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T-Mobile entices subscribers to recruit friends from rival carriers

The carrier is offering current customers -- and the people they bring over from the competition -- a year of unlimited LTE data for free.

T-Mobile Uncarrier
T-Mobile execs at CES 2014. James Martin/CNET

T-Mobile is enlisting its own subscribers in the battle to win over more customers.

In a new promotion announced Thursday, the company will dole out one year of unlimited LTE data at no extra cost to any of its subscribers who can coax someone to leave a rival carrier. And the person who leaves the other carrier for T-Mobile also gets a full year of unlimited data. Though the deal is aimed at rival Sprint, it's also applicable for anyone who leaves Verizon or AT&T for T-Mobile.

The mobile carriers continue to wage war as they cook up more plans and promotions to steal customers away from each other and keep their current subscribers onboard. But the rivalry between T-Mobile and Sprint has been especially heated at times. On Monday, Sprint announced a family share plan that promises to double the amount of data that customers get for the same price from the competition. And in a move that borrows an idea from T-Mobile , Sprint will also now pay off the early termination fee for anyone who leaves a rival carrier.

In response, the new promotion from T-Mobile works as follows, according to the company's press release:

Starting next week, whenever a T-Mobile Simple Choice customer throws a lifeline to a Sprint (or AT&T or Verizon) customer and brings them to the Un-carrier, both receive unlimited LTE data for a full year on T-Mobile's blazing-fast LTE network, at no additional charge. T-Mobile Simple Choice customers who already have unlimited LTE data receive a $10 credit each month for twelve months.

T-Mobile subscribers who manage to bring over someone from another carrier can cash in on the year's worth of data by filling out a form at T-Mobile's referral webpage. You'll need to enter your own T-Mobile phone number and the number ported over by your "friend." Just report the referral within 30 days of your friend's activation, and the unlimited LTE data service will kick in for both of you starting that same month.

T-Mobile President and CEO John Legere, known for his often scathing remarks about the competition and mobile industry, took the opportunity to bash his rivals and play up the new promotion.

"It continues to amaze me to see the old carriers failing to listen to their customers -- or reward them for their loyalty," Legere said. "That arrogance and indifference has defined the U.S. wireless industry for too long. We're changing all that. In fact, this entire Un-carrier consumer movement is built on the simple act of listening to customers."

T-Mobile's Chief Marketing Officer Mike Sievert lashed out at Sprint's new plan for valuing new subscribers over existing ones.

"When we saw how Sprint's dissing its own customers and dropping unlimited LTE plans for families, we knew we had an opportunity to help these people out," Sievert said. "Only a 'carrier' would be arrogant enough to make an offer limited only to new prospects, while forgetting their existing customers. The Un-carrier way is to give the best offers to your loyal customers -- and that's what we're doing again today."

Sprint had been angling to merge with T-Mobile to create a bigger rival to challenge AT&T and Verizon. But Sprint called off those plans earlier this month after regulators said they would not approve such a deal.

(Via WP Central)