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T-Mobile, Univision go after Latino customers with new mobile brand

Univision and T-Mobile's new Univision Mobile brand will offer unlimited text messaging to Latin America
With Univision Mobile, customers get 100 minutes of monthly calls to Latin American countries
T-Mobile teams with Univision to launch Univision Mobile, tap into Latin American market

T-Mobile and Univision have teamed up to launch a new brand called Univision Mobile that is geared toward Latino consumers. 

Through Univision Mobile, the companies will offers customers monthly plans that include 100 minutes of international calling to countries in Latin America and unlimited text messaging to phone numbers in more than 200 countries around the world.

With the new partnership, T-Mobile is hoping to tap into the Latino market, which is one of the largest and fastest-growing demographics in the U.S., with a population of nearly 56 million, the wireless carrier said. Citing statistics by Nielsen, T-Mobile also said that 72% of Latinos own a smartphone, which is 10% higher than the national average. 

“Hispanic Americans are among the largest, most important and most influential groups in the U.S. today,” Mike Sievert, T-Mobile's chief marketing officer, said in a statement. “And they deserve wireless tailored to their interests and needs."

Meanwhile, for Univision, the partnership represents the first time that the media giant has stepped into world of wireless networks.

"This partnership further reinforces our commitment to serve our audience in every way possible and also clearly demonstrates how Univision is the gateway for any brand looking to connect with the influential and fast-growing U.S. Hispanic community," said Kevin Conroy, Univision Communications' president of digital and enterprise development.

Univision Mobile offers three plans that will go on sale Monday. All of the plans include unlimited texting from the U.S. to countries worldwide and 100 minutes of voice calls to Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Colombia, Chile, Costa Rica, Panama, Peru and Venezuela.

The cheapest plan, available for $30, has unlimited talk and text in the U.S. For $45 per month, customers can get unlimited talk and text and 2.5 gigabytes of data at 3G speeds. Customers who pay $55 get unlimited talk and text and 2.5 GB of data at 4G speeds.

The plans will also provide customers with content from Univision, such as ringtones, apps and videos.  

“We designed it from the ground up for the Hispanic American community,” Sievert told The Times.

To roll the plans out, T-Mobile and Univision also teamed up with Wal-Mart, which will offer them at 1,000 of its stores Monday. By the end of June, the plans will be available at 2,000 Wal-Mart stores along with 6,000 wireless dealers that were handpicked because they serve Latin American communities. Customers can also head to UnivisionMobile.com to purchase one of the new plans.

T-Mobile said it will not offer Univision Mobile plans at its retail stores.

Because Univision Mobile uses the T-Mobile network, customers who own T-Mobile or AT&T phones will be able to use their devices with the new plans. Univision Mobile will also sell devices that are compatible with its service, such as the Samsung Galaxy S III for $299.99 with no contract. 

The launch of Univision Mobile is the latest move by T-Mobile Chief Executive John Legere, whose tenure at the company has been highlighted by bold changes. Under Legere, the wireless carrier ended its use of service contracts, rolled out an early-upgrade plan for mobile devices and offered to pay the cancellation fees for AT&T, Verizon and Sprint customers if they switched to T-Mobile. 

Last year, Verizon Wireless launched a similar but more conservative effort to tap into the Latino market by teaming up with Jennifer Lopez to create Viva Movil, a series of wireless retail stores around the U.S. Viva Movil also targets customers through its website and a Facebook app. 

Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times
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