Hours before T-Mobile takes the stage at CES 2014, ads are popping up saying T-Mobile will pay “your family’s termination fees when you trade in your devices.” It has been rumored for weeks, but the ads make it all but official.
Under T-Mobile’s new plan, after customers get the final bill from their old carrier (showing their early termination fees), they either mail it to T-Mobile or upload it to www.switch2tmobile.com. T-Mobile then sends an additional payment equal to those fees, up to $350 per line.
T-Mobile is expected to pay Early Termination Fees (ETF) from your previous carrier, as long as you trade-in your current phones and then sign-up for service, plus purchase a new device. T-Mobile may pay up to $350 per family when they bring over at least 3 lines.
Last week AT&T announced a similar plan. They will pay T-Mobile customers up to $450 for transferring their service over to AT&T. AT&T will require trading in phones and signing up for AT&T’s Next program. T-Mobile CEO John Legere called the move “desperate.”
Meanwhile, Sprint’s new “framily plan” caters to non-nuclear families, letting a Sprint customer share an account ID with up to 10 friends, family members, co-workers, neighborhood mooches, or whomever. One person may pay $55 for unlimited talk, text, and 1 GB of data. Each person added to the plan reduces the cost by $5 to as low as $30 per month. Any user can pay $10 extra for 3 GB of data or $20 more for unlimited, uncapped data.
One question looming over T-Mobile’s future is whether it will become part of Sprint, notes Fierce Wireless.
T-Mobile’s announcement earlier this week that it plans to buy lower 700 MHz A Block spectrum from Verizon illustrates that they are serious. Combining the 700 Mhz of T-Mobile and the 800 Mhz of Sprint might be one of the tricky bits.