“Project Dark/Black” Speculation

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The last five days or so has seen a rush of discussion regarding “Project Black.” The guessing game for “Project Black” has taken the T-Mobile Internet with hopes from an iPhone launch to an unlimited plan that makes even Sprint jealous. However, this morning was also met by an editorial courtesy of Engadget that begs the question, is a $50 dollar all-you-can-use plan enough to boost T-Mobile USA’s fortunes? The short answer is no, courtesy of the Blogosphere who simply don’t believe that a $50 dollar all-you-can-use plan is enough to give T-Mobile a chance at passing Sprint and taking 3rd place in the US wireless game. Is that the endgame for T-Mobile, $50 dollars and that’s the last gamble before Deutsche Telekom comes a’knockin? First and foremost, we don’t believe that the rate plan is the entire “Project Black” undertaking. Aside from the one thing we know to be true, that the uniforms in the retail stores will be changing, everything else is unsubstantiated.

That’s not to say that the guessing game around the web is wrong or that the hopes of many will be shut down. Engadget isn’t wrong per se, I would just like to think that T-Mobile is smarter than simply launching a $50 plan and hope it carries them past the likes of Sprint. While a plan at that dollar value is certainly more in line with budget carriers like Metro, Cricket or Boost, T-Mobile can’t count on stealing their customers to launch past Sprint. More is required–more plans, more phones and my favorite factor: marketing. Verizon has an awesome marketing campaign; see this link if you don’t think they have a clever team. AT&T has awful marketing, more bars in more places simply makes me think of more “bars” in more places. As in a bar to help me cope with the dropped calls and shoddy network quality.

I don’t think any readers of this website want T-Mobile to stay in fourth place; the customer service is too good and the network is simply far better than some want to believe. T-Mobile once suffered a stigma regarding network quality, yet in recent years has improved the network a hundred times over. The stigma is all but removed, and yet even with award winning customer service, T-Mobile is far too often overlooked. A game changer is needed, there is no question about that. There is only one question right now: is “Project Black” game changing or wishful thinking? Time will tell and it won’t be to long now till we know for sure what’s coming. Trainings are happening soon and leaks are sure to happen, if not to us, to someone else who definitely won’t waste time posting it for the masses.

Whatever happens, we’re behind T-Mobile in achieving their wireless ambitions, we just hope that the T-Mobile powers that be understand what it’s going to take. I’m going to take this website out on a limb and say this $50 dollar plan isn’t correct, it’s not even close to what “Project Dark” is. We’re not saying a rate plan isn’t “Project Dark,” but we have it on good word that any speculation up to this point is wrong. How wrong we don’t know, but wrong. Am I saying this is another unsubstantial claim, yes, but I wouldn’t write it up if I didn’t have good reason to believe it. So you heard it here first, the rate plan claim isn’t “Project Dark,” it may not even exist. If we’re wrong, the $50 plan is awesome, if we’re right, something bigger is brewing. Something much bigger.

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  • No other network would have put up with this sh*t:

    T-Mobile: Missing Sidekick data “almost certainly has been lost”

    Mon Oct 12, 2009 10:37AM EDT

    See Comments (0)
    Buzz up!40 votes

    The Sidekick was one of the first phones to keep all your e-mail, contacts, events, and photos in an online “cloud”; cool, right? But in the wake of a critical server outage more than a week ago, frustrated Sidekick users are learning the hard way that when things go wrong, cloud computing isn’t everything it’s cracked up to be.
    In what’s shaping up to be one of the worst tech train wrecks of 2009, T-Mobile and Microsoft (owner of Sidekick developer Danger) admitted Saturday that any contact, events, or to-do lists that haven’t already been restored following a massive server meltdown earlier this month are probably gone forever.

    “Our teams continue to work around the clock in hopes of some way to recover this information,” the message from T-Mobile reads. “However, the likelihood of a successful outcome is extremely low.” The message promises an update sometime today (Monday the 12th).

    Meanwhile, it’s still not clear what caused the server outage—which left Sidekick users without any data access at all for days on end—in the first place (although there are some theories floating around). Tellingly, the Sidekick and Sidekick LX are currently listed as “Temporarily Out of Stock” on T-Mobile’s Web site.

    T-Mobile has already told Sidekick users that it will give them a month’s worth of data for free in the wake of the outage, and the carrier also posted a F.A.Q. on how to restore your Sidekick contacts from vCard files, Outlook, or a SIM card.

    But many Sidekick users looked to be out of luck Monday, with who-knows-how-many contacts, calendar events, to-dos, and e-mails vanishing into the ether. Indeed, more than a few angry users on T-Mobile’s message boards were already grumbling about lawsuits.

    In the end, though, nothing (short of a miracle on T-Mobile and/or Microsoft’s part) will bring the lost data back, and that brings us to the moral of the story: Backup your data, especially the stuff that’s floating up in a cloud somewhere.

    Now, keeping recent backups of your most critical data—including your contacts and e-mail—to an external hard drive or a stack of DVDs is a time-consuming pain, no question, and if you’re lucky, you’ll never even use them.

    But here’s the thing: Stuff happens, and you don’t want to be high and dry when it inevitably does. (I’m reminded of this classic line from an old Richard Gere movie: “First thing that I ask a new client is “Have you been saving up for a rainy day? Guess what? It’s rainnnniiiing!” And by the way, he’s laughing when he says that last word.)

    Yes, I know that Microsoft/Danger should never have lost all that data to begin with (or should have kept a reliable backup), but as someone who’s lost their fair share of info due to failed hard drives or flaky servers, I’ve learned the hard way that there’s no substitute for keeping a local backup.

    That’s especially important when it comes to free, in-the-cloud e-mail account like Gmail and Yahoo! Mail—both have methods for quickly exporting all your contacts and events to a local file, and I also urge you to sync your e-mail to a local client like Outlook or another mail program—and then back that up, too. (I’ve got about six years of e-mail sitting on multiple backup drives and DVD-Rs at home.)

    All that said … to those of you Sidekick owners who are still missing data, I feel your pain—and I think you deserve a full explanation from T-Mobile and/or Microsoft of what, exactly, went wrong, and how they’re going to keep it (or try and keep it, at least) from happening again.

    So, who out there is still missing Sidekick data? Did anyone manage to get their contacts and other info back?

  • Alek

    Fifty dollars a month probably won’t convince that many people.
    People are most likely attracted to the phones the carriers have rather
    than the money saving plans.
    Everyone I talk to always wants a cooler phone or wants the hottest phone out there.
    So I think if you want to be #1 then you might want kickass phones and a killer data plan that will ward off others.
    That’s why so many people have verizon, because many people like Verizon phones.(even though it’s dumb LG phones)
    no offense

  • Steven

    @Alek

    They’re looking to be number 3, not number one. A cheap phone plan on a national level COULD take them there…

  • TMO Rep

    @Steven

    I couldn’t agree more. In our area there are not only alot of cricket customers, but also unhappy sprint customers that are looking elsewhere. I don’t think T-Mobiles phones are bad at all. Infact, I would say that the only thing significantly better is the Iphone. Having good phones on a $50 plan would be a game changer if the game is only going from 4th to 3rd.

  • Patrix

    Project Black = Blackberry Storm 2. Another OS with touch screen would be a game changer…

  • Sgt. Cell

    Got to agree with TMO REP, T Mobile’s phone selection is fine, with more quality handsets on the way. Has it been confirmed that this will include voice and data plans (the $50 unlimited)? I’d get another phone line if that’s the case. Imagine, the Nokia N900 and and a 3g BB for around $114.00 a month.

  • 30014

    @elrich…Tmobile is no longer a concern of yours. Go enjot your iphone on that crap network called at&t.

  • willy

    I agree also lol the 50 dollar plan could spring t-mo to number 3, I wonder if the 50 dollar plan will be fore smartphones as well, cant wait for the 25th to see whats really going on

  • Carlo

    Really?
    @TMO Rep the iPhone is way to overrated, think about all the phones that can multitask while the iPhone can just the max of 2 things at once, music and whatever else. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a decent phone, there is just way better phones that are often overlooked. What worries me about this unlimited plan that might happen, is network strain on T-Mobile and of course longer hold times due to new customers. Which I hope T-Mobile is ready for since that’s what they will need in order to accelerate past 50 million(from about 33 million). Another bad thing is the Sidekick data outage, which is giving T-Mobile a bad name, even though the outage is entirely Microsoft/Danger’s fault, people still overlook that.

  • Georgo

    I think it’s a project to turn on a giant laser jamming ray that will block out everyone else’s cell sites and render them useless. Muh-hahahaha!

  • epic

    @Georgo… giant laser…haha! nice….

  • batman26

    The N900 and 50 dollar plan sounds cool. Good for the budget.

  • timmyjoe42

    The T-Mobile coverage in remote areas is far behind AT+T’s, but call quality seems to be pretty good in urban areas. (Especially near my house since they built that new tower one street over from me.) :)

  • artiepants

    @ Carlo: Hardware limitations aside, i don’t think it’s possible to overrate the iPhone from a marketing standpoint. While i think the iPhone coming to Tmo soon is increasingly unlikely (i’m pretty sure it’s ATTs exclusive until next summer) if it did AND Tmo undercut ATT significantly on an all-you-can eat plan ($50s too low IMHO, i was thinking more like $75), i think you would see a flood of newcomers. like 5 to 10m.

  • peachymomo

    If they offer a $50 unlimited everything plan it will probably be for only basic phones. Pda phones will probably require a higher daata plan price. The smallest minute plans make enough to support the business so a cheap unlimited plan wouldn’t hurt profits. The data and messaging is the pure profit for any mobile company. They are offering text cheaper to keep the fcc and congress off their butts. Sms uses the leftover from voice signal so it’s not that expensive. If they put an iphone on t-mobile I hope it’s better than the one out. That phone has some of the worst signal issues and att and apple do nothing except blame each other. If t-mobile gets an iphone I hope they have a better agreement with apple than att because the tough regulations that are set for pricing and upgrade options are ridiculous. I think t-mobile needs to keep it up with android. to me that is the moneymaker if it keeps improving. att turned their noses up at android and now they’re gonna suffer. To me t-mobile can do it. They did the myfaves and it worked and they got android when the other carriers laughed. I work for att and I have t-mobile service and I’m proud. I have the chance for a cheap price on an iphone and a better price with my employee rate plan but I stick with t-mobile and my G1 that gets made fun of at work until I do laps around their iphones. I stick with customer service that is excellent and with quality coverage in my area. I don’t even have 3g yet and it’s still better than my friends iphones.

  • deedee

    well iphone will be better than any other phones even though it’s not a good phone but since it’s made by Apple….. and it’s an IPHONE…. people will be attracted to T-Mobile if T-mobile put iphone to line up…. even though iphone is NOT better than N900, HTC devices, Behold 2, etc…… it’s sad but i think iphone will attract a lot of people with that $50 Unlimited plan

  • IwantToKnow

    windows mobile 6.5 upgraded for the touch pro 2 = project black that puts tmo in number 3 spot :-p

  • deangelo724

    Well, I have to ask. What’s with the pause on 3g rollout? T-mobile was doing pretty well third quarter with it. Any ideas?

  • acsteffy87

    i think elrich isnt really an at&t customer, i think he is an employee charged with the task of smearing t-mobile and trying to get people to convert to at&t.

  • Jason

    @Georgo

    Does that frickin laser beam come up with pet sharks?

  • Just_Waiting

    Does anyone know if the Samsung Galaxy (I7500) is coming to tmobile? All the research I did points to a November release. Any inside information would truly be helpful.

    Thanks!

  • Robert

    What I wanna know is where is the new version of the G1? I havnt heard anything about it in months.

  • Matthew

    @iwanttoknow
    lol thats funn1! And I agree :) And a $50 everything unlimited plan wouldnt hurt either. I think T-Mobile should also buy Clearview, or whatever its called, so Sprint wont have a chance at their 4g WiMax, and then T-Mobile should buy Sprint as well, and also have some kind of partnership with MetroPCS.

  • Rob

    To move from number 4 to number 3 will take a lot.
    One of the main reasons Sprint sits at number 3 is because their Data network is vastly superior to T-Mo.
    T-Mo was the last carrier to get into the 3G field. Now with Sprint starting to role out 4G and Verizon going with LTE T-mo needs to be in that mix.
    IMO if T-Mo didn’t take the LAZY approach to DATA they would have def. been in the top 3.
    No one likes to be treated like crap, but when you get RELIABLE data and good service there’s a certain type of lead way.
    I think an all you can eat $50 plan will definitely bring a lot of customers to T-mo. All of these pay-as-you-go carriers will lose members due to T-Mo’s roaming and national coverage.
    Secondly, though T-Mo does have 3G out, most of us still get to us 2G or EDGE over 40 % of the time. I’m in a 3G area and I mostly see my phone using EDGE.
    DATA is not that expensive for providers. A txt does not cost .10cents. It costs them way less.
    However, customer numbers and retention is a lot more beneficial, based on subscriber numbers they can get more investors involved and even some type of government subsidy for expanding their network.
    The smaller profit per customer will be outweighed by the new customers. America is still in a recession and a lot of people are using $30 plans w/o data because they can’t afford it.
    This switch could get those $30 plans up to $50 if people see the benefit of having a mobile phone over a land line.
    Metro PCS is about to create a 4G network with only $35-$55 all you can eat plans. Why can’t T-Mo do the same?
    Ultimately I think they will need more than just the $50 all you can eat plan.
    It will have to come with a large corporate advertising blitz, audience specific phones, and some type of overnight doubled DATA coverage. Something I doubt.
    The only thing I can think of is the following.
    1. Coming in to a T-Mo store to trade in your old phone for a new 3G HPSA+ compatible phone at no charge and a 2 yr contract.
    2. All you can dream plan for $50.
    3. Better family plans and DATA value for those in a family plan. (So more cost efficient plans)
    4. Better coverage.

    I don’t think they will buy Sprint. If they did they could use Sprint’s 3g & 4G network for DATA and keep the current phones for voice.
    Buying Metro PCS will make them tougher competition for Sprint. However, Metro is too green of a company. If anything I can see them having a partnership for 4G.

    I don’t see this happening:
    1. iPhone to T-Mo. Think AT&T can’t handle the iPhone? T-Mo’s network would crash at the site of half of AT&T’s iPhone users.
    2. Buying sprint to become #3. Sprint has a lot of government contracts. Something the US Government will not really allow to happen.

    On a side note if they stop implementing 3G and just start rolling out with HPSA+ which will give them more coverage and faster speeds I can see how trading in for a $50 plan and a new phone could be a marketing tool.

  • Maikol

    @Just_Waiting
    I think they are putting it out as the Behold 2.

  • Eric

    T-Mobile definitely needs more network coverage in my area in particular, according to their coverage map I should have about 4 bars or “good” service and also 3G service at my house, the fact is I can’t even get service on my street. I had t-mobile for 7 days and tried everything from a new my touch to a new sim cards and nothin at all worked. So since I was in my grace period I porter out and tried a 3gs from AT&T and was really sold when they said I had 850 MHz 3G in my are. So I get home and I have full bars and d/l speeds r amazing. I do a coverage check and AT&T says I’d have moderate service and 3 g service, well far beyond my expectTion. Now the point of this rambling is that I pay way more to AT&T because in my area it works ANd works amazingly well. I now pay AT&T 30+ dollars more a month than I did t-mobile but I’m happy to pay that because now I have an amazing phone with great service which t-mobile couldn’t provide me with great service which is very unfortunate. People will pay more for a better service and product especially when the old service let them down so heavily. T-mobile needs a huge service boost, their spectrum is lousy or their cell tower tech sucks at sending out that signal to it’s customers. Either way, t-mobile needs a push and hopefully it’s not just 21mbps hspa+ because they need way more than that in this day n age. Good customer service can only help you so much, at some point the cell phone service needs to be prioritized And to me that would b better customer service in itself. I hope t-mobile pulls it off, because AT&T and Verizon r getting too powerful amd this is good competition. I don’t want tmobile to disappear.

  • Titty!

    why the comments? seriously people, i’m with you:)
    but this is just causing more intensifying speculation anticipation . :)
    but who is to say, it is bad? no me .
    hehe, so im done with this subject(:
    i hope not speak furthmore of it. . unless i have to(:
    haa; jus qonna look foward to Oct. 25th,
    hopefully, then . is when t-mobile will announce their plan of domination in the cellular world :)

    TEAM T-MOBILE.

    @elrich. seriously, shut up. haha, your battle is long lost.
    at&t serioussly, is no competitor. it never was(:

  • Just_Waiting

    @Maikol

    The Behold 2 and the I7500 are 2 different phones.

  • jrperiod

    I think anything short of Faster 3G speeds is pointless. Discounted rate plans are done by carriers not named Verzion all the time. So i don’t think an All in plan rocks the boat much. TMO + Clearwire in a partnership for LTE coverage at a cheap price would Most Def change things.

  • willy

    I really really doubt t-mobile is getting the iphone

  • TriniNY

    I am not for a $50 everything plan it would cripple the network especially if it was introduced before the holidays. What would be great is a rapid turn on of HSPA+ starting in 2009 not 2010.

    Next the phones we already know about like the BB 9700, N900 and a couple of surprises like the HTC HD2. Plus a rate plan that looks like TMo UK. I so desperately want a HTC HD2 I was looking on http://www.t-mobile.co.uk/ If read it right you can get a free BB 8900, G2 (I think this is the Hero) unlimited data, texts and 700 mins for about $65 per month on a 18 month contract. N97 was a bit more confusing but I think the phone costs about $400 – 700 minutes, unlimited texts is about $45 per month and data was $1.60 per day (the total cost is about the same as say a Touch Pro2 in US). Don’t know what upgrades look like because you have to login.

    The other item that TMo US is missing is video all the other carriers offer video on some type of pay option. Free Mobile DTV is being rolled out the carriers don’t want it because it’s free if TMo can provide the network to carry the traffic they should offer it.

    That’s my project black wish list!!!

  • mistermix

    I’m thinking about switching to T-Mob if the $50/everything plan and the N900 materialize — but I stopped by my T-Mob store in the area’s largest mall today and every MyTouch was still on Edge, not 3G. Our area “got” 3G in August, but only a few towers were turned up. The coverage maps are swiss cheese.

    Also, if you read the coverage section of the T-Mob forums, it is full of people complaining about loss of roaming service with AT&T. T-Mob thinks that if it has a tower in the area, it is time to stop AT&T roaming, so perceived coverage is going down, not up.

    I might be able to tolerate spotty 3G in return for a good phone and a cheap plan, but there’s no way I’m spending anything like Verizon or AT&T money for T-Mobile. They must either increase coverage or cut prices to poach customers, and since it takes time to do the former, I have to assume that they’ll do the latter to grow.

  • Ross

    I live in an area that per the coverage maps of both ATT and T Mobile, I should have full signal strength. But the actual performance was quite different. My T Mobile Blackerry was useless inside my house unless I used the wifi-UMA calling feature. When this worked, calls were clear and never dropped. But it was not 100% reliable. When it did not work, my phone was a paperweight that always had the SOS symbol on the display, meaning it was actually connected to ATT’s network, only roaming is not allowed except for 911 calls. The tmobile customer service experience was stellar, that I will admit. When outdoors, signal was always strong and calls were clear and rarely dropped. Bottom line though was that I was paying too much for a phone that would not work in my house, worked sporadically at my office (no wifi option there), and like home, would frequently roam onto ATT in SOS mode. So I finally bit the bullet and switched to ATT. My phone works at home and at the office. I have an iPhone and the calls are clear with minimal drops. I do pay a little more though and I will admit that the ATT in store, telephonic, and online customer service experience is no where near as good as T Mobile.

  • Ross

    Ps. Verizon, the holy Grail of networks, was terrible at my house. Again, supposedly a strong coverage area. With my former VZW phone, calls were constantly dropping even if I went outdoors to make a call. So overall, no provider works well everywhere. T Mobile is extremely popular in my community as is ATT. I am just unlucky that my specific block is troublesome due to some geographic barriers. But ATT, which everyone complains about is the only provider that actually works consistently at my complex.

    I would love to see T Mobile lower it’s rates and dramtically improve it’s network coverage. I would certainly come back.

  • one2tres

    @TriniNY

    the htc hd2 does look very impressive, just wish it was another OS (android), even without the physical keyboard it looks very good.

  • I was a TMOUSA customer since 2003, and I was praising how the Touch Pro2 was going to be bad a$$ and be TMOUSA’s savior since earlier this year on this site! I have been waiting for the TP2 since earlier this year, but then they had their lame a$$ $349 WITH a 2-year contract that totally pissed me off.

    And then their non-exclusivity of the TP2, along with their non-exclusive Android offerings, and then when I saw Sprint get the Hero, I knew this is a sinking ship and bailed to the iPhone and AT&T. I’m thankful that TMOUSA pushed me out because I’m happier than I ever have been, and trust me, you can be as happy too with the iPhone! Over 75,000 apps and 2 billion downloads in a year’s time, no Android or Windows Mobile device can claim that. Being first to the game and exclusive is important in any business, something TMOUSA execs missed when they went to biz skool. Oh well. And, I’m in SoCal so I’m on AT&T towers anyway, so, I might as well switch and get better service because they chip your phone so that when you’re on another network’s towers you get worse reception. I could get a signal in my garage with my iPhone but couldn’t with all my other TMOUSA phones. Once time my sister and I had the same phone (Nokia 6103s), she’s on AT&T and I’m on TMOUSA and she got a signal and I couldn’t, with them side-by-side! So, network choice is a consideration too and it just happens that AT&T was the perfect fit for me, plus they had the iPhone. Good luck to you all.

  • JB6464

    Yes, the HTC HD2 is what Tmo really needs. Android or Wm i don’t care, just give us a kick-ass phone with a huge 4.3 capacitive screen.

  • umaluver

    Its not a handset announcement. If they announced a new handset, it would prevent ALL of their other ALREADY announced handsets from selling a single unit.

    Why would they announce and hype the Cliq and new BB, just so two weeks later they can come in and announce an iphone? That would be the dumbest marketing on the planet.

  • -ray

    I think if they lower the rates to $50.00 with everything, it will be hard for T-mo to offer good phones at a good price.. It seems that we are already paying more for phones at T-mo. A couple of things I would like to see are:

    1. Rollover minutes – sure AT&T has that but it was nice to have when I was with them.
    2. Rollover texts – Hey, why not be the first.
    3. Allow customers to upgrade their phones earlier than two years…

  • tmolvr

    The $50 everything plan has to include data or its useless. I have been with tmo for 3 years n I have a $40 everything plan- unlimited anytime, nights, weekends. I added unlimited sms messages for $10 last year.

  • The news is big. I think it has to do with a merger of some kind. Sprint maybe???

  • Bill

    I checked my schedule at work today and noticed i have training on Dark Project 1 for the motorolla cliq……..at first this is completely deflating (zomg, everyone got all hyped up over the cliq?). however, i also found out, dark project has multiple parts, so who knows what’s behind door number 2

    that being said, i would like to put my 2 cents on the table about the iPHONE. say what you will about how good/bad the phone is. say what you will about how much a phone should/shouldn’t have to do with being with a provider. the fact is, the iPOD/iPHONE have remarkable marketability. so much so, they could put a hard drive in a cardboard box with a headphone jack and write iPOD on it in crayon and people will still flock to it like a ethiopian to an all you can eat buffet.

    i worked both sides. i worked 10 years in retail electronics, trying to make sure a customer knew what they were buying when asking about mps players. customers are so “branded” they would walk past a large mp3 player sign in the main aisle of the store and would ask me “where are the ipods”. i told tmobile customers all the great things about android/mytouch and what they liked better about the iPHONE. the common response? i like apple……..can’t argue with that

  • SomeoneUdontKnow

    I do know that “project dark” will be discussed with upper managment tommorrow. So keep your ears open cause the answer will be out most likely tomorrow….

  • Carl

    @artiepants
    Well yes the iPhone has sold well, but I still stand to my statement. Actually it would have to undercut Sprin’t Unlimited Mobile Plan(Eventhough you only get 400 for land lines), which would make it at least $65 because remember T-Mobile still needs to profit out of it.
    @Joe S
    Do remember CDMA and GSM would be a big mess to merge. So it is highly unlikely, if any merger would happen, there is no small GSM carriers really left to acquisition, so it would be Metro PCS(For LTE, not their ugly CDMA), and/or Clearwire.
    @ray
    You can upgrade within your contract, but you get only a small discount, or pay full price.
    I also think MyFaves 2.0 would really help now, plus 5 numbers, and adding unlimited SMS to your faves(like Alltel-Verizon).

  • Bill

    3. Allow customers to upgrade their phones earlier than two years…

    keep in mind from a business standpoint how much these phones cost. a blackberry does not cost 150.00, and a free phone was not just given to the phone companies. so to ask for upgrades sooner than 2 years would mean paying more for the phone for that option. as a tmobile customer you already have the option to accept a one year contract for a handset upgrade and get the ability to get a new phone in 11 months. most people don’t take that option because they want the best discount.

    to say that t-mobile is just making it back in on the rateplans is well the obvious statement, but how much? i was told a while back that when u factor in all the costs of keeping a service running, all the overhead, etc. a 29.99 plan makes t-mobile 3.00 a month. 3*24 = 72.00…..so a customer is actually conceivable costing the company when you consider the phone they got may have had more than a 72.00 discount. of course, the higher cost the plan is, the more profit margins become larger. but t-mobile doesn’t make 80.00 a month in net profit off of you when you pay your 80.00 bill

  • Wesley P Griffiths

    If T-Mobile does bring out a $50 unlimited plan and announces an Android phone like the Samsung Moment, I’ll surely be sticking with T-Mobile. I’m sure other people I know will want it too once I show them the phone and tell them the cost of the plan.

  • Quasar

    I really hope this won’t be a big letdown.

  • TmoFoSHo

    $50 unlimited talk and text. with optional $25 or $10 dollar web feature seems the best way to go, to me. it still allows them capitalize on data feature add’s and to undercut premimum competitors.

  • Bill

    as has already been stated, i don’t believe another cost cutting plan would be effective in bringing customers to t-mobile. t-mobile has always been known to be the “wal-mart” of the providers, providing low cost, and good customer service. people still leave to go to ATT/Verizon for Network/phone related reasons.

    i believe based on the company initiatives in the past year, it would not be another high value, low cost plan. i know @home 3 and HSDP are good possibilities, since both had already been mentioned and @home 3 was supposed to be announced 3rd quarter. myfaves 2.0 isn’t far fetched, but 1.5 was released with very little celebration.

    as much “hype” as there is around this, it’s not t-mobile creating it, it’s the fanboy sites. so, can’t blame t-mobile for trying to keep something tight-lipped and everyone getting overhyped about it.

  • tmorep

    i couldnt agree more with this post!! Tmo has been working very hard on working on building their data revenue and they have a new lineup of phones coming out. That is not speculation at all The Cliq, Behold 2, have release dates and the new blackberry is definatly coming out. I think the project will be somthing great and a real game changer, and project dark will be coming out before the end of the month they have already offered unlimited overtime for this event, although i dont think it will be an unlimited everything plan data, msg, and voice. If tmobile wants to expand their network which they do, we plan to bring out 4g very soon they will have to continue to charge for data, sorry but its true

  • notsurprised

    If this $50 rate plan hits I will be officially embarrassed to work for T-Mobile and it kills me to even think or write that because I truly love what I do and the industry I’m in. Sadly, I will essentially be selling a high quality version of Boost, Metro, and Cricket.

    BTW, thanks for further killing the commission checks of your reps as they can only make $12.50 or $25 per activation now. You will officially be pushing out the last of your tenured sales reps that know what they’re doing and give a damn about what they do. Please continue to keep the low standards going of hiring anyone with a high school diploma or GED as your front line reps and please continue to bring in people that have no business in a management role in a cellular company.

  • one2tres

    android with multi-touch screen and snapdragon processor? Along with the plans/coverage add-ons…

  • Bill

    “I would love to see T Mobile lower it’s rates and dramtically improve it’s network coverage. I would certainly come back.”

    just curious as to what kind of business model would allow for this? expanding the networks is extreamly expensive. one GSM tower costs around a mill to plant. t-mobile is already the lowest cost nationwide provider, so why cannibalize yourself to bring customers in, when they left for higher cost providers in the first place?

    i have sold t-mobile since 2001, and yes, the network could still improve. however, the network map of towers since 2001 has easily doubled from what it used to be, without looking at roaming carriers.

  • tmouser

    I think the Dark Project may be a rebranding of Tmobile with new plans/motto/uniforms/coverage/phones.

    If tmobile is trying to break from it’s reputation as the last place major carrier, they need something big all around. A $50 unlimited everything plan could do it. Tmobile is the low cost national carrier and they haven’t changed their plans in awhile, even though others have added F&F/A-List/AnyMobile. Others have pointed to lack of brochures recently to support new plans. If it were a single plan, they would just add an insert like they’ve done for other promo plans, so they’re probably a changing their whole plan structure overall, or re-branding themselves, or both. Also what better way to showcase your new unlimited plan with data than to introduce new phones. (BB9700 and Nokia N900,…) And no re-branding would be complete without a new slogan: “More for Less” (perfect for this economy) and new uniforms to complete the package. A fast paced rollout of 4G would support these new unlimited data plans they will be selling.

  • Joseph Singer

    Let’s do a little reality here. The only way T-Mobile is going to surpass Sprint’s number of subscribers is if it takes over a very large company. Let’s not forget that before Sprint PCS absorbed Nextel they were not that much bigger than T-Mobile. It’s only through the Nextel addition that Sprint had a lot more subscribers than T-Mobile. Unless T-Mobile buys AT&T I don’t see T-Mobile being anything but number 4 for the foreseeable future. Yes, we’ve heard that thing floated about DT buying Sprint and also Metro PCS but that would sink T-Mobile. T-Mobile does not need the headache of supporting two technologies that are foreign to it.

  • Hersh

    Been with T-mobile since Voicestream…I have always had their back…so I’m excited to see them stepping up to the plate.

  • Bill

    “And no re-branding would be complete without a new slogan: “More for Less” (perfect for this economy)”

    T-mobile has basically lived under this model for years and where has that gotten it? People keep saying the same thing over and over about bringing out a low cost rateplan solution. That is not the solution when you are on average 20-40.00 cheaper than the competition already. T-mobile will be cutting their own throats by releasing rateplans that emphasize this even more. T-mobile needs to become MORE profitable and not concerned about bringing in volumes of customers that expect to have the same level of service for 30% less than the competition. it may start well, but while the others may lose cust temporarilly due to the lure of lower bills, they will use their profit drenched services to increase network capacity, technology, and reliability. customers would then leave to go back to the other providers based off of needs rather than cost, and we would be right back at square 1, which is where we are standing now.

    a better model would be to find a way to lure customers based off of network services, phone selection, and higher levels of customer service. customers will always consider cost after you excel in the first 3. Target has stayed profitable over all these years next to wal-mart, and it wasn’t because they were cheaper. They provide a good product, good customer service, and are competitively priced

  • izzy

    I would have to say that I agree with notsurprised. There is a part of me that would love to be able to offer my customers a $50 ulm plan.. But there is a reason that Flexpay customer care is outsourced to India, Argentina and the Philippines. Let the idiots talk to the idiots. If we were to get a $50 ulm plan then we might as well change our name to Cricket. I hope that this “project black” is something worth the wait.

  • tmouser

    @Bill

    It’s not necessarily about being the cheapest. It’s using the low cost as a way to get a customer base and improving the perception of the brand than anything. Marketing will play a big part. I believe tmobile will try to make a statement about their brand.

    WM/Target is a poor example to back your argument against the low cost model. Although Target has stayed profitable, Walmart has been much more profitable, especially within the last year. It proves the low price high volume model can work well.

  • Bill

    T-mobile has been trying to make a statement about their brand. heck, they even brought catherine back to say it, they are and have always been the lowest cost brand of nationwide carrier.

    the fact is, it has been stated on this board time and again, that people would like to see a lower cost service. however, it’s not just lower cost service, not just lower cost with same service. it’s been stated that they want lower cost with more service (network footprint, better upgrade programs, faster data network).

    my point is two things. One, if we have been, and by have been i do mean since t-mobile has branded the nationwide us network, how will rebranding and lowering the costs effectively improve t-mobile in the long run if they are already the lowest cost nationwide provider? it’s self defeating to lower your prices when your the lowest already. we are not competing with metro pcs, cricket, or other urban based providers. they provide a good service, but not a service that is marketable enough to bring the masses of the type of loyal t-mobile customers that they desire. metro pcs/cricket/or other non-contract unlimited providers, all fall to the same problem. the mass of the people who purchase their product are not reliable.

    Two, if customers want lower cost service, better network reliability, faster data, etc. what’s going to give? network mapping is extremely expensive, t-mobile has spent billions on the 3g network, and upgrading to the new HSDPA is going to get even more costly. so if t-mobile is going to cut profits in the rate plans, increase network size, stability, and speed, who’s going to lose? the first thing that gets cut will always be payroll. bye, bye, customer service. so long low hold times. hello outsourcing. cause i am sure you are not disillusioned in thinking Mr Dotson is going to agree to lower his pay (along with all the other 7 figure exec salaries). the idea of better service, lower cost, is a great idea, but someone will lose in that scenario.

    walmart did it with hiring low cost workers, placing buildings on low cost property and keeping overall overhead down. over the years they have trimmed payroll more and more, outsourced their products to other countries, and kept hiring standards to a minimum. i am not going to argue the product knowledge point. the fact is, when push comes to shove, customers don’t care about product knowledge. otherwise, retail wouldn’t have people that drool on themselves when they talk, and don’t know the difference between a HDTV and a EDTV.

  • Cmon

    “More is required–more plans, more phones and my favorite factor: marketing.”

    T-Mobile by far has the worst marketing out of the 4 majors. I ask people what they think about the MT3G commercials since I work retail and like to know how people see those. I kid you not, every single person has said they were confused by the commercial, they didn’t know what the hell they were being sold. Sure T-Mobile has cute commercials, but what are they selling you? Dating for single dads? Step it up, T-Mo.

    Just a side note, for the mytouch in-store experts, they had a conference call with the VP of marketing, and when a rep brought up how the commercials for the MT3G weren’t that great, the VP responded with “that’s just your opinion.” Even though most reps on the call were in agreement. Nice job.

  • mikeeeee

    i’m really surprised it hasn’t leaked yet.

    just sit back, take a deep breath and wait.

    the signing of the non disclosure documents leaked, what makes anyone think that the whole enchilada won’t be out there b/4 the 25th.

    gimme a game changer.

  • JB6464

    @ notsuprised, why would you be so officially embarrassed with the $50.00 all you can eat plan ? The loyalty unlimited plan is real close to that now and add the $25./month for data it’s not to far off.
    Do you have a college degree just sell phones ? Boy what a waste of a degree if you are so officially embarrassed because it cuts your commission down.
    In case you have’nt caught wind from your customer’s lately,T-mobile 3g is really spotty and their charging 25-35/month for mostly Edge service when you get just outside of the major cities that have the 3G coverage. That’s why people leave T-mobile for other carriers.
    Now bring in a reasonable plan at $50./month all you can eat and people will come to T-mobile knowing their actually getting what their paying for.
    A growing 3G & 4G company that takes time to expand but will give you great customer service along the way.

  • I want UMA to be free of roaming charges. so you can call anywhere from a wifi, in any country, and have zero minute charges if you pay for uma

  • sprint user

    Are you guys being serious…do you not realize what 50 bucks a month will do!! I am on Sprint and I will wait about 2 weeks for Sprint to match, and then will move. The only thing I am not sure of is how they handle family plans…but at 50 bucks unlimited they will have so many new subscribers they will be overwhelmed….that is unless all the other carriers match. In case you haven’t noticed, the economy is doing poorly – and 50 bucks for all you can eat is just too good to pass!

  • IwantToKnow

    whats the point of having an iphone on tmbile when theres no good coverage. whats the point of having good cheaps plans when there is no good coverage whats the point of anything without good coverage its all about coverage 1st then plans and then the phone so projectblack better be about better coverage better, bettter 3g better plans and better phones at good prices that will bring tmobile up to number 3 if not there better off buying sprint and let us use their towers for service for better reception

  • GoYankees

    I just read this on Boygeniusreport.com. Sounds pretty big. Anyone think this has anything to do with “Project Black”?

    On Oct 11, 2009 @ 9:01 pm, Byrd Said:

    We have spent millions of dollars upgrading our cell sites for 3G. We continue to make the upgrades in the more rural areas even as we plan for this huge push. It’s not bringing a DS3 to a cell site. It is a partnership with AT&T for an enhanced “pipe” if you will. I can’t go into specifics because of proprietary legalaties. But rest assured, this new role out will blow customers away!

  • Pingback: Lack Of 3G Network Led To Customer Fleeing | TmoNews - Unofficial T-Mobile Blog - News, Videos, Articles and more()

  • Vikingsfan45

    Okay this is what t-mobile needs to do its so simple idk why T-mobile Execs haven’t figured it out yet….

    1. Marketing Marketing Marketing t-mobile has like the worst marketing out of all the four carriers. It needs to make a statement of why its the value leader over all the other carriers and also address the reputation of t-mobile having poor coverage. If project Black is releasing a new rate plan, they should market the hell out of it and not release dumbass Mytouch 3G commercials honestly its a joke compared to the IPHONE commercials.

    2. Rate Plans: Even though t-mobile still remains the value leader, its not by a big margin. Some would argue that sprint is beating them in that area so they really have to step it up in that department.

    3. Phones: Some will say that T-mobile phone lineup as of right now isn’t sold and i would have to disagree. T-mobile has the best lineup of phones right now in my opinion, the only thing that dumbass t-mobile does is prices the phones at a price thats way to high. I know there probably trying to make sure they break even on the phone price over the course of the agreement but honestly $349.99 for a TP2 and the average customer that gets a TP2 will actually pay there bill and not be Flexpay. Lol

    4. FLexpay: Get rid of it…. It creates an image that “Well i have a $700 deposit at At&T and Verizon, and a 300 dollar one at Sprint, so by process of elimination T-mobile only place i have to go… All i have to do is pay my first month bill and i get that free phone… lol” You don’t want customers that are forced to you by other customers, you want to create a brand/image that makes it so they want to choose t-mobile first not dead last because they need a phone. Maybe lower deposits then the other providers would work out better……

    I rep the big T magenta till the end of time, don’t get me wrong but thats what i feel that needs to be done either in the future or with project dark.

  • Ok this is just my thought but if the want custermers and they add the fiash player that everyone wants then this will bring customers. 2withthe flex pay uping their joining fee to 2months insted of one month now somthing has to be up they have to be planning on bying somthing if they paten with abode on the flash then that totally knocks off the I phone ass the #1 baught phone 3rd people want a phone the can use for anything tv movies radio they won’t be bound to what tmoble has for them they’ll have what the net has to offer them in the palm of there hand then people from the #1 net work move to the number 4 and walla now tmoble is number or even 2 or#1

  • JB6464

    A $50.00/month all you can eat plan.
    HTC HD2 with WM or Android OS.
    1 year contract.
    Unlimited mobile to mobile anywhere.
    Offer unlocked phones as well.

  • Hushpook

    Companies don’t typically have employees sign non-disclosure agreements just to announce rate plan changes. And rate plan changes don’t require retraining….they require an email.

    Although it must be said that ‘T-Mobile at Home’ was also called a ‘Game Changer’ by T-Mobile. That went off like a wet Roman Candle.

    The US is 5 years behind Europe in terms of wireless telecommunications…and has been since cellular was in a bag. Maybe Obama is teaming with T-Mobile? Maybe they will rebrand it, calling it T-Bama or O-Mobile. What is more European that big business & government in bed together. Can you say Socialist Facism?

    When Verizon went to unlimited talk for $99 18 months ago, it was a huge deal. It took 2 months, and the entire industry had done the same thing. If Project Black is just a new rate plan, T-Mobile will be alone with this plan for about 2 days. It better be a whole new way of doing business…..no charge for incoming calls, no international LD or text charges, one price point, expanded no contract options, better & cheaper handset selection, rich feature buckets for a low add on price, better coverage, expanded 3G, per second billing sorts of things.

  • JR

    Hushpook, you are correct in that we are Far Far behind Europe in cellular service. However, Europe is not the same at the US. The landscape is vastly different and easier to cover for the most part. But what I like most about cellular service in Europe is that it’s cheaper and their business plan is different than here. You can go into a store and purchase any phone you want and some stores like Vodaphone have a 75 unlocked phones on the wall, that alone makes it very appealing. Since T-Mobile is part of Deutsche Telekom, maybe they will adopt the same idea here? I’ll tell you, that will bring swarms of people to T-Mobile and indeed would be a game changer of sorts. The Network is another story though. While I love T-Mo I get frustrated at times that I can’t get a signal in a many places. I think they really need to merger with someone to help them expand. AT&T and Verizon are just too big giants than they will not surpass.

  • Bill

    supervisor told me after her project black meeting that they talked about the fender mytouch, and yes, new cheaper rateplans/features. amongst which was mentioned that m2m will include texting now.

  • Bill

    @JR

    you can’t compare the two ideas behind cellphone companies. america and Europe approach it completely separately. america subsidizes their handsets while Europe does not. while subsidizing handsets is an object of controversy, because of customers being upset at new subscribers getting subsidized costs while tenured customers have to wait till their contract has expired (or close to it) to receive the same discount, the fact is most people will refuse to pay close to retail price of 500.00 for a phone they can get for 200.00 at a subsidized price.

    you also have to realize that T-mobile was the first major GSM player in the cellular market while other carriers were still mostly analog. most the signal u get with verizon and att is still analog. while this does not change the end result of whether u get signal or not, just look at what the t-mobile network map was when they first took over voicestream, and look at it now.

    to say that there is no network issues with t-mobile and they don’t need to make improvements is a fool’s argument. however, as a rep for t-mobile i can tell you on more than one occasion that i speak with customers that have tried both verizon and att in certain areas that t-mobile will get coverage and the others will not. the cellphone networks of all nationwide providers will always be swiss cheese and all of them will never be able to fill all the holes.

  • JR

    @Bill
    Yes, I understand that Europe has a very different approach than the U.S. and I’ve stated that. I was making a point to mention the Euro approach and how much of a game changer it would be. Yes, there are many people (probably the majority) that don’t care for an expensive phone and even though Europe doesn’t subsidise them they have “cheap” handsets. I’ve been to Europe and the Vodophone stores have handsets of all kinds. Anyway, back to my point. IF, and that is big IF T-Mo where to do something like that, do you think that they would increase subscribers? I think so, but they would also have to IMO, increase their reach with the current network because no matter how good the handset offerings are, it really comes down to the network and if you can get a good signal. These are just my thoughts and not something that I think T-Mo US would do. IMO Europe does it right compared to the way our carriers do it here in the U.S.

    I am a T-Mo subscriber and have been for a long time along with every other carrier too. I am sticking with them for now but coverage speaks.

  • dark project… new uniforms, cheap unlimited plan, and a possible merger with cable company, think about it, it only makes sense. plus hot new phones:: driftwood, n-series nokias, cliq, behold 2. should give sprint real competition for 3rd spot. store managers for tmobile get trained on it on thurs. 10/15. so im sure something will be leaked online with the juicy details.

  • pyt3333

    I TOTALLY AGREE WITH NOTSURPRISED. THEY ARE KILLING ME…HOPEFULLY WE’LL ACTUALLY GET RAISES AND DECENT COMMISSION NEXT YEAR…BUT IM NOT COUNTING ON IT.

    ANYWAY,

    IM GOING OUT ON A LIMB TO SAY THAT THIS PROJECT PROBABLY HAS TO DO WITH EITHER “4G”, MOBILE TV OR VIDEO CALLING…BUT IM EXCITED TO SEE WHAT TMO HAS UP THEIR SLEEVES…

  • cloak n dagger

    Ok, I know two people who have already been fired from T-mobile for even talking a little bit about project dark so I’m not going to reveal anything about it because I need my job but believe me when I say this thing is HUGE… if you likes t mobile you should be VERY excited! If you don’t like tmobile you will real soon lol

  • Rep

    first off not surprised your a idiot.
    second i work for tmobile and 50 dollar everything unlimited is awesome. But therer will be a catch “everything” meaning web2go. Customers will have to pay probably 10 dollars more for mytouch and Blackberry Data thats a given so 60 bucks everything unlimited is not bad ontop of that add PHP, Callertunes, Accessories you could easily make 50 60 bucks commission on one sale now if your not capable its your fault not mine.
    Third i expect rate plan changes anyway and data changes too. going back to my second point in our market we do offer callertunes for free on the first month so yeah boost that arpu up buddy but i bet you might not be consious enough to realize that.
    Fourth i expect launches of phones like crazy.
    And Fifth like my manager told me two years ago tmobile did a all out blitz everyhting goes whatever it takes to make sales so yeah discounting like no tomorrow =).

    ps. As a rep i couldnt be happier to sell tmobile not only because we have soo much opportunity to make $$ but its a growing company and if your too ignorant to realize that go work for sprint, att, verizon. Jerk.

  • sjw

    Lets hope they make some changes to their other plans as well. Not everyone needs unlimited everything. Nights starting at 7p, with a buy down to 6p would be nice. Adding myfaves as an add on to individual phones on a family plan would be nice too. This would help people tailor plans to their needs. And maybe they should contract with sprint to get nextel direct connect as an add on. At least while we are dreaming.

  • mf2009

    Training has started. T-mobile is changing their plans altogether. Only 3 family plans and 3 individual plans. Yes one is unlimited everything. They wont release pricing to reps until 10/25 release dates. Overtime is also being offered to customer reps to help with the migration. I am very skeptical about our job’s as t-mobile reps. Cross our fingers.

  • little ghost

    I am having a meeting this Sunday to discuss the “top secret” meeting that was held in my store earlier today! WE WILL SIGN DISCLOSURE papers to ensure we stay mum! I am hella stoked to know what all the hush-hush is all about! I highly doubt that we get our hands on the Iphone.. I guess we just have to wait and see!!!

  • matthew saltzman

    hold the press if this does take place it will stop the stupid monopoly.. GLAD TO BE APART OF T-MOBILE

  • anewhope

    I just hope one of the announcements is the end of flexpay and flexpay outsourced employees lol

  • rationally convinced

    For those of you how complain about your commission check I will say only one thing. NO ONE in t-mobile got a raise…
    You probably are too thick skulled to understand so I will put it in term you can. T-mobile acutally cares abut their employees.
    They could have followed in the same tracks as the other carriers and laid off in mass amounts, however t-mobile decided to keep jobs and benefits. Each and every t-mobile employee retained their retirement, health, medical, and vision coverage, and countless other programs(tuition assistance,child care, ect..).
    So next time you want to complain about the money you think you should be making count yourself lucky that you aren’t standing in the unemployment line.

    Now as to address the rest of this, T-Mobile would benefit from a face lift. Since none us of have the knowledge
    on how something like this would work we can only speculate.
    We are not paid to understand how things will change from within. I can say without a doubt that the right prople are in the right place at the right time.
    Whatever this change is I’m positive it will be massive. If it wasn’t there would be confirmed leaks. The speculation dark project is flying around because people want to know what’s happening.
    If it wasn’t something massive t-mobile wouldn’t be playing it so close to che chest.
    I happen to know for a fact that everyone that has knowledge of this project has been sworn to keep it quiet. They have been threatened with termination as well as lawsuit.

    As for the marketing “smart time beats dumb dollars”. T-mobile does not have the advertising budget that some of the other carriers have so they must use their money wisely.
    I am sure that they are going to use their budget during key times. I don’t have a clue what that looks like but I’m sure it will increase during the next few months. T-mobile has always been a value leader and will continue to be one.
    The speculations around dark project are very interesting.

    I think I will just wait until it launches and find out directly from the source…