Yahoo Tech’s David Pogue interviewed T-Mobile CEO John Legere on Tuesday as T-Mobile announced upgrades to its wireless service, called “Un-carrier 8.0.”
T-Mobile will soon let customers roll over their unused 4G LTE cellular data from one month to the next, for up to a year.
Starting Jan. 1, the carrier’s new Data Stash initiative will allow select users to carry over any remaining LTE data they have at the end of each month to the next month, creating a “stash” of data.
So if you have a 3 GB Simple Choice Plan, for example, then as soon as you run through your 3 GB of data, you’ll start tapping into your stash of carried-over data.
Previously, when you ran out of data for the month, T-Mobile would automatically lower your connection speeds down to 3G.
Data Stash will be available automatically for all T-Mobile customers who sign up for a Simple Choice Plan with 3 GB or more of data for their smartphones, or 1 GB or more of data for their tablets.
Keep what you pay for
Currently T-Mobile — along with AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon — simply lets any data you don’t use during the month lapse, which basically amounts to throwing money away if you’re buying data you don’t use.
According to NPD Connected Intelligence, the average U.S. smartphone owner goes through 2.5 GB of data per month.
With T-Mobile’s $60 3 GB Simple Choice Plan, the average customer would carry over 500 MB of LTE data per month. With a $70 5 GB Simple Choice Plan, the average customer would carry over 1.5 GB each month.
T-Mobile also offers an $80 unlimited plan.
To kick off Data Stash, T-Mobile is giving users’ data stashes a one-time shot of 10 GB of 4G LTE data, which can be rolled over until it’s used, for up to a year.
In addition to its Data Stash initiative, T-Mobile has also announced that its 4G LTE network now reaches 260 million Americans. What’s more, the carrier has rolled out its Wideband LTE network in New York, bringing the total number of markets covered to 121. The carrier’s standard LTE network currently reaches 268 markets.
Wideband LTE basically means there’s a larger stream of data available, which helps prevent slowdown when a large number of people are on the network at the same time in a specific area.
Still, Verizon, which is the nation’s largest carrier, has rolled out a similar service called XLTE, which reaches 417 markets nationwide. However, Verizon doesn’t offer data rollover or an unlimited monthly data plan.