US telcos battle for smartphone users

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American carriers T-Mobile and AT&T have ignited the next great smartphone war, but the winners could be the shoppers, according to a CNBC report.

The two telcos have implemented their battle plans, with AT&T firing the first shot. On January 7, mobility CEO Ralph de la Vega announced that the company had landed the contract to provide Audi with LTE connection, which was previously held by T-Mobile.

The next day, T-Mobile announced its Un-Carrier 4.0 initiative, whereby the firm will shoulder the early termination fees of up to US$350 for Sprint, AT&T and Verizon clients who switch to T-Mobile.

AT&T counterattacked with ads tarnishing the image of T-Mobile. Now, the intensifying war offers consumers a chance to snag better deals

“Everyone who wants a smartphone has one. Now we’re seeing carriers battle to win each other’s smartphone users,” said Tech Analyst Jeff Kagan. This means they’re going to compete in terms of quality, pricing and customer service.

The most recent skirmish happened last Saturday when T-Mobile doubled its data limit for its Simple Choice Plan while maintaining the current price. In response, AT&T slashed the cost of its Share Value Plan by US$15.

Looking at AT&T and T-Mobile’s sweetened deals, the latter wins on pricing and data limit. For only US$60, its Simple Choice Plan gives clients unlimited talking and texting plus 3GB of data without any contract.

However, AT&T’s US$65 2GB Simple Choice Plan is also a good alternative, as T-Mobile’s smaller network has the lowest overall performance among the Big Four, revealed a RootMetrics study.

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