Whenever T-Mobile announces a new un-carrier press event, I get excited. Since they began their Un-Carrier “movement” they have brought about a vast number of changes to the wireless industry, many of which caused the other big US carriers to take notice.
A Quick Un-Carrier Recap
Un-Carrier 1.0 – First they got rid of contracts. They know that users hate locking themselves into contracts for any type of service. I just signed a contract to stay at the same gym for a full year and that gives me anxiety and I know that it’s better for me that I can’t get out of it.
Un-Carrier 2.0 – The introduction of JUMP. They know that people get tired of their phones by the time two years have passed and responded accordingly. They also know that people don’t want to pay for their phones outright, so they made it easier to finance those expensive electronics to prevent people from being tied to their carrier. This change inspired an industry-wide push for similar programs, giving users more choice when it comes to their devices.
Un-Carrier 3.0 – Free global data and texting with all Simple Choice plans. They know that people hate having to stress about roaming when they travel to other countries and now you can take your T-Mobile phone and SIM with you to over 120 countries and still have coverage.
Un-Carrier 4.0 – Free tablet data for life. If you have a tablet with LTE capability, go to a T-Mobile store and get a SIM and enjoy 200MB of free data every month, forever.
Un-Carrier 5.0 – Test drive the T-Mobile network for free. They know that people are wary about T-Mobile’s network coverage and they want to prove you wrong about your reservation. Just say the word and they will lend you an iPhone for a week to try out their network. If you don’t want to sign up for a plan, just send the phone back at the end of the week. They also announced the roll out of VoLTE, which is becoming a new industry standard.
Un-carrier 6.0 – Music Freedom, one of my personal favorites. A lot of people need a high data cap to cover their music listening habits, but if listening to music doesn’t count towards your cap, then the sky is the limit!
Wednesday, John Legere in his typical fashion took to the stage and announced another change to their network that everyone should enjoy.
They’re calling this phase of Un-Carrier, “WiFi Unleashed” and it is all about using your phone over WiFi networks. They announced that from this point forward, 100% of phones sold in T-Mobile stores will have WiFi calling capabilities baked in and if current users don’t have phones with that capability already, there is a special window for the JUMP program that will allow users to switch to phones that are capable of WiFi calling.
They’re touting this as an improvement to their network, with CEO John Legere saying, “This is like adding millions of towers to our network in a single day.” On one hand, he’s completely right and I can relate to having poor network coverage in my home, in my basement, sometimes unable to send a text message from my bedroom. However, many people will see this as an excuse to neglect their network limitations.
With that said, if T-Mobile follows through with their promise to deliver 4G LTE to all of their network locations that are currently limited to 2G/Edge, that argument will all but dissolve. They will still have many spots in their network, but this will be a huge step in the right direction.
That wasn’t the end, however. They also announced that they would give all of their customers free T-Mobile CellSpots. These signal boosters are to help to improve upon what they have already done with WiFi calling and texting. Your WiFi might not reach out to your garage, but this cell signal booster will work to improve the signal for all of your phones throughout your house, giving you a full signal no matter where you are (as long as you have a broadband connection).
The last part of Wednesday’s announcements was T-Mobile’s partnership with Gogo. If you’re not familiar with Gogo, they are a company that caters in-flight WiFi on many US plane carriers. Typically their service is completely outrageous, but if you’re a businessperson who needs to stay in contact at all times, or a parent with a small child, that fee may seem nominal.
T-Mobile has partnered with Gogo, however, to give all T-Mobile customers free WiFi texting on all flights that have Gogo’s service on-board. It may not be much, but it’s a lot more than nothing, which is the typical amount of communication you have with the ground on domestic flights.
So, with everything out on the table, what are your thoughts on the newest un-carrier phase from T-Mobile? Do you find WiFi Un-leashed to be liberating? Tell us all about it in the comment section, below!