That's Right Legere, I Own a Thesaurus!

3/26/2013 Stephen Colbert 0 Comments


T-Mobile had a lot to say today.  Sorry, I mean John Legere had a lot to say today.  It was honestly quite impressive on paper, but-at the end of the day-it was just lip service, and some cussing.

Apparently T-Mobile is now the "un-carrier."  This is to say, the things that have defined carriers in the past no longer apply to T-Mobile.  In the words of AT&T "Whatever."

Legere wanted to differentiate T-Mobile in several ways. 1- Device Subsidies, 2-Contracts, 3-Pricing, 4-LTE, and 5-iPhone.

1-Device Subsidies.  T-Mobile will no longer be "subsidizing" devices and putting the cost on the bill.  They will now give you a "payment plan" where you pay for part of the device up front, and the rest of the cost on the bill.  That's right, Legere, I own a thesaurus.  I see what you did there.

2-Contracts.  Apparently you are now off contract with T-Mobile.  How does a contract affect a normal carrier/customer relationship?  Well, you sign a document that says you will have service with the carrier for some time period (typically 2 years) and if you cancel early, you pay an early termination fee (starts around $350 and decreases as contract expires).  BUT NO MORE.  T-Mobile will no longer charge you an ETF!  No sir.  You can stop your service at any time.  You will only be liable to pay the remainder of the cost of your "financed" (subsidized) phone (started at about $450 and decreases over a period that does not reflect the same amount of time as the typical wireless contract in any way).

3- Pricing.  T-Mobile is now far and away the cheapest carrier out there, with new plans starting at $50!  Once you actually roll all the charges together for more than 500MB of data (for $50) and add the "payment plan" of $20 a month, you're right up there at the same price as everyone else.  Sure, if you bring your own phone it'll be a deal, but they are late to that game.  Straight Talk, Cricket, and others are already doing that for far cheaper.

4-LTE.  Cool.  Is it a standard yet?  If Sprint was late in launching LTE, what does that make T-Mobile?  If T-Mobile counts as "big 4," then they are last to the game, if not... they're still late.  Buying metro PCS is big on this, but Cricket and US Cellular already have LTE in about the same number of places as T-Mobile.

5-iPhone.  You can now buy a full priced iPhone from T-Mobile instead of buying it full priced somewhere else and using a T-Mobile SIM.  Oh, you can also buy it with a $90 down payment and $20/month payment plan that in no way resembles carrier subsidization.

I mean, it's cool, Legere said a lot of things a lot of people wanted to hear.  It would have been nice if changes were actually being made instead of them just doing some creative work with their dictionary, thesaurus, and bill itemization.  I'm a fan of competition though.  I'm rooting for them to shake the market up, but so far it looks like they just want attention.


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