Copycat carriers might just be a good thing, at least for wireless consumers, and T-Mobile is more than happy to set the pattern.
In comments submitted to the FCC as part of its State of Mobile Wireless Competition proceeding, T-Mobile touted the success of its Un-carrier moves. T-Mobile said its innovations have forced carriers into a game of “follow-the-leader” that has “resulted in tangible consumer benefits across the wireless industry.”
By way of example, T-Mobile pointedly mocked Verizon’s recent plan changes as “striking attempt to mimic T-Mobile’s Un-carrier initiatives,” and also noted its leadership in the elimination of long-term contracts and payment of early termination fees up to $650.
Last week, Verizon rolled out a revamped plan structure that includes larger data buckets, carry over data and overage Safety Mode features that closely resemble T-Mobile’s own Simple Choice, Data Stash and unlimited data offerings.
Ultimately, though, T-Mobile said the imitation of its disruptive moves is good for wireless subscribers across the board.
“The large incumbent carriers have taken notice and responded by replicating some of the most popular features of our innovative programs, albeit often without offering the same high level of consumer benefit,” T-Mobile’s Senior Vice President of Government Affairs Kathleen O’Brien Ham wrote. “Nonetheless, the net result is that T-Mobile’s Un-carrier initiatives have benefited not only T-Mobile customers, but all wireless consumers.”
In what appeared to be a veiled reference to the ongoing broadband privacy proceedings, T-Mobile parlayed this argument into a plea for the FCC to carefully consider “actions that might inhibit or limit the ability of competitors like T-Mobile to offer innovative products and services to consumers.”
“The development of original and creative consumer offerings that result in tangible benefits for consumers should be encouraged, not stymied by theoretical concerns,” Ham wrote. “As history has shown us, adopting pro-competitive policies that encourage innovation will benefit not only T-Mobile customers, but all consumers throughout the mobile wireless market.”