AT&T Revives Its 'Rollover' for the Data Era

There's a reason why T-Mobile US couldn't call its recent Data Stash offer "Rollover" -- AT&T owns the rights to the name and it's a trademark AT&T is ready to use once more.

Just days after T-Mobile US Inc. began offering Data Stash, which lets its Simple Choice customers rollover unused data each month, AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) has launched its own take on that customer-centric strategy for its 50 million customers on Mobile Share Value plans. (See T-Mobile Deploys 700MHz, Starts Data Rollover .)

Cingular, which was acquired by AT&T in late 2006, actually owned the trademark on the term Rollover, which was used for a successful voice minutes rollover program. As a result, T-Mobile had to come up with a different name, in this case Data Stash, for its service.

Now, whether spurred by the competition or a case of coincidental timing (as AT&T seems to suggest), it's putting its term to use again -- but for data. Starting January 25, existing and new customers on its Mobile Share Value plans, which use a pool of data for multiple people or devices, will automatically be enrolled in the Rollover Data plan and see their unused data added to their limit for the following month.

For more on competition in the mobile industry peruse the dedicated mobile content channel here on Light Reading.

T-Mobile's Data Stash offer went live a few days ago, with the added bonus that its customers could keep unused data for up to a year rather than just one month, as AT&T is offering. T-Mobile also gave 10GB of free data for customers to bank upfront, which the carrier said 14% of its customer base has already redeemed. It also points out that the program has received 55,775 Tweets since it was announced on December 16, a new preferred measure of success for the carrier.

Like Verizon Wireless , AT&T hasn't responded to all of T-Mobile's "uncarrier" moves. But both Data Stash and Rollover Data are fairly easy offers to take part in: They create customer goodwill without lowering prices, and it's a fairly safe bet that light-data subscribers that have megabytes left to roll over won't be using it up in future months either. (See Verizon 'Comfortable' Churning Low-Value Subs .)

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, Light Reading

KBode 1/9/2015 | 8:11:23 AM
Re: Coincidental timing Would it? I'm not so sure. They just went on record saying they were more than prepared for video spikes, and estimates are they spent $20 billion or so on spectrum at this latest auction. I don't think it would have broken the bank (or network) to offer a slightly more robust rollover data effort.
Phil_Britt 1/8/2015 | 10:04:48 PM
Re: Coincidental timing You're right, rollover of a month is nothing. But from a network perspective, AT&T couldn't afford to have a lot of data hoarders, and then have a large percentage using up their "stash" in a short amount of time for a popular streaming event -- it would overload the network.
mhhf1ve 1/7/2015 | 3:50:21 PM
Re: Coincidental timing Kbode is exactly right about AT&T's timing. And T-mo's CEO also predicted that AT&T would come up with some lame version of data stash with a ton of fine print.

Just wish Sprint would pull some un-carrier moves to further spur some competition in the wireless market....
sarahthomas1011 1/7/2015 | 1:31:31 PM
Re: Coincidental timing Ha I know. T-Mobile was smart to get its announcement out ahead of CES noise (and then use CES to promote it), but something tells me AT&T didn't always have this planned for the show...

And I agree about the limitations of this. It should, at least, all be lumped into the same category of data once it's rolled over, but then they couldn't enforce their one month stipulation.
KBode 1/7/2015 | 1:14:49 PM
Coincidental timing Coincidental timing. :) Yes, just like the coincidental timing when they announced a limited 1 Gbps fiber offering in Austin on the heels of Google Fiber? 

The fact the rollover data expires after a month -- and the fact you can't use said data until you're through your regular data -- seems somewhat lame.
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