Following on the heels of T-Mobile's (NASDAQ:TMUS) Data Stash offer for postpaid customers just three months ago, the carrier announced this week it's launching Data Stash for prepaid subscribers, as well. Under the new plan, T-Mobile customers with qualifying Simple Choice prepaid plans can keep any unused 4G LTE data for up to a year, and T-Mobile will start them off with 10GB in their data stash right away.
Just as with postpaid customers, the prepaid Data Stash customers will need a monthly plan with at least 3 GB of LTE data smartphone data, or at least a 1 GB tablet data plan. The new campaign kicks off on March 22nd, and marks yet another move by T-Mobile to better position itself in the prepaid wireless market.
The prepaid gloves keep coming off
T-Mobile's fighting a bitter battle to remain on top of the prepaid market, and it views Data Stash as yet another way to fend off the competition. The carrier said that 27% of its postpaid customers have already dipped into their Data Stash, and the company's looking to bring some of that same success over to prepaid customers.
In calendar Q4, T-Mobile added an impressive 266,000 prepaid customers, but rival Sprint (NYSE:S) managed to add an amazing 410,000 net prepaid adds. On top of Sprint's gain, the carrier also launched a $200 device credit, and up to $350 to pay off installment plans if T-Mobile customers switch over to Sprint by mid-April.
The two companies are trying to best each other in both network quality and customers, and Sprint is coming out ahead right now. The most recent RootMetrics report shows that Sprint's overall network performance topped T-Mobile's in the second half of 2014, though T-Mobile follows close behind.
That's only part of T-Mobile's problems, however. In Q4 2014, prepaid churn rate -- the percentage of customers who leave the carrier -- was 5.39% -- the highest it's been in more than two years. Meanwhile, Sprint's was much lower at 3.94%.
With Sprint's huge prepaid gains in the most-recent quarter paired with its lower churn rate and better performing network, T-Mobile is looking to Data Stash to give it a competitive advantage over Sprint's prepaid plans.
T-Mobile's not done yet
T-Mobile is a resilient opponent, and it's already proven it can influence the industry with its wireless offers. While the prepaid Data Stash offer may not be a game changer for T-Mobile, it's still an incremental addition that gives it a slight edge over the competition. AT&T is the only carrier besides T-Mobile that offers a data rollover plan, and it only let's customers keep their data for 30 days, as opposed to T-Mobile's 12 months.
T-Mobile has successfully implemented new plans and special offers that have helped the carrier increase its net subscriber numbers by 2.1 million in 2014. The new prepaid Data Stash is yet another brick in building a formidable wireless company, and getting prepaid customers to choose T-Mobile over Sprint. Considering that T-Mobile is constantly implementing new campaigns to draw in customers, it's likely we haven't heard the end of the company's prepaid offers.