom's Michael Yue explains how the transformation in its business has changed its customer relationships.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Bridging the Digital Gap

3|5|15   |   4:03   |   (0) comments


At the ICT Leaders Roundtable, hosted jointly by Light Reading and Huawei at the Hotel Renaissance in Barcelona just prior to Mobile World Congress, Boingo's Dr. Derek Peterson explains how ICT can help telcos bring the physical and virtual worlds closer together.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Making the Internet of Things Affordable

3|5|15   |   2:42   |   (0) comments


At the ICT Leaders Roundtable, hosted jointly by Light Reading and Huawei at the Hotel Renaissance in Barcelona just prior to Mobile World Congress, Telefonica's Dr. Mike Short explains how the Internet of Things demands a new low-cost approach to connectivity from telcos.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Evolution, Not Revolution

3|5|15   |   2:00   |   (0) comments


At the ICT Leaders Roundtable, hosted jointly by Light Reading and Huawei at the Hotel Renaissance in Barcelona just prior to Mobile World Congress, Heavy Reading's Patrick Donegan explains why telcos can't be too hasty in their efforts to transform themselves.
LRTV Custom TV
Management & Orchestration Enablement Strategies Required for NFV Commercial Success

3|5|15   |   6:22   |   (0) comments


NFV commercial success rests on successful service orchestration strategies which can span heterogeneous physical, virtual, legacy and next-gen networks. Network data and security integrity are additional key aspects. Nakina provides a suite of orchestratable network integrity applications built on an open, scalable MANO enablement platform.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
The Power of Five Convergences in OceanStor OS

3|4|15   |   6:24   |   (0) comments


OceanStor OS is Huawei's brand-new storage operating system. While inheriting the consistent high stability, reliability and performance from the company's previous storage products, OceanStor OS abounds in new converged storage features. Specifically, the new storage operating system achieves "five convergences" to lift storage convergence to a higher level.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
4K Brings Extreme Video Experience

3|4|15   |   8:10   |   (0) comments


4K video is a hot topic in the video industry. It will certainly bring an extreme video experience to end users. At the same time, however, it will also pose a big challenge to operators. Check out this Huawei 4K experts' discussion about how operators can achieve success in 4K video service.
LRTV Interviews
DT's Virtualization Vision for Europe

3|4|15   |   10:23   |   (0) comments


Light Reading CEO Steve Saunders talks virtualization, cloudification and standards with Deutsche Telekom's Axel Clauberg at Mobile World Congress.
LRTV Custom TV
ZTE's Wireline at MWC 2015

3|4|15   |   6:35   |   (0) comments


Light Reading speaks with Jane Chen, ZTE's Senior VP of Wireline Business, about innovations in her product line at Mobile World Congress.
LRTV Custom TV
ZTE at MWC 2015

3|4|15   |   4:24   |   (0) comments


Dr. Dick Chen of ZTE USA gives Light Reading an overview of what's new at ZTE's pavilion at Mobile World Congress 2015.
LRTV Interviews
Ericsson CEO Talks Telco Data Center Tech

3|4|15   |   05:45   |   (1) comment


At Mobile World Congress, Ericsson CEO Hans Vestberg discusses telco data center technology, business models, small cells and more.
Upcoming Live Events
March 17, 2015, The Cable Center, Denver, CO
April 14, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City, NY
May 12, 2015, Grand Hyatt, Denver, CO
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 8, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 10, 2015, Chicago, IL
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Net neutrality, broadband services and the current outlook on data consumption, as presented by the New Jersey Institute of Technology.
Hot Topics
Internet Pioneers Decry Title II Rules
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 3/2/2015
Wheeler: We'll Enforce Title II 'Case-By-Case'
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 3/3/2015
New CenturyLink CTO in Major Overhaul
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 3/4/2015
Verizon Takes Radio Dot to Detroit, VoLTE Overseas
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 2/27/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Light Reading CEO Steve Saunders talks transformation and virtualization – including Light Reading's independent testing of the vendor's virtualization solutions – with Cisco CEO John Chambers at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
Check out Light Reading's interview with Jay Samit, the newly appointed CEO of publicly traded SeaChange International Inc. With a resume that includes Sony, EMI, and Universal, Samit brings a reputation as an entrepreneur and a disruptor to his new role at the video solutions company. Hear what he had to say about the opportunities in video, as well as the outlook for cable, telco, OTT and mobile service providers.