Taking another jab at its wireless rivals, T-Mobile is launching a new monthly “Simple Starter” plan that will cost $40 per month for unlimited calls, texting and up to 500MB of data on T-Mobile’s LTE network, with the promise that customers won’t be surprised with unexpected costs for exceeding their monthly data allotment.
The Bellevue-based company says it’s the first in a series of news announcements to be made over the next three days.
In a post accompanying today’s news, T-Mobile’s outspoken CEO John Legere said the move “provides a desperately needed alternative to the high-risk, overage-intensive plans that the biggest carriers target directly at Americans looking for entry-level wireless service.”
As he has done in the past, Legere targeted AT&T in particular: “With AT&T’s entry-level plans, for example, your costs immediately jump by increments of $20 when you slip over the threshold into massive overages — in what amounts to an obscene 44% price hike on those customers least able to absorb overages and bill shock.”
He added, “It’s wrong. And I personally want to drive those predatory bait-and-switch schemes out of this industry.”
We’ve contacted AT&T for comment.
T-Mobile customers who hit their 500MB monthly limit under the new plan will have the choice to purchase more data, but won’t be charged automatically. The Simple Starter plan launches on April 12.
Michael Sievert, T-Mobile’s chief marketing officer, said in an interview that budget-minded customers have been “getting hosed” in the wireless industry. He said T-Mobile aimed to be the “first and the only major Tier 1 provider to put our LTE network in real quantities down at the $40 price point, with no chance of overages.”