4/30/2008 4:41:00 PM
T-Mobile ups tariff stakes with new cut price deals
T-Mobile is applying more pressure on the market after launching new contract and Sim-only tariffs, which offer unlimited texts.
The launch is expected to prompt tariff reviews at Vodafone, Orange and O2.
T-Mobile follows Orange and 3 by launching its first unlimited text offer this week.
T-Mobile is expected to go big on the £30 per month offer of 600 minutes with unlimited texts and a £35 per month offer of 800 minutes and unlimited texts.
The Sim-only Solo deals are 30-day rolling contracts. The £20 deal offers 500 minutes and unlimited texts and the £35 deal offers 1,400 minutes and unlimited texts.
Experts said the new tariffs will become among the most competitive in the industry, but will not shake up the market like Flext did when it was launched in early 2006.
One dealer said: ‘These offers will sell. It’s less confusing than Flext as well. It’s bound to be popular.’
One industry expert said: ‘T-Mobile has never had an unlimited offer before. This is their attempt to join the unlimited party.
‘If you look at their new deal in the £30 space it is offering pretty much what Orange and O2 do in the £35 space. It is putting more downward pressure on the market.’
T-Mobile’s new deals will raise fears of margins falling for operators.
Another industry analyst added: ‘Flext was very innovative when it came out, but these deals look like they are following what is currently out there and proving successful. It looks to me like they are very much copycat deals, just offering slightly more for less.’
Around 70% of the contract market is currently in the £35-per-month bracket.
For £35 per month, Orange offers 600 minutes and unlimited texts, 3 offers 750 minutes and unlimited texts, 02 offers 600 minutes and 1,000 texts, and Vodafone offers 750 minutes and 100 texts, all with a variety of handsets and introductory offers.
T-Mobile declined to comment.