Uncarrier 5.0 incoming, but what will it be?


It’s been almost 3 months since T-Mobile took the wraps off its last Uncarrier phase, and it was perhaps its most disruptive to date. Offering to pay off customer early termination fees in order for them to switch carriers was a bold move, with subscribers being offered up to $650 to trade-in and port their number to Magenta.

With three months having gone, and T-Mobile roughly sticking to one disruptive phase each quarter, it’s worth counting down to now:

  • On March 26, 2013, the Company announced its radically simplified unlimited “Simple Choice” service plan with no annual service contract. Device financing with the Equipment Installment Plan (EIP) provides customers with low out-of-pocket costs on some of the most popular devices available in the US wireless industry.

  • On July 10, 2013, the Company unveiled JUMP!(TM), a groundbreaking approach to more frequent phone upgrades. T-Mobile had more than 3.6 million customers enrolled in JUMP! at the end of the fourth quarter of 2013.

  • On October 9, 2013, the Company announced that it would make “the world your network – at no extra charge” – with unlimited data and texting worldwide in 100+ countries for Simple Choice customers. At the same time, T-Mobile announced that it had delivered nationwide 4G LTE in 233 metro areas covering 202 million people. Since then, 4G LTE coverage has increased to 273 metro areas covering 209 million people.

  • On October 23, 2013, the Company un-leashed tablets and revolutionized how customers buy and use tablets with free data for life. Customers receive 200 MB of free data every month with any tablet for as long as they own and use the device on T-Mobile’s network. In the fourth quarter of 2013, T-Mobile had 69,000 mobile broadband branded postpaid net additions, principally composed of tablets, compared to 5,000 in the third quarter of 2013.

  • On January 8, 2014, the Company announced that it would reimburse Early Termination Fees (ETFs) for individuals and families who make the switch to T-Mobile and trade in an eligible device. The plan also offers a trade-in value for customers’ phones.

As you can see from the difference in dates, there’s a 3-4 month gap in between each phase (except for October when the company announced two within the space of two weeks.

So there’s that pattern, and then there’s Mike Sievert’s tweet from last week, showing some execs around a conference table “planning the next Un-carrier move“. But the question is: What will it be? What is left in the industry to disrupt? Are there any pain-points left for consumers. What would you like to see?

If you have an opinion on the matter, leave your thoughts in the comments. If you have a tip to share, or want to get in touch personally, hit me up on email at: cam@tmonews.com, or on twitter: @TiP_Cam.

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  • Hurlamania

    Well there may be a method to the madness… T-Mobile has stated they want to move people off pre paid plans which is easier to do these days since the plans are the same essentially at least in price structure. the issue they would have most resistance to is pre paid customers would pay more due to taxes and fee’s. that is a small price considering the partner coverage you gain but if T-mobile wants to make there post paid plans tax / fee’s included they would need to off set the loss by eliminating the current discounts. taxes and fees are roughly 10% so basicly the would be taking away 15% from a few to give 10% to everybody. just a thought theory.

    moving pre paid to post paid will allow them to use those numbers in their base moving the quickly closer to sprint.
    the fact is T-mobile doesn’t need to offer pre paid as T-Mobile the have metroPCS for that. If you are a customer on T-mobile pre paid and you most likely would be better on MetroPCS they have The same coverage and it’s totally unlimited is $20 cheaper as their other tier’s are cheaper as well.
    So eliminate taxes and fee’s, move pre paid to post paid. if they can’t move tp post paid move them to MetroPCS.
    most providers use this model or are moving to it except for the eliminating taxes that would be un carrier.
    Sprint use boost and virgin for their pre paid, att is moving in that direction with aio / cricket
    and T-mobile with MetroPCS

    • mloudt

      I wasn’t going to reply to this but the more I read the more foolish you sound. Your post is full with inaccuracies and wrong nesses to say the least. You start off saying pre paid users if they switched to post paid they would benefit because of partner coverage meaning At&t roaming well pre paid has been had voice and text roaming for years and recently added limited data roaming at the end of last year. Post paid coverage is a little better than pre paid and you supposedly get more data roaming. That reason alone gives pre paid subscribers little incentive to become post paid. Main difference between the two is on post paid you get Jump, EIP, and increase coverage in certain places and more roaming data.

      Next, you say more and more companies are going away from having pre paid branded plans no they not lmfao. Sprint recently re did their Sprint As You Go plans and At&t is keeping Go Phone but merging Aio into Cricket and Verizon re did their pre paid plans to All Set so wtf? The National Carriers are going to stick with branded pre paid and use it as a premium over their subsidiaries pre paid brands. Some people on pre paid don’t want Metro on their phone so no they aren’t better off on Metro some people want brand recognition.

      You can buy a good phone off Craigslist for a good price so if you don’t need Jump or EIP and it’s just one or two people then pre paid is a good option. Post paid is good for more than two lines for people who can’t afford to get new devices for the whole family so don’t post your idiot assumptions. Pre paid you don’t have all those extra taxes for like you said for basically the same plans as post paid so their is a need for branded pre paid. Metro Pcs doesn’t have data roaming by the way Tmo pre paid does just another incentive for Tmo pre paid customers to not want to be on Metro Pcs. Lmfao do us a favor don’t post ever again.

  • vrm

    Uncarrier branding has taken a huge hit this year- they need to come up with some other marketing gimmick.

  • Randall Lind

    200mb of data is like 5 mins LOL

    • JJCommonSense

      Five mins for free is more than what any1 else gives u.. and isnt it 200mb 4g? The rest would fall to 2g? So youd still have something, right?

      • Randall Lind

        I guess but, not a reason I would use to buy a tablet.

  • eanfoso

    Better indoors coverage is all I ask, I hate that in my school outside I can get full on LTE Outside, but inside I end up losing signal o.O and then I have friends with Verizon and at&t who just sit on full on LTE

    • Aaron Jaeger

      Once T-Mobile deploys the 700Mhz spectrum they recently bought from Verizon, indoor reception will improve.

      • eanfoso

        Do you know which areas will see this improvement? I have as understanding this was mostly north/ northeast US, I live in southeast Texas

        • Baz

          A coverage map was posted on this site back in January when the announcement was made. Check back.

        • Aaron Jaeger

          I saw a map which showed certain areas in eastern Texas would benefit. You’ll have to check for your specific area.

  • luvmytmo

    All I’m happy about is that by this time next year, all edge gone! Was also told by my TMO boss that John Legere stated that all profits from each store will be used to build towers in that stores area to improve coverage. Gives store incentive to do more to make more profits, thus improving the network! Sure that won’t start till 2015.

    • Paul

      Interesting idea to use profits to build towers in the area. I’m not sure how the rental fees will be covered via profits. Or what will happen if a store closes.

    • donnybee

      Those would have to be some hella good profits to afford that!!

      Better not tell anyone your company no longer gives corporate discounts!

      • Rdaex

        LOL.. yep, my stores 1300 bucks last month will sure help!

  • fsured

    Move all carrier loaded applications on phones to downloadable forms from the app market. If they want to fix bugs in them then it gets put on the market as updates like every other application. They can even release new application products and improve the ones they have faster to meet market trends. Include them in the sale of a new device to market their products but have the option to remove them if the customer chooses. Or at least deactivate them and have them hidden from view so that all the applications shown are the ones installed by the customer.

    I don’t need to see Google Play Movies, a T-Mobile video service, then manufacture video service application.

    That makes 3 applications offering the same services. If they weren’t busy adding their own custom firmware on top of the manufactures then updates would come out faster to the devices. I understand they need to add whatever is needed to make the device properly work on their network such as radio firmware but extra stuff just slows it down. They also need to devote the same resources to approving updates for all devices and not just Samsung or HTC. If the manufacture releases fixes or software updates pass it on to the customers.

    Xperia Z, still waiting on 4.3 T-Mobile!!!! Sony pushed back 4.4 to mid-quarter from a March release but the T-Mobile version of this device is still on 4.2.

  • http://www.kdmstance.com BiGMERF

    im pissed.. taking away my discount.. may be losing me as a customer because of it..

    • JJCommonSense

      If u already have your discount, u can keep it…. calm down whoady!… hold up I just read the updated release…. not sure if im happy about that. This could be the end of my relationshop w/ TMO.. especially with AT&Ts new plans, which ill still get a discount on :(

    • Nurdface Gamerhandz

      Have fun getting shafted way more anywhere else… but at least you’ll have your discount off of massively overpriced service :)

  • JJCommonSense

    I hope they get the new galaxy tab or note pros.. id love to finance that thing via TMO instead of being fiscally raped by verizon

  • Bklynman

    They are going to back Carly and her bike. Or Maybe give the same prices as Metro Pcs.
    Metro prices about $10.00less than TMO.

  • Juan Pablo Darquea

    Uncarrier 5.0 Wii buy att yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes jajjajajjajajajjz

    • Spanky

      Yeah, that’ll happen!

  • donnybee

    UnCarrier 5.0: Introducing corporate discounts!

    That’s a good pain point they can now address..

  • Jephri

    8 to 10 line family plans

  • N1Ro

    I do not see any T-Mobile logos on the new Samsung Galaxy 5 and HTC One M8 devices. Maybe Uncarrier 5.0 will finally do a major cleanup and offer unbranded phones crapware free.

    In any case, I really like the fact I do not see the carrier logo on the new phones, I hope this is really the case for all new devices going forward.

    • Singleweird

      samsung would cease being a supplier to t-mobile if we didnt let them put junkware on. thats why they’ll never be a nexus supplier again.

  • GirlNextDoor

    With any luck, they’ll nix deposits.

  • macman37

    1 of the announcements may be that the iPhone will be on MetroPCS.

  • simple

    I was just improved and expanded coverage

  • Andrew

    How about including all taxes & fees in the advertised price? I’d happily give up my corporate discount for TRUE price transparency.

    • …just saying.

      that’s dumb, because taxes are dependent on where purchase is made.

      • Andrew

        I’m totally aware of that. However, as a example, different states have different levels of corporate taxation, yet McDonalds still features a $1 menu without including a bunch of extra fees tacked on (outside of sales tax). T-Mobile could just consider those taxes/fees as a cost of doing business and lobby the states against them, instead of passing them along to us lowly consumers who have almost no ability to pressure our representatives for relief. They already do that on their pre-paid lines btw.

        • tmolover21

          I would not be in favor of that. States and the federal government need those taxes and fees in order to operate, and if they don’t receive them, they would need to make deep budget cuts on necessary services.

        • Andrew

          There’s no reason cellphone service should be taxed more than any other normal item. The taxes/fees in some states add up to almost 20% more than the retail plan cost. That’s ridiculous.

    • Jibin Dani

      I agree, this would be great.

    • josephsinger

      Get prepaid! All taxes and surcharges included!

      • Brian

        that’s great if you only need 1 line. can’t do prepaid family plans.

        • Jason

          Straight Talk and Family Mobile have family plans i thought???
          Both carriers above use TMo in most markets also….

        • jej

          The T mobile prepaid lists the same rates for multiple lines as postpaid. Can anyone confirm if this is taxed like other prepaid plans?

    • Brian

      I couldn’t agree more. A major pain point between prepaid and post is the rediculious fluxuating taxes. I would even be ok with a flat tax per line idea. That way you don’t necicarily cut into profits by eating the taxes, but it makes the taxes budgetable and manageable. How about a flat $5 in taxes per line, no matter what state you’re in. Same bill every month, no matter what!

  • noone

    What about the plan changes? That could be uncarrier move, the 1 GB of free data.

  • Will

    The next uncarrier move should be TAX FREE on everyone bills. That will make sense since we are taking out the job discounts and such. TAX FREE MOBILE UNCARRIER 5.0 ftw.

  • mreveryphone

    It should be to remove all bloatware and let the consumer choose what carrier branded apps they want on their phone!! Does anybody use T-Mobile TV?

    • josephsinger

      Get an iPhone. No bloatware. Bloatware only happens when there’s collusion between carrier and manufacturer. Apple won’t stand for it. Same reason you don’t see “Intel Inside” on Macs.

      • mreveryphone

        I’d rather have bloatware than have to own any apple product… except for the nano…

        • josephsinger

          Hey, get what you want! If you enjoy bloatware good for you.

        • mreveryphone

          Yeah I don’t enjoy it hence my first post but I loath apple products even more

        • josephsinger

          It’s always easy to say “I loath” and not give any reason for I loath except for the Nano. I don’t “loath” anything. There are things I prefer, but I’m not one to loath.

        • mreveryphone

          I’ve owned an iPhone didn’t like the fact that I couldn’t make it my own or use widgets which I prefer, as well as Google now. Those are my reasons…

      • Jason

        Apple is the draconian opposite of bloatware in which its a closed eco system and 99% is pay to play….ick

        Apple also inflates the price of “their” hardware inside their devices so the same specs are half the price on windows…

        Bloatware in some cases are manufacture’s trying to add there touch to standout from other manufacture’s products….

        Removing all would make it less innovative but i agree with op that end user should be able to choose…
        You can root if the device is android and either delete or freeze/hide apps that you would like gone….

  • Steve_NYC

    I’d like to see them offer WiFi calling on iOS devices.

    • Jason

      I agree but wifi calling is buggy at best for myself….
      If I’m not within 15ft of router calls drop worse than normal phone calls….
      Also you’ll have errors sometimes with sending sms/mms, where it refuses to send and you have to turn off wifi calling and then enable it again to get a chance to send it….

      Atleast put wifi-calling architect out so developers at xda could tinker around to enable it on all devices and/or improve it

      • Rdaex

        Im fairly certain that wifi calling is a hardware feature, not an app or software. Someone can correct me if im wrong

    • FluX

      Works perfectly on my T-Mobile Shadow (look it up :P).

    • jj64012

      Wifi Calling on any T-Mobile phone. Surely they can bake the necessary files into an app and put it on the play store and the appstore.

    • chris Tmob RSL

      ios is getting this with 8.0

  • Joeapple

    John just twittered we get to keep our discounts more to follow tomorrow

    • http://www.philosophicalreflections.com/ D.A. Elliott

      Wow!!! I thought this was a late April Fool’s initially but you’re right. I just checked. I can’t believe our protests appeared to have worked. Kudos to everyone on this site that contributed to this reconsideration in any way (e-mails to TMO, phone calls to CS, letters to tech news sites, tweets to Legere and co., etc.). You all rock.

  • vrm

    increase throttled speeds to at least 256 kbps, preferably 512 kbps.

  • sushimane

    I wish they would give us a choice of doing 0 down or down a certain amount to get a lower monthly payment. I know 0 down sound really nice and it is but sum people want a lower monthly payment just like a car payment. For example a xperia z1s 0 down 25 dollars a month for 24 months but if u down 270 the monthly payment is 13.75.

    • ummm

      You can do exactly that.. pay as much as you want up front…the down payments are just minimum amounts due

      • sushimane

        When I tried to do that at the store they won’t let me. I was trying to grab the z1s but they only offered me the 0 down. I guess I had to talk to sum other sale rep.

        • John

          Even if they tell you to do 0 down, you can pay off as much as you want either online or over the phone at one time. Your monthly payment will then be the balance divided by the number of months remaining!

        • thepanttherlady

          Unless something has changed, the only time the monthly payment amount will change is with a larger down payment (the more down you put the lower your payment). All other payments will only reduce the amount of months left in the EIP, not the amount of the monthly payment.

        • TMOTECH

          That’s funny because my mom put 200 down on her nexus 5 and her payment dropped from 20 to 8.

        • thepanttherlady

          That’s what I said, right? The more money put down will lower the monthly payments.

        • Chris Tmob RSL

          extremely late I know, however, you can pay whatever you want for the initial down payment (as long as it is MORE than what you’re approved for) This will lower your monthly – If you put down an extra “$100” it will change it to whatever exact amount it needs to make 24 payments of the same amount. like 98.92 (this is a random # don’t fact check it) Now AFTER that point, any money you pay will knock off how many payments you have left. the final payment will adjust to an obscure amount if an entire payment amount is not paid (ie: your monthly payment is 24 x $20 and you only pay $13 – you will have 23 payments that would be $20 and your final payment would be the remaining $7)

        • thepanttherlady

          3 comments up I said the same thing.

        • matt

          Wrong just reduces number of months left

        • Steve R.

          In stores it may be that they won’t let you pay more than the “$0 down” offter, but online you can choose how much you’d like to specifically go towards your phone. So you technically could buy your new phone and afterward go online and pay a larger sum.

  • shatter

    Raise the throttle from 2G to 3g, 2g sounds unappealing.

  • jeff grace

    Good news. Tomorrow we will announce that current corp customer employees can keep their discounts. New plan will apply to new customers.

    — Mike Sievert (@SievertMike) April 2, 2014

  • Jason Anderson

    Is this a troll and bait post? If they were just thinking of pulling off of discounts completely why would they discount every family plan?
    You stated make it fair for everyone yet you think its fair to deny individual plans discount? Individuals can shoulder the bill due to lack of kids is just laughable at best…..What about Jon Doe who’s living on a pension or say even just social security? Besides what does kids or how much one can shoulder figure into cell phone plan prices when their are many alternatives that are cheaper?
    Did you also want TMo to give everyone s5’s for free so everyone can experience the same google experience? Well of course everyone but individual plan holders haha

  • Jason

    I hope uncarrier 5.0 is a release saying TMo’s going to stop addressing every change as uncarrier insert number here!

    Also it would be great if TMob hides the chip on the shoulder until all the network upgrades are finished.
    Maybe give Jon L. a 2-3-4 week vacation for all the progress he has pushed and give him time to brainstorm..

    Instead of verbally attacking other carriers, manufacturers maybe come out with a honest assessment of TMo themselves and sell the future plans of coming to same level of network coverage while still being lower priced and fairly priced…
    Even Verizon had to get rid of the “hear me now guy” lol

    My gut instinct says 5.0 was the discount removal with the claim that it was for being fair for all customers
    PLease prove me wrong TMo…haha

  • juan

    Is it me or is the indoor reception getting better

    • mreveryphone

      No its not just you, I’ve noticed it too…

  • Gabriel Martin

    The BEST 2 UNCARRIER 5.0 announcement:

    * INCREASE throttle speed

    * OFFER same ADVANTAGE DISCOUNT to everyone irregardless of where they work:
    INDIVIDUAL PLAN – $10 discount/credit per month
    FAMILY PLAN – $20 discount/credit per month

    SAME TREATMENT for everyone and it is very SIMPLE & easy to understand…

    We are wishing that these will be the one they will include in the UNCARRIER 5.0

    Have a great day to y’all

    • Steve R.

      Or just having the price with all taxes included would probably be cheaper for them, and therefore more realistic. By the way “irregardless” doesn’t exist, it’s just “regardless”

  • longtimeCustomer

    I wish they would offer limited minutes (1000) and unlimited data to lower price point.

    • Jason

      There was one for the Value plans…..That ship has now sailed :(
      I have 1000 mins for $50, family text for $10, and then unlimited data for $20 on two of the lines…
      I couldn’t believe that people weren’t jumping on board with TMobile back then, $100 for three lines of service, unlimited data for two….

      Now when i try to add data for the third line, I don’t even have a choice for unlimited data only tiered….

  • Tachyonic Cargo

    A bill that actually makes sense when you read it.

    Yes, I have the Simple Choice plan with four lines on it. But the bill is still a complete bitch to understand, despite the simplicity of the rate plan.