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Last year we started to see a strange trend. T-Mobile, primarily a contract carrier, started adding more prepaid subscribers than postpaid. While this kept the carrier’s numbers in the black, many in the industry worried that it would bring down revenues. That seems to be the case, as we can see in T-Mobile’s fourth quarter numbers. Their net income fell to $306 million, from $483 million in Q4 2008. Unsurprisingly, they again added more prepaid customers than postpaid. This time it was a bit different, though. T-Mobile actually lost postpaid customers during the quarter.
February 3rd, 2010 | T-Mobile | 2 Comments
While Boost Mobile is busy showing off its shiny new BlackBerry, other prepaid carriers continue to roll out low-end models. These appeal to a portion of the prepaid segment becuase they’re so darn cheap — you can use the basic talk and text functions, which is what some people seek. Via Cell Phone Signal we learn that T-Mobile plans to launch the Samsung T139. It features a VGA camera and Bluetooth. That’s it. No word on pricing, but we should find out some time today.
November 23rd, 2009 | T-Mobile | No Comments
Details are starting to emerge regarding the new T-Mobile prepaid plan, T-Mobile Complete, which we covered last week. Now we find out the specific handsets, their pricing, and the service plan associated with them. That’s how T-Mobile is working this prepaid deal. Your monthly plan is dependent on the handset you buy. Does that make things easier for everyone?
November 19th, 2009 | T-Mobile | 1 Comment
It’s getting harder to believe, but there were days when prepaid phones were limited to very basic and usually outdated models. That still exists, of course, but over the years we’ve seen prepaid companies upgrade their offerings. Now, instead of offering only three- and four-year-old phones, some companies are offering two-year-old phones — and some are even offering new models. Earlier this year we saw MetroPCS introduce the BlackBerry Curve 8330. Since then they and other carriers have added more advanced devices. T-Mobile jumped into the fray this week with their new deal, T-Mobile Complete.
October 26th, 2009 | T-Mobile | 12 Comments
As expected, T-Mobile announced a new set of plans yesterday as part of Project Dark. In an effort to supplant Sprint as the No. 3 carrier in the country, T-Mobile has introduced a series of simple service plans to along with their new crop of high-end handsets and their eventual 21Mbps HSDPA upgrade. The plans aren’t quite as good as the rumored $50 all-in, but they do bring quality prices to prepaid. In fact, the FlexPay plans, which require no contract, are priced lower than their contractual counterparts.
October 19th, 2009 | T-Mobile | 1 Comment
While it’s not listed in the prepaid section of the website, T-Mobile FlexPay is prepaid in nature. It has the two most important aspects of prepaid service: no contract and no credit check. The draw of FlexPay is that customers can have a normal T-Mobile postpaid plan, but prepay for it. This allows the use of smartphones and other advanced services — in theory. In practice, that can get expensive. Most prepaid customers, therefore, will not use smartphones. That’s true, but only if things remain the same. A new T-Mobile program could change that notion.
September 10th, 2009 | T-Mobile | 1 Comment
Good news for T-Mobile prepaid subscribers: there’s a new handset out, and you’re eligible. It’s the Samsung T659, and it’s a slider phone with a 3G radio. So if you live within the T-Mobile 3G map (check to see if you’re in one), you can take advantage of faster speeds and better overall coverage. The T659 really isn’t much: a 2.2 QVGA display with a 2.0 megapixel camera, Bluetooth, GPS support, and some music capabilities. Yet the device won’t come cheap: $199.99 without a contract. But that’s about the going rate for mid-range phones on prepaid these days. You can check out the selection and prices on from our other pay as you go cell phone providers and see that it’s not the worst deal out there. Still, $200 for a phone that looks like it hit Virgin Mobile two years ago isn’t really something to brag about.
Via Phone News.
August 14th, 2009 | T-Mobile | 2 Comments
We kick off this Friday with a bit of news on T-Mobile. Over the past few quarters, we’ve seen T-Mo add more prepaid subscribers than postpaid. Of the Big Four carriers, they are the only self-branded prepaid service which has done this. That trend continued in Q2 2009, as only 17 percent of T-Mo’s 325,000 subscribers were of postpaid ilk. That means nearly 270,000 of the adds were prepaid, which puts T-Mobile up there with the likes of Cricket and MetroPCS. While the company plans to add devices, like the MyTouch and eventually the BlackBerry 9700, to boost postpaid sales, perhaps T-Mobile is better off focusing on the sector which is powering the majority of their quarterly adds.
July 30th, 2009 | T-Mobile | No Comments
Anyone who’s bought a prepaid phone at Target, Wal-Mart, or any other retailer knows that the phone comes wrapped in armor. It’s that thick, impossible to tear plastic that encases many electronics these days. This might make it tougher for shoplifters to remove the item from its case and get out without setting off an alarm, but it’s a royal pain to consumers. Plus, it uses tons of plastic, which as we know isn’t the best thing for thee environment. T-Mobile is looking to change this. They’ve begun using a new packaging material which reduces materials by 45 percent. Best of all, the material is recyclable.
June 3rd, 2009 | T-Mobile | No Comments
A while back I wondered if T-Mobile should offer a prepaid BlackBerry plan, like its prepaid Sidekick. That was in regards to the Pearl flip 8220. While T-Mobile won’t be offering that specific Pearl for prepaid, it does appear they will be offering the traditional Pearl for prepaid. As the ad shows, it will cost $299.99, so quite a chunk of change, but expected for prepaid. A CrackBerry commenter notes that you get 600 minutes and unlimited data and email for $65 per month, so a bit higher than the MetroPCS plan. The ad says available in New Jersey, but apparently it’s available elsewhere at Best Buy stores. I couldn’t find it on T-Mo’s or Best Buy’s websites.
Learn more about available prepaid BlackBerry devices here.
June 2nd, 2009 | T-Mobile | No Comments
For those looking for a cheap, basic slider phone for T-Mobile prepaid, you can check out the Samsung T239, which the company has just released. It’s a pretty basic model, sporting Bluetooth and a VGA camera among the basics. While it’s certainly not the same model, it reminds me of the Samsung Slash from Virgin Mobile. The best part about the T239 is the price: $59.99. You can also choose between a gray and maroon finish.
April 23rd, 2009 | T-Mobile | No Comments
Slowly but surely, T-Mobile is growing their prepaid business. Unfortunately for them, it appears to be coming at the cost of their more profitable postpaid service. This week we learned what T-Mo did in the first quarter, and like the past two it added more prepaid customers than postpaid. This time, though, the proportion was even larger. While they added 57 percent prepaid in the fourth quarter of 2008, they increased that to 60 percent in the first quarter of 2009. The bummer is that they added only 415,000 total subscribers, so the hard number of additions didn’t quite match Q4.
April 7th, 2009 | T-Mobile | 2 Comments
Late last week we learned that T-Mobile will release the Nokia 1661 later this month. There wasn’t much by the way of details, though, so we skipped it, thinking it would be a low-end phone for postpaid. However, Mobile Burn has a rumor about T-Mobile’s 2009 roadmap in which they mention that the 1661 “will apparently be available for the prepaid side of the market on April 29.” Awesome. There’s still no pricing, though that should come soon enough. As for the phone, there’s really nothing to it. It’s just a basic candybar with an FM radio and a 128×160 display. No Bluetooth, no nothing. Oh, well, it does have a “torch,” which apparently lets you cut through the darkness.
February 10th, 2009 | T-Mobile | No Comments
The wireless industry is going to be one in transition in 2009. Not just the transition from 3G to 4G, but an overall transition. The industry is condensing. The Top 5 carriers are now the Top 4 carriers because No. 2 bought No. 5, making them No. 1. AT&T and Verizon still bring in far more customers per quarter than Nos. 3 and 4. Sprint has been hemorrhaging customers for a year now. Leap and MetroPCS could merge. T-Mobile adds customers, but not of the more lucrative contract type. So what does this all mean for T-Mobile, the nation’s No. 4 carrier? Could they be the odd man out in a rough economy?
February 2nd, 2009 | T-Mobile | No Comments
T-Mobile has a new handset out, and while it’s meant for their postpaid service, the price tag isn’t all that bad if you want to pick it up on prepaid. It’s the Samsung T339, and it’s a pretty basic flip phone. Cell Phone Signal calls it “stylish,” but I’ll stick with my original call of “basic.” It’s a music phone, a big plus in today’s phone market, and features Bluetooth, a 1.3 megapixel camera, and Wi-Fi connectivity. That, of course, is meant for T-Mo’s Hotspot @Home service, which is unfortunately not available for prepaid customers. It’s free for contract customers, but the retail is $159.99, which might sound high at first but really isn’t considering the lack of subsidy. You can pick it up at T-Mobile’s website.
February 2nd, 2009 | T-Mobile | 5 Comments
In the middle of November we found out, via T-Mobile’s own website, that they would be raising text messaging rates to 20 cents each to send and receive. That applied to new customers, with old customers grandfathered in. Well, over the weekend some snarky commenter decided to call me out on my reference to T-Mobile’s previous prepaid branding (To Go, which apparently they’ve dropped) and the text messaging charge. Now, I got a bit defensive because I was going on information directly from the company’s official website. Yet it appears that has changed. Text messages are not 20 cents each.
January 30th, 2009 | T-Mobile | No Comments
One more quarter of this and maybe we can call it a trend. It came as a bit of surprise in November when we learned that T-Mobile added more prepaid customers than postpaid in the third quarter. They’ve done it again. Despite the release of the G1, which is only available to postpaid customers, T-Mobile again added more on the prepaid side than their postpaid service.
November 19th, 2008 | T-Mobile | 3 Comments
Bad news for those who are thinking of using T-Mobile To Go prepaid. Prior to this week, their text messaging rates were among the best for major carrier prepaid. You could send messages for 10 cents, and receive them for 5 cents. However, it appears that has changed. I found it first on Howard Forum, and now it’s even on the official T-Mobile site. Text messaging will be 20 cents to send and receive.
November 7th, 2008 | T-Mobile | No Comments
Here’s some news you don’t expect to hear: a major carrier has added more prepaid customers than postpaid. T-Mobile announced their third quarter results, and it looks like their FlexPay plans have worked out. The company added 670,000 net customers, 377,000 of which were prepaid, and the bulk of those were FlexPay. This is quite a change even for T-Mobile, which added 80 percent contract customers in the second quarter of this year and 65 percent in the third quarter last year. They also saw churn increase from 2 percent to 2.4 percent, but they company says that this is because of early customers coming to the end of their first two-year contracts. T-Mobile introduced them in April 2006.
October 27th, 2008 | T-Mobile | 10 Comments
The biggest news in phones over the past few weeks has been the first Android-powered phone. It was just released this week through T-Mobile, and demand has been through the roof. In most areas, at least. Word is that T-Mo employees have been instructed to sell no G1 without a two-year contract and data plan. So how do you get this puppy on prepaid? Android Community gives us a little insight.
October 20th, 2008 | T-Mobile | 5 Comments
Rarely do we talk about T-Mobile’s Sidekick prepaid plan. Considering T-Mo doesn’t even list the sidekick on their prepaid phones page, it’s understandable. However, it still exists, and I know a few people who use the plan. It’s a dollar a day, giving you unlimited text messaging, email, and Web browsing, and calls are 15 cents per minute. It might sound steep, and for some it is. Yet, if T-Mobile is going to offer this plan, why not extend it to prepaid BlackBerry devices as well? Namely, the new Pearl 8220 flip phone, which the company started offering last week.
August 8th, 2008 | T-Mobile | No Comments
T-Mobile prepaid remains one of the more popular services out there. Yet they’re not adding customers as quickly as some of their competitors. While we saw MetroPCS add 183,000 subscribers and Leap add 171,000, T-Mobile, the nation’s No. 4 wireless carrier, added just 143,000 prepaid subscribers in the second quarter of 2008. This includes their To Go prepaid, plus FlexPay.
August 7th, 2008 | T-Mobile | No Comments
Just a few months after Tracfone won a suit against a prepaid phone trafficker, T-Mobile has obtained final judgments and injunctions against two companies and an individual. T-Mobile will also receive $6.5 million in damages from the entities, which include Fone Xchange and ASPAC Inc.
July 30th, 2008 | T-Mobile | 1 Comment
One thing we like to talk about here is the agony of signing a two-year cellular contract. It leads to bad things — Sprint knows that. They just lost a $73 million court decision on the matter. It seems T-Mobile understands this. They’re introducing a month to month plan, which will allow customers to enjoy their service without having to make a commitment. Yet, it’s not exactly a prepaid plan.
May 23rd, 2008 | T-Mobile | 1 Comment
T-Mobile’s FlexPay program isn’t something I see discussed a whole ton in the prepaid industry. I mentioned it on the first Prepaid Podcast, back in April. Since then, though, we’ve heard a bit more. There were rumbles of possible upgrades to FlexPay. And we might be seeing the first of them. From Monday through July 31, new FlexPay activations will get a $25 coupon towards the purchase of a handset. The market, though, will be limited.
May 14th, 2008 | T-Mobile | 3 Comments
Did you know that most carriers don’t allow you to block text messages coming from a specific number? This is an issue we went over last month. It’s quite frustrating. What’s more bothersome is that with T-Mobile, you can’t even turn text messaging off completely. So if you’re being spammed, you’ll get charged. T-Mobile was actually hit with class action lawsuit earlier this year over texting services. Their answer is to institute a blocking program. Hooray!
April 28th, 2008 | T-Mobile | 4 Comments
In the inaugural edition of the Prepaid Podcast, we talked about T-Mobile’s FlexPay prepaid plan. It’s what any other cellphone company would call a hybrid plan. You pay per month, just as you would with postpaid, but you pay up before every month. And since you can do it prepaid, there’s no two-year contract. The only problem is that they don’t really advertise the service on their website. Well, apparently there’s another problem: It’s not very easy to use. We could be seeing a fix to that, though.
April 28th, 2008 | T-Mobile | 4 Comments
It doesn’t look like T-Mobile has issued a press release on this yet, but Ian points out that T-Mobile is offering a pay per day plan in addition to its traditional pay as you go service. It’s a dollar per day, only on days you use the phone. You get unlimited nights, starting at 7 p.m., though it looks like daytime weekend hours are billed as peak time. Unlimited mobile to mobile is included as well. Anytime minute are 10 cents a pop.
February 15th, 2008 | T-Mobile | 1 Comment
I’ve been looking at T-Mobile’s HotSpot @Home service since it was first rolled out. It seemed an ingenious idea to me at the time. With VoIP calls on the rise, T-Mobile managed a way to get WiFi built into a few handsets. And then they created a system whereby you can make *free calls over the Internet from your cell phone. Of course, they were charging $20 per month for the feature, but it no only includes home calling, but free calling from any T-Mobile HotSpot, or wherever there’s an unsecured WiFi spot (though that might not be entirely legal). This week, the company has announced that they’re downing the cost to $10.
February 12th, 2008 | T-Mobile | No Comments
Before large telecommunications purchases can become official, they have to be approved by the FCC. This is to ensure that nothing outside of the purchaser and purchasee are affected by the transaction. So if AT&T wanted to purchase a small cell company, but doing so would interfere with airwaves not owned by either, the FCC would step in and force them to correct the issue before they would sign off on it. And then there’s the whole anti-trust issue, which usually goes to the Department of Justice. But in any regard, there seem to be no snags in the T-Mobile-SunCom deal, and it should be going through for the reported $2.4 billion.
January 29th, 2008 | T-Mobile | No Comments
I absolutely love when we start to get each carrier’s quarterly data reports. Yeah, it’s full of stuff I don’t care about, like how many billions of dollars they made. I just love seeing the subscriber numbers and comparing them to the others. Today we’re going over T-Mobile’s numbers, and the nation’s No. 4 carrier fared rather well. At least better than their chief competitor, No. 3 Sprint, who once again posted a net customer loss in the fourth quarter. However, there is still a vast chasm between these two companies.
December 10th, 2007 | Prepaid Phones, T-Mobile | 17 Comments
We’re in the midst of the holiday season, which means that conversations have turned from “events” to “stuff.” As in, stuff kids want from their parents (or Santa, or whatever). Over the past few years, cell phones have made their ways onto Christmas and Hanukkah lists. While before they were merely devices to talk and text with, they’re turning into multipurpose devices. And as we see the increase in functionality, we see an increase in demand for these fancier phones. Atop this years list are phones like Verizon’s LG Voyager and AT&T’s Apple iPhone, but those aren’t the only shiny objects that kids are clamoring for. Don’t forget T-Mobile and their Sidekick series.
December 6th, 2007 | T-Mobile | No Comments
Rumor day is here! In case you don’t know what we mean, we stumbled across a rumor two weeks ago that T-Mobile would announce the opening of its 3G network today. No such announcement from the folks at T-Mo yet, and we’re really not sure they’re going to say anything today, per se. However, they have added another 3G phone to their lineup to complement the Samsung t639. It’s the Nokia 6263, and it’s live on T-Mobile’s network.
December 5th, 2007 | iPhone, T-Mobile | No Comments
It was a good effort on the part of Vodafone, but in the end, T-Mobile is allowed to conduct business as usual with the iPhone. The German court ruled that T-Mobile can attach a contract to the phone, as well as lock the SIM to their network. This likely does away with T-Mobile’s sales of unlocked iPhones, which cost more than double their locked brethren — 399 euros vs. 999 euros.
November 26th, 2007 | Cricket, T-Mobile | No Comments
These two stories are just tidbits, so we’ll combine them into one post, even though they have no connection whatsoever:
November 23rd, 2007 | T-Mobile | 7 Comments
Rumor has it that on the day before a date which will live in infamy, T-Mobile will announce the rollout of their 3G network. A T-Mobile spokeswoman has reportedly told The Inquirer (a British publication), that the announcement will come “on or before December 6th.” Good news for those who have been chomping at the bit since T-Mobile won a government auction for the spectrum.
November 21st, 2007 | T-Mobile | No Comments
Uh oh. It appears that T-Mobile is offering prepaid service in Nebraska…even though they were never issued any local numbers. We’re not sure why, but it could have something to do with the state having only two area codes. Surely the state must be wary of doling out numbers, lest they add a third code (though we’re not sure how many free numbers currently exist). While this won’t affect mobile-to-mobile calls, Nebraskans calling their neighbors’ cell phones from a landline will be charged long distance. So let’s pick: Either T-Mobile doesn’t offer service in Nebraska, or the state issues them local numbers.
November 21st, 2007 | iPhone, T-Mobile | No Comments
Today’s development in the T-Mobile/Vodafone/iPhone in Germany case thickens the plot. Apparently, the reason for Vodafone filing suit because they feel that customers should not have to sign two-year contracts in order to purchase the iPhone. Once again, file this under things that would never happen in America. This seems a bit too altruistic. We’re thinking that Vodafone has ulterior motives. Do you?
November 20th, 2007 | iPhone, T-Mobile | 1 Comment
Pretty big news to start the day if you’re a fan of European telecommunications, or at least of Apple. European carrier Vodafone, partners with Verizon on Verizon Wireless, have obtained a restraining order against Deutche Telekom, which owns T-Mobile. This bars T-Mobile from selling the iPhone in Germany. This is after, as we learned last week, T-Mobile sold 10,000 iPhones on the first day.
November 13th, 2007 | Consumer Issues, T-Mobile | 2 Comments
Good pickup by Consumerist here, using one of their inside sources. Word is that T-Mobile is now charging a fee of $18 to upgrade your phone. Yes, when your contract is up and you can gleefully walk to any provider you wish, T-Mobile is going to charge you an additional $18 to get a new phone. This is, in essence, $18 off the subsidy of a new phone. Subsidies are provided for customers who sign contacts.
November 9th, 2007 | T-Mobile | No Comments
Yesterday, we saw that T-Mobile added over 800,000 customers in the third quarter. Today, we have a new revelation: nearly 300,000 of them were of the prepaid variety. No, that’s not a misprint or a typo. T-Mobile is reporting that 35 percent of their new customers in the third quarter signed up for prepaid. That’s up from four percent in the third quarter of 2006, and 20 percent in the second quarter of 2007.
November 8th, 2007 | T-Mobile | 1 Comment
Bookending our day today is T-Mobile, who in addition to announcing prorated early termination fees have reported their third quarter data. Skimming over the financial data, they’re down over a billion dollars from the third quarter of last year. Heh, gotcha. While that’s true, they’re said to have received a $1.5 billion non-cash income tax benefit in the third quarter of last year. So really, they’re up quite significantly ($1.79 billion minus the $1.5 billion, measured against $526 million in revenues this year). But really, what we’re interested in is the subscriber data.
November 8th, 2007 | T-Mobile | 1 Comment
Well, it took them a while, but after Verizon and then AT&T did it, the move was inevitable from T-Mobile’s standpoint. The nation’s fourth largest cell provider announced that they will join the trend of prorated early termination fees. That leaves Sprint as the only one of the major four that doesn’t offer these terms. We expect that announcement will come within two weeks. After all, you can’t be the third largest carrier and expect to turn around your declining ways if you don’t put your customers first. Not that this signifies putting customers first. But it’s a step.
November 6th, 2007 | T-Mobile | No Comments
Can someone own a piece of the color spectrum? The intuitive answer is no. We use colors every day — colors are part of everyone’s lives. So why would a company be able to say, “no, you can’t use that color, it’s ours”? Well, that’s T-Mobile’s ploy. Yes, the company has a trademark on the color magenta. This is more widely enforced in Europe, but the company does hold the trademark on magenta in the U.S — though there are a few restrictions on it.
November 2nd, 2007 | Consumer Issues, T-Mobile | No Comments
It seems that every Friday we stumble across a cell phone story over at Consumerist. This week, it’s the story of a wronged T-Mobile customer. After signed up for the service, she was met with immediate problems. To be specific, she couldn’t receive calls and text messages sometimes didn’t go through. So basically she had huge alleys of communications cut of…yet was still paying for this lack of service. She spent time with customer service, who chalked it up to “network difficulties in New York City.” We’re familiar with those difficulties. We have a couple of friends in the city with T-Mobile, and more than once they’ve wanted to chuck their phones against the wall.
October 30th, 2007 | Prepaid Phones, T-Mobile | No Comments
Usually when a new phone comes out, our initial thought is to give you the facts. Features, size, all that stuff you supposedly care about. But you know what? It seems like most phones coming out today have similar features. And because many carriers are installing universal software on their phones, the interface isn’t much different from $40 phone to $250 phone. This time, we found an actual user review, and we’d like to share it. It’s for the T-Mobile Shadow, the first in T-Mobile’s “line of consumer-friendly fancyphones.” And by fancyphone, they mean a less complicated smartphone.
October 15th, 2007 | T-Mobile | No Comments
Oh, T-Mobile. We’ve got to laugh just a little at your latest phone release. See, we were getting amped up all the way back in September about their Samsung t639, which was to signify the first 3G offering from T-Mobile. However, they hit a snag with the old proprietors still occupying the network. So they were forced to wait. And wait. And now we’re in the middle of October, and dammit, T-Mobile ain’t waiting anymore. They’ve launched the t639…they just have no network on which to operate it.
October 12th, 2007 | Consumer Issues, T-Mobile | 1 Comment
We are clearly of the belief that all cell phone companies are evil. However, we feel that some are less evil than others. Take T-Mobile for instance. Yeah, we hate them because of their nature, but we hate them a whole lot less than AT&T and Verizon. So it pains us to see them being used as an example…but not too much. The California Supreme Court ruled that the lawsuit brought against T-Mobile, which challenges its early termination fees and locked phones, will move forward. This could seriously change the telecommunications landscape in the U.S.
October 2nd, 2007 | Prepaid Phones, T-Mobile | No Comments
In a moment of candor, we’ll admit that we don’t see the point in music phones. Yes, it means you can carry around one less device, but from what we’ve experienced of this type of phone, our iPod, or Zune, or whatever we have is far superior. Though we expect it should be. But to each his own; people seem to like these phone/walkman hybrids, so it makes sense that they keep rolling out. The latest for T-Mobile is the Samsung Beat (we got the beat…..YEAH).
September 27th, 2007 | T-Mobile | No Comments
Last month, T-Mobile announced that it was ready to roll out a 3G network in September. Well, we’re at the 27th, and we still haven’t seen anything on that front. Why? The government, of course. Apparently, the spectrum (1700 Mhz) they bought for $4.2 billion has yet to be vacated by its previous occupants. So now T-Mobile has to sit on its hands and wait as law enforcement and homeland security officials pack up their boxes and move to a new home. And apparently they’re totally within their rights: the government agencies have up to six years to get out. Ridiculous.