Sorry about the late blog post. Being busy is always fun, right?
This gave me a chance to watch today’s news break, and one story in particular caught my eye: T-Mobile’s promise to play nice if it’s allowed to merge with Sprint. It’s basically the end result of sentimentally telling the Uncarrier “with great power, comes great responsibility.” If/when T-Mobile swallows Sprint, it’s gonna be quite the conglomerate, and legislators are gonna need reassurance that the John Legere-led company will use its super powers for good.
In a press release and hype video, T-Mobile announced a few new initiatives it plans to act on so long as its merger is approved. This is literally the embodiment of the infamous Uncle Ben saying since the company is just basically gonna sprinkle free service everywhere it can.
1. Connecting Heroes Initiative
T-Mobile’s first initiative is called Connecting Heroes, and it’s a way for the carrier to give heroes across the U.S. free service. According to the company’s press release, “EVERY first responder at EVERY public and non-profit state and local police, fire, and EMS agency across the entire U.S.” will get free unlimited talk, text, and data, 5G included. Personally, I think this is a beautiful thing and certainly a good use of power.
2. Project 10Million
The next initiative is called Project 10Million, T-Mobile’s way to get rid of the homework gap by giving low-income families free internet access. The carrier says it’ll be dedicating $10 billion to the effort in order to give 10 million households around the U.S. free service, hotspots, and reduced-cost devices over five years. Again, another good use of power.
3. T-Mobile Connect
This initiative won’t necessarily get you free service, but it’ll be really close that. T-Mobile says if its merger closes, it’ll introduce a new Connect plan that gets you free unlimited talk and text plus 2GB of data each month for $15/month. That’s half the price of the lowest-priced T-Mobile plan available today. This plan won’t be for everyone, but it’ll at least help people save money, especially if they don’t use their phone often.
T-Mobile also mentioned a few other commitments in its press release that will be implemented so long as the Sprint merger is closed.
Today’s newly announced initiatives align with other consumer and community-centric commitments the future New T-Mobile has previously made. T-Mobile and Sprint had already shared plans for job growth, industry-leading customer support and best of the best diversity and inclusion practices as the New T-Mobile, including:
– being a job creator from day one by employing more people than either standalone company and in total, having more than 11,000 additional employees by 2024 compared to what the combined standalone companies would have;
– expanding its industry-leading Team of Experts (or TEX) customer service model to all New T-Mobile customer experience centers in the U.S.;
– creating five new Customer Experience Centers to support customers, including building new care facilities near Fresno, Calif., Kansas City, KS, and Rochester, NY;
– and delivering a groundbreaking set of diversity and inclusion initiatives in partnership with six civil rights organizations, including the National Urban League.
Obviously, T-Mobile says it’s gonna use its new 5G network to power all of these initiatives, and it’s the perfect “announcement” to make to sweeten the deal for legislators to give the carrier the OK to swallow Sprint. But now the question becomes, will T-Mobile keep all of its promises?
I can’t tell you that. We’ve never really seen a merger like this before between two tech companies. We don’t have any history with T-Mobile making super ambitious promises in the past, and no carrier has ever tried to give first responders and low-income families free service. The $15/month 2GB plan won’t be hard to do, mind you, but we still can’t confirm whether it’ll actually happen.
T-Mobile has a lot riding on its Sprint merger, and so long as it happens, it’s gonna have to deliver on these promises. They might trick us all and wait a while before rolling any of them out (the carrier didn’t give us any launch dates for the initiatives, after all), but they’re gonna have to happen. All that we can do, as consumers, is hold them accountable to their statements and wait to see what happens.