T-Mobile is the fourth largest wireless provider in the U.S. with over 53 million subscribers. To compete against larger rivals like AT&T T and Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile CEO John Legere came up with a series of unique plans for customers as part of a campaign called Uncarrier. The Uncarrier plans include bundles with free international roaming, 200MB of free tablet data, phone upgrades twice per year, ETF payoffs and a “Data Stash” feature that let users carry over unused high-speed data usage for up to one year.
This month, AT&T launched a feature that is similar to T-Mobile’s “Data Stash” feature called Mobile Share Value, which allows users to carry over unused data to the next month. Verizon Wireless, the largest wireless carrier by subscribers in the U.S., asserts that they do not need to launch a data rollover plan because the company is a leader, not a follower.
“We did not go to places where we did not financially want to go to save a customer,” said Verizon chief financial officer Fran Shammo in an interview with CNET. “And there’s going to be certain customers who leave us for price, and we are just not going to compete with that because it doesn’t make financial sense for us to do that.”
Even though Shammo said he refuses to match T-Mobile’s data rollover plan, Verizon does offer prepaid plans that lets you carry over unused data to the next cycle called ALLSET PLANS. Verizon’s ALLSET PLANS offers prepaid options as low as $35 for basic phones and $45 for smartphones with unlimited messaging and 500MB of data. The unused rollover data expires after 30 or 90 days depending on the data plan that is purchased.
Last week, Verizon reported their Q4 results. The company added 2.1 million net new connections, but their contract customer turnover rate increased to — which generally stayed below 1% in the past. In December, Verizon issued a statement warning that total retail postpaid disconnects are trending higher sequentially and year-over-year in the “highly competitive and promotion-filled fourth quarter.”
Shammo also said that Verizon will not be following Sprint and T-Mobile in partnering with Google on a wireless service.
Shammo said that this is another example of Google “stirring the pot.” He compared Google’s potential wireless service to Google Fiber, meaning Google simply wanted to push for higher speeds in the competition rather than becoming a serious Internet service provider. Google Fiber offers 1Gbps speeds at a low cost in specific cities. AT&T and Comcast ended up matching those speeds in specific markets. Shammo added that there are other wireless reseller companies that offer prepaid services at lower rates like TracFone Wireless. TracFone operates as a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) that has agreements with Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile to use their networks. Verizon benefits from working with these types of companies because they generally go after market segments that larger carriers ignore.