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T-Mobile offers deep discount to military families

The wireless carrier also offers a half-off promotion on Samsung phones and commits to hiring 10,000 veterans and military spouses over the next five years.

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T-Mobile is reaffirming its commitment to veterans. 

Claudia Cruz/CNET

T-Mobile is rolling out the red carpet for members of the military, veterans and their families. 

The nation's third-largest wireless carrier on Wednesday launched T-Mobile One Military, a program that offers its largest discount to anyone associated with the armed forces, including current military, veterans and their families. The discount knocks 20 percent off of the standard $70-a-month plan ($55) and half off of the next five lines, which breaks down to $25 a month for the second line, and $10 for the next four lines. 

T-Mobile claims the discount, which is a permanent program and not a limited promotion, can save a family of four $665 compared to AT&T and $764 compared to Verizon when using their respective military discounts. The program kicks off on April 22. 

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The military and veteran community marks the latest front for T-Mobile as the wireless industry gets increasingly scrappy to win over your business. The four national carriers have resorted to deeper discounts and bundling video services such as Netflix, Hulu and HBO to get you to make the switch. 

The program requires that subscribers sign up for its auto bill pay feature to get the full discount (if you don't, it's $5 more). Like the standard plans, the taxes and fees are built into the rate. 

Beyond the discount, T-Mobile said it will offer a promotion for half-off Samsung smartphones like the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+. Customers can sign up for a 24-month equipment installment plan and get the discount as 24 monthly bill credits. 

T-Mobile said it will commit to hiring 10,000 veterans and military spouses over the next five years, doubling an initiative to hire 5,000 such workers in 2016. It is also working with FourBlock, a nonprofit organization that helps veterans transition back to the work force, to expand its program online and into more cities. 

T-Mobile Chief Operating Officer Mike Sievert said the ideas sprung from the veteran community of more than 5,000 within the company. 

"When groups of employees get together, we start looking at pain points," Sievert said in an interview on Monday. "This is a big one."

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