T-Mobile's Latest Gambit: You Can Roll Over Data

Carrier Continues to Chip Away at Verizon and AT&T

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T-Mobile CEO John Legere: 'Americans have been gamed.'
T-Mobile CEO John Legere: 'Americans have been gamed.'

T-Mobile is allowing customers to roll over high-speed data allotments, in the fourth-largest U.S. wireless carrier's latest marketing push to lure subscribers from Verizon Communications and AT&T.

For up to a year, customers will be able to utilize unused data from prior months to help prevent subscribers from exceeding their allotment and incurring penalties, T-Mobile said today in a statement. Calling it a "data stash," subscribers will start with a reserve of 10 gigabytes of data for free. Previously, instead of charging fees for going over your high-speed data amount, T-Mobile would slow your service.

"Americans have been gamed by the carriers into buying huge data plans -- all to avoid getting screwed with overage penalties," T-Mobile Chief Executive Officer John Legere said in the statement. "With Data Stash, when you buy additional high-speed data, there's no need to lose what you don't use."

T-Mobile is promoting the move as part of its "un- carrier" strategy, which has included phone financing, the removal of two-year service contracts, free music streaming and money for new customers who switch from other service providers. T-Mobile has also participated in price cuts, introducing a promotion last week for two lines to share unlimited data for $100 a month.

While consumers are seeing more benefits, the marketing efforts and promotional pricing -- such as Sprint Corp.'s offer to cut bills in half -- are threatening to further tighten industry profitability. Last week, Verizon and AT&T said price competition is squeezing fourth-quarter margins.

T-Mobile's attempt to shake up the wireless industry has paid off in user growth this year. The Bellevue, Wash.-based carrier has added 3.6 million more monthly subscribers than it has lost so far this year. The company raised its forecast to as many as 4.7 million new postpaid customers for 2014.

--Bloomberg News

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