T-Mobile, stop launching cool things I can't have

Evan Selleck
Contributing Editor from  Arizona
| Published: July 11, 2013

I'll start by saying that T-Mobile USA needs to keep it up. The things they're doing right now, in terms of their carrier options for subscribers, is pretty great. And it comes down to one word: different. T-Mobile's efforts to stand out amongst the other national wireless carriers has never been more evident, and it's a welcomed sight.

Truthfully, even if nothing they're doing makes the waves that T-Mobile wants, or brings in a plethora of new subscribers, I want to just say that I love what they're trying to do. It's hard to make widespread change in any industry, but when we're dealing with the wireless industry, it seems harder than any other. Instigating change is never easy. T-Mobile is starting to make it look effortless, though.

During the carrier's event yesterday, one of the things I was paying closest attention to was the network talk itself. I wanted to know where T-Mobile was expanding, and launching new LTE-covered markets. I was hoping that while they were busy announcing those places, they would also announce that they were adding new cities and towns across the country to their major coverage areas.

But that didn't happen.

Yes, the Magenta Carrier did announce that they'd be launching their LTE coverage in new cities across the United States, including but not limited to: Boston, New York, Los Angeles, and  Chicago. T-Mobile was proud to point out that their LTE coverage is now in 116 metropolitan areas, and blankets 157 million subscribers. And they should be proud, those are both big and impressive numbers. Flaunt it, T-Mobile.

That is probably why, at least in part, T-Mobile felt comfortable in launching their new JUMP! program. In case you missed it, JUMP! is about giving subscribers the ability to upgrade their device twice within a 12 month span, all for a low fee of $10 per month. You'll be able to upgrade your device for the same cost as a new customer, and whatever you owed on the device you had previously will be wiped away. And that $10 monthly fee covers insurance for your phone, so you aren't just paying for the privilege to upgrade your phone twice a year.

After the event, I talked to a few friends and colleagues, and we were all pretty excited for T-Mobile's new plan addition. After all, we don't make any qualms about switching phones a lot, so T-Mobile is just making that easier. Can't be mad about that. But, we were all also disappointed in the fact that, realistically, we wouldn't be able to make any use of it.

Simply put, T-Mobile's national coverage just doesn't compete with other wireless carriers. Earlier this year, after T-Mobile launched this whole UNcarrier initiative, I wrote about how their 2G coverage would keep me from the great new plans. Where I live has apparently been completely forgotten about by T-Mobile, and it's still a 2G covered area with no change in sight. (There are no local T-Mobile stores anymore, either. No coverage = no sales. Shocker.)

It's no different now, and just as I've found from talking to others across the country, it's the same thing there, too. I'll be the first to admit that T-Mobile's doing a great job with their plans and options for subscribers, but I still can't help but feel like they should have put a bigger focus on expanding their network coverage, making sure that more people had the option to make use of them.

Because T-Mobile's UNcarrier options are great. They would save me money a month, and I would take advantage of their JUMP! program. But I simply can't. Switching to T-Mobile may mean a cheaper monthly bill, and even the ability to switch phones easily, but it's all for naught if the network coverage isn't there.

So tell me where you stand with T-Mobile's new plans, including the JUMP! program, and their network coverage. Have you already made the switch to T-Mobile's UNcarrier initiative, or will you now with their new program about to be in place? Are you like me, and want to take advantage of what T-Mobile's doing, but simply can't due to lack of network coverage? Let me know!