My Thoughts on T-Mobile

Since March of 2008, I have been a T-Mobile customer. At first, I had a data card, and cell phone plan. With the lack of real speed with the data card on EDGE, I had eventually taken it off. Now, I have a family plan which shares certain features, and eventually makes life easier.

There were a couple of reason I chosen T-Mobile. I was an AT&T customer and dissatisfied with a few aspects including customer service, price of the plan, per kb rates of any data I used, and the high messaging fees. In addition, I at the time had a house phone and the AT&T phone. I was getting tired of the two different phone lines I had to deal with, and to upgrade to truly replace the phone without worries would cost me more than twice as much, especially considering the price.

So, after hearing about UMA, and learning all I can about it, I wanted to still give AT&T a chance, and asked about it. A short answer was no intention on offering it. So, I went to the T-Mobile store, and asked them if it was everything they claim it to be. Well, it was, and there was of course a price to it. However, for $10/month, more minutes, and more features at a bit of savings, it was worth it.

Well, a little more than a year later, I am mostly satisfied. I have some frustrations, but not enough to look elsewhere. Some good things definitely are the UMA. And since this is a family plan with 4 UMA compatible phones, this averages to $2.50/line. I also have 1800 minutes for $90. And unlimited text messaging for just $20/month.

The end goal, even if I don’t have a family plan and the cheapest services I would need, I would have saved money. I know about the same number of people on AT&T as with T-Mobile (not counting my lines), but with T-Mobile, I could add 5 additional people. UMA calling allows me to call the less important people for when I get home.

So, what I don’t like? First, $10 to let you use your phone to make a phone call over your internet connection. I know, it’s a savings, last month – I used 275 UMA minutes, and I don’t use the phone often – but still, T-Mobile should be offering free UMA calling, and offering more phones that work. They won’t get as much per customer, but I am sure they would make up in the number of customers.

Next, smart-phone data plans are terrible. There is no per MB plan which harms the ones looking for a budget resource. It’s either $25/month for data + no messages, $25/month for data + 400 messages, or $35 for data + unlimited messages – whether 3G, or EDGE. At least they allow tethering with the PC, but I am sure your calls go to voicemail, so consider a family plan if you go this route (one for you, and one for your PC).

In an ideal circumstance, T-Mobile should strive to offer something unique. They had MyFaves, which was only otherwise available on a regional carrier, but now Verizon is offering it and Verizon is much bigger than T-Mobile. Maybe they should talk with Google Voice to offer the smart forwarding system that is now in limited service. Instead of forwarding to individual phones, it would ring based on groups. Voice to text mail, and the ability to back up contacts. In my opinion, this would be a smart move for both companies. This could also allow T-Mobile to offer Google 411. Imagine seeing a T-Mobile add such as.
Phone plan of 450 minutes: $40
Unlimited Data/Text Message: $35
Calling to your 5 favorite non T-Mobile Customer: Free
Night/Weekends: Free
Calling from your home, work, or T-Mobile Wifi spot: Free
Directory Assistance: Free
Read your Voice-mail: Free
Keep annoying callers from bothering you: Free
Being a T-Mobile Customer: Priceless

Don’t worry T-Mobile, you can thank me later.

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