(Update: Legere’s in on the act) Mike Sievert teases Uncarrier 5.0, promises “big throw-down”


It seems like ages since we got the last major Uncarrier phase at CES in January this year. Three months can certainly seem like a long time in tech. But just to reassure us that phase 4.0 wasn’t the last, Mike Sievert, the company CMO teased the upcoming major changes last night.

Uncarrier 5.0 is coming very soon:

And it involves more than one “move”:

As for what that next phase is, we don’t know. We’ve received a handful of guesses and vague speculations, but not enough to bring an informed report, or write up about it. Will it involve data? Will it be another handset pricing structure change? Truth is, this time out, I don’t know. I’d still love to hear your thoughts.

What are your biggest pain points as a U.S. wireless consumer? What needs changing?

Update 1 – Not Uncarrier 5.0, but something “exciting” nonetheless: 

Screen Shot 2014-04-09 at 14.01.41


Update 2 – John Legere has teased that the next move is happening “any minute now!”

Screen Shot 2014-04-09 at 15.45.23

As always, if you want to share any tips/hints with us, hit me up on email: cam@tmonews.com.

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  • AbdoTG

    good … very good :)

  • Coverage, coverage, coverage. T-Mobile has done a lot over the past year to win the mindshare of mobile customers, but it ultimately needs to get a foothold in suburbia & rural areas if it wants to truly compete with the big boys. I live and spend most of my time in a city with good coverage so this isn’t usually a pain point for me, but I suspect this is what the majority are waiting for.

    • Fred

      This is something they’ve said time and time again is coming. I’m already seeing lte where 2g was before. 700mHz band rollout will be next but current devices won’t apply except for htc m8 so it doesn’t do a lot of people any good right now anyways. It’s not going to happen overnight but it IS happening.

      • I acknowledge that the network upgrades are coming, but I’m still cautiously optimistic. I take T-Mobile at their word that the areas with only 2g/Edge service will get LTE within the next year, but what about the areas in the US in which I’m roaming or have *no* service whatsoever? Is T-Mobile putting in new towers or are they just upgrading their existing ones? My parents live in upstate NY and when I go to visit them I am roaming the entire time. They use VZW and get excellent service.

        I haven’t heard T-Mobile explicitly address that particular issue.

        • TBN27

          It’s going to be their existing foot print

        • vrm

          My understanding is that footprint expansion will be done only in areas where they have 700 mhz spectrum license, to take advantage of it to increase coverage in those markets even in rural areas. Elsewhere, it is in place upgrade for now.

      • T-mo rep

        Well considering that the spectrum that was acquired from Verizon won’t be touching anywhere in Kentucky, they need to Jump on it…see what I did there? Granted, there are still people switching to T-Mobile because of their new plans and the way business is being done, but there would be a lot more customers in the area, if the coverage was a lot better in these smaller/rural areas.

      • substance

        The Sony Xperia Z1s also carries the 700mhz band, as well as a few others in the current Tmo lineup…

        • TMOguy

          No, none of the current TMO devices carry 700mhz band 12, which is what TMO’s 700mhz will roll out on. Please be careful posting things like that on this forum as you don’t want to spread mis-information, that’s very harmful to other people.
          It’s been well documented that 700mhz band 12 devices will roll out early Q4.

        • Maximus

          So no current device will have the ability to carry 700mhz band 12? Is it possible with a software update or is that a hardware issue? The M8 won’t have that ability either?

        • Hardware+Software. New duplexers/filters and baseband processor software need to be updated for Band 12 to work on a Band 17 designed device.

        • Maximus

          So basically, you’re not going to see the benefit of the 700mhz 12 unless you get a phone at the end of this year that has the hardware and software for it? Is that worth waiting for?

    • T-mo rep

      I agree with this. As a rep here in Kentucky, there’s nothing but rural areas around the cities of Louisville and Lexington where our customers cannot get service, and if they do, it’s extremely poor. There are plenty of consumers in the state who are ready to make the switch to T-mo and join the Un-Carrier, but cannot because of the coverage they live in.

      • vrm

        So there is no signal at all in those areas, not even 2G etc ?

        • Danny Lewis

          When not in a major area, it is usually 2G, G, or roaming. I ended up switching to MaBell once they made it to where one can BYOD without a contract. I hope they can get on the ball to updating their towers, but most of Kentucky is not covered by their 700Mhz purchase (I think, really only Northern Kentucky near Cincinnati), but shockingly Sprint has a good swath of coverage in the state–it isn’t impossible for them to improve (since they are working with similar frequencies). I hope to switch back one day. I like the way the company has been changing things and I want to encourage it with dollars, but Kentucky started out as a Cingular state and that is pretty much the case now. Except AT&T let Verizon move in and set up LTE everywhere. Lexington, for example had Verizon LTE a solid year before AT&T decided to act!

    • AussieB

      And inside buildings

  • David Tyler

    One fixed pricing that includes all government taxes and fees.

    • josephsinger

      That’s a wish you’re never going to get with postpaid service. If you want service with everything included go to prepaid. As it is now with prepaid the carrier gives a price point and any fees or taxes incurred are eaten by the carrier. In some places it’s better for the carrier and in others it’s better for the user. If what you want is better offers ask for those for prepaid. Expecting the same thing on postpaid is likely never going to happen.

    • S. Ali

      MetroPCS already does this.

    • AussieB

      Why are post paid fees so much higher than prepaid. With Straight Talk, I pay less than 1.50. On Tmobile I used to pay an extra 20:% of my bill, which makes me think alot is carrier add on

  • Bonecrusher

    It’s a new $40 MRC includes unlimited talk, text and 500mb of data for prepaid

    • samsavoy

      That’s not really that “exciting”.

      edit: so this is prepaid? The promo page is skimp on details and makes it seem like this is for Simple Choice plans as well.

    • sidekicker89

      How did you know already? :o are you sure it’s only for prepaid?

    • S. Ali

      Are you a wizard?

    • vrm

      It is not prepaid, AFAIK. It does not include international texting (and probably no international roaming) but you can sign on to jump etc and it is postpaid, no contract.

  • S. Ali

    T-Mobile “Framily” plans are coming. Sievert had favorited one of these suggestions a few days ago. It at least indicated they might be thinking about such a plan.

    It may also be a deal with the CCA/Sprint for roaming. Frankly, I wouldn’t mind Sprint/TMO sharing spectrum to enhance their respective networks

    • Hmm…hopefully it’s more affordable. I don’t like that the bill I share with my grandma is like $120 for the limited usage we use.

      • archerian

        wow, ripping off poor granny for your data usage ;) just kidding

    • Willie D

      My understanding is that there will be a plan coming that allows sharing of the unlimited phone data for tablets. Like an unlimited sharing plan for tablet customers.


    The only really big issue left with T-Mobile is coverage. I know they’re already working pretty hard on this issue. Also, nothing is likely to change overnight. So, I don’t think anything coverage related is likely to be part of an Uncarrier announcement.
    There are lots of little issues that I can think of. The biggest one, that I know of, is that some phone deals are available to new customers, but not existing customers. This is very annoying. But, again, these issues are so small that it’s hard to see how they could be part of a major event like Uncarrier.

    • 21stNow

      I think that the pricing disparities between new and existing customers are a big deal if they exist. I’ve never been able to witness this on T-Mobile, so I can only go by what I read online.

  • vrm

    Of recent, such proclamations cause in me trepidation.

  • 21stNow

    My pain points are that devices on T-Mobile cost more than the same devices on other carriers and that low-cost plan customers pay more for the same devices than high-cost plan customers within T-Mobile. If one of the main points is that service fees should be separate from device fees, then service fees should have no bearing on device fees. This makes T-Mobile sound hypocritical.


    Recent announcements
    in the media have focused on the Competitive Carrier’s Association. If
    T-Mobile signs the hub Agreement, that would be big news, as it would affect
    coverage in suburbia and rural America.

    • CrzyP

      I seriously hope this is the case.

    • Maximus

      I think you may be right on this one. That would be a big move for TMO to considerably expand its coverage.

  • d_king

    Handset prices are the real issue in the market place

    • dblock

      I don’t think they can change that the manufacturers put the stickers on their products

      • JBLmobileG1

        No but as the price and value of the technology drops, why can’t your installment plan?

        • aamir

          cuz you bought the phone at the time that it costs so much. Your not renting the phone, you in a sense mortgaged it out, did your home mortgage drop or increase as your home value increased/decreased? You agreed on a set price and a set time to pay that price within. It would be unfair to them lower the price of the phone as it ages in your possession.

        • JBLmobileG1

          If you read what I wrote above they would actually save money if the customer decided to hold off on jump. Say the phone’s monthly payment dropped $3 a month. In 24 months that’s $72…. better than them having to eat the entire price of the phone. For me, I would have probably kept my Note 2 but since I was almost paying the same amount for the Note 3, I upgraded. Tmobile actually were the one’s losing out because I still owed over $500.

        • TylerCameron

          You’re not counting the $10/month you pay for JUMP!

        • JBLmobileG1

          So they’d make more money then for the ones who don’t jump. I personally am willing to pay the $10 for the insurance and Lookout Premium, the jump is just as added bonus for when that, must have phone, comes out. I only like to get new phones if either, a new one comes out that I really really want or if my phone is crapping out. Let’s face it, who likes to constantly have a new phone then have to take hours and hours to set it all back the way you want it. Downloading apps and adjusting settings etc. I personally hate it which is why I only would jump for the reasons that I said above.

    • Nurdface Gamerhandz

      find me a 2.5 GHz quad core computer the size of your palm for significantly less than $660 and we’ll talk about prices being an issue. If you’re not happy with that, the Lumia 521 is a more than acceptable phone for $100 or even less if you buy from Microsoft.

      • aamir

        a 2.5 ghz quad core computer made with an amd or intel processor will definitely be more powerful and open than any phone. Also you can actually do almost any real type of work on it within reason. Also there is a lower markup on laptops and pc’s compared to phones, save for maybe apple computers

        • WOW

          Are you a dumbass? Read his post again. He said find him a computer, with the exact same specs, THE SIZE OF YOUR HAND.

    • Maximus

      Amen to that! How can a device the size of your hand be the same or more in many cases than a 60′ Flat Screen TV??

  • pezman726

    looking forward to this…also..today my ETF reimbursement has been approved! WOOHOO!!! :-D

  • sidekicker89

    OMG ANY MINUTE NOW :D I can’t wait!

    • sidekicker89


      • JBLmobileG1

        I am not too impressed personally, hopefully the next announcement will catch my attention.

  • Jermaine Coakley Sr.

    Simple Starter is the first of Day 1 of 3 announcements!

  • pezman726

    the link in the PR goes to a 404 page not found! get IT on that quick!

    also….looks like more announcements thursday and friday.

    Now the link is working…

    So, difference between this plan and the $50 plan..

    $50 unltd talk/txt/data w/1gb high speed
    $40 unltd talk/txt/500mb capped data.

    edit again…
    So I guess this IS NOT uncarrier 5.0 maybe that’ll come on friday?

  • JoshMC

    I think it’s actually going to be some sort of literal throwdown. I think Legere and Sievert are going to challenge the CEOs/Vice Presidents of every other big carrier to a Royal Rumble, winner gets the next block of spectrum the FCC cuts loose.

  • dblock

    Long liveeee t-mobile

  • dblock

    Please let it be something worth for everyone! !

  • Bman

    I was told they’re changing how they deal with the equipment installment plans as its a serious “pain point” for a lot of customers by an associate in retention on Monday this week.

    • JBLmobileG1

      What would be nice is if the phone price drops while your under a installment plan, your payments drop as well. For example, I am paying $29.50 a month for 24 months on my Note 3, the price will eventually drop to $27.50 or less, permanently, before my 24 months is up. It would be nice if, say in 12 months, the price does drop, that my monthly installment plan will do the same. Sure I could use jump for another phone but sometimes you may just want to hold onto your phone a little longer because there isn’t anything good worth jumping to.

      • Nurdface Gamerhandz

        Probably won’t happen since tmo sells these devices so close to cost. What you’re then paying for is the privilege of having a phone before other people/before the Next Big Thing(TM)(R)(SM) comes out

        • JBLmobileG1

          Yeah, but isn’t that the point of jump? To trade in your old phone to get the next big thing? Plus, Tmobile may get the phones, close to cost, like you say. But even if they did give you the current price point of the phone for less, I am pretty sure that amount that they paid for the phones still apply. Say they bought 20,000 phones (I am sure this is a low number) at cost and sell them for whatever monthly payment it takes to make up that cost. Then 12 months later they still have 2,000 of those original 20,000 phones left but lower the price of the phones. Reguardless, even if they are selling them for a cheaper monthly payment, they still paid the original cost for those 2,000 that they have left. I think my idea would be very uncarrier because the cost of the phone’s current pricing to the customer, would actually get lowered if they kept the phone for longer than they planned. Let’s face it, technology becomes cheaper in time. Why not pass the value on to the customer. With my Note 2 I was paying $26.00 a month but now I believe it’s like $19.50. If I still kept it I would still be paying that $26.00, but with jump I was able to upgrade to a newer phone, which To bile pretty much had to eat the remaining payments. So they would probably end up saving a little cash if people decided to keep their older phone a little longer because it was knocked down a few bucks a month. Say a phone dropped $3 off the original price per monthly installments…. that’s only $72 over a 24 month period which would be cheaper than paying off a phone that still has, say $250 worth left in installment payments.

        • Nurdface Gamerhandz

          You’d be surprised how fast we go through phones, usually our sales devices start shipping with software up-to-date (a good indicator that it was made after the software update) 1-2 weeks after the update hits. Phones are like cars, the longer they sit, the more they depreciate. You’re also missing a key fallacy in your argument in that you’ve had your Note 2 for at least 6 months (at that price, pretty sure) so you’ve already paid $124 on it. You would end up paying the same amount over more time if you were to take JUMP. If you really want to burn a JUMP upgrade for its non-intended purpose to save some money monthly, be my guest.

        • JBLmobileG1

          Trust me, I thought about it. For one, you can’t jump to the same phone. At least that’s what I was told. But I did jump to the newer model for not much more in which case Tmobile paid the remaining balance which was over $500. I could have kept my Note 2, and probably would have for the remainder of my payments if I were to get the cheaper, current, price point. Like I said, a $3 dollar savings for 24 months, which actually would have been less (because I had the phone for 6) would add up to $72. Now, tell me… If you were Tmobile, would you rather pay $500+ or $72? Think about it and hopefully I didn’t confuse you too much.

        • JBLmobileG1

          Hopefully John, or someone higher up at Tmobile reads this, because it makes sense and would save them money. Maybe not all the time, but would if one jumps right when their jump is eligible. Maybe this is why they jump plans changed to where the customer must have 50% of the phone paid off? It would make sense since people were jumping right at their 6 months where Tmobile may end up losing money.

  • tmolover21

    If it’s not Uncarrier 5.0, but something “exciting” nonetheless, it’d better be that they’re going to launch an attack against cable and DSL providers by offering TRULY UNLIMITED home broadband for a very reasonable price. The wideband LTE network that they’re rolling out is capable of speeds up to 150mbps, which is WAY more bandwidth than what is needed for smartphones, but great for home use.

    • jarrodpd

      There is no feasibly possible way to run a Comcast like service off of a cell tower unless you have ridiculous amounts of spectrum(think clearwire). Though I would love for them to get into the landline industry, maybe they could partner with Google. That way they don’t have to deal with the three idiots for backhaul(Verizon, AT&T, Comcast).

      • fsured

        A Google partnership would be nice. Hopefully Sprint doesn’t get that deal but they were the ones mentioned. Let them stick with a Dish partnership to offer home broadband through cell technology. They are already testing it on the coast of Texas. The Google/Sprint story is probably why Comcast announced a desire to partner with a big company like Verizon. It’s got them worried.

        But yeah, Google pick T-Mobile! They were the ones who took the chance to launch Android.

  • Jeff Grace

    This is my guesses for what might happen…

    T-Mobile Step one of three
    1)new $40 plan unlimited T/M 500M data,no overage
    2) EIP-easy pay over 1 year deferment
    EIP Value Plan/S-Choice no lump some cost upfront all credit classes are A class credit line 0 Down.
    Encourage JUMP2 /intro maybe 3 – faster trade in to keep value of said device upon trade in to hold more value trade in every 3 to 4 months..devices traded given to new or existing at heavy discount or lower credit classes. Manufactures of Devices release to Market at faster pace.

    Step 3 -family plans @cheaper rates,2 person 90 with UNLIMITED all and eip and taxes for $90
    Multi-Family group discount simular to framily on sprint but better and cheaper.
    More packages 400,700,900,1000,2,000 minutes with unlimited data and text. Not everyone needs unlimited minutes.

    My guess is they will anncounce that 2G/3G rural areas are updates faster than 6-18mo time frame. To 4G or LTE or both. New tech on towers to help cover more rural areas.
    They announce they have surpassed Sprint in net adds and are now number 3 ,John Legere did say Millions added and other carrier will shocked.

  • Jonathan Nedry

    My biggest pain point is the 50mb limit on roaming domestically but unlimited international roaming…