Is AT&T threatened by T-Mobile?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by BlueMoonForever, Dec 28, 2013.

  1. BlueMoonForever macrumors 6502

    Sep 2, 2012
    Why the new mobile share plans for no contract customers? AT&T only wants $25 for each smartphone that isn't under contract for its mobile share plans now. I have seen them advertise more no annual contract options in recent months than they ever have. Are they loosing that many customers to T-Mobile?

    Anyway, has anyone given up their smartphone unlimited data plan for the mobile share plans? I pay $150/mo for an unlimited data, 3GB data, and unlimited messaging with my discount. Thinking of going on AT&T new 10GB Mobile share plan. I'd get more data and hotspot.

    Just wondering if anyone has sacrificed their unlimited data plan for these new plans. The $30 unlimited data plan will never decrease after a subsidy is paid off.
  2. alent1234 macrumors 603

    Jun 19, 2009
    i have a 4 line plan with 10GB shared data and we use 3GB or so between us

    and i'll probably go to t-mobile once all my contracts run out
  3. wordoflife macrumors 604


    Jul 6, 2009
    I'm sure AT&T is feeling threatened, which is why on the Share plan they are lowering your monthly bill after your contract expires. T-Mobiles network is growing fast and they are offering competitive rates. As an AT&T customer, I am seriously considering switching to T-Mobile for the next contract I sign.
  4. jav6454 macrumors P6


    Nov 14, 2007
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    Possibly. T-Mobile's strategy is a great way of showing customers that not all companies truly want to price gouge you. (Although in all fairness, AT&T would be doing the same T-Mobile is doing now, if the roles were reversed).

    However, free market has spoken, and if T-Mobile wants to survive it must hit big ones like Vericrap and AT&T right in the pricey plan gut.
  5. vonWachtstain macrumors regular

    Nov 20, 2011
    Verizon customer here. Once contract runs out all our 4 lines switching to Tmobile. Or sooner if Tmobile pay our cancellation fees (wink wink Tmobile)
  6. BlueMoonForever thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 2, 2012
    I'd be tempted to switch too. However, T-Mobile doesn't have low frequencies and I know for a fact around my area building penetration isn't great. My friend's T-Mobile phone often switches from 4G to EDGE back to 4G outside. They use very weak signals.
  7. AutoUnion39 macrumors 601


    Jun 21, 2010
    Unless they can fix their spotty LTE/HSPA coverage and get rid of all that EDGE/GPRS out there, VZW/AT&T have nothing to worry about.


    Blue = EDGE/1X (VZW)

  8. BlueMoonForever thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 2, 2012
    True. But by me, there are many areas where T-Mobile gets 5 bars and AT&T gets EDGE. In general though T-Mobile's HSPA network is faster, but in my experience less consistent.

    With T-Mobile gaining subscribers, perhaps they can properly build out their network and upgrade all the EDGE towers.
  9. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere


    Apr 16, 2008
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    I hope they all get threatened and threaten each other with better deals and improvements.
    Competition is always great for the end consumer.
    Unlike the 2 big carriers that compete on finding better way to nickel and dime their customers and charge more by giving less.
  10. CEmajr macrumors 601

    Dec 18, 2012
    Charlotte, NC
    AT&T's overall network is definitely superior to T-Mobile but T-Mobile has made moves this year that have gained them subscribers and drastically slowed down growth over at AT&T. The majority of their customer gains have come from Sprint and the second most have come from AT&T.

    They're definitely threatened though. They have been making reactionary moves to T-Mobile all year. It's good for the industry and good for us as consumers. Hope to see more of it in 2014.
  11. JayLenochiniMac macrumors G5

    Nov 7, 2007
    New Sanfrakota
    I'm not giving up my unlimited with AT&T until they get rid of subsidies then I'll pick whichever is cheaper. It's a matter of when, not if.
  12. Jnesbitt82 macrumors 6502


    Oct 21, 2013
    I think they will probably lease airtime from Verizon and At&t's towers. Its the cheaper way to go for now. I know in my area in Ohio, there's zero coverage with them. :(
  13. Jnesbitt82 macrumors 6502


    Oct 21, 2013
    I can't wait to see how At&t reacts to the mass exodus of their customers when the subsidies stop. After all, we're putting them in the poor house with all of our smart phone upgrades. (sarcasm)
  14. MattMJB0188 macrumors 68000

    Dec 28, 2009
    I still remember when only SOME OF US could afford smartphones. Now everyone and their freaking mother has one.
  15. Caesars macrumors regular

    May 16, 2013
    I'm loving tmobile in NE Ohio, virtually everywhere I go has lte or back up 3.5g hspa+. Really the only times I see edge are on the freeways or random ware occurrences, luckily for me I don't need lte when driving between Youngstown and Cleveland.
  16. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Threatened, I don't know. Concerned yes, given the successes they are suddenly enjoying with their new marketing. People want to pay less and not be locked into a contract for 2 years.

    What may make them feel threatened if Softbank (Sprint) merges with T-Mo which there are rumors swirling that they're discussing such a thing
  17. blarivee macrumors 6502

    Jun 29, 2009
    i wonder if Sprint buys T-Mobile, will they just kill T-Mobile's initiative and sweep everyone into one of Sprint's existing plans. Essentially forming a three carrier stranglehold.
  18. JackieInCo Suspended

    Jul 18, 2013
    What good is the map that AT&T has if it shows I should have LTE where I live but get edge speeds? Maps mean nothing. Anyone can put together a map like AT&T has.

    Every carrier was threatened, that's why they changed their data plans and added early paid upgrade options.
  19. Michael CM1 macrumors 603

    Feb 4, 2008
    From my slightly informed opinion, here's the deal:

    AT&T and Verizon have the best networks in the U.S. They both cover a lot of territory and penetrate buildings well. I've used both in the past two years. AT&T is the speed king where you can get LTE and also does pretty well in its fake 4G (3G+) areas. But when that dreaded "E" pops up, you're gonna party like it's 1999.

    Verizon has a huge swath of LTE coverage and has covered a lot of places I go that AT&T doesn't. That's why I switched in 2011 after insane dropped calls around my new home and the awful dead zones both ways I go to work. But AT&T has fixed those around me now.

    And then you have Sprint and T-Mobile. They throw things like unlimited data at you because all other things equal most people would be crazy to choose Sprint. They don't have the robust networks of AT&T and Verizon, so they compete on price. That doesn't mean they're good or bad, but it's what you have to consider based on your needs. I've heard T-Mobile doesn't work as well indoors, but I have no way of knowing that personally.

    I do love what T-Mobile has done. Under the subsidy model, you are punished for keeping your phone past the two years. You're still paying the same monthly price but the carrier isn't paying toward a discount on your phone any more. That's why two years is the LONGEST I have waited to upgrade. I got my 32GB 5s upgrade for about $150 from a 4s with 16GB after selling it to a friend. With the LTE difference, I was a fool not to buy that thing.

    In the future, it will be a neat decision. After my two years are up, I can get a $15 discount per month on my bill or I can buy the latest phone on one of those installment plans. Or I can find a deal on an unlocked phone anywhere -- key if you shop at Target and can get 5 percent off anything.

    So I'm probably going to keep my 5s longer unless the 6s or whatever we're dealing with in late 2015 is that much of a game-changer.

    But no, AT&T isn't really threatened by T-Mobile. Maybe AT&T has noticed its competition, but in no way is AT&T "threatened."
  20. Mobster1983 macrumors 6502a

    Sep 8, 2011
    I can confirm this. I switched from Verizon to T-Mobile and my wife switched from ATT (we got the shared plan together) when the iPhone 5s came out.

    Outside my office, verizon and T-Mobile get the same speeds. Inside Verizon has a lower signal, but I can still get texts and calls. T-Mobile gets no signal whatsoever.

    I was excited to switch to T-Mobile since I would be saving about $100 per month, and getting unlimited data. Here in Hawaii, there are several areas in downtown Honolulu where T-Mobile is faster than Verizon. However, in several areas, including my house, I get no or a low signal. Also, both my wife and I have been missing calls and texts constantly, often important business calls that appear as a missed call a few hours after the fact.

    So while T-Mobile has a lot of potential, their reliability is still very low. I am going this weekend and we are going to switch to a Verizon shared plan which, after running the numbers, will be pretty much the same price after factoring in both of our phones and iPads, with the amount of data we actually use.
  21. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I don't think so, because its those initiatives that are driving consumers into T-Mo's arms. Why kill a cash cow, and that's also why I think AT&T is changing is business model a bit and will move away from subsidized phones as well.
  22. Col Ronson macrumors 6502a

    Aug 7, 2008
    The majority of the United States lives in urban areas, and thus in range of Tmobile's HSPA+/LTE networks.

    While AT&T might have "4G" in the middle of nowhere, it is no secret their HSPA+ is pathetically slow when you compare it to Tmobile's HSPA+.


    To answer your question, yes AT&T is threatened by Tmobile. It is the only reason they implemented cheaper pricing for people bringing their own phones. Its a page out of the Tmobile playbook. So was AT&T Next. VZW however is not threatened, at least by their CEO's comments. They won't compete on pricing, they will just use their quality network to speak for themselves i guess.
  23. parseckadet macrumors 65816


    Dec 13, 2010
    Denver, CO
    These maps are meaningless. I know for a fact T-Mobile has better coverage in Colorado than what is depicted here. These look like Root Metric maps, which you have referred to before. While I trust the tests performed by their staff in urban areas, I don't trust these crowd sourced maps. All these maps tell you is that nobody has been to an area while running the Root Metrics app. For example, these seem to indicate that there is almost no coverage in all of eastern Colorado, despite the fact that T-Mobile's maps state that they do. I've been to Calhan, Remah, and Limon Colorado in the past as a T-Mobile customer and had coverage. I can't speak to their speed in these areas (it's been awhile), but I know for a fact they have coverage there. And T-Mobile's coverage maps back this up, unless you're implying that T-Mobile's maps lying by showing they cover almost all of eastern Colorado.
  24. AutoUnion39 macrumors 601


    Jun 21, 2010
    Not RootMetrics.

    Those are off sensorly. And you're missing the point of why I posted those. Those maps show the amount of EDGE still out there.

    TMobile masks it cleverly on their website by using the stupid pink color scheme on the coverage maps.

    However, I do agree with you about crowd sourced data. The only up to date Sensorly maps are the Sprint LTE ones because the Sprint boys have nothing better to do.


    And both AT&T/VZW provide more LTE than TMobile provides HSPA, so your point is moot.

    VZW's EVDO is slow too, but who cares? They've overlaid LTE in under two years. Same with AT&T.

    You keep harping on how amazing TMo HSPA is, but are cleverly ignoring that their HSPA network is still tiny. AT&T and VZW's LTE networks dwarf it.

    The difference here is that AT&T and VZW provide a significantly more reliable connection at all times and where one encounters TMobile EDGE (quite often FYI), VZW and AT&T have a fast LTE network that isn't spotty, like TMo HSPA.

    I travel up and down the Northeast. When I encounter AT&T HSPA (rural areas), there's a good chance that TMo is EDGE in the same area. I haven't been in an AT&T HSPA or VZW EVDO area in a long time that ISNT covered by their LTE service.
  25. SomeGuyDude macrumors 6502a


    Mar 19, 2011
    Switched from VZW to T-Mo and couldn't be happier. I know this is about AT&T but I feel like T-Mo is really a threat to the two big boys right now and I'll explain why in a sort of backwards way.

    Here's the thing: T-Mo's coverage is not in any way as complete as VZW or AT&T. End of transaction. I travel all over the PA/NY/Del/NJ area and found myself in tons of EDGE spots while on the highway. Speeds were passable and I could listen to Spotify with minimal breakups.

    THAT SAID, Verizon also has tons of really goofy dead zones if you live out this way, and Verizon's dead zones tend to be TRUE dead zones. Just no coverage whatsoever. Either you have LTE or you're gone. I was driving out to New Jersey today and was on EDGE for a while but it's not uncommon to lose LTE and even 3G along that route.

    Speedwise there's no difference in my limited experience between VZW and t-Mo. Standard LTE speeds in the northeast, meaning between 7 and 16mbps depending on where you are.

    So, in terms of straight-up coverage and speed, Verizon > T-Mobile. Inarguable. So why did I switch and why am I happy about it?

    Simple: their plans are just plain better. I might not have LTE in as many places, and I'm not gaining any speed whatsoever, but T-Mo gave me a hefty credit on my bill to offset my ETF from Verizon, and now I'm getting unlimited everything for $70 a month. Verizon was going to charge me $90 a month for 6GB of data and 450 minutes talk time, and THAT was supposedly a "deal" they'd give me because I was a long term customer. For a Spotify user, the ability to put on playlists and radio in my car again every day instead of having to download to my phone is WELL worth it.

    In the end, I'm sacrificing some coverage for a much cheaper bill and unlimited data plus breaking away from the biannual upgrade (well, one biannual for another biannual, damn English language). Plus the other neat bonuses like JUMP or the little bit of free lifetime data on an iPad. T-Mo has coverage where I go, and the places it has less than perfect coverage are places I'm only hanging out for a little work, not to watch Netflix, so I'm not losing anything.

    Is AT&T threatened by T-Mobile? Maybe not right now, but they will be very, very soon. So will Verizon. T-Mobile is gaining customers at a crazy rate, and with that means more towers, which means better coverage. The rep I talked to in Scranton mentioned that with the increases in customers they're looking at expanding the service.

    People say it's unsustainable. My friends in England and Europe are BAFFLED at how much my cell phone bill used to be. T-Mobile is the future.

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