T-Mobile on Wednesday unveiled a bold new plan as it continues to seek out creative ways to differentiate itself from larger rivals Verizon Wireless, AT&T and Sprint. In line with reports that emerged earlier in the day, T-Mobile unveiled its new “JUMP” (Just Upgrade My Phone) initiative during a press conference in New York City. The new plan allows subscribers who pay an extra $10 per month to trade in their devices and upgrade to a new smartphone or feature phone up to twice per year for the same cost a new subscriber would pay. By contrast, carriers such as AT&T and Verizon only allow subscribers on contract to upgrade to a new device every 24 months, unless they wish to pay full price for their new handsets.
The new JUMP plan is a very smart move on T-Mobile’s part. By using some slick marketing, T-Mobile was able to assemble a terrific value-added service that is unlike anything offered by its rivals.
UPDATE: An AT&T spokesperson emailed BGR to point out that AT&T does offer discounts to on-contract subscribers. From an AT&T blog post: “Once you’ve completed six months or more of your Service Commitment, you qualify for partial discount off the full retail price when you sign a new two-year wireless agreement.” The amount of the discount seems to vary quite a bit depending on device and time left on a subscriber’s contract. The example provided to BGR is as follows: “An AT&T customer after 6 months could get an iPhone 5 16 GB for approximately $450 ($199.99 two-year price + $250 early upgrade smartphone charge), which is $200 less than the full retail price of $650. In addition, this hypothetical customer could trade in their existing iPhone 4S device and receive up to a $200 promotional credit. This means, the customer would pay $250 versus $200 if they had been eligible for a standard upgrade.”
Subscribers are still responsible for the full cost of their devices and they must trade in their current phones when upgrading, but now they are able to spread that cost between an up-front payment, a $10 monthly subscription fee, and the standard monthly payments that they are paying alongside their service plans. As a reminder, T-Mobile has done away with standard service contracts and instead allows users to pay for devices separately from their cellular service, either as one lump sum payment or spread out across 24 months.
JUMP also includes an insurance program that protects against handset malfunction, damage, loss or theft. Customers turning in damaged phones or replacing lost or stolen devices must pay a deductible, however.
“At some point, big wireless companies made a decision for you that you should have to wait two years to get a new phone for a fair price. That’s 730 days of waiting. 730 days of watching new phones come out that you can’t have. Or having to live with a cracked screen or an outdated camera,” said T-Mobile CEO John Legere. “We say two years is just too long to wait. Today, we’re changing all that with the launch of JUMP! Now, customers never have to worry about being stuck with the wrong phone. And, yes — it’s really as good as it sounds.”
The new JUMP plan is available beginning July 14th. T-Mobile’s full press release follows below.
T-Mobile Announces Boldest Moves Yet as America’s Un-carrier
– Unveils JUMP!™ — a groundbreaking approach to more frequent phone upgrades
– Rapidly expands 4G LTE network to cover 157 million people in 116 metro areas
– Launches four-line family plan for $100 per month
NEW YORK — July 10, 2013 — T-Mobile US, Inc. (NYSE: TMUS) isn’t resting after turning the industry upside down with its “Un-carrier” approach to wireless earlier this year. It’s picking up the pace and continuing to revolutionize wireless for consumers.
At an event in New York today, America’s Un-carrier announced a groundbreaking new program, JUMP!™, which enables people to upgrade their phones when they want, up to twice a year as soon as six months from enrollment.
“At some point, big wireless companies made a decision for you that you should have to wait two years to get a new phone for a fair price. That’s 730 days of waiting. 730 days of watching new phones come out that you can’t have. Or having to live with a cracked screen or an outdated camera,” said John Legere, president and CEO of T-Mobile US. “We say two years is just too long to wait. Today, we’re changing all that with the launch of JUMP! Now, customers never have to worry about being stuck with the wrong phone. And, yes — it’s really as good as it sounds.”
In addition to JUMP!, T-Mobile today announced a major expansion of its 4G LTE network to reach 157 million people in 116 metro areas across the United States. The company also unveiled a program enabling families to get four phone lines with unlimited talk, text and Web and up to 500MB of high-speed data for only $100 per month — with no credit check or annual service contract required.
Today’s news builds on months of momentum since T-Mobile announced a series of bold moves in March. The announcements included dramatically simplifying its lineup of consumer rate plans to one affordable plan for unlimited talk, text and Web on a nationwide network; eliminating the need for consumers to sign annual service contracts; and enabling customers to get popular smartphones whenever they want for amazingly low upfront pricing.
Since then, market data indicates the company has nearly tripled its flow of postpaid net-new customers from AT&T and shows T-Mobile gaining more net-new customers in May than each of the other major wireless carriers in New York; Los Angeles; Houston; the San Francisco Bay Area; Miami; San Diego; and Washington, D.C.
An Easy “JUMP” to Phone Upgrades
JUMP! from T-Mobile is designed to provide customers with total protection for one of their prized possessions: their smartphones. It offers the freedom to upgrade to a new device more affordably and protects against malfunction, damage, loss or theft — all for just $10 per month, per phone (plus taxes and fees). That’s just $2 more than most customers have been paying for handset protection alone.
Beginning Sunday, July 14, customers can choose to upgrade when they want, not when they’re told with JUMP! Here’s how it works: Customers can upgrade to a new phone, financed through T-Mobile’s Equipment Installment Program (EIP), twice every 12 months after they’ve been in the JUMP! program for six months. Simply trade in an eligible T-Mobile phone in good working condition at a participating store location. Any remaining EIP payments will be eliminated, and current customers can purchase new phones for the same upfront pricing as new customers, with device financing and Simple Choice Plan, a no-annual-service contract. With JUMP!, current customers never pay more for their new phones than new customers.1
T-Mobile’s 4G LTE Network Rapidly Expanding
Having a great device means little without a fantastic network supporting it, so T-Mobile is also moving at incredible speed to make its already lightning-fast network even better and faster for customers.
Today, T-Mobile announced that its 4G LTE network now reaches 157 million people across the United States — far exceeding the company’s stated midyear goal of reaching 100 million people — and is live in 116 metropolitan areas.
Major metropolitan areas where T-Mobile’s 4G LTE network service has launched include New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia, Dallas, Seattle, Atlanta, Miami, and many others. The company debuted 4G LTE less than four months ago.
T-Mobile remains on target to deliver nationwide 4G LTE network coverage by the end of the year, reaching 200 million people in more than 200 metropolitan areas.
In addition, T-Mobile’s 4G HSPA+ network service is available to 228 million people nationwide. By combining 4G HSPA+ and LTE network technologies, T-Mobile can provide customers with a strong, seamless nationwide 4G network experience.
Launching Breakthrough Family Option with No Credit Checks
T-Mobile today is also extending its Un-carrier strategy to families by addressing a huge customer headache: being denied premium family-plan rates because of less-than-premium credit.
Beginning July 14, families can get four Simple Choice Plan lines with unlimited talk, text and Web and up to 500MB of high-speed data for only $100 per month (plus taxes and fees) — no credit check and no annual service contract required.
An average of one in three consumers who apply for wireless service do not have strong enough credit to qualify for the best wireless rates, according to industry data. Other customers prefer to avoid the hassle of a credit check. As a result, these customers may forego service from a top provider or purchase several prepaid lines.
But with T-Mobile, all families can now access a great multi-line deal with no credit check. Simply put down a deposit (roughly equivalent to one month’s bill) to get the same incredible multi-line rates and network experience as other customers.
The Simple Choice Plan has been wildly popular with families since its introduction in March. About 80 percent of customers who have signed up for the plan have opted for multiple lines.
Continues to Expand 4G LTE Device Lineup
T-Mobile also is quickly growing its premium lineup of 4G LTE-capable devices. Today, the company announced pricing and availability for three new devices, bringing its portfolio to nine 4G LTE-capable smartphones. The new devices include the following:
· Xperia® Z from Sony. T-Mobile will be the exclusive U.S. wireless company to offer Sony’s flagship water-resistant Android™-powered smartphone to customers this summer.2 The Xperia Z will be available for $99.99 down, with 24 equal monthly device payments of $20 for well-qualified buyers for 0 percent APR on approved credit3 through T-Mobile retail stores and select retailers, as well as online starting July 17. On July 16, customers can also pre-order the device online from the same website and receive a free Sony Wireless Bluetooth Speaker gift with purchase (while supplies last). Customers may also purchase the device beginning today at any of the 38 U.S. Sony Store locations, including the flagship store in New York, or online at http://www.Sony.com/xperiaz/tmobile and will be eligible to receive the free Sony speaker as a gift with purchase (while supplies last).
· Nokia Lumia 925. Also starting July 17, T-Mobile’s first 4G LTE Windows Phone will be available for $49.99 down with 24 equal monthly device payments of $20 for well-qualified buyers for 0 percent APR on approved credit3 through T-Mobile retail stores and select retailers, as well as online at http://www.T-Mobile.com.
· Samsung Galaxy Tab™ 2 10.1. T-Mobile will provide current Samsung Galaxy Tab 2.0 users with an over-the-air software update that will enable customers to take advantage of T-Mobile’s 4G LTE network in the coming weeks. Well-qualified customers may also purchase the device with the 4G LTE capability for $99.99 down with 24 equal monthly device payments of $15 for 0 percent APR on approved credit3 through T-Mobile retail stores and select retailers, as well as online at http://www.T-Mobile.com today.
JUMP! may not be available in all locations. See your sales associate at participating T-Mobile retail stores, or go to http://www.T-Mobile.com for details.