T-Mobile exec: Wearables, industry fusions ahead for ’16
The better part of the past two years have been very busy for wireless carrier T-Mobile, which has taken it upon itself to “disrupt” the industry with its so-called “UnCarrier” moves.
In 2016, it will look to maintain its momentum going by solidifying its position in Puerto Rico in spite of the economic challenges, as well as building up its distribution chain through partnerships with third-party providers, T-Mobile Puerto Rico General Manager Jorge Martel said.
“Next year, we should see a growth in ‘wearables’ and the use of tablets. Also, we expect to see a massive consumption in data use,” the executive predicted, taking it a step further by saying that mobile and wearable technology should serve as the catalyst in 2016 for cross-overs with other industries, especially in the area of medical services.
To fuel the growth of data use in Puerto Rico, today T-Mobile is launching new benefits and competitive rates that give customers more freedom to manage their mobile services. Through Jump! On Demand, T-Mobile customers will be able to change their phones whenever they want, while new individual and family plans offer more than three times the data that was previously available, without sharing — which he said responds to Puerto Rico consumer reality and needs.
Also today, the carrier will begin offering an unlimited video streaming service that does not consume data allotments. T-Mobile customers will be able to stream video from 23 providers, including Netflix, HBO, Hulu, ESPN Watch, and Vudu, without biting into their data services.
This move is part of a company strategy to free customers from excessive consumption of data, Martel said, adding that “56 percent of the video consumption made by consumers comes straight from their mobile phones, so the release of video streaming is a logical and the right step to further revolutionize the industry pace.”
The carrier’s new individual and family plans start at $40 a month with 6GB of 4GLTE Internet, while family plans offer four lines starting at $30 each with 6GB of 4G LTE per line without sharing. The fee structure available in Puerto Rico is lower and includes higher usage allotments than those offered by T-Mobile stateside, Martel confirmed.
“These new rates respond to what consumers are demanding, in addition, these rates adjust to the economic reality we live in Puerto Rico. In T-Mobile we believe in rewarding customers for adding lines; the more lines a customer adds, the more they save,” he said.
In preparation for the added capacity, T-Mobile has invested some $150 million this year to upgrade its 4G LTE network islandwide, which will now offer speed, 80 percent faster than those available during the first half of the year, he said. The carrier has expanded coverage in 25 new areas.
While there are no numbers to quantify how many new customers have switched to T-Mobile since it began its “UnCarrier” strategy, Martel said in the past 20 months T-Mobile has paid some $5.5 million to cover early termination fees imposed by other carriers serving Puerto Rico for clients migrating to its network. The carrier now gives new customers who subscribe to Jump! on Demand the chance to test the service risk-free for 30 days, more than twice the customary 14-day period offered across the industry.