Wednesday, January 8, 2014

T-Mobile to Pay Early Termination Fees, Claims Fastest LTE

T-Mobile US promised to pay early termination fees (EFT) of up to $350 per line for customers who switch from AT&T, Verizon or Sprint. Customers who hand in their eligible devices at any participating T-Mobile location and switch to a postpaid Simple Choice Plan can receive a $300 credit based on the value of their phone, when they purchase a new smartphone from T-Mobile.

In a keynote at the Consumer Electronics Show, T-Mobile CEO said the offer represents a "Get Out of Jail Free Card" for families stuck in the perpetual cycle of 2-year contracts that have impeded true competition in the U.S. mobile market.

“Carriers have counted on staggered contract end dates and hefty early termination fees to keep people bound to them forever. But now families can switch to T-Mobile without paying a single red cent to leave them behind.” -- John Legere

In his presentation, Legere lampooned the company's three largest competitors, saying the status quo in the wireless industry has been exceptionally bad for consumers because the lack of market freedom blocks innovation.

In the first eight months since launching its "Un-Carrier" strategy, T-Mobile has already seen positive results:

  • T-Mobile added 1.6 million customers in Q4 2013, more than the other 3 carriers, including 869,00 post paid adds.
  • T-Mobile added 4.4 million customers for all of 2013
  • 12.2 million customers are on Simple Choice plans
  • No competitor response to T-Mobile free international data roaming

Legere also exulted in the finding that T-Mobile now has the fastest LTE service in the nation, according to Ookla's  17.8 Mbps on average compared to 15.1 Mbps for Verizon, 13.7 Mbps for AT&T and 7.6 Mbps for Sprint.  He also bashed AT&T's newly announced Sponsored Data initiative as "horsesh*t" and called Sprint's Spark rollout essentially "a pile of spectrum waiting to be turned into a capability... come back in a few years."