T-Mobile Disrupts an Already Chaotic Scene



T-Mobile puts a twist to unlimited data

T-Mobile (TMUS) won’t allow rival wireless network operators any peace. T-Mobile, and to some extent Sprint (S), prompted market leaders AT&T (T) and Verizon (VZ) to bring back unlimited data plans after years of outage. Unlimited data plans hadn’t made much economic sense to them.

On September 19, T-Mobile struck again, and the unlimited data scene won’t be the same again. The carrier announced that it was raising its unlimited data caps, doubling those of its nearest competitor.

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Unlimited limit moves up

T-Mobile hiked its unlimited data plan cap to 50GB (gigabytes) per line per month. Its unlimited data plan was previously capped at 32GB per line per month. When T-Mobile raised its unlimited data caps, it was already the most generous carrier among its peers. Sprint’s unlimited plan was offering 23GB, while both AT&T and Verizon were offering 22GB. Sprint, which has been looking for a merger partner for a long time, is mostly owned by Japanese corporation (EWJ) SoftBank.

Boost to T-Mobile’s marketing

Unlimited data plans come with a couple of restrictions. After customers exhaust their data allocation, deprioritization kicks in and speeds slow down when a user is in an area where network traffic is congested.

T-Mobile’s move with higher unlimited data caps will allow it to accommodate more data-hungry users, boosting its competition and sales. T-Mobile’s 2Q17 revenue grew 10% year-over-year to $10.2 billion thanks to its unlimited data offering.


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