T-Mobile's Jump Program Great For Customers
T-Mobile revealed a new upgrade program that allows customers to upgrade their phones as often as twice per year. The Company hopes to differentiate itself from larger rivals.
On Wednesday, T-Mobile says the new Jump program enables customers to upgrade their devices when they want, up to twice a year, and as soon as six months after enrolling for $10 a month per phone. The Company says the new program, which begins Sunday, protects customers against malfunction, damage, loss or theft of a phone.
T-Mobile’s 4G LTE network reaches 157 million people across the U.S., exceeding the Company’s midyear goal of reaching 100 million people.
The cell phone company has invested in its network heavily, which has fallen behind competitors that have been adding next-generation LTE technology. Verizon Wireless has substantially finished covering its legacy network with the faster and more efficient technology.
T-Mobile’s latest update comes more than two months after buying prepaid carrier MetroPCS Communications and establishes progress for the ongoing endeavor to turn around the struggling Company that is No. 4 in the U.S. for cell service.
Additionally, the carrier launched a new four-line family plan for $100 a month that comes with unlimited talk, text and Web with no credit check or annual service contract required. Let’s see Verizon Wireless compete with that!
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Chief Executive John Legere began cutting costs and shaking things up in the wireless industry with an assertive marketing plan that includes his honest desire to transform T-Mobile into an “Un-Carrier.” For example, the Company has gone against the industry standard by having customers purchase their own devices or use one they already own, rather than having the phone directly tied to a service contract.
The changes that T-Mobile has made are being carefully observed by the industry, which typically abides by the standard service contract model we have come to know (and despise). It is thought that T-Mobile had little choice in making its drastic changes as business continued to deteriorate. Last year, it lost more than two million contract subscribers, while Verizon Wireless added more than five million.
T-Mobile plan to halt the defection of contract customers by the end of 2013, and begin adding customers in 2014.
The new upgrade program is another shot against rivals that prevent customers from upgrading at discount prices. AT&T recently followed Verizon Wireless by making contract customers wait longer before they can upgrade with a discount. Now customers wait 24 months instead of 20 months after signing a two-year contract to upgrade their mobile device.
How innovation is transforming government
According to Washington Technology’s Top 100 list, Leidos is the largest IT provider to the government. But as Lieutenant General William J. Bender explains, “that barely scratches the surface” of the company’s portfolio and drive for innovation.
Bender, who spent three and a half decades in the military, including a stint as the U.S. Air Force’s Chief Information Officer (CIO), has seen action in the field and in technology during that time, and it runs in the family. Bender’s son is an F-16 instructor pilot. So it stands to reason Bender Senior intends to ensure a thriving technological base for the U.S. Air Force. “What we’re really doing here is transforming the federal government from the industrial age into the information age and doing it hand-in-hand with industry,” he says.
The significant changes that have taken place in the wider technology world are precisely the capabilities Leidos is trying to pilot the U.S. Air Force through. It boils down to developing cyberspace as a new domain of battle, globally connected and constantly challenged by the threat of cybersecurity attacks.
“We recognize the importance of the U.S. Air Force’s missions,” says Bender, “and making sure they achieve those missions. We sit side-by-side with the air combat command, intelligence surveillance, and reconnaissance infrastructure across the Air Force. There are multiple large programs where the Air Force is partnering with Leidos to ensure their mission is successfully accomplished 24/7/365. In this company, we’re all in on making sure there’s no drop in capability.”
That partnership relies on a shared understanding of delivering successful national security outcomes, really understanding the mission at hand, and Leidos’ long-standing relationship of over 50 years with the federal government.
To look at where technology is going, Bender thinks it is important to look back at the last 10 to 15 years. “What we’ve seen is a complete shift in how technology gets developed,” he says. “It used to be that the government invested aggressively in research and development, and some of those technologies, once they were launched in a military context, would find their way into the commercial space. That has shifted almost a hundred percent now, where the bulk of the research and development dollars and the development of tech-explicit technologies takes place in the commercial sector.”
“There’s a long-standing desire to adopt commercial technology into defense applications, but it’s had a hard time crossing the ‘valley of death’ [government slang for commercial technologies and partnerships that fail to effectively transition into government missions]. Increasingly we’re able to do that. We need to look at open architectures and open systems for a true plug-and-play capability. Instead of buying it now and trying to guess what it’s going to be used for 12 years from now, it should be evolving iteratively.”