T-Mobile launches promotion to get families to buy more data

T-Mobile USA launched a discount promotion aimed at enticing customers with family plans to sign up for data plans in a bid to lower the cost of data for those customers.

According to the blog TMoNews and a report from research firm Current Analysis on the promotion, the new offering went into effect March 7 and will last three months. According to an internal screenshot TMoNews obtained, the carrier is launching the promotion because it "will be available to help family plan customers lower the cost of adding data to more lines. Family plan customers add data more often to their first two primary lines than add-a-lines due to the cost of data for multiple lines." A T-Mobile spokeswoman did not immediately have a comment about the promotion.

The promotion breaks down as follows:

  • Value Family Plan customers paying $35 or more per month for data get a $10 monthly discount for three months;
  • Classic/Legacy Family Plan subscribers paying $65 or more per month for data get a $20 monthly discount for three months;
  • Even More Plus Family Plan customers paying $50 or more per month for data get a $15 monthly discount for three months.

Current Analysis analyst Deepa Karthikeyan wrote in a research report on the promotion that it should be a positive move for T-Mobile because it will encourage both new users and existing ones who had data plans only on their primary lines to consider adding data access for all or most of their other family members.

"The carrier is offering users a discount of up to 30 percent on the total of their data plans, which could help attract new subscribers and increase subsequent ARPU, two areas where it needs improving ... while not creating a huge dent on its bottom line," she wrote. "While the promotion in itself is not significant enough for the carrier to experience a turnaround, it should be treated as one among several initiatives the carrier needed to adopt to improve its position in the wireless space."

T-Mobile has embarked on a turnaround strategy following AT&T's (NYSE:T) failed acquisition of the company, based around its transition to LTE next year. Until then, T-Mobile is banking on reducing churn and migrating as many customers as possible to data plans. The new promotion could help, but Karthikeyan warned of a big risk to T-Mobile: "The family data plan promotion is only available for three months, and since the carrier is not advertising it, potential and new users could miss the promotion entirely, rendering it ineffective."

For more:
- see this TMoNews post

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