T-Mobile

The 'UNcarrier' makes an interesting proposition that puts other carriers to shame and helps its bottom line at the same time

At an event in New York City this week, T-Mobile made its self-described “Boldest moves yet”. Along with new device announcements and touting its LTE network expansion, the biggest change the carrier announced Wednesday was a new device insurance and upgrade system it calls “JUMP!”. With this new system, T-Mobile is again taking straight aim at the other major carriers in the U.S. -- this time focusing on lengthy upgrade periods.

As we described when the service was announced, JUMP! (yes, all caps and with an exclamation point) builds on T-Mobile's existing PHP (Premium Handset Protection) insurance to also offer customers device upgrades twice per year. With JUMP!, customers can buy a handset on an installment plan and twice a year return the working device to T-Mobile, have all remaining payments on the device wiped out and buy a new device on an installment plan as if they were a new customer. The new JUMP! service is just $10 per month, only a couple dollars more than what it previously charged for PHP alone.

READ: T-Mobile announces 'JUMP!' upgrade plan

Together with its new Equipment Installment Program (EIP) and no-contract plans, JUMP! just let T-Mobile leapfrog the other major carriers in a big way. The magenta carrier is changing the way it takes on equipment upgrades, and it's another push in the right direction that this industry needs.

T-Mobile

Verizon, AT&T and Sprint have one-by-one cut down every single early upgrade scheme previously in place that gave users the privilege of re-signing a 2-year contract and getting a new subsidized device -- meaning that no matter which you choose, you're now waiting a full 24 months for a new subsidy. With T-Mobile's new service, they're going in the completely opposite direction to nearly not caring at all when you upgrade. Not only does T-Mobile's new JUMP! service beat the other carriers' upgrade systems, it beats them into a pulp.

With the new service, customers not only have the security of full handset protection, but also the freedom to bump up to a new device twice a year. For users who previously were paying for PHP alone at the rate of about $8 per month, moving up to JUMP! is practically a no-brainer. For an additional $2 per month (for a total of $10), you now have the ability to pay just the down payment on a brand new device, and see no additional changes to your monthly bill.

If you're a phone junkie that wants to upgrade as often as possible, the new plans will save you a considerable amount of money over buying them outright on other carriers. Take the example of buying a high-end phone at an MSRP of $650 every 6 months (buying at start of service, 6 months, 1 year and 18 months) on both T-Mobile and Verizon.

With T-Mobile's new plan, you'll be paying $10 per month for JUMP!, along with $20 installments (typical for that price phone) every month. You'll only be paying $100 each time you "upgrade" though, meaning your total cost of ownership for 4 phones in a 24-month period will be roughly $1,120. On Verizon, for example, you'll only get a subsidized handset every 24 months. You'll pay $650 for the other 3 times you buy a phone, assuming you also buy Verizon's $7 per month handset insurance (to get things apples-to-apples as possible) you'll spend roughly $2,318 in total for the 4 phones over 2 years.

These are rough calculations that will naturally vary based on the price of the devices you're buying, but it's clear that for someone who plans on upgrading frequently, T-Mobile drastically reduces your cost of ownership both up-front and long-term. The carrier is about to make it trivially easy to upgrade a device and not spend half a paycheck doing it.

T-Mobile

From T-Mobile's point of view, it is simply making it easier for people to keep spending money on handsets and continue to pay a monthly equipment installment. The carrier is hoping to entice customers away from other "traditional" carriers with a very consumer-friendly upgrade system, but make no mistake that JUMP! is a potentially profitable proposition for T-Mobile as well. Not only does T-Mobile now have the opportunity to get more customers onto a new $10 payment plan potentially for the life of their account, they will also be extending the EIP back out to 24 months with every single upgrade. The carrier also indicates that it plans to create a robust market for the refurbished phones that are returned as part of JUMP!.

But as I've demonstrated above, there are clear advantages to this service for a wide range of customers, not just fringe cases. Just because it's a smart move monetarily from T-Mobile doesn't mean that it isn't also a great value for consumers. The service rewards loyalty to T-Mobile without forcing "loyalty" through a 2-year contract with an early termination fee. And best of all, if the numbers don't work out in your favor given the pricing structure and number of upgrades you plan to make, the $10 payment and JUMP! service -- and EIP overall -- is completely optional.

JUMP! doesn't lock anyone into T-Mobile, but simply gives them fewer reasons to leave. And that's a good thing all around. Other carriers take notice.

 
There are 149 comments

oxidax says:

Tmo is amazing. Their data plans are great, im very pleased with the price and with all the new stuff that they're announcing it looks like things are going to get so much better. But their signal!? omg! horrible! Most of the time i get 0 bars. Like.. in the middle of the street.. 0 bars! Really!? Its not like im under a rock! Im out there! nope..0 bars.

I was at the airport this morning waiting for my family and there was no way of contacting them because my phone had no reception even tho it showed a couple of bars.. wha? exactly. Im gonna keep pretending that my nexus 4 is broken. Its not, but ima keep pretending for a while.

ConTejas says:

I never understand why people who mention horrible coverage never bother to mention where the heck the actually are? Other than in the street, not under a rock, where are you? If you're in the middle of the street in bumble %&#& that's worth noting. If you're in NYC there's an issue. Would you say all (insert race)steal cars because some do? Then why say just make a blanket statement that Tmobile coverage sucks? I'll tell you it is great in every metro area I've visited in the US (I travel for business). End rant, but seriously folks mention at least a general location of WHERE their coverage is lacking. It could actually be helpful.

My thoughts exactly. What's the point of telling people a certain carrier sucks in your area and not say where you are? Total waste of a comment imo.

mwara244 says:

I can tell you T-Mo sucks everywhere in MO and IL. If you venture a mile or two outside a city or township, lost signal, if venture away from a major highway by a mile, no signal, if you are on a state highway, no signal. T-Mo coverage sucks here

Ratnok says:

"Everywhere" includes Chicago and St. Louis. The majority of people live in civilization, which is where T-Mobile works. If you live out in the Styx, then yes, you need Verizon.

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Cory S says:

I am in Texas, live in Houston. Coverage in Houston is great, with exception of some larger department stores. The problem is Texas is very spread out. Once you get outside the outer Houston loop (where most people commute from) all bets are off. If I visit my family 20 minutes away in Richmond I'm on edge. If I visit the other side of my family in Kerrville, I'm on edge until I pass through San Antonio (about 200 miles of driving) and then lose it again quickly on my way to Kerrville where I'll be on edge again unless im in the center of the town. If I leave town and go out a few miles I have no service what-so-ever.

So, if you don't leave metro areas T-Mobile is great over here. My long term plan is to workout some kind of pay as you go SIM swap option for times I leave the city.

jonathan3579 says:

Hello from Houston! :)

I have to ask, how many bars do you regularly get of LTE? (Provided you have a LTE handset.) I cannot get more than 3 bars on my HTC One and that's on a good day. I average 1-2 bars. I've even found a couple dead spots while driving down Westheimer. WHY?!

Cory S says:

Hey Jonathan, I'd actually like to take this conversation to another service as I think we could really have a lot to talk about. feel free to "Hangouts" or email me at cory.simpson at gmail.

I have been doing my testing with a Nexus 4 so I haven't had a chance to test their LTE service yet. However, my Verizon phone drops off in several spots in Houston. Gessner and Richmond I have no service at all actually, which is frustrating being I work there. The nexus 4 gets 10+mbits HSPA+ in the same area though.

Jay Holm says:

Totally different area, but here in Connecticut, Waterbury and New Haven, when I do get LTE, most of the time it's 2 bars, on occasion 3, never 4 bars of LTE!!!

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_X_ says:

I live in SD and the coverage is spotty. On the beach I have no service and if I travel out of the metro area it stinks.

In the city it's great. Their customer service is the best.

However I was on the 5 freeway, in the boonies, last week and witness an accident. I tried to call 911 several times with no success luckily someone else had a carrier with better service.

I really like Tmobile, but if a carrier cannot handle calls when life's are at stake they aren't worth it

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blankit says:

Doesn't make any sense. Even if you have no signal it should still go through. I was in the subway with absolutely no service a few years back with the nexus one and huge fight broke out. I dialed 911 and it went through.

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Kingfroman says:

Well the way it works is if even if you are not a paying subscriber you can still dial 911 but if you are in a spot with no cell tower connection well your just out luck.

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javaman07 says:

When you dial 911, the phone goes into emergeny mode. at that point it does NOT matter who your carrier is, the phone will any carrier tower will accept the call. this is required by FCC.

deparson says:

Sort of.

When you dial 911 your phone will try to complete the call using the preferred carrier's network just like any other call.

If your phone reports that no signal is available (not a low signal but NO signal) then it will attempt to roam on another carrier's signal, request authorization for a 911 call and, if it can connect and get an auth, complete the call.

Thus, it is totally possible that there was enough of a tmobile signal to prevent the phone from trying to roam even if a call could not be completed OR that the other GSM signals were so poor that they could not carry a call either.

And, all of this can take a great deal of time as the phone tries the first carrier, searches for another one, connects, tries to call, etc. Repeats if that does not work, and so on.

bp3dots says:

Cleveland Heights, OH. Had to walk from your house out into the street to get service, and where I had to go out into the parking lot to activate t-mobile phones when I sold them.

Around mohican park, also ohio. Only VZW gets a decent signal, sprint sometimes hooks on to roam well.

various basements and buildings in downtown cleveland.

Johnny Z says:

T-Mobile sucks in my area (guilderland, ny) just outside of Albany. Verizon 4g everywhere around here. Sprint 3g everywhere (no 4g, but at least there's service) AT&T is great according to my friends. I had to dump my G2X 2 months after trying T-Mobile it was so bad.

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ldubois8 says:

How about anywhere in San Francisco??? Up in the hills, Nob Hill, Embarcadero, Pier 39, or anywhere! So frustrating to go on a vacation in a major metropolitan area and not be able to call the kids back home. Just furious!!

ldubois8 says:

How about downtown San Francisco? Nob Hill?? The Embarcadero??? Our phones were madly searching for a signal the whole time, so we couldn't keep them charged, even when they were plugged in.

oxidax says:

Well shit. Time to dig up a dead post LOL!. Sorry, its NYC. I know im 12 months late but I never checked this comment.

blankit says:

If your phone is rooted flash radio .27 the new radios really mess up the nexus 4. Its not tmobiles fault its googles. I used to have the same issue and after I flashed radio .27 I get lte and coverage almost anywhere.

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Jet300 says:

Nexus 4 with LTE? Interesting.

ichibanrei says:

Yup. I'm running the .33 radio without issues and getting great LTE all over the L.A. South Bay.

bpear96 says:

Yup .27 and .33 support band 4 LTE on T-Mobile.

It's not Google fault if they say the nexus 4 never supported LTE that was your choice to try it

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Tmobile has definitely been a great experience after dumping Verizon June 2012. Tmobile has been laughed at for years look who's laughing today. Tmobile rules period.

Posted from my Galaxy Note 2.

Jay Holm says:

Is there a video of this presentation?

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Orion78 says:

Yup, I'll move to T-Mobile this coming fall. By that time all the goodies will be out. As far as this plan goes, I think its great to have this option. But its not for me. One phone per year is good enough for my needs.

Dirty-Bird says:

I have Verizon. My friends who had TMobile in college hated it and never had service. Our school was in the middle of nowhere though. Will have to research TMobile coverage in the DMV.

BoB16731 says:

hopefully by the time my contract is up Tmobile has improved in my area if so im JUMPING

phoenixpath says:

The current PHP actually varies be device type. Premium devices such as tablets and the HTC One actually cost $11.99 a month for PHP.

So going to JUMP! will actually *lower* my monthly bill by ~$2.

hodan says:

This!

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Deke218 says:

This also! Just signed up knowing the Note 3 will be out before the end of the year. JUMPing once a year is good enough for me.

ryan5609 says:

JUMP is an amazing idea that I really, really hope catches on. But I think for most people who pay full price for their phones, you are forgetting one key detail. Resale value. The resale value of most phones after 6 months of usage (assuming they are in good condition) is going to be a large portion of that original purchase price. I would assume that in roughly 6 months, my GS4 would sell for at least $400, maybe more, which would then help recoup the cost of my new phone purchase. People that do not sell their old phones either dont care about money, give it to a family member, or just want a really nice backup phone. This will have to be my strategy since I am on VZW, but I think I can hold out for a year with my new GS4.

bp3dots says:

Exactly! That was one of the first things I noticed on their price comparison. If you got 400 ish back from selling each one youd be paying significantly less than on the tmobile plan. Just requires a higher cash investment.

ssinn says:

I agree. I don't see why this is so great a deal. You have to pay full price for the phone anyway. If one of the other carriers did this and allowed you to extend your contract again after 6 months and get the discounted price then you would be in a much better situation.

icebike says:

Further, JUMP people will in all likelhood turn in their phones at least once a year if not twice. There is only a $100 penalty for doing so, and in return you get the latest phones.

So lets say the hassle of upgrading amounts to $100 and a weeks worth of diddling with each phone to get it configured the way you want. Most people won't do that every 6 months. (Ok most readers of AC probably will, but not your average user). Makes me think the average user will upgrade only once every 8 months.

But just running the number:.....

For 6month trade ins:
T-Mo makes $100initial, plus 6months times $20installment + 10Jumpfee = $280.
That won't even cover T-Mo's costs on a high end phone.

For 12month Trade ins:
T-Mo makes $100initial, plus 12months times $20installment + 10Jumpfee = $460
T-Mo will probably just barely cover their wholesale cost of the phones.

So what happens with all those slightly used phones?
T-Mo has to recover some value from these turned in devices just to just to break even.

I'm guessing they are going to be the King of Refurbs, offering new subscribers lightly used last-year's phones.

Either that or they are going to be shoveling a lot of used phones to some secondary market, perhaps overseas. (Which doesn't exist for VZ phones). That flood of phones will depress the resale market, meaning they won't even get what they need to cover costs for the 6month switchers.

I am not convinced this is a sustainable business model.

Diskoman says:

I doubt they will be selling the refurbs under the T-Mobile banner. Selling them under the MetroPCS or GoSmart subsidiaries though could be a win-win proposition for T-Mobile.

akarol says:

Yeah, but the bottom line is, their coverage and service quality is still the worst in the country compared to the big boys. They can do all these amazing tricks to swindle people into falling for their trap, but I use a phone to browse and make calls, and with T-Mobile, I wasn't able to do that effectively here in Orlando.

MERCDROID says:

T-Mobile works great for me. Coverage isn't the greatest. But, when you're in a service area, the data is fast and calls are loud and crisp. I'll definitely be taking advantage, of this option. It sucks for you, that the other carriers are swindling you out of your money, by not offering a similar service. Have fun waiting 24 months for a new handset lol.

SkinsFan1987 says:

I'm with you. I'm happy with my return to T-Mobile after bouncing between Cellular South/C-Spire and Straight Talk. Sure, I don't have 4G in my city, but I can go up a few minutes and get as much as I can stomach. Even EDGE works fine for me. I'm gonna be signing up for this as soon as possible.

MERCDROID says:

Yeah, EDGE isn't the fastest; but, when I had to use it, I could use GPS, stream music, and check emails with it. The only thing that sucked was web browsing.

All the dude did was comment on HIS experiences with T-Mobile, and you feel the need to be an ass. T-Mobile is SHIT if you're not in the right area (which, unless you've been living under a rock for a while and don't travel anywhere outside of said rock, you'd know not being in the right area is highly likely the majority of the time).

How about have fun with your shit service you can't travel with reliably, while those of us with a real service provider will have fun enjoying a solid connection. Oh and I'm not stuck with the same phone for 24 months.... it's called eBay dick

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MERCDROID says:

I'm sorry that you feel that way. I was only joking, with the guy.

NoNexus says:

THIS

If you want to do the research, check out Sensorly.com for real world usage and footprint of their network.

Unless you live on a major road, coverage is terrible for 4G (both LTE and HSPA are included in the 4G graphic on there)

3G is better in Philadelphia but still substandard. In Harrisburg, Doesnt matter if it is 3G or 4G, they mostly overlap and are bad.

Your coverage may be great and go with what works for you. I am happy for you. I am coming off of this being a gimmick ONLY because I would like to see this as being a kick in the pants to the other 3 carriers to ease up a bit.

I still say that few will take advantage of the program but at least it exists and might prompt changes.

I doubt anything will change with VZW, ATT might, Sprint will definitely think about it seriously.

ConTejas says:

Do you think Verizon got their network overnight? At least respect the fact Tmobile is seriously shaking up the industry, and they service enough of the US to impact the big two. You do realize the majority of Americans live in or around major metro areas? This is a big deal in the areas that networks actually care about and profit on.

NoNexus says:

I did give them props for the attempt.

Sprint gets picked on a lot of how slow the rollout has been with LTE and Network vision but my question is, T-Mobile, are they doing anything to improve the network? The coverage here, in a major metro area, has not changed really in the last 3-4 years.

I would think Philadelphia would be one of those areas they target as you say, and coverage is crappy at best. Baltimore is better. Pittsburgh is worse.

Are they only worried about LA/NY/Dallas kinda places.

hodan says:

Kansas City has pretty good to great LTE coverage.

eam1985 says:

Who cares? Seriously, everyone is entitled to their own opinion as it may vary due to geographic location and whether or not the person has a device that is capable of providing a stable network connection according the the towers available. Don't get it twisted, Verizon has a better network because they have been rolling out network advancements ahead of T-mobile and for a longer period of time seeing that they were originally Prime Co and they aquired cell towers quicker than most carriers only equal 2nd or ahead (opinion may vary) to At&t. But I have worked for T-mobile and they are just doing heavy pushing for network advancement and upgrades as of late 2011 so they are still in the infancy stages. But I commend them for luring you in with the JUMP program which is excellent...if only their nationwide 4G and LTE rollout was as beneficial. T-mobile is getting better but please people stop feeling so offended by each others sharing of personal opinions. Its better to share locations if you're saying you want the problem corrected but unless sharing them directly with the provider (T-mobile) what will sharing them with anyone else do? Exactly, unless you're going to climb up a tower and or build more then your opinion is about as valueless as those who's opinion you call useless. G.A.F.L or work for T-mobile so u can actually make a difference....end of rant. ;)

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icebike says:

I agree, there is too much focus on the coverage area issue.

When you consider that the vast majority of people spend nearly 95% of their time in the same town, the fact that web browsing is slow in the hinter-lands doesn't affect them much.

I'm amazed how much bitching there is about coverage area, when you consider that issue only covers 5% of the user-base (those who travel a lot) and even then, only 2-5% of the time when they are actually traveling.

If you live in T-Mo land, go for it.

With my AT&T phone, I've been shuffled off to EDGE in upstate New York. Its not exactly an un-populated area.

MonteChristo says:

"When you consider that the vast majority of people spend nearly 95% of their time in the same town, the fact that web browsing is slow in the hinter-lands doesn't affect them much."

I'm a current Verizon subscriber who can't wait to jump ship to another carrier when my contract ends. My concern isn't about slower internet speeds, but not being able to make/dropping calls on T-Mo. And even if I'm fine 95% of the time, not being able to make calls that other 5% would be a deal breaker for me. I despise Verizon, but the only time I've ever not had signal has been when travelling in mountainous areas where it's not reasonable to expect coverage.

I'll probably go T-Mo when I'm able to leave the Big Red to see how it is in my area, but for some of us, that 5% is important.

Andy_in_Indy says:

Sensorly uses an app that measures signal as you drive around. That is why ALL of their readings match roadways. The reason why you see only Major Roadways reported is because there are not enough people using the app and travelling on lower priority roads.

NoNexus says:

Yeah, real world usage and if there is no signal on a particular street, it doesnt show on sensorly.

If you compare it to the t-mo maps you will see a world of difference

icebike says:

So you're saying it doesn't measure signal when you stay at home, or drive rural roads?

Sensorly doesn't count VOTEs. It counts areas.

1000 people reporting strong signal along a highway doesn't count any more
than 2 people reporting strong signal on a rural road.

But when NOBODY reporting ANY signal it is pretty clear indication that those carriers simply don't cover those ares.

It is common knowledge that carriers don't build towers in rural areas with very low population. Yet they all build towers along the freeway system.

jackinit says:

Nobody reporting a signal means just that. It doesn't mean the signal does not exist there. I'm getting sick of the Sensorly BS. Sensorly is not a coverage map. It is user submitted speed tests. I look at the Sensorly map and compare it to places I regularly see LTE here in NJ. The Sensorly map shows very little of the actual coverage area. It is basically worthless.

ldubois8 says:

I beg to differ. I parked under a T-Mobile tower and got no signal. Went to the store and got a new sim card. Parked under the tower again and no signal. ???

Verizon actually wants to wash their hands of selling devices totally. They've said this publicly tons of times.

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icebike says:

What's stopping them from dropping devices?

There are 20 national chains selling devices for every carrier as well as 40 or 60 mail order places.

jackinit says:

As I said in my comment below, Sensorly is not accurate or reliable. It is user submitted data, not an actual coverage map. You and seven other geeks running speedtests up and down the NJ Turnpike do not an accurate coverage map make.

erwaso says:

in Denver, Sprint is the worst. TMO actually hits close to 30mb down on my co workers GSIII. Sprint drops calls and barely gets 1.4mb down.

HalizDad says:

YMMV...I've never dropped a call in Denver, using Sprint.

scottyhifi says:

And I have had great coverage with T-mobile all over southern and northern California, Arizona, Minneapolis, Orlando, Tampa, Boston and New Hampshire. So I guess I didn't get swindled.

Southern Arizona is everything south of Phoenix - so basically Tucson is what you are referring too. If you live right in Tucson and work primarily outside the service is fine. Otherwise it's spotty meaning there are edge spots all over in their LTE footprint in Tucson. It amazes me how this is even possible.

As soon as you get north of marana you drop to edge. Head south towards Nogales and as soon as you get to green valley you're on edge.

I live just outside of Tucson (marana) and I barely get edge in or outside of my house. Go three blocks and 1 bar 4g/LET.

They need to invest in their network. Yeah it's great I can download shit at break neck speeds when I'm lucky to be in a good area but how about providing a quality customer experience across their entire foot print? People want off edge and it doesn't need to be LTE. Give them 3g/hspa.

I stick it out though because the service is half the cost of Verizon, and half the service.

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scottyhifi says:

Never been to Tucson. I was referring to the Phoenix area specifically but I had to drive all over the valley when I was there. From Gilbert to Scottsdale to Glendale and always had decent service.

That all said, I do agree that they need to invest heavily if they want to stay relevant. I just wanted to voice my experience that T-Mo is not as bad as some people say.

MonteChristo says:

Have you had issues with calls dropping in the Phoenix area? Or any experience in the West Valley?

I'm wanting to drop Verizon for T-Mo shortly but I'm leery about their network. I don't mind if I drop down to edge occasionally, but dropping calls would be a deal breaker for me.

_X_ says:

That's just a straight out lie, I live in SD and coverage is not good all over the south bay. In the larger cities it's fine but coverage is not good everywhere

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scottyhifi says:

Seriously, a "straight out lie"? I have been to SD 3 times in the past year. Stayed on Coronado last year and had fine coverage all over the island. Went to Balboa, old town, Mission Valley, downtown and then up to Carlsbad. So, while I might not have been in your neighborhood, I was in enough places with decent service that I can put it on my list of cities with T-Mo coverage.

I guess my point initially was this is a total your mileage my vary type of thing. My mileage has been pretty good with T-mo though I am on AT&T now for work...which is even better coverage in So. Cal.

Rob220 says:

What part of New Hampshire?

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scottyhifi says:

I visited my parents in Derry and also spent some time in Londonderry, Nasuha and Manchester. Coverage was spotty down some of the more rural back roads but pretty good in all the cities. Manchester had especially solid service.

Rob220 says:

Thank you. I have family in the Lakes Region area and I was wondering what the coverage would be like.

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scottyhifi says:

I would rather have been in the lakes region myself.

ItsMeMandi says:

I lived in Orlando for a decade and had T-Mobile the entire time and never had coverage issues so I'm not sure what's changed.

nnjerzy78 says:

I disagree with that comment made totally and i have been on every single carrier and needless to say thats why i left. Overpaid pricing, Verizon cares nothing about there customers and ATT is money hungry and Sprint isnt even a factor. I call things for what the hell it is. People crack me up now a days...

dante501 says:

Finally T Mobile is getting as good as its original from Germany, what I use. I will just stick right with T Mobile when coming from Germany to the USA next month. They just really doing everything right now.

Sony Xperia Z

Since you have to turn your old device in it really makes it cost effective if you only upgrade your device more than 10-12 months or so. Its convenient not having to resell your phone also.

vansmack says:

You have to hand it to T-Mobile. They've gone from the possibility of disappearing via merger to "well, if we have to stay in this arena, we may as well do what we can do to shake it up."

No contracts.
More options.
More upgrades.

I live in a major metro area so my coverage is great, and with LTE, but if they can continue to upgrade their network across the country, they can really accomplish a number of items that consumers have been complaining about for years.

ConTejas says:

+1 well said.

jackwagon06 says:

Just returned an HTC one before the 2 week period was up on tmo. loved the phone, signal was great except for an area that I have to have phone, and there is no wifi. They are setting the standard as to how business in the mobile arena should be in the US. Just need to build more towers! Tmo will crush the rest with good signal.

dante501 says:

When is this new upgrade starting?

Sony Xperia Z

dswatson83 says:

I think most people would more likely update once per year.

On Verizon/Sprint/ATT, you get the subsidized $200 phone on contract first ($650 Value), Buy a second phone off contract in 1 year ($650), sell the original phone after 1 year of use (-$250) and then your ready for another contract subsidized phone in another year but still have the 2nd phone available to sell after you resign the new contract so (-$250). So every 2 years it should net cost you $350

On Tmobile, you buy the initial phone for $100 down + 20/month + 10/month jump = $460 then after 1 year, trade in the phone for a new phone pump down another $100 down + 20/month + 10/month jump = another $460. So the total for 1 phone every year would be $920 every 2 years by my math.

Am I missing something?

erwaso says:

Looks right. But add $10/mo for insurance on vzw/att/sprint to be fair. That adds $240 over 2 years plus $350 = $590. Which is still significantly cheaper, but people WILL pay the $330 difference because its easier/more manageable to have a small monthly payment versus paying a larger up front one.

NoNexus says:

Why add in the insurance? It is not a requirement for VZW whereas it is with the JUMP program.

estebancam says:

Yes. The fact that you should not include the phone payment fee in there for tmobile. You should only include the down payment.

You still are paying the full price of the phone on the other carriers, you just don't know it.

The MINIMUM plan on Verizon is $90 per month. That gives you only 1GB of data. The same price on tmobile buys you unlimited high speed data ($70) AND includes the phone payment ($20).

So, you should only take into account down payment.

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Diskoman says:

+1 this. Folks keep forgetting to compare apples to apples. If you want to compare the subsidized cost of phones to T-Mobile, you also have to compare the price of the monthly plan. In addition, you can't compare JUMP! to the cost on a different carrier without insurance, as JUMP! is essentially just another tier to T-Mobile's insurance coverage.

return_0 says:

You're missing the fact that the other carriers cost an average of twice as much as T-Mobile.

Posted via Android Central App

nalpakjay says:

I'm considering this. I work for a company that buys and sells used devices so I can get decent deals on used ones, but overall this might even work out better for me.

The most interesting thing about this whole direction with T-Mobile is that while they don't have a contract term for your service, they've kind of got you into a contract term for your device. The early termination fee is just the balance owed on the device as opposed to a service termination fee. Don't get me wrong...I think it's a smart move on their part because I think most people look at it as more 'freedom' but they are still making payments monthly and have to pay a big chunk of cash if they terminate their service before the phone is paid off.

It's also not much cheaper than my current Verizon service. I'm paying about $100/month right now for voice/data and I'm grandfathered in to the unlimited until I subsidize my next phone through them. With TMO I'd have to get at least the $60 plan and, unless I'm wrong, have to get the $70 plan to get 4G. Then there is the $10/month for JUMP, another $10/month (I think is what I read) for the replacement/damage program. It's $10/month less BUT if I stay with them long term then I can take advantage of the 6 month upgrades.

Edit: Removed answered question

hodan says:

You need to read carefully.

1. After 6 months of JUMP! You can upgrade.

2. Every plan is the fastest service available for your phone. I have an HTC One and in KC and get LTE on the $60 plan.

3. JUMP! is $10 per month and includes insurance.

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Diskoman says:

Hmmm....let's take a look see:

You are paying $100/month, which includes a very limited amount of data....and comparing that to T-Mobile's plans that include unlimited data, insurance coverage, and the ability to upgrade your phone every 6 months if you choose to do so....and think that this is "not much cheaper than your current Verizon service". LMAO!!!

nnjerzy78 says:

it actually is Verizon is a rip off and scam

steve dave says:

Does nobody really not see how t-mobile is pulling the curtains over your eyes? This is a joke.

First they succesfully substantially raised their etf fees with this installment plan business. You are absolutely getting tied to a contract. With the installment plan they tack $20 on your bill which puts it back in the ATT/Verizon range. So if you cancel after a month or two you are still responsible for about $400 of the device cost.

Now this upgrade scheme plays out like:
$150 down payment
+$20 a month
+10 a month
So if you upgrade in 6 months you are selling your phone back to tmobile for about $300 which is less than you could sell it. Then you get to make another down payment and tie yourself to them for another 24 months.

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Cory S says:

I really don't get the "ETF" fee argument. You have to pay off the phone, what option would you propose? They interest free finance a highly depreciable asset for you for 24 months. I don't know why I would pay full retail for a device if I cna interest free finance it, that's just bad money management. It's like paying cash for a car that has a 0% interest promo going on, that just be stupid. Put the money in an investment and make 2-5% off it.

yes, you MAY be able to sell it for more. But, iPhones are the only phone that consistently hold their value well, any other phone is a crapshoot. Not only that but this includes insurance on the device. You phone won't sell for much of anything if you break the screen on it, or even scratch it up pretty bad.

If you were on the fence over if insurance was worth it or not for you, then i'd think this would really push people over the edge on that decision.

steve dave says:

The etf fee is simple. If you bought a subsidized phone before and cancelled you paid a $300 etf and keep the phone. Now it costs more. It isnt rocket science.

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Cory S says:

It's really about the same with a few exceptions. T-Mobile is 100 down, most other carriers are 200-300.

If you cancel one month later on T-Mobile and bought a HTC One (which they sell the cheapest I've seen it) you pay 575 for the phone including your down payment on AT&T you pay 200 for the phone plus I believe it's a 350 ETF and which is 550.

The thing is though, if you want to buy your own phone off swappa you pay less per month. No one else gives you the option to remove a subsidy from your plan. So, I really don't see how people have a problem with this option.

I can buy an HSPA phone off swappa and feel the freedom to switch to whatever carrier I want, maybe even based on where I'm traveling that month and who has the best service, but only on T-Mobile will I get rewarded for bringing my own device.

steve dave says:

You are right. I am just saying the E.I.P and jump plans are not as great as the sheep would have you believe. It is a totally different story if you are bringing your own phone.

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MERCDROID says:

Oh, I get it. We're sheep, if we don't think the same way as you; or choose the same carrier that you use.

hodan says:

So go buy a fucking Motorola Defy XT from Republic Wireless for $99 and pay $19/month for second class Sprint coverage. Since you're such efficient cell phone consumers.

No, instead you will bash T-Mo because you're trying to justify the crap contract you're stuck in with Verizon to use your crap phone on, lol.

MERCDROID says:

I'm on T-Mobile lol. You replied to the wrong comment.

erwaso says:

Where does it say you have to pay the ETF when you trade in your phone?

steve dave says:

I said if you cancel your service.

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erwaso says:

Found This:

3. * Your Term of Service and Early Termination Fees. Your "Term" is the period of time for which you have agreed to maintain Service with us. Periods of suspension of Service do not count toward your Term. After your Term, you will become a month-to-month customer. Except for month-to-month customers, AN EARLY TERMINATION FEE WILL APPLY TO EACH LINE OF SERVICE IF YOU DO NOT MAINTAIN YOUR AGREED-UPON SERVICES THROUGH THE END OF YOUR TERM FOR THAT LINE OF SERVICE, OR IF WE TERMINATE YOUR SERVICE EARLY (see Section 19). THE EARLY TERMINATION FEE IS: $200 IF TERMINATION OCCURS WITH MORE THAN 180 DAYS REMAINING ON YOUR TERM; $100 IF TERMINATION OCCURS WITH 91 TO 180 DAYS REMAINING ON YOUR TERM; $50 IF TERMINATION OCCURS WITH 31 TO 90 DAYS REMAINING ON YOUR TERM; AND THE LESSER OF $50 OR YOUR MONTHLY RECURRING CHARGES (including any applicable taxes and fees) IF TERMINATION OCCURS IN THE LAST 30 DAYS OF YOUR TERM. Some Devices require maintaining certain features or Services (e.g. a data plan) as part of your Rate Plan, and cancelling them before the end of your Term will result in an Early Termination Fee. The Early Termination Fee is part of our rates and is not a penalty. The Early Termination Fee applies only to the extent permitted by law. If you terminate your Service, your termination will be effective at the end of your current billing cycle, and you will remain responsible for all fees and Charges for your Service and usage through the end of that billing cycle. If we terminate your Service, we will determine the date of termination, and you will be responsible for all usage and Charges through the date of termination. You can request that we port your number to another carrier, and Service for that number will be terminated when the porting is complete. If you port your number, you will be responsible for all usage and Charges through the end of your current billing cycle. If you bought your wireless Device from a Dealer, they may charge a separate fee associated with cancellation.

Diskoman says:

This does not apply to any of T-Mobile's current Simple Choice plans. This only applies to their old contract "Classic" plans.

MERCDROID says:

1) The $20 a month only applies, if you have yet to pay off your phone. Once the phone is paid off, then your bill drops by $20. Neither Verizon, At&t, nor Sprint will drop your bill, once the 24 month contract is up.

2) You have the option of selling your phone elsewhere; you don't have to trade it in, to use a JUMPS! upgrade, as long as you are paying the extra $2 a month, as part of your plan. However, the balance for the phone must either be paid or forgiven, before the upgrade will go through.

3) The down payment is $100, not $150. Stop spreading misinformation.

4) You're not tied into a 24 month contract. You can leave anytime, as long as you pay the phone off. Yes, that is like an ETF. However, I would rather have to pay my phone off, then have to pay a termination fee.

5) If you prefer another carrier, or T-Mobile doesn't work for you, then fine. However, I refuse to sit here and let you spread FUD.

steve dave says:

Iphone 5, for example is absolutely $150 down payment. And to say you would rather pay off your phone than pay a lower etf and still keep your phone is just stupid.

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MERCDROID says:

1) Dude, you clearly have a problem with T-Mobile. You're hating on a carrier, for giving us another choice.

2) The amount for the ETF depends on the timeframe that is used.

We' ll use a 12 month period, to compare the device costs of Verizon vs T-Mobile.

a) Verizon:

$200 for Galaxy S4.
ETF is $350 minus $10 for every month of service.
PHP is $7 per month.

After 12 months:

$200 for the S4
$230 for the ETF
$84 for the PHP

= $514, if the contract is cancelled.

b) T-Mobile

$100 for the Galaxy S4.
Phone is $480 minus $20 for every monthly payment.
$10 for PHP and JUMPS!

After 12 months:

$100 as down payment for the S4.
$240 for the remainder of the phone.
$120 for the PHP and JUMPS!

= $460, if the "contract" is cancelled, and the remainder of the phone is paid.

T-Mobile clearly wins, in this example.

If T-Mobile doesn't work for you, then that's fine. But, calling us sheep, for expressing interest in a new upgrade program, is laughable. If your carrier had introduced this, you'd be praising them.

Diskoman says:

Yep, not to mention that with Verizon's example you are not guaranteed to find a buyer for your phone at max market value. With T-Mobile, they are essentially guaranteeing you a set repurchase price, no effort required. This is like the old car buy vs lease arguments. The only difference is that T-Mobile has made the turn-around time so short that for almost any customer that would choose to take advantage of this option it's a net win for them.

mackattk says:

Also, being able to have a 100% guarantee through trading your phone back into T-Mobile that you will, in fact, get the value of the phone can't go without saying. Craigslist is still a hassle, for every 1 good offer there is 20 lowball offers, and planning on meetings where the buyer may or may not come. Although it is relatively safe as long as you go to a carrier retail store to do the transaction. I wouldn't touch Ebay for selling anything. Either way it can be a major hassle.

nnjerzy78 says:

I TOTALY AGREEM WELL SAID,,, THE BOTTOM LINE TMOB HAS DONE GREAT THINGS THAT THE LARGER COMPANIES NEER HAD IN PLACE OR CHANGED!!!

steve dave says:

And to accuse somone of false information (that actually isnt false) while falsly claiming jump is only an extra $2 a month is pretty poor form.

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MERCDROID says:

The article and press release both CLEARLY say that it is only $2 extra per month. WTF are you smoking?

hodan says:

Haha, his problem is that he has two first names. Also, he's jealous because he doesn't want to pay the ETF to get out of his iPhone 5 on AT&T.

MERCDROID says:

Lol, I think you're right.

MERCDROID says:

You're right, I do apologize for that comment.

Quis89 says:

You would rather pay your phone off than pay an etf...What is the difference? Example...say the phones retail cost is 600. You pay 100 up front. That leaves 500 remaining. At 20 per month you'll be going 25 months until that's paid off. You want to leave after 18 months, cool. You've paid 360 so you'll owe a remaining 140. Similarly to Sprint where the etf starts at 350. After 18 months you're looking at about 110 to leave. You're still paying a fee. I don't care what you call it. Unless T-Mobile has a lower retail cost on their devices I don't understand how what they are doing is any different. They are just kissing you on the forehead and using pretty words like "no contract"...

MERCDROID says:

I get what you and Steve Dave are saying, but the math works out to it being cheaper to pay off the phone than an ETF. I would prefer to pay the cheaper amount, is what I meant.

MERCDROID says:

Double post, consider yourself... TERMINATED!!!

HalizDad says:

I don't see this being a huge step forward unless you want to upgrade every time a new phone comes out...every 6 months. Miss the upgrade, you're still paying for the option while your phone depreciates in your hand. This is going to drop the resale value of phones across the board, while keeping the retail pricing intact.

Cory S says:

Unless you usually carry insurance anyway, in that case the upgrades are just a bonus. Also, how many times have you bought the newest hype dphone out only to find out you kinda hate it after a few months and are stuck with it. It's happened twice for me. The Bionic which I was burned on, then paid full retail for a Galaxy Nexus which I also felt burned on.

MERCDROID says:

This. Using any other carrier, if you buy a subsidized phone on contract and hate it, you're pretty much stuck with it, unless you can sell/trade it, or have the cash to buy another phone at full retail price.

Using T-Mobile, if I decide to buy a phone, and hate said phone a few months later, then I can upgrade early from that phone. That is the beauty of this program.

mackattk says:

Nobody knows what will be coming out in 6 months. This is a way to stay at the head of technology. Some phones are duds, and it sucks being stuck with a phone that you absolutely hate for 24 months. The other good thing about this plan (yes, I know it this is an android website), it gives a way to try out other platforms if you choose to. I would love to try out a Windows 8 phone, but it is too much of a gamble to either pay full price for the phone off contract or use one of 24 month upgrades that other carriers have.

If I were to buy a phone right now, it would be the GS4, but I know when the Note 3 comes out I would be salivating all over it. My Nexus 4 is only about 8-10 months old, bought it on release day, and it is getting a little long in the tooth.

etnpnys says:

Umm... Does "JUMP" by any chance stand for "Just Upgrade My (damn) Phone"??

Cory S says:

Knowing John, I wouldn't doubt it.

Yes, John mentioned at the event that you could make it stand for "just upgrade my phone".

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hodan says:

Whoa! Nice prediction.

nnjerzy78 says:

YES

Lodingi says:

I would gladly consider T-Mobile if they would only expand their coverage. Here in the Southern Poconos, their coverage is still 2G in a large part of my home range.

supert1020 says:

I love T-Mobile they are the under dog and they know it and are willing to do anything to get new customers and that's a win for consumer s. Which is what competition is all about.

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3165dwayne says:

I definitely love T-Mobile. I love paying less for good coverage where I am and travel to. I live in south Florida and go to school on both FIU campuses. HSPA+/4GLTE at home and just 4G LTE on both campuses.

Erievon says:

Am I the only one wondering what they're going to do with all these 6 month old used phones??

They indicate that they're going to create a market for subsidized phones. So the other side of this is customers may have options in the future for even cheaper devices by buying recertified ones, which will still be covered by JUMP! as well.

Posted via Android Central App

I'm confused. Everyone complaining about T-Mo dropping from LTE or HSPA+ to EDGE as if my VZW LTE phone doesn't lose it's LTE connection all over the place and leave me in limbo because neither LTE or EVDO is working. I'm totally considering JUMPING! from VZW to T-Mo for this.

hodan says:

You are confused. Verizon has every square inch of America covered with LTE. This justifies having 6 month old phones as flagships and also charging double for everything. And having no unlimited data. And only one subsidized upgrade every 24 months. And a fee to activate the phone you just bought from them. And a giant fee to cancel your contract.

Every square inch covered with LTE? Not really. Some of us don't even get 3G or voice coverage.

Verizon data coverage

Diskoman says:

LOL! I think he was using sarcasm, Jerry.

nnjerzy78 says:

LMFAO

I live in Northern Michigan and you have to drive 90 minutes to Grand Rapids before T Mobile is even a thing. Verizon has LTE where I live and even the little 150 person villages have LTE now. Just an example for people asking where specifically T Mobile doesn't have coverage.

Posted via Android Central App

I consistently get 12mbps to 21mbps download speed
on my Verizon 4G LTG.(Samsung Galaxy Note 2)

My co-worker's Note 2 on AT&T get very fast 3G.
(supposed 4G is coming by end of this year)

Sprint has 3G in this area, but most people that
I know can get no more than 200kbps to 300kbps.
(oversold bandwidth?)

What about T-Mobile? Drum roll... 2G EDGE only!!!
Yes, just TWO-G EDGE. The average speed is less
than 60kbps. (better than dial-up modem, I suppose?)
The manager at the local T-Mobile corporate store
said there's almost no chance of 3G, let alone 4G
from T-Mobile in the foreseeable future. This is
almost criminal, for a city with 350,000 population.

jimbl says:

Very interesting upgrade plan. Just compared Verizon and Tmobile coverage where I live and work. Exactly in those locations, 4G is fine for both. 5-10 miles from work though Tmobile would have me on 2G, and about 20 miles from home Tmobile would have me on 2G. Verizon on the other hand, 4G for about 200+ miles depending on the direction, and nearly covers the entire lower peninsula of Michigan (about 75% maybe). I don't think it's worth a new phone so often if every time I drive 15 minutes from home or work I'm on 2G. Too bad really because it sounds great. Maybe at the very least they'll steal enough customers to make the other carriers at least tweak things.

Peter McCain says:

Now, if they could just get their LTE up. They are doing the right thing though.

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Ryandroid86 says:

Hearing all this talk about coverage makes me thankful Im in T Mobiles headquarters here in Vegas. (also test city) My service is par with verizon and I personally thing better than AT&T. Sprint is just a joke here

hodan says:

Sprint's HQ is in the greater KC area, and having been a Sprint customer for over 10 years, I can still drive you to a spot on 435 hwy, less then 5 minutes from the Sprint campus where you will be guaranteed to lose service. Sprint completely and utterly fucked their cash flow when they bought Nextel and it killed their ability to upgrade their network. Hopefully with Softbank they'll make a comeback. Gary Forsee, the CEO of Sprint when it bought Nextel - $55 million golden parachute and is now the head of the entire University of Missouri school system.

T-Mobile's headquarters are actually in Bellevue, WA. Right across the lake from Seattle.

But yes, Las Vegas was one of the first cities with LTE. Its a good, flat test area with not a lot of population spread.

Kelvin Szeto says:

T-mobile is actually the most expensive carrier among all carrier if customers were to go with the Jump plan.

T-mobile: $2,213.60 (new phone every 6 months)
Sprint: $1,736.00
AT&T: $1,928.00 (with 5GB data)
Verizon: $2,144.00 (with 6GB data)

There numbers are the total cost at the end of 2 years and with a approximate of 20% employee discount, if you work for big corporation, and consider the phone cost $199. So, if you are with Sprint, want to jump ship to T-Mo, you will need to pay additional app $400 if you participate to get a new phone every 6 months. That is not ATTRACTIVE AT ALL!

I would love to see the number breakdown of your calculations, because they're insanely off base.

How can you only pay $2144 and $1928 for 2 years of Verizon and AT&T, respectively, including a new phone every 6 months? Service alone with the lowest amount of data on each of those carriers cost that much over 2 years, phones aside.

Quis89 says:

I don't understand this whole "t mobile doesn't have early termination fees" nonsense. You're putting the phone on a payment plan paying $100 up front and then making payments. If you decide to cancel service two months later you're still paying for the remaining cost on that device. So you will still be paying a few hundred so that the device is paid off. The concept is still the same. Cancel with Sprint...pay a fee. Doesn't matter what you call it. Put lipstick on a cow and it's still a cow. They've still got you locked one way or another. Or am I missing something?

wyldemf says:

Hopefully some variation if this will make its way to other carriers, 2 years is just too long to be on the same device. I'd be happy with something that gave me a new phone at least once a year.

Posted via Android Central App

T-mobile, how about improving your coverage.

keilflex says:

No coverage at all here about five miles north of Santa Rosa Beach Florida. 40%if not 50%of the time. Where i go in my life, to work the beach the store, wherever. I get no service or its shotty. This panhandle of Florida is pretty bad for T mobile for years now. If i wasn't loyalty i would of switched many times by now to Verizon. Not nice when i have a nex 4 i can bately use.. Lol.

anonymous-x says:

My 2 cents. all this double talk from all the carriers, this TMO Jump is double talk which means you never own the phone, you 'Rent It' at some serious prices geesh buy the phone considering this offer & get (stay) off contract. You know the way the carriers are playing us, the makers too. Wait for the reviews before you 'jump'in & get any phone so you can be sure. Don't forget, Patience is a Virtue. It's your money, so get real, yea we know TMO's got lousy reception, so 2 cents woth , there's many ways to save your money & get what you want. Copy that.

antclauson says:

Here is the thing with the new "JUMP" service and correct me if I'm wrong, basically your paying $10 a month for insurance and to upgrade every 6 months trading in your phone and having T-Mobile take care of the rest of the EIP. OK so for example I bought my S4 for $300 down (not including tax) at $12.50 per month for EIP (totaling $300) which adds up to $600 in 24 months. If I choose to upgrade my S4 in 6 months, I would have paid for EIP 12.50*6= $75, $10*6(JUMP)= $60 and the original $300 (not including tax) which brings my total to $435 in which I get to upgrade and T-Mobile buys back my phone for the new EIP at $225. The T-Mobile JUMP plan as you can see is just a way for T-Mobile to buy back your phone for cheap and sell it to someone else for a higher price thus making them a profit and taking more money out your pocket. Here's why, say you don't enroll in the JUMP plan and you want to upgrade in 6 months, I put the $300 down for the phone and pay $12.50 per month for 6 months and either decide to pay nothing for insurance or in this case $7.79 for premium insurance. With insurance, cost of down payment and EIP it comes to $421.74 or without insurance $375 for 6 months. Now my EIP is still $225 but why would I want T-Mobile to buy my phone for $225 when in this case I could sell my S4 for $450+ on craigslist or EBay and pay the EIP myself and put the rest of the money towards my new upgrade. Remember you can upgrade anytime after you pay your EIP. Again correct me if I'm wrong but I think T-Mobile just figured that since anyone can upgrade anytime after you pay the EIP, why not make come up with a program that allows us to buy the phone back for less then what the customer can make if they were to sell it somewhere else and make a profit. Think about it people

DalTXJim says:

I just called T-Mobile today and went through the entire sales pitch for 2 Galaxy S4's with the JUMP! plan. The downpayment for the phones last week was $99, but today it has changed to $149 (on their site). The base price of the phone (per the TMob agent) has also gone up(It's now within $40 of the 32GB AT&T version). But when we talked more, it seems the "real" downpayment is $329 per phone and you get absolutely NONE of that back if you trade in the phone for an upgrade, plus, you have also been making small monthly payments on the phone. BTW:The deductible on the insurance is $175, which seems high for a program that you pay over $120 a year for. But back to JUMP!... It's a good deal for T-Mobile, and not very good for the consumer. I ended up not purchasing today, as I felt a strong sense of "Bait & Switch" with the JUMP! program and the pricing of the phone/downpayment. Perhaps others have different experiences. It would be interesting to see how this turns out, but for me, at this time, JUMP! doesn't seem feasible. If I decide to go with TMob I'll pay for the phone outright. But I'm not doing that for a 16GB S4, knowing the 32GB is at other carriers.