T-Mobile’s Promotional Payoff

11:20 AM T-Mobile likely had its largest number of new activations on Saturday following a Father’s Day promo

Sarah Thomas, Director, Women in Comms

June 21, 2010

1 Min Read
T-Mobile’s Promotional Payoff

11:20 AM -- T-Mobile US Inc. likely had its largest ever number of new activations on Saturday following its Father’s Day promotion that included a free phone with every new activation and two-year family plan agreement.

The news, reported by unofficial T-Mobile blog TMoNews and awaiting T-Mobile confirmation, isn’t surprising. Studies repeatedly show that consumers love free stuff, even when it comes with a two-year monthly recurring fee.

On Saturday alone, TMoNews says the fourth-largest US carrier’s Retail Channel added more than 110,000 customers, of whom 99,000 were postpaid subscribers. Reportedly, most of these users, totaling 28,000, came from the West Coast.

T-Mobile extended the free(ish) fest until today on Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN), where it sold devices for a penny. Radio Shack also participated in the promotion over the weekend but hasn’t announced its sales numbers.

This is a move that other carriers would be wise to follow and that most already do for some of the more major holidays. For them, the cost of the phone --usually heavily subsidized anyway -- isn’t nearly as important as the $30 or so per month that comes with it. [Ed. note: OK, so ARPU isn't dead in all cases.]

For T-Mobile, in particular, it needed this help following a first quarter in which it lagged its larger competitors and struggled to keep subscribers. (See T-Mobile Hangs Growth Hopes on HSPA+ in US.)

Now I feel guilty for only getting my dad a lame card.— Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile

About the Author(s)

Sarah Thomas

Director, Women in Comms

Sarah Thomas's love affair with communications began in 2003 when she bought her first cellphone, a pink RAZR, which she duly "bedazzled" with the help of superglue and her dad.

She joined the editorial staff at Light Reading in 2010 and has been covering mobile technologies ever since. Sarah got her start covering telecom in 2007 at Telephony, later Connected Planet, may it rest in peace. Her non-telecom work experience includes a brief foray into public relations at Fleishman-Hillard (her cussin' upset the clients) and a hodge-podge of internships, including spells at Ingram's (Kansas City's business magazine), American Spa magazine (where she was Chief Hot-Tub Correspondent), and the tweens' quiz bible, QuizFest, in NYC.

As Editorial Operations Director, a role she took on in January 2015, Sarah is responsible for the day-to-day management of the non-news content elements on Light Reading.

Sarah received her Bachelor's in Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia. She lives in Chicago with her 3DTV, her iPad and a drawer full of smartphone cords.

Away from the world of telecom journalism, Sarah likes to dabble in monster truck racing, becoming part of Team Bigfoot in 2009.

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