Report: T-Mobile will offer rate plans with handset subsidies through third-party retailers
T-Mobile USA will continue to offer its traditional Classic plans with device subsidies at third-party retailers, according to a TMoNews post. The company had previously announced that it intends to switch exclusively to offering its Value plans without device subsidies later this month.
According to the blog, which cited internal T-Mobile documents, the company will offer individual "UNcarrier" Classic plans through third-party retailers that will start at $60 per month for unlimited voice, texting and 500 MB of data. Customers will be able to increase their data bucket for an extra fee. In addition, unlimited data (though without the ability to use a smartphone as a hotspot) will be available for a price of up to $90, the blog said.
T-Mobile is keeping Classic plans in place for third-party national retailers like Best Buy, Target and Walmart because those retailers cannot support T-Mobile's billing system that allows customers to pay the full cost of a device upfront or pay off the cost a device over time.
A T-Mobile spokesman declined to comment.
Many of the details of T-Mobile's new pricing and strategy will likely be unveiled March 26, when the company has scheduled a media event. T-Mobile will also likely discuss its LTE network deployment and may give more details about its plans to launch Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) products this year.
Meanwhile, T-Mobile and MetroPCS (NYSE:PCS) revealed the executives that will be on the board of the combined company, assuming that the merger closes. T-Mobile said Timotheus Höttges, currently the CFO (and CEO-in-waiting) of parent Deutsche Telekom, will be the chairman of the company's board. The board will have 11 members, including T-Mobile USA CEO John Legere, outgoing DT CEO Rene Obermann and two other DT executives. There will also be two current MetroPCS directors and several outside directors.
Under the terms of the transaction, MetroPCS will engage in a reverse-merger with T-Mobile and Deutsche Telekom will own 74 percent the combined company, which will be public. MetroPCS will also declare a 1-for-2 reverse stock split and pay $1.5 billion in cash to its shareholders.
The FCC and Department of Justice have approved the deal and MetroPCS shareholders will vote on the merger April 12. Two of MetroPCS' largest minority shareholders, Paulson & Co. and P. Schoenfeld Asset Management LP, have indicated they will vote against the deal and have said the deal will lead to a combined company with too much debt and too little equity for MetroPCS shareholders.
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