Confirmed: T-Mobile upgrading 'small percentage' of customers to unlimited LTE

T-Mobile US (NYSE:TMUS) is automatically upgrading a "small percentage" of its customers to plans with unlimited LTE data for no additional cost. But the carrier said it will return those customers back to their capped data plans at the end of this year.

"As you know, we love to give our customers more value without asking more from them," the company said in a statement to FierceWireless. "So, we selected a small percentage of our customers and upgraded them to Unlimited 4G LTE until the end of 2015--on us."

T-Mobile started notifying these customers via SMS on March 10 of the offer, and said they can expect to automatically receive their upgrade by March 31. The offer will expire on Dec. 31, at which point the customers' accounts will revert back to their previous plans. TMoNews first reported on the offer.

It's unclear how T-Mobile is selecting customers for the offer. "This offer is for a small percentage of our customers who, based on their usage pattern, we knew could really benefit from unlimited 4G LTE," the company said. T-Mobile declined to comment beyond that.

T-Mobile's unlimited LTE data plan comes with unlimited voice, texting and data and costs $80 per month. The company's $50 plan comes with 1 GB of LTE data before throttling, the $60 plan comes with 3 GB before throttling and the $70 plan offers 5 GB before throttling. 

T-Mobile counted 22.29 million postpaid customers and 37.37 million total branded customers (postpaid and prepaid) at the end of the fourth quarter. If T-Mobile is applying the upgrade to, say, 4 percent of its customers, it would affect 1.17 million branded postpaid customers and 1.49 million total branded customers.

As a condition of the upgrade, the 10 GB of LTE data and rollover data customers got with T-Mobile's "Data Stash" program will go away. On its website T-Mobile said that is because with unlimited LTE data "there's no need to roll your data forward. To keep your current plans, text 'STASH' to 1508 by 3/17."

T-Mobile added 2.1 million total wireless customers in fourth quarter, including 1.276 million branded postpaid customers. For all of 2014, T-Mobile added 8.3 million total customers, including 4.9 million postpaid subscribers, making it by far the leader in terms of total subscriber growth among U.S carriers last year. At the same time, T-Mobile giving away unlimited LTE data to its customers indicates that the company has spare capacity on its network.

For more:
- see this T-Mobile site
- see this TMoNews article

Related Articles:
T-Mobile offers fastest average LTE speeds, OpenSignal report finds
T-Mobile's Legere again opens door to partnering with Dish
Analysts optimistic about T-Mobile's 2015 financial prospects following Q4 results
T-Mobile open to working with Dish, is 'rooting' for Sprint to be successful