After shaking up the U.S. wireless sector with its “uncarrier” marketing strategy, T Mobile US announced plans on Wednesday to target the lucrative enterprise market with flat fee wireless rate plans for small- and medium-size businesses that require no negotiation. Two years ago, T-Mobile launched its uncarrier promotion which, among other things, eliminated two-year service contracts and associated early termination fees (ETFs), enabled subscribers to purchase their handsets at full price with installment payments, scrapped data overage fees, and paid the ETFs of new subscribers who canceled existing contracts to sign up with T-Mobile. Since then, the strategy has enabled T-Mobile not only to stem its own subscriber losses but also to gain enough new subscribers for the company to challenge Sprint for the third-place ranking among the top four national carriers.
At T-Mobile’s “Uncarrier 9.0” media event, T-Mobile CEO John Legere told reporters that his company would boost its position in the business market dominated by rivals Verizon and AT&T with a simple, flat-rate service plan that starts at $16 per line per month for up to 20 lines and that drops to $15 per line for up to 1,000 lines. (Business customers with more than 1,000 lines would pay $10 per line per month). For each line, the plan provides one gigabyte of high-speed data per month plus unlimited text and voice service. The plan contrasts sharply with the marketing methods of Verizon and AT&T, which, together, account for 87% of the nation’s business subscribers and which negotiate individual service packages with enterprise customers that tend to vary widely in price. In a press interview, T-Mobile chief of operations Mike Sievert affirmed: “what we’re doing has never been done,” as he explained that “we put our rate card out there and it’s a non-negotiation deal.” Asserting that “70% of business customers say [the buying process] isn’t transparent,” Legere proclaimed: “the best price is the only price, for everyone.”