SEATTLE (The Seattle Times/TNS) - T-Mobile US has added new features to its unlimited data plan to one-up competitor Verizon, just hours after the larger carrier announced its own unlimited plan.
T-Mobile, headquartered outside Seattle, will allow customers to stream videos in HD quality by default beginning Friday, addressing the major criticism of its unlimited T-Mobile One plan. Customers will also be able to use 10 GB of data as a mobile hot spot.
Outspoken CEO John Legere announced the additions in a series of tweets Monday, first calling out Verizon for “caving” when it announced its own unlimited plan.
Verizon had run advertisements for its capped data plans that read “why pay for data you won’t use?” In addition to its new unlimited plan, Verizon will also continue to offer cheaper plans with a finite amount of data.
Mr. Legere addressed Verizon’s change on T-Mobile’s fourth-quarter earnings conference call Tuesday morning.
“We drag the carriers kicking and screaming to the future,” he said. T-Mobile had ushered in the industry’s move to unlimited data last year.
T-Mobile beat analyst expectations, reporting quarterly revenue of $10.2 billion, a 23 percent increase from the last period of 2015. The company posted a quarterly profit of $390 million, up 31 percent year-over-year.
T-Mobile added 2.1 million customers during the quarter, continuing a trend that vaulted it past Sprint to become the No. 3 carrier in 2015.
Mr. Legere also addressed speculation that the new Trump administration could bring a friendly environment for mergers and acquisitions, possibly reviving a merger of Sprint and T-Mobile that was discouraged by regulators in the past.
Mr. Legere assured analysts that “nobody’s talking to anybody” while the Federal Communications Commission conducts an auction for carriers to buy more wireless spectrum. He said he “couldn’t be more excited” about the period that will come after the auction, as T-Mobile keeps growing, through its own technology and possible consolidations.
In trading Tuesday, T-Mobile’s stock rose 70 cents, or 1.2 percent, to $61.60.