T-Mobile latest move is targeted at older Americans.
The Bellevue, Wash.-based company today debuted a new plan called T-Mobile One Unlimited 55+, which offers unlimited talk, text, and 4G data for $50 a month — or $60 per month for two lines on autopay — to customers aged 55 and older.
T-Mobile, which didn’t previously offer a plan directed at older customers, calls it the best deal for “today’s modern, mobile adults age 55 and older.” The new plan includes benefits of T-Mobile’s normal unlimited plans, like unlimited text and data roaming in 140-plus countries and free Gogo in-flight WiFi. It typically charges $70 per month for its traditional T-Mobile One plan.
“For years, the carriers have been patronizing the generation that invented wireless,” T-Mobile CEO John Legere said in a statement. “They thank these mobile pioneers by selling dumbed down ‘senior’ plans with exactly zero data and — get this — night and weekend minutes! That’s not just idiotic — it’s insulting!”
Verizon has its Nationwide 65 Plus plans, which charge $29.99 per month for 200 minutes, and additional costs for texts and data usage. It’s only available to existing customers.
AT&T has the Senior Nation plan, which is only for basic phones — no smartphones or tablets — and costs $29.99 per month for 200 minutes (500 on nights and weekend).
In a press release, T-Mobile called out its competition for treating “this generation like it’s stuck in the past.” It noted that Verizon and AT&T control nearly 81 percent of the postpaid wireless market for Americans aged 55 and up.
“The simple fact is that the carriers’ ‘senior’ plans simply don’t make sense for most of today’s modern, mobile adults,” the release noted. “Nobody wants to be patronized with dumbed-down phones and limited services. And everyone wants a fair price that doesn’t require splitting the bill each month.”
Shares of T-Mobile have increased since the company reported its quarterly earnings last month, with another 1.3 million customers added in the second quarter, its 17th straight period with more than 1 million net customer additions. More than 800,000 of them were branded postpaid subscribers, the most coveted class of wireless subscribers, and T-Mobile said it expects growth in that category to lead the industry.
T-Mobile, the nation’s third-largest carrier which has steadily taken market share from Verizon and AT&T, still finds itself in rumors of a potential merger with Sprint.