T-Mobile’s move towards an unlimited offer with its Full Monty tariff appears unlikely to spark a new price war, with rival operators choosing to highlight core offers.
The operator launched the tariff last week (1 February) in a bid to further distinguish itself from its sister brand Orange. The unlimited offer met a cool reception from rival operators, with one suggesting T-Mobile was rolling out the tariff to target the spate of customers who took out two-year iPhone contracts in late 2009 or early 2010. However, all three rival networks said they had faith in their existing offers and would not be following T-Mobile’s lead. Vodafone highlighted its Data Test Drive, while Three championed its The One Plan and O2 its Bolt On packages. One operator said: ‘We’re not hugely conscious of the need to react to it.’
The Full Monty tariff is being used by T-Mobile as a means of switching late adopters onto smartphones by removing concerns about exceeding allowances. The lowest entry point tariff is £36 per month for two years, which allows a customer to get a free Samsung Galaxy S II or a 16GB iPhone 4S for a £99 upfront fee.
However, despite the new tariff being backed by a multimillion-pound advertising campaign including television ads, it is not being extended to Orange customers. T-Mobile UK head of propositions Ben Fritsch said: ‘The market is very dynamic and there’s no doubt we have listened to our customers. Between Orange and T-Mobile customers there’s different ways of accessing the markets and listening to what customers need.’
T-Mobile senior proposition manager Regan Whitehead told Mobile the tariff came off the back of consumer research. He said: ‘The research highlighted T-Mobile customers are value seekers so when we were looking at the Full Monty launch, it was right to lean towards those customers. Orange customers are more about innovation and offering new services to customers.’
Fritsch said the consumer research looked into the obstacles that were preventing customers from buying smartphones. ‘There’s been a fair amount of consumer research into smartphones that understands where the market is. But the key point for us was not understanding who has a smartphone, but thinking about those who don’t and what is stopping them from doing so.’
An Everything Everywhere spokesman said the Full Monty offer was not being extended to Orange customers because the business wanted to keep the brands separate. He said: ‘It’s very much in keeping with what T-Mobile customers like, which is straightforward value. Orange offers more for more. Its proposition is slightly richer and offers the likes of apps to try for free, whereas T-Mobile is more what you see is what you get.’