JUMPing at Change: Thoughts About T-Mobile’s New Program

Those who prefer the status quo must have been shocked when T-Mobile announced its new JUMP program (Just Upgrade My Phone) at yesterday’s media event. This new program lets customers upgrade their phones whenever they want – up to two times in a year.

At face value, this move addresses a fairly pervasive customer problem: watching friends and family rave about their new devices as they impatiently wait for their contracts to expire to get the latest technology. However, there is an interesting side effect of this program: new customer behaviors. Let’s face it, every time you get a new phone, you find something cool to do with it or a feature that you can’t possibly live without. Consider FaceTime’s pervasive use after the iPhone 5 release or the heralded Facebook Home/HTC First announcement as shining examples of this phenomenon.

From the mobile operator’s perspective, nurturing “disruption” has pluses and minuses. Consumers love cutting edge mobile technology and anyone that makes it more accessible. On the back-end, supporting rapid change can be risky as networks will have to contend with the different nuances each individual device, app or service needs as well as the associated bandwidth fluctuations they create.

Now, insight from analytics solutions becomes critical for success. Those who can better predict trends will be better able to allocate resources to best support these new behaviors and technologies.

After all, as CEO John Legere aptly put it yesterday, “Network experience and customer experience is the true test. If it’s not right, you lose customers.”

What are your thoughts about the new JUMP program? Let me know in the comments below.

Watch this video to discover more insights for the smartest mobile operators.

Written by Gretchen Clarke – Gretchen on Twitter | Posts by Gretchen
Gretchen has been writing on the key trends in the communications industry since the birth of the open standards movement. She provides a deep understanding of mobile, networking and UC technologies and how they benefit service providers, business and the consumers they serve.

3 thoughts on “JUMPing at Change: Thoughts About T-Mobile’s New Program

  1. Kevin Brown says:

    It may have some positive effect in markets where T-Mobile has decent network coverage, but coverage is T-Mobile’s largest problem by far. We jumped to T-Mobile after eleven years with ATT only because ATT was addicted to the iPhone at the time, and we wanted Android. However T-Mobile’s coverage was so abysmal everywhere we traveled, that we jumped to Verizon. Coverage for Verizon is excellent, but they still are stuck in the old paradigm of the carrier locking down the devices, so we’re headed back to ATT once again, and probably for a very long time.

    We buy our phones and don’t get locked into the subsidized handcuffs that too many Americans wear. So T-Mobile’s decision wouldn’t affect us one bit if we were still customers.

    1. Gretchen Clarke says:

      Interesting – thanks for the comment!

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