Deutsche Telekom-owned T-Mobile USA this morning sent out invites for a March 26 event in New York, where the telco should announce some big news and update us on its technology and business. “We’re still a wireless company,” reads the invitation, “We’re just not going to act like one anymore”.
We know that the carrier, as part of its system-wide modernization effort, is planning to finally flip the switch on 4G LTE before the end of this month in Las Vegas and Kansas City (plus, it’s been spotted in New York City). Another thing we know is that Apple’s iPhone is officially landing on T-Mobile’s network this year…
The biggest change in the way the carrier conducts business should be a push to eliminate handset subsidies in favor of monthly installments. We have no doubt in our minds that both Verizon and AT&T are going to closely watch T-Mobile’s announcements in that regard.
T-Mobile CEO John Legere told Reuters back in December his company would start selling Apple products in 2013. A subsequent media release confirmed that “T-Mobile USA has entered into an agreement with Apple to bring products to market together next year.”
And in January 2013, the CEO additionally told Reuters that T-Mobile will start selling Apple’s iPhone “in about three to four months,” re-iterating plans to get rid of cellphone subsidies in a similar timeframe.
Phone subsidizes will be replaced with monthly installments where you’ll purchase a device outright and in return get to sign up for more affordable and flexible plans. One of the more affordable plans T-Mobile currently offers gives you unlimited texting, a hundred voice minutes and five gigabytes of data for $30 a month.
It all aligns conveniently so expect a strong media event for the German wireless company. AT&T today launched its now 30/40/50GB data sharing tiers so a response from T-Mobile is expected sooner than later.
T-Mobile’s merger with MetroPCS has recently been approved by The Federal Communications Commission, although the transaction is currently pending an approval by MetroPCS shareholders, which are scheduled to vote on the merger on April 12.
Apple, of course, should be the biggest beneficiary from any iPhone distribution agreement with T-Mobile.