T-Mobile readies shared data plans for business; no early termination fees

Reinvigorated after failure of AT&T merger plan, T-Mobile looks to lure business users with promotions, Apple iPhone 5 and BlackBerry Z10

By , Computerworld |  Mobile & Wireless, T-Mobile

"Z10 makes BlackBerry relevant with a much better Web experience and the Balance [dual personality] feature," Sickinger said."It's a new standard for them and people will use that. The feedback and response to the Z10 has been very positive."

Sickinger, appointed to his post in December, said that there are some 900 T-Mobile salespeople charged with attracting business customers. The specialized salesforce that will increase "by hundreds" in coming months.

A special multinational corporate sales group is in place and offers a popular Wi-Fi calling option for international travelers.

In Europe, Wi-Fi calls from Paris to London (and between other cities) are treated as local calls and there's a $50 a month unlimited data access plan in Europe, with the speed throttled at 130 Kbps, fast enough to download emails and do other work.

Sickinger conceded that gaps in T-Mobile's national network coverage made it hard for business travelers to connect without expensive roaming to other carriers in some areas outside of major cities.

"Not to say that our network's perfect, but it has improved so much in recent years," Sickinger said. "T-Mobile has a strong domestic footprint and strong roaming agreements and there's no charge for domestic roaming."

T-Mobile plans to spend $4 billion to upgrade 37,000 cell towers to HSPA+ and LTE in the next two years. LTE is expected to reach 200 million people by the end of 2013, he said.

"We're changing the game," Sickinger said.

Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen, or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed . His e-mail address is mhamblen@computerworld.com.

Read more about mobile/wireless in Computerworld's Mobile/Wireless Topic Center.

Originally published on Computerworld |  Click here to read the original story.
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