T-Mobile Announces 'Jump' Phone Upgrade Program
At an event in Manhattan today, T-Mobile USA announced a new phone upgrade program called "Jump," which is designed to allow subscribers to upgrade their phones at regular intervals.
With Jump, customers will pay the same subsidized amount that a new customer pays, without the need to wait to qualify for an upgrade. Jump requires T-Mobile customers to pay a $10 monthly fee for the service and trade-in old devices, but it offers up to two phone upgrades per year after a six month waiting period. T-Mobile CEO John Legere spoke to AllThingsD about the new program:
"This is one of those things that annoys customers so much," CEO John Legere said in an interview ahead of a New York press event. Legere said that the company wanted to address this issue when it first did away with two-year contracts back in March, but needed a little more time to work out the details.
This is a significant policy change that sets T-Mobile apart from other carriers, which often require contracts to expire before upgrade pricing on a new device is available. Both Verizon and AT&T, for example, have recently implemented policies that only allow customers to upgrade after 24 months have passed.
T-Mobile's policy change comes three months after it announced both the iPhone 5 and its "Uncarrier" policies, which allow customers to purchase a phone without a monthly contract. Instead, T-Mobile requires a down payment of $150 along with a $20 monthly device fee for the iPhone 5.
At today's event, T-Mobile also announced that it plans to create a new family plan for customers without enough credit to quality for traditional phone contracts and plans to expand its LTE network in the near future.
T-Mobile has published a series of ads on the new Jump feature, with the slogan "Upgrade when you want, not when you're told."