t-mobile logo Axel Schwenke/Flickr

T-Mobile has been introducing a lot of changes in its attempt to make a comeback in the network carrier scene in the US. The company kicked things off a year ago by undergoing an “image re-branding,” to show that their “slower” HSPA+ network was as good as 4G LTE networks from other carriers. Since then, the company has also jumped on the LTE bandwagon, and has launched services in a quite a few cities recently. With a new CEO at the helm, T-Mobile is far from done with its makeover.

In a market in which the primary method of getting a phone is via a 2-year commitment with network carriers, T-Mobile has decided to go the other way with its soon-to-be-unveiled “uncarrier” strategy. According to rumors picked up by the folks at TmoNews, these are the main changes we can expect:

  • No more contracts! Existing customers will be able to finish out their contracts, or upgrade their device with no contract, but there won’t be the 2-year commitment. No contract also means no early termination fees!
  •  Of course, the catch is when it comes to the device itself. You’ll have to buy the device outright, or through a new device installment plan that T-mobile will introduce, which will be around $30/month. Opting for the installment plan means a down payment of just $99 (or less).
  • The brand imagery itself will stay unchanged, but we may be hearing a lot of the term “Dual 4G,” to highlight how T-Mobile’s HSPA+ and LTE networks are both capable of LTE speeds (at least, LTE speeds available from competing carriers). This aspect of the marketing strategy will likely continue for as long as it takes the company to rollout its 4G LTE network completely.

A contract-less system is something that a lot of consumers want, and it’s great to see T-Mobile take the initiative. Granted, we’ll have to wait and see whether such a move will be enough for the company to move up in the network carrier race. Also, at this point, I’m not sure if this means that devices will be sold unlocked by T-Mobile or whether that is still going to be an issue.

The official announcement could happen this week, and possibly even later today, says TmoNews with the new policies going into action from March 24. Stay tuned as we find out more!

What are your thoughts? Are you looking forward to a contract-less mobile world? Do you think the “uncarrier” strategy will work for the company?

Ankit Banerjee
My primary profession lies in the Network Design Engineering field. I have always been passionate about the latest trends in mobile communication advances around the world.
  • monkeypox69

    If they really want to be an “uncarrier” then they need to sell phones with stock Android and ZERO bloatware on them.

  • I’m on a contract plan with T-Mobile, but my contract ran out a while ago. It’s a family plan, and at this point, all of us are eligible for upgrades, but haven’t used them. I bought an unlocked Galaxy Nexus, and no one else has upgraded since we started the plan.

    I looked at switching over to the new value plans, but they would actually cost us more than our old contract plan for equivalent service. I’m happy to keep my legacy plan and buy unlocked phones from now on, especially if Nexus devices continue to be priced reasonably.

  • TMobile, as of yesterday (I was in the store) does not sell phones unlocked even if bought at full price. If you have a contract, you have to wait 90 days to call customer service and have them send the unlock code. If you don’t have a contract, you have to wait 60 days. So with that, I’d say they won’t sell them unlocked and you’ll still have to wait the 60 days to call customer service for an unlock code.

    • unlocking is now illegal in the US. thank the government! but no sweat, a petition to the whit house has gotten things moving… hopefully in the right direction

      • Unlocking is illegal without carrier permission, there’s a difference.

      • OnlineRefugee

        Unlocking per se is not illegal. The law says that consumers cannot unlock their phones. This is because a carrier the copyright holder of the software on the phones they sell. As the copyright holder can give or deny permission for someone to use the carrier’s copyrighted material.

        In plain English, that means carriers can sell its phones unlocked, or unlock existing phones on customer request. Or it can choose to deny any and all unlocking requests.

        Each carrier has different policies on unlocking phones. Since the principal reason to unlock a handset is to switch carriers, companies like AT&T will take full advantage of the new law, using it to force people to stay with AT&T.

        Note: Is there an evil purpose behind this new U.S. law and are companies like AT&T looking to take unfair advantage if it? Of course on both fronts.

        Consider that the carriers let this law go into effect. Heck, they probably lobbied the LOC to let the amendment go into effect. Obviously carriers thought this is a great way to undo the damage number portability law (that was implemented to allow consumers to have choice between carriers.)

        This change in law caused bottles of Champagne to guzzled over at AT&T. After all, people are not going to switch carriers, and go prepaid, for example, if they can’t use their fully paid for $550 phones. They are going to stay put because who can afford to incur another two year contract or have to pay $500 for a prepaid phone.

        Anyway, I’m going on too long. Instead of waiting for Washington to do something, we should sue in federal court that this change in law violates our rights under the Number Portability Act.

  • oli72

    awesome. the game is about to change.

  • Mike A

    Good for them. I glad it seems as if one of the big 4 is finally moving out of price gouging its customers.