T-Mobile takes aim at business market with new cellular plans

By Reuters

Mar 19, 2015 02:40 AM EDT

T-Mobile US Inc rolled out cellular and data plans for business customers, taking aim at a lucrative market segment long dominated by larger rivals AT&T Inc and Verizon Communications Inc.

Companies with more than 1,000 lines will pay $10 per month for each line. Other firms with multiple lines will be charged $15 a line. In both cases, every line comes with 1 gigabyte of high-speed data and allows unlimited calls and text messages.

Verizon and AT&T account for 87 percent of the $83 billion in wireless revenue from businesses, T-Mobile Chief Executive John Legere said at the company's "Uncarrier 9.0" event in New York on Wednesday.

T-Mobile's bid to lure rivals' business customers reflects an increasingly competitive U.S. cellular market in which new customer growth is hard to come by, forcing the dominant players to seek growth by targeting each other's existing subscribers.

T-Mobile, controlled by Germany's Deutsche Telekom, hopes to encourage business owners to switch to its network by offering their family members plans with discounts, Legere said.

As added sweeteners for prospective clients, T-Mobile will offer each business client a free GoDaddy.com domain, a website and email addresses from Microsoft Office 365.

Turning to the consumer market, T-Mobile said it would make permanent various promotional offers from recent months that had been labeled temporary. It also broadened a previous offer to lure other companies' customers by paying up to $650 in early termination fees to also cover those potential customers' equipment costs.

Over the last two years, T-Mobile has focused on the consumer market, aggressively cutting prices and shaking up the market with moves to simplify signing up for and keeping cellular and data plans.

The company is taking a similar approach as it enters the business market for wireless, Mike Sievert, T-Mobile's chief operating officer said in an interview.

"We're a relatively small player today in the business space," Sievert said.

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