Day 2 of 3: Yesterday, T-Mobile LTE for $40. Today, Operation Tablet Freedom.

By Mike SievertApril 09, 2014

Just to get everybody caught up, I thought I’d quickly recap what’s happened over the past couple days.

First, yesterday, we introduced our all-new Simple Starter plan. It makes T-Mobile the only major U.S. carrier to offer a big bucket of 4G LTE data at just $40 a month for the first line, along with unlimited talk and text.  Launching April 12th, the Simple Starter plan is purpose-built for value-conscious individual and small business customers. With data capped at 500MB you’ll never pay more until you choose to pay more – by purchasing additional data sessions (like our 1GB week pass for just $10) whenever you want. And you can enjoy all that on America’s fastest nationwide 4G LTE network. No one else comes close to that kind of honest, straight-up value.

One headline from yesterday’s news really jumped out at me … “T-Mobile’s next move: Shame AT&T and Verizon into ditching data overage fees.” I love that. Because until yesterday, if you were looking for affordable, entry-level wireless service, you basically had two pretty bad choices. 

You could go with one of the low-end prepaid guys. In return for the cut-rate price you could be treated like a second-class wireless citizen, get little or no customer service, get less device selection, limited financing options, and no upgrades. So there’s that option. 

Or you could choose postpaid service from one of the big guys, and get absolutely hosed with potential overages. Go with AT&T’s entry-level plan, for example, which only includes 300MB.  Open one too many emails and – bam, your cost immediately jumps by $20 increments — in what amounts to a massive 44% price hike.  Here’s the issue -- value segment customers who choose these plans are the very  ones least able to absorb overages and bill shock.  And these plans seem designed to lure them in and then surprise them with big bills. That’s not only wrong, it’s outrageous. 

Thanks to Simple Starter from T-Mobile, value segment customers have a new and better choice.  They can choose affordable, predictable wireless service with Simple Starter, complete freedom from the fear of overages and bill shock – and life at the speed of the nation’s fastest nationwide LTE. All for $40.

Simple Starter customers also qualify for T-Mobile’s break-through “Contract Freedom” offer, which pays their entire contract Early Termination Fees when they switch to T-Mobile and trade-in their phones. They’ll also qualify for the company’s revolutionary JUMP ™ upgrade program, eliminating upgrade hassles. Plus, as always with T-Mobile, enjoy the freedom of no annual service contract.

And, today, with Operation Tablet Freedom, we announce that we’re going to do for tablets what we’ve done for phones.

FREE tablet data, and a LOT of it, for the rest of this year.  Beginning April 12th, you’d have to be nuts to buy a tablet anywhere else. Or a tablet that chains you down to Wi-Fi for that matter. Because at T-Mobile, new and existing postpaid voice customers can add tablets to their plans and get nearly 1.2 GB of data per month FREE for the rest of this year.  Let me stop and repeat that, because FREE is a pretty powerful concept.  Add a tablet to your voice plan and pay NOTHING, nada, zilch, to get nearly 1.2 GB of blazing fast 4G LTE data every month for the rest of this year, and pay just $10 a month starting next year.  So yes, we’re serious about making your choice simple.

T-Mobile’s Un-carrier movement is all about solving pain points in this crazy industry.  Today we’re solving the serious concerns that most folks have about committing to a “cellular” (4G LTE-enabled) version of their tablet.  It seems like a big commitment to go cellular, and with the big carriers, it can be.  They want to sell you a 2-year service contract that locks you and your tablet down, before you even know how you’re going to use it. It’s scary, I get it.  But the truth is, tablets are so much more useful when they are connected to the wireless network. Connectivity changes everything.  Imagine a world where your smartphone was only connected via Wi-Fi, how useful would it be? That wouldn’t make any sense, and neither does a Wi-Fi only tablet.  With Operation Tablet Freedom, we’re making 4G LTE connected tablet with T-Mobile the only sensible way to buy a tablet.

4G LTE Tablets for the Price of Wi-Fi only. 

In addition to free data, and a lot of it, for the rest of the year, we’re re-pricing all of our 4G LTE tablets to match the MSRP of the Wi-Fi only models you can buy elsewhere.  Yep, we’re really selling all of our 4G LTE tablets for the price of Wi-Fi only version of that tablet.  That’s up to $130 off the regular prices on our tablets. With T-Mobile tossing in the 4G LTE capability, why wouldn’t  you want it?  We’re doing this with no annual service contract, and no scary commitments. Sign up and qualify for one of our postpaid tablet plans of at least 1GB (actually, nearly 1.2GB with our already-famous 200MB of “free data for life” thrown in), and you can have the 4G LTE tablet for the Wi-Fi only price, with no extra strings.  And remember, that 1GB plan is FREE for our postpaid voice customers for the rest of this year. It’s that simple!

Trade-In Your Wi-Fi Tablet, Buy a new one for Nothing Down

OK, so what if you are stuck with an old Wi-Fi tablet? Now you can come to T-Mobile, trade it in and upgrade to a 4G LTE-enabled model and pay no more than you’d pay for the cheaper Wi-Fi-only model.  For example, you might choose to pay the Wi-Fi price of $499 instead of $630 for the 4G LTE-enabled iPad Air (16GB). Or pay the Wi-Fi price of $200 instead of $312 for the 4G LTE Samsung Tab 3. And remember, on all of these tablets you might qualify for no interest financing with nothing down.

Stuck in a Contract?  We’ll pay your tablet’s ETF. 

Speaking of being stuck, you might have an over-priced tablet contract with your old carrier.  Remember, with Contract Freedom, T-Mobile will pay every penny of your early termination fees (ETFs) when you make the switch to T-Mobile. Just trade in your tablet and purchase a new one at our newly discounted pricing. After you get the final bill from your old carrier showing your ETFs, mail it in or upload it to T-Mobile then sends an additional payment paying off every last penny of those fees.

OK, so let me summarize Operation Tablet Freedom.

  1. FREE data, nearly 1.2GB per month of 4G LTE data in fact, every month for the rest of this year, for existing postpaid voice customers ($10 per month next year). No commitment, no annual service contract, so you can stop any time.
  2. Buy new 4G LTE tablets at the Wi-Fi only price for that model with a postpaid tablet plan of at least 1GB (which, as I said, is free for current voice customers).  That’s up to $130 off on your new tablet.  Now there’s no reason to go Wi-Fi only (up to 3 tablets).
  3. Stuck with an old Wi-Fi model? Trade it in at T-Mobile and get a new one for nothing down on approved credit, taking advantage of our new lower prices on 4G LTE models.
  4. Stuck on an overpriced tablet contract? Bring it to T-Mobile for trade in, buy a new tablet, we’ll pay your ETF.

Pretty good right?  

By the way, in addition to the $10 off our 1GB tablet plans (making them free for postpaid voice customers for the rest of this year as outlined above), we’re also offering $10 off our popular 3GB and 5GB plans on tablets for the rest of this year, even for those without T-Mobile voice lines. So everybody can save.

And, as always with the Un-carrier, all our customers can enjoy all the benefits of our Simple Choice plan with no annual service contract and no overage charges while on T-Mobile’s lightning fast network (Un-carrier 1.0), no upgrade hassles with T-Mobile’s revolutionary JUMP! program (Un-carrier 2.0), and “the world as your network” at no extra charge (Un-carrier 3.0).

Whew.  And that’s only the first 2 days of this week’s announcements. Tomorrow we’ll be busy launching “The Next Big Thing”, Samsung’s Galaxy S5.  We are super-excited.  And, we're rolling out the new HTC One (M8).  We’ll be back on Monday for “Day 3” of our three big days of announcements.

Note: For even more perspective on what the Un-carrier has been up to lately, check out John Legere’s recent blog posted today.

Taxes & fees additional. $10 Voice discount requires one other line of post-paid phone service on the same account.  See for specific offer and service details.