T-Mobile won't raise the prices of its unlimited data plans
Chief Financial Officer Braxton Carter also teases strong promotions for the next iPhone.
Roger ChengFormer Executive Editor / Head of News
Roger Cheng (he/him/his) was the executive editor in charge of CNET News, managing everything from daily breaking news to in-depth investigative packages. Prior to this, he was on the telecommunications beat and wrote for Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal for nearly a decade and got his start writing and laying out pages at a local paper in Southern California. He's a devoted Trojan alum and thinks sleep is the perfect -- if unattainable -- hobby for a parent.
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SABEW Best in Business 2011 Award for Breaking News Coverage, Eddie Award in 2020 for 5G coverage, runner-up National Arts & Entertainment Journalism Award for culture analysis.
It appears that for bargain hunters seeking wireless deals, the golden days are over.
During the last few weeks, Verizon introduced a higher tier plan for the especially data-hungry user, while Sprint and AT&T both relaunched their data offerings with new, pricier options. Some offer new features like video or hot spot capabilities, but they ultimately still mean you're paying more for your service.
T-Mobile isn't playing that game. "We're not pursuing a monetization path," Chief Financial Officer Braxton Carter said in an interview after the company released its second-quarter results.
The strategy stands in contrast with the broader shift by the carriers to break out the unlimited data plans and charge more, a reversal of years of aggressive promotions that included free iPhones, lower rates and other throw-ins. T-Mobile, which led the industry in phone postpaid growth for the 18th consecutive quarter, can afford to keep prices steady.
"The benefits of creating more subscribers outweigh the shorter term benefit of tweaking (average revenue per user)," Braxton said.
Watch this: T-Mobile decides not to mess with your unlimited plan
Braxton teased that the promotions ebbed and flowed, and that he expects to have an aggressive offer once the next iPhone comes out. "Absolutely, you can expect a great proposition for our customers relating to the new iPhone," he said.
Chief Operating Officer Mike Sievert hinted as much on the call, noting that it would be aggressive in promotional deals for smartphones that support its newly deployed 600 megahertz spectrum. The next iPhone is expected to support the band, which gives T-Mobile better capacity and coverage across wider areas, though the carrier declined to talk about Apple's future products.
An Apple spokeswoman wasn't immediately available to comment on the possibility of including the 600 MHz band.
As for next year and 5G, Chief Technology Officer Neville Ray said he expects to see a reasonable amount of phones compatible with the next-generation wireless network. But not every phone will have 5G, he warned.
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