Last weekend, Verizon announced its new unlimited plan, offering customers truly unlimited data for at first $80 a month, which was later revised to $110. This announcement followed many months of Verizon explaining how customers did not really want unlimited data, seemingly as a defense against T-Mobile and Sprint’s unlimited offerings, joined by AT&T late last year.
Earlier this week, T-Mobile blogged about Verizon’s offering, telling readers how America’s largest wireless carrier did something predictable: last week, OpenSignal had ranked T-Mobile and Verizon as providing similar coverage and data speeds. Realizing they had lost their network advantage, Verizon improved their plan offerings for customers. On Monday, T-Mobile improved their ONE ‘unlimited’ plan by adding 10GB of monthly wireless hotspot data at full-speed and including HD video streaming. The company also announced it was offering two lines for $100 a month, less than half the price of Verizon’s one line of unlimited service.
T-Mobile’s outspoken Chief Executive Officer, John Legere, is quoted in the blog as the carrier’s latest move: “This is what the Un-carrier does—drag the carriers kicking and screaming into the future.” He also explained that the next change in the industry is to remove the practice of quoting a service charge, which omits taxes and additional charges. The blog included Verizon’s original unlimited plan price of $80 plus the $5 taxes, which is not included on Verizon’s headline figure but is for T-Mobile.
Interestingly enough, over the last eighteen months, T-Mobile has invested heavily into its LTE network, which is now closer to Verizon’s network. However, it is not quite as comprehensive: according to T-Mobile’s blog, their LTE network now covers 99% of the population that Verizon’s LTE network does. T-Mobile’s service may not be suitable for the unlucky customer living or working in that 1% of the population. For those customers with T-Mobile service, other organizations have independently measured T-Mobile’s network as the fastest in the industry including Speedtest.net, the FCC and Twin Prime.
T-Mobile made itself the “Uncarrier” back in 2013 and since then, has worked hard to change the industry. It has acquired customers from the larger two American carriers (Verizon and AT&T) and has overtaken Sprint to become the third largest carrier in the US. The carrier has introduced equipment installment plans, forcing others to offer customers more value. However, this week, the company has shown that it is not afraid to polish its offering in order to stay competitive in the space.