T-Mobile US aims to shake up business market

Disruptive operator T-Mobile US has announced unveiled plans to apply its ‘Un-carrier’ strategy to the US business market, focusing specifically on bringing greater simplicity and transparency to SMB mobile contracts.

“We’re going to do for businesses what we’ve already been doing for consumers – eliminate pain points and force change,” said John Legere, CEO of T-Mobile US at an event in New York. “The majority of US businesses − a full 99.7% − have less than 500 employees and don’t have the money or resources to waste debating, negotiating and deciphering the carriers’ hidden pricing.  Today, we’re upending how business buys wireless with 100% transparent pricing, the best rates, business family discounts, and more.”

TMUS asserts that businesses get short-changed by other operators – i.e. AT&T, Verizon and Sprint – and that business accounts for half of their total revenues. In keeping with its consumer strategy of simplifying tariffs TMUS will offer ‘unlimited’ talk, text and 1GB of data (per month) for a flat fee per line, with additional data packages available.

“Now, your average American business − with or without the resources to negotiate against the gargantuan carriers − can save more than $5,100 on 20 lines over two years, which is a big deal for most small business owners,” said Mike Sievert, TMUS COO. “But imagine the billions in savings for the millions of American businesses impacted by the carriers’ complete lack of transparency. That’s the real magnitude of today’s news. And that’s huge.”

Consumers weren’t completely overlooked at the event, with Legere announcing a pledge not to increase rates over the course of a contract, claiming this is something routinely done by its competitors and labelling the new pledge an “un-contract”. He also announced TMUS would pay off the remainder of any debt associated with subsidised devices if subscribers defect.

“The carriers will do everything they possibly can to lure you in, then screw you out of every possible penny while you’re locked in,” said Legere. “Now, the millions who feel stuck with AT&T Next and Verizon Edge can jump to T-Mobile at no risk. Carrier Freedom is the next phase in bringing more choice and flexibility to this broken industry.”

While Legere can come over a bit like a used-car salesman at times, the strategy of appealing to subscribers tired of the status quo is a good one, echoed by the likes of Free Mobile in France. The result has been healthy prepaid subscriber growth and it seems its sights have now shifted to postpaid.

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