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By Edward Gately
T-Mobile is now targeting enterprises with its “un-carrier” offering of no annual contracts, overages or international roaming fees.
The company recently launched Un-Carrier 9.0, or Un-Carrier for Business, in which it promises a “radically new level of transparency, simplicity and value – and upending how business buys wireless.” T-Mobile introduced its simplified phone plans for consumers in 2013.
“We’re going to do for businesses what we’ve already been doing for consumers,” said John Legere, T-Mobile’s president and CEO. “Eliminate pain points and force change. The majority of US businesses – a full 99.7 percent – have less than 500 employees and don’t have the money or resources to waste debating, negotiating and deciphering the carriers’ hidden pricing.”
The program includes a per-line, flat rate of $15 per line for up to 1,000 lines, and $10 for each line beyond 1,000. Also, T-Mobile said it won’t charge enterprise customers for exceeding their data limits.
Currently, Verizon and AT&T account for 87 percent of business subscribers, with Sprint taking just 10 percent and T-Mobile accounting for the rest, said Mike Sievert, T-Mobile’s chief operating officer.
With Un-Carrier 9.0, T-Mobile is doing “what it does best here – disrupt pricing or other competitor soft spots with a singular focus on growing future net adds,” said Rich Karpinski, principal analyst at 451 Research, an IT research and advisory firm.
“It has nowhere the enterprise depth of AT&T or Verizon – or even Sprint, whose new workspace-as-a-service offering is much more encompassing – but that might not matter,” he noted, commenting specifically on a New York Times blog. “The goal here for T-Mobile is a simple one. Keep its subscriber growth – which has jumped from 33 million to 50 million in large part thanks to its Un-carrier efforts – headed northward. With consumer smartphone penetration peaking, this is a smart shot at huge market. If it takes even a piece, it can keep its growth story going.”
Sievert said, with Un-Carrier 9.0, the average American business can save more than $5,100 on 20 lines over two years, which is “a big deal for most small business owners.”
“But imagine the billions in savings for the millions of American businesses impacted by the carriers’ complete lack of transparency,” he said. “That’s the real magnitude of (this) news.”