T-Mobile is aggressively going after business customers by offering the same kind of low-cost, simplified pricing and monthly service plans it has used to good effect with consumers.
Mobile CEO John Legere on Wednesday unveiled a new "Un-carrier for Business" plan priced at a flat $15 per phone line per month for up to 1,000 lines, which includes unlimited talk, text and 1GB of data per line. The price above 1,000 is just $10. Families of T-Mobile business customers will also receive discounts of up to 50% on their consumer lines.
Legere also had two new lures for consumers: T-Mobile will cover all outstanding phone and tablet payments up to $650 per line for those 29 million customers currently locked in to phone purchase payments with AT&T, Sprint and Verizon.
He also committed that both business and consumer customers on T-Mobile Simple Choice plans won't see rates go up as long they remain with T-Mobile; and customers on unlimited plans will see rates locked-in for two years.
Legere attacked both AT&T and Verizon for practices that can mislead business customers and said T-Mobile's approach will eliminate haggling and shell games with sales reps and uncertainty over pricing. T-Mobile's simplified plans will cost 42% less than either AT&T or Verizon, he asserted, which should lead to company CIOs demanding that their AT&T and Verizon sales reps justify their higher costs.
"I can't imagine the conversations," Legere said with his trademark smirk. He urged CIOs to ask reps why AT&T and Verizon charge so much.
T-Mobile will also provide a specialized business care center for support around the clock. T-Mobile has the fastest 4G LTE service that now serves 275 million Americans, Legere claimed. That much network coverage should assure business customers that they can use the T-Mobile network widely for critical business needs, the company said.
By the end of the year, the LTE service should reach 300 million customers.
"We're driving the conversation about [an effective LTE] network, and we're at a great spot, but we're not done and not even close," Legere told reporters in a briefing that was webcast. He admitted that T-Mobile still needs to build out its LTE network for some rural and in-building areas that could serve mainly smaller businesses.
In addition to the basic 1GB of data offered per line, T-Mobile will offer another 2GB for $10 a line or unlimited data for $30 a line. There will also be a pooled data option for businesses that allows work groups to share data; that option starts at $4.75 per gigabyte for a 100GB minimum, but drops to $4.25 per gigabyte for ITB minimum.
Legere saved some of his most biting criticism for competitors who set up data buckets for business customers — sometimes come with draconian penalties should a company exceed the amount of allocated data. "What the other guys do is sell a shared data bucket with punitive overage prices and if there's one bit over, the price could be double or four times," Legere said.
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