Have you benefitted from the changes carriers have made?

Evan Selleck
Contributing Editor from  Arizona
| June 16, 2014

When I look back over the years in the mobile industry, one of the things that I have to admit is that there's always been change. And I don't mean from the manufacturers that build the devices we use every day. That's always changing (thankfully). But I'm talking about the carriers and what they offer. There's always been some kind of change happening, especially for the consumer, but that doesn't always mean that most of it's been good.

I remember when carriers made changes so small that it hardly made any sense. I remember when everyone was so excited about unlimited texting, and then again when unlimited minutes finally made its debut. (Do you remember rollover minutes? So much calculating.) Price changes galore, and more fees to balance it all out. It may feel like carriers are slow to do anything, and that's probably true, but there have always been changes.

That's all well and good, but the truth is, we owe a lot of credit to the Magenta carrier. That's right, to T-Mobile USA. Ever since the carrier started doing their Un-carrier initiative, the whole mobile industry has been turned upside down. A lot of the changes have been what consumers have been asking for for years, while most of the changes from the other carriers that aren't T-Mobile are still geared towards benefiting them more than the consumer, the alterations are still moving in the right direction. AT&T's even charging more for activation fees for those who want to go with the "traditional" two-year contract plan, instead of monthly installment plans for their devices.

With each new announcement that T-Mobile makes, we can expect some kind of response from the three other carriers in due time. It's honestly kind of insane to think that the smallest network in the United States is causing such a stir, but it's pretty great either way. It had to happen eventually, and even if you aren't a T-Mobile subscriber, you have to appreciate the changes they've been causing.

But with such widespread change, what has that meant for you?

Our two-year long contracts have always meant that we've been stuck to that carrier for the duration (for the majority of consumers, and for everyone who didn't want to pay an early termination fee), without many options to switch. Even if we were dissatisfied with the service we were provided, whether it came to coverage or pricing, that two-year contract was a nice, big ball-and-chain. Switching between carriers is something that's very rare, but I'm starting to see more of it as the carriers make the changes they do. And as long as we keep seeing T-Mobile launch these new Un-carrier initiatives, we should expect to see the other carriers continue to follow suit.

As they shy away from the steadfast, time-focused contracts and focus more on installment plans for devices, people are jumping ship and choosing different carriers to try out, or move over to entirely. The opportunity is there and it seems like people are taking advantage of it.

So I wanted to find out how the changes these carriers have made in the last 12 months or so have affected you. Have you jumped ship to another carrier due to some changes that one carrier made versus another? Or have those differences made you stick with your current network? How have the changes benefited you? Let me know!