Mobile Network Operators

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

Jumping at Change

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.”