T-Mobile/Uncarrier 5.0 temptation…

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This week T-Mobile announced the latest tweak to their Uncarrier movement – version 5.0. The highlight of Uncarrier 5.0 includes a free 7-day test drive of their network (on a iPhone 5s no less). With supposedly no strings attached. And to sweeten the deal, T-Mobile is also giving its customers free music streaming that does not eat into their data limits. 

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T-Mobile has been tempting me for a while now. Their new Uncarrier plans look to be a great bang for the buck. My worry is that you get what you pay for and it would turn out to be cheap, crappy service or not work where I need it to. My family has been on Verizon for over a decade now, and we definitely enjoy the quality of service they provide. But this Cadillac service comes at a premium price. That said, you and I can now see if T-Mobile’s growing network will work for each of our individual situations with zero commitment or guilt.

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I have already signed up for one of T-Mobile’s test drive iPhones. I am hopeful that their service works for my family. If so, our cost would go down by over a third while providing unlimited high-speed data (where we currently have a measly 4GB between the three of us).

I am curious how many of you are tempted by T-Mobile’s new Uncarrier plan? Or who has already switched over, and are you happy that you made the leap? I and those reading would love to hear your thoughts.

Posted in: News, Wireless

{ 4 comments… add one }

  • eClipse June 20, 2014, 12:41 pm

    I have been a staunch T-Mobile guy for a decade, and I switched “away” last week. Why? Cost.

    I like what John Legere is doing, and I say “more! more! more”, but with that said, it’s the long-term loyalists that are getting nothing from the bargain.

    I had the “unlimited loyalty” package, which worked out to unlimited voice, 400 texts, and 5GB of data a month for about $89. No contract, no commitments, and I could pretty much do whatever I wanted with my data (seriously, do people actually pay their carrier for navigation and hotspot?). Some T-Mob rumor sites were indicating that they were looking to retire these accounts

    I use GVoice exclusively, in and outbound, so the phone number and carrier is kind of an afterthought (which is awesome, BTW).

    The downside was that with no subsidies for phones, I was paying about double what I should to no advantage, and they had no way to retain me. They couldn’t offer me a “free” phone anymore,
    reduce my price without reducing my services, nor provide anything extra whatsoever – their biggest challenge? Their own MVNOs.

    I bought a StraightTalk activation kit from Walmart, and swapped the SIM. StraightTalk is an MVNO for T-mobile. That means that I’m on the same network, same service, same towers, etc., just a different billing address and smaller check every month.

    The change was painless, (and instant since the phone isn’t really porting anywhere), and I’ve noticed zero change in anything. I need to keep a slight eye on data as I get 3GB “unlimited” instead of 5, but my history showed that I use about 2.5-2.8 a month, so when ST’s recent bump to 3GB was the last thing holding me back.

    Assuming I pay for a year in advance, as planned, my monthly fees will drop to $41 a month.

    My venerable (and now cracked, ugh) GSII noticed no change, and if I ever get my 1+1 Invite (please, please, please) I’ll just swap the SIM and move on.

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  • DStaal June 21, 2014, 10:28 pm

    I’ll be the guy on the other side: I fairly recently switched to T-Mobile (though not to one of their ‘Uncarrier’ plans).

    I was on Sprint, and had done well with them for years, but wanted to cut my costs. I bought an unlocked Nexus 4, and looked for prepaid bring-your-own-phone plans – T-Mobile got me with a $30 plan that has 400 minutes (more than I’ll ever use…) and unlimited data (throttled after the first 5G, but again I’ve never come close to that). The terms were simple and easy and it’s saved me money.

    I looked at Straight Talk – but a lot of their terms and conditions were hard to find (odd, given their name…), and they didn’t have much better in terms of plans. There are actually a couple of odd clauses in their terms as well, once I found them.

    As for coverage: I don’t have coverage at home, but then I didn’t with Sprint, and my parent’s don’t have coverage here with Verizon, so it’s just a dead zone. I use a VOIP setup at home so it doesn’t matter. Elsewhere, I’ve seen some dead zones (in National Parks, again where coverage for others was spotty as well), but the coverage is as good as my Sprint coverage was, and nearly as good as my parent’s on Verizon.

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  • eClipse June 21, 2014, 11:35 pm

    It’s interesting to see how needs dictate carrier choice, or at least plan.

    I live on the phone – lots of conference calls, and travel a fair piece nationally,
    but sporadically, so unlimited voice is important, as is the data, though I have a
    backup source (Clearspot) that I also use.

    I’d be curious as to the clauses you didn’t like in ST’s offering.

    3
  • DStaal June 22, 2014, 12:07 am

    It’s been a little while, and I was looking at a lot of different carriers, so I could be mis-remembering. (Or they could have changed their plans.) But the one that worried me I believe was about tethering – I don’t do it often, but I disliked that they cared, and at the time I was looking at work-from-mobile options, so being able to create a hotspot mattered to me.

    However, the main thing was that while I was looking I would go to a carrier’s site, scan down the page, see cost, limits, terms, and compare. This worked fairly well for just about every carrier; it would be stated in big print, usually on the front page – Except for Straight Talk, where I found myself having to dig and dig to look up several of the terms and limits. The fact that I had to spend more time looking up the terms and conditions for a company that claimed to be straightforward and upfront about it’s terms and conditions worried me. So it wasn’t even that the terms were bad, it was that they weren’t ‘straightforward’ about them.

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