T-Mobile became the first major US carrier to
ditch long-term customer contracts, announcing Tuesday a slew of
low-cost options designed to lure customers from its larger
The company, a subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom, also announced that it would finally be offering its customers the iPhone 5, making it the last major US mobile company to offer the iconic Apple smartphone.
T-Mobile is the fourth largest US carrier, lagging far behind industry leaders Verizon, AT&T and Sprint.
T-Mobile CEO JOhn Legere said that the iPhone would be available April 12. Unlike other carriers which subsidize the purchase price of the phone when customers sign two year contracts, T-Mobile will charge the full price of the phone payable over two years in monthly installments.
Customers will not need to sign a contract, and will be offered voice, data and texting plans that sharply undercut competitors. If customers leave the company they will still be liable to pay whatever they owe on the phone.
Federal regulators earlier this month approved a proposed merger between T-Mobile and Metro PCS, saying that it would benefit consumers by intensifying competition to the leading firms.
The approval comes less than two years after regulators nixed a merger between T-Mobile and AT&T saying that it would adversely affect consumers by limiting choice in the market.
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