I think T-Mobile's Value Plan strategy is a wise oneAnna Scantlin - Contributing Editor
Currently with around 33 million subscribers, T-Mobile USA is the fourth largest phone company in the nation. Recently we’ve been seeing an influx of news articles relating to T-Mobile and their future changes, including plans to start selling Apple products in 2013 and making a switch to be 100% Value Plan in 2013 as well. Overall, it sounds like next year will (hopefully) be a great year for T-Mobile.
I’ve always seen potential in the company, and despite it only being the fourth largest in the U.S. they must have been doing something right if they can keep that many subscribers without selling the iPhone up to this point. There have been talks of T-Mobile being bought out by other companies, like AT&T and Sprint, but personally I like the way things are now. Four major carriers to choose from gives people options, and from what I can see, people like options. T-Mobile has always had decent priced plans and has always seemed very flexible when it comes to up-front payments, and it looks as though they are expanding on that concept plus broadening their horizons by finally adding the iPhone.
I’m not sure if this will catch them up to the third largest company in the U.S. (Sprint, with around 52 million subscribers) but it would definitely get them closer than where they would be otherwise. I’m not sure if T-Mobile is doing this in an attempt to surpass any other phone company, or just to stay afloat. Deutche Telekom, the parent company of T-Mobile, is currently the third largest company internationally, so they’re doing something right somewhere. I don’t see them going down without a fight.
T-Mobile’s move to being strictly Value Plans is said to include Equipment Installment Plans, upgrade flexibility, and even the option for customers to bring their own devices. All three sound like good plans, but I think the last two are what’s going to draw in the most new customers. People like having more options than just what the company offers, so if they’re allowed to bring their own device (assuming this means any device that uses GSM technology – which will exclude phones tailored for CDMA companies like Sprint and Verizon) that gives them more choices. Prepaid plans like Straight Talk and Simple Mobile have already implemented these programs to see a pretty decent success. Upgrade flexibility, just judging by the phrase, will hopefully mean you won’t necessarily have to wait 22 months for an upgrade. I’m sure the flexibility all depends on what plan you have or what features you add, but regardless, the option will supposedly be there.
It’s always interesting when a company makes big changes like this. I always hope that it’s for the better, but just because it looks good on paper doesn’t necessarily mean it will actually work the way we want it them to. With only minor details available to us about these new changes coming to T-Mobile USA, we can only speculate exactly what these changes mean, and on what terms and conditions they will be applied to. I can say that - from what I can tell - these changes can only help move T-Mobile forward. Making the decision to sell Apple products alone will give them a whole new set of prospective customers. Coupling that with the fact that they’re going to attempt to give customers the best bang for their buck, I could see this going very well. Or it might all blow up in my face and I could be completely wrong. Guess we’ll find out soon enough!
So readers, what do you think this means for T-Mobile? Do you see this going well for the European based company, or do you think there’s a catch behind all of this? Let me know what you think in the comments!