The bold move is the next phase of T-Mobile’s so-called UnCarrier strategy. The company says it will pay early-termination fees for customers when they trade in their devices with T-Mobile and sign up for T-Mobile wireless service. T-Mobile said the total value of the trade-in offer to switch carriers could be as high as $650 per line.
The plan, which had been teased weeks on Twitter by the company’s CEO, John Legere, was unveiled in Las Vegas at the Consumer Electronics Show.
Here is how it works. Starting Thursday, customers can trade in their current devices to any T-Mobile location and switch to a postpaid Simple Choice Plan and they will receive an instant credit, based on the value of their phone, of up to $300. These customers can then purchase any eligible device, including T-Mobile’s most popular smartphones, without putting any money down. Customers who qualify can finance the phone over 24 months with no interest. After customers get the final bill from their old carrier, which shows their early termination fee, they can either mail that bill to T-Mobile or upload it to www.switch2tmobile.com. T-Mobile then sends an additional payment equal to those fees, up to $350 per line. In order to qualify, customers must trade-in their old phone, purchase a new T-Mobile phone and port their phone number to T-Mobile.
The company also announced that it now claims the honors of having the fastest 4G LTE network in the United States. It also said its wireless network now reaches 209 million customers in 273 metro areas. In October, T-Mobile reported that it exceeded its year-end target for LTE by noting it had covered more than 200 million people in 233 metropolitan areas with the service.