In the last two years, T-Mobile has upended the way consumers buy wireless plans. Now it wants to make things simpler for businesses.
The company announced a series of moves at an event in New York on Wednesday to bring more transparency to the wireless purchasing process for companies. The moves include transparent pricing, new benefits for businesses of all sizes and business-family discounts.
“We’re going to do for businesses what we’ve already been doing for consumers,” Chief Executive John Legere said. “Eliminate pain points and force change. The majority of U.S. businesses − a full 99.7% − have less than 500 employees and don’t have the money or resources to waste debating, negotiating and deciphering the carriers’ hidden pricing."
As part of its "un-carrier plan for business," T-Mobile said it was putting an end to the pricing “shell game” and compulsory haggling with one simple, flexible rate plan.
Regardless of whether a company needs 20 or 500 lines, T-Mobile will charge $15 per line. For every line beyond 1,000, the price is $10. And every line will come with unlimited talk, text and up to 1 GB of data. It also said companies will not have to pay an access fee just to use the data they've already purchased.
For businesses that want more data, they can choose to add more per line or add a data pool that all employees can access. For phones, another 2GB of 4G LTE high-speed data will cost $10 a line; unlimited 4G LTE data will cost $30 a line.
The company also introduced a pooled data option and said it would not punish companies with huge overage penalties.
T-Mobile said companies have it worse than consumers when it comes to buying wireless because carriers "see dollar signs" when they learn a potential customer is corporate. That leads to artificially inflated rates and negotiations that heavily favor the carrier, the company contends.
Every year, the big carriers rake in more than $80 billion in revenue from U.S. businesses -- about half the carriers’ total wireless revenues, T-Mobile said.
The company claims that close to three-quarters of businesses say that fear of wireless rate hikes stresses them out, and that they feel ripped off by their carriers.
Mike Sievert, chief operating officer for T-Mobile, estimated that the average American business can save more than $5,100 on 20 lines over two years.
The company also rolled out business-family discounts. Instead of the industry standard 8% to 15% off for signing up family members, T-Mobile said it would count a customer's company-paid line as the first line on a family plan -- which translates to up to 50% in savings on a Simple Choice family plan.
"Businesses have the exact same unmet needs," Sievert said in an interview. "They too can benefit from simplicity and transparency and fairness."
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