2G coverage will keep me from the Simple Choice, T-Mobile

Evan Selleck
Contributing Editor from  Arizona
| March 26, 2013

Earlier today, T-Mobile made right all those leaks we’ve been seeing over the last few weeks. The carrier has officially become the “un”carrier, and done away with the legendary two-year contracts that have throttled the wireless carriers here in the United States. There are people out there who wish nothing more than for the wireless carriers to become “dumb pipes,” or just a means to access the network and without having to worry about them getting in the way of every little detail. T-Mobile is looking to move in that direction, by first doing away with our contracts.

Earlier this week, our very own Anna Scantlin wrote about why she’s in favor of T-Mobile’s changes, and why she’s saying “yes” to the new Simple Choice plans. While T-Mobile’s new CEO, John Legere, was on stage announcing these new things, I was watching Twitter and seeing folks’ reactions. Unsurprisingly, the majority of people seemed to be in favor of the alterations, all because the contract itself was getting the boot. There were a few people who seemed to be hesitant in changing things, though.

Truthfully, I’m still on the fence about the new “plans.” I like the idea that T-Mobile is changing things up, making waves if you will. It’s great that we’re looking at some big changes, even if they aren’t coming from the biggest names in the wireless industry. It has to start somewhere, right? That’s the idea, I think.

But, more than anything, I think this is just T-Mobile trying to get a head start on the competition. If you head on over to TmoNews, David Beren wrote up a nice piece on why the new Simple Choice plans are great for “everyone.” He outlines why T-Mobile made the changes, and how it impacts their business plan even more so than it impacts the customer. It’s spot on. There really is no denying that T-Mobile is offering up affordable plans, and there’s still that whole, “We’ve got unlimited data!” thing going for them, too.

But, for me, it doesn’t even get that far. I can sit here and admit that I think it’s great T-Mobile has a new strategy. I think it’s awesome that T-Mobile is going to be a launch carrier for Samsung’s Galaxy S 4, and that they’ve got the BlackBerry Z10 on sale. It’s even awesome that they’ve launched their LTE network in seven different cities across the United States. Oh, and hey, they’re launching the iPhone 5 with their LTE support on April 12. Win-win-win… Well, you get the idea.

But, again, it just doesn’t get that far for me. Why? Simply put, T-Mobile just doesn’t have the network coverage for me to give it any thought. I recently moved down to Phoenix, and T-Mobile just announced that they’ve launched their LTE network here so you’d think I’d be all for it, right? Unfortunately, no, because the majority of my time is spent in another town entirely. My daughters are in an area that T-Mobile just doesn’t cover, and while I may live technically in Phoenix now, I spend an equal amount of time in a 2G-covered area.

And, if you’re curious, 2G isn’t any fun. At all.

Sure, I’d love to save some money every month, and that’s something I could do by switching over to T-Mobile’s new plan, but I won’t sacrifice my coverage for it. Not even a little bit. I’ve had to use 2G coverage in the past, and I very nearly pulled my hair out of my skull. I won’t go back to that, no matter how great the LTE speeds are where coverage permits. I just don’t use LTE that much.

Here’s another thing that I will admit: I hope T-Mobile succeeds in this new effort. Why? Because there’s a chance that Verizon will follow suit, and if Verizon follows suit then there’s a chance that AT&T could, too. Changes to any type of plans would be even more welcomed from either of these two companies, simply because they’ve already got the network coverage to back it up.

All in all, it’s great that something is changing. Something needed to change. Will it make a big enough difference? We’ll have to wait and see – we’re only day one into the “experiment.” But we can sure hope that these new alterations to T-Mobile’s plans have a legitimate effect to the other wireless carriers, and they, too, start to evaluate their own plans.

Are you switching to T-Mobile’s new plans? Let me know if you’re jumping on board the experiment, or if you’re skipping it simply because your neck of the woods doesn’t have the coverage you’d need to make the leap.