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John Legere
John Legere

A week after it became apparent that there is no merger on immediate the horizon for T-Mobile, the fourth-largest carrier continues to crank out the announcements.

Today, T-Mobile said it will soon change the way it charges prepaid customers, by streamlining the options from a tiered cost structure into one flat rate for texts and talking. It is also allowing prepaid customers to pay for data for the first time.

Under its new program, which launches on Aug. 17, it said Pay as You Go customers will be charged a flat rate of 10 cents a minute and 10 cents per text message. Customers will be required to pay a minimum of $3 a month (equal to 30 minutes of talk or 30 text messages) to keep their account active.

The prepaid account does not require a credit check, a deposit and does not have an annual service agreement.

Currently, T-Mobile offers a tiered pricing structure, ranging from 10 cents to 33 cents a minute. In order to receive the cheapest rates, customers are required to pay $100 upfront for 1,000 minutes, which they have to use within a year. It costs 10 cents to send a text message.

Going forward, for a single day, data will cost $5 for up to 500 MB, and for a seven-day pass, data will cost $10 for 1GB.

The biggest beneficiaries of this change will be current T-Mobile customers who load small amounts of minutes to their accounts. T-Mobile claims it is now the cheapest in the industry when compared to “major nationwide carriers,” but that was eve extremely difficult to verify because of all the different tiers of pricing the other carriers offer. So, if it’s not the cheapest, T-Mobile at least gets bonus points for being the easiest to understand.

By rolling out new Pay as You Go plans, the Bellevue, Wash.-based carrier continues wooing customers away from its competitors by promising to remove what it calls “pain points.” These efforts have been ongoing since the company’s “un-carrier” marketing campaign went into effect, however, in the last week, it has put out a flurry of announcements after word started circulating that it turned down a buy-out offer from Iliad, a French-based communications company, and that Sprint was giving up on its plan for consolidation.

For instance, yesterday, it unveiled a new app called “Device Unlock” that lets people unlock their devices to run on any wireless carrier. And, last week, Legere also predicted that T-Mobile will surpass Sprint in total customers by the end of the part of T-Mobile’s announcement that it has already overtaken Sprint in prepaid wireless customers.


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