T-Mobile's (NYSE:TMUS) next "uncarrier" move will reportedly include a branded app that enables customers to win prizes from partners including Wendy's and Vudu as well as equity in the carrier.
Citing "a person with knowledge of the company's plans," VentureBeat reported that T-Mobile will hold weekly raffles for gift cards and other goodies under the new campaign. T-Mobile has also created "a trio of marketing partnerships" that will entitle users to perks such as a free Domino's pizza and movie downloads from Vudu.
Most interesting, though, is a "limited-time giveaway" of a one-fourth share of T-Mobile stock to users who act within two weeks of the launch of the promotion. T-Mobile shares were worth $39.25 after the market closed Thursday afternoon.
T-Mobile's uncarrier strategy, centered on 10 different annoncements over the past three years, has substantially disrupted the U.S. wireless industry. The carrier's first uncarrier announcement unveiled no-contract pricing, eliminating the device subsidies upon which the American market was largely built, and has since included offerings such as Wi-Fi calling, free international roaming and zero-rated music and video streaming.
Other major network operators have embraced some of T-Mobile's strategies, including moving away from two-year handset contracts in favor of equipment installment plans (EIPs) and leased handsets.
T-Mobile's moves have proven remarkably effective, helping the operator effectively grow both its subscriber base and its bottom line over the last two years. The operator passed Sprint (NYSE: S) last year to become the third-largest mobile carrier in the U.S., and it recently posted 2.2 million new customers and 10.6 percent revenue growth in the first quarter of 2016, which one analyst firm described as a "blow-out."
T-Mobile executives have teased the operator's next uncarrier move in recent remarks. "And you didn't think we would stop our uncarrier moves, did you?" CEO John Legere said during a conference call with analysts last week. "It's been three years since we launched our first uncarrier move. And by the way, we have no plans to stop. Stay tuned, because Uncarrier 11 is coming soon."
Not all of T-Mobile's uncarrier campaigns have been runaway successes, of course -- its Jump and Jump on Demand upgrade programs appear to have gained limited traction, for instance -- and while an equity giveaway is sure to attract attention, it's unlikely to prove as disruptive as other recent T-Mobile promotions. Moreover, T-Mobile isn't the first carrier to toy with subscriber loyalty programs: AT&T announced the "Plenti" rewards program with American Express, ExxonMobil, Macy's and other partners in 2014; AT&T's Cricket launched a rewards program last year tied in part to using apps; and Verizon took its own Smart Rewards customer loyalty program nationwide two years ago. But in an increasingly competitive U.S. market where smartphone growth has plateaued, T-Mobile is clearly continuing to pursue its ambitious and innovative uncarrier strategy.
The upcoming promotion is slated to be announced during a media event June 6, VentureBeat reported, with the campaign launching the following the day.
- see this VentureBeat report
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