T-Mobile recently announced a new company mission in their efforts to take market share away from the AT&T and Verizon. Their new vision of the future involves what T-Mobile calls being the “UnCarrier”. To Europeans, T-Mobile’s vision may not be very different from what is already available there; but to cell phone users in the United States, this is a big change that T-Mobile hopes will distinguish it from the competition in a very lucrative way.
Currently, with all major cell phone networks, you can buy a smartphone like an iPhone, Galaxy SIII, or Lumia 920 for a low price between $100-$300, on average, but in order to get low pricing instead of the real cost of the phones (between $500-$700), you are required to sign a contract to pay expensive monthly fees for two years. If you cancel before your two years are up, you pay a fee upwards of $350.
According to T-Mobile this current situation is “bullshit”. Yes, that’s what T-Mobile’s CEO stated as he took the stage to announce the UnCarrier plan. T-Mobile’s approach is to pay a more expensive price for the phone up front with no contract. You may opt out of using T-Mobile’s service at any time with no fees. You are not limited to when you can leave or how much it will cost to leave. In addition, the lower monthly rates for unlimited data, text, and more are easier to accept.
So what does this mean for the industry and the consumer? T-Mobile made a very bold move. By bluntly showing the audience at this keynote event how the other cell phone networks currently operate, T-Mobile is hoping that this will bring more customers to them because they are officially splitting from that tradition. T-Mobile is changing direction and hoping you will, too.
So what does the future look like for the cell phone industry? T-Mobile’s bold move clearly made the Internet stir with interest. Many people are already questioning their current cell phone contracts. Was it ever truly ethical for Verizon, AT&T, and the other cell phone networks to charge ridiculous monthly prices and lock their customers into a two-year contract?
It will be interesting to see where this idea goes. Europe already follows a similar method of providing cell phone service. The United States is unique in how it operates their network businesses. It’s only a matter of time before consumers start doing the math and realizing that there are other options available.
Will you be switching to T-Mobile to support the cause or to get a better deal? Is T-Mobile going to force the hand of other major carriers? Change is not guaranteed, but it does appear that the industry is on the verge of significant changes.