T-Mobile Still Trying To Get Ahead, Brings Back Data Rollover
In a colorful, adrenaline-pumped and occasionally profane live online presentation Monday morning, T-Mobile President and CEO John Legere unveiled "Data Stash," a new feature that will enable customers to roll over their unused high-speed data for up to a year. Part of its "Un-Carrier 8.0" branding effort, the new T-Mobile offering will be included for no extra charge for all eligible customers with high-speed data service for their smartphones or tablets.
"These are structural changes," Legere told Yahoo Tech founder David Pogue during a live Webcast. "They're not programs, they're permanent."
T-Mobile's launch of Data Stash, which starts in January, also offers every customer a head-start with 10 gigabytes of 4G LTE data. Every month, customers' unused data will be rounded up to the nearest megabyte and rolled over into the following month. Unused data from any one month will expire after one year, meaning -- for example -- that the unused megabytes from January 2015 won't expire until January 2016.
'Game is Rigged'
"This game is rigged by the big guys," Legere told Pogue, referring to leading wireless carriers such as Verizon and AT&T. Legere added later, "I detest the industry they sell."
He offered as an example the common industry approach toward high-speed data usage. Customers who don't opt for unlimited data plans, Legere said, are forced to guess how much data they might need every month. If they buy more than they need, any unused data is lost at the end of the month. If they buy less than they need, they often end up paying overage penalties.
Of 120 million "data guessers" on wireless plans in the U.S., 13 million end up paying penalties that last year added up to $1.5 billion, according to Legere.
"It's just a silly game," he said. "We are asking carriers to eliminate a nonsensical charge that is to them profit. What's blowing people's minds is the only thing stopping AT&T and Verizon is their greed....We are undoing the things that they do."
Wideband Live in NYC
T-Mobile's "un" approach, Legere said, has enabled the company to achieve a 15 percent market share in the U.S. as of Q3. The carrier has so far this year added 8 million new customers, he said, with a total user base of 53 million at the end of Q3.
"We're the fastest growing wireless company in the U.S.," Legere said.
In response to a question from Pogue regarding T-Mobile's past reputation for poor nationwide network coverage, Legere said the company's 4G LTE network can now reach 260 million people across the U.S. By the end of 2015, he added, that figure will climb to 300 million.
Legere also noted that T-Mobile's wideband LTE service, now live in New York City, offers "real-world" possible speeds of up to 100 megabits per second.