In the race for Number Three it seems there is little some telecom brands will not do to keep pace with the industry’s big dogs. And, this next gambit just might work. Soon, T-Mobile customers will be able to call Canada and Mexico – and make their call when traveling in those countries – without any additional international fees. The offer, which the company is calling “Mobile Without Borders,” is another facet of the carrier’s attempts to wrestle customers away from closest rival, Sprint. And, perhaps, even steal customers from AT&T and Verizon.
While some market watchers are calling this just another weak marketing ploy, this action does have some real teeth for many mobile customers. With nearly wide open trade and business being done in the US, Canada, and Mexico, the varying fees that come with these simple border crossings can become frustrating.
T-Mobile CEO John Legere heralded the move as “creating one gigantic country in North America … creating a continental experience with seamless communication across borders.”
The plan, which expects to launch July 15, will be made available to customers on its unlimited call, text, and data plan, Simple Choice. Because 35% of international calls originating in the United States are made to either Canada or Mexico, this promotion represents both a significant cost to T-Mobile and a potentially significant savings to their customers.
The PR lesson here is both simple and profound. When you find yourself in a losing battle. For example, having to fight both your equal competitor and the proverbial 800-pound gorilla in the room, you need to come up with a way to get attention and offer significant value. Both T-Mobile and Sprint did this with their truly unlimited plans, hoping to capture a market tired of paying Verizon for overages. The downside to that offer was that it was actually somewhat vague. People knew they might save, but not exactly how much or if they would save at all.
This new offer targets a very specific demographic while offering very specific savings for customers who call their nearest international neighbors frequently. By keeping it both targeted and specific, T-Mobile creates a definitive value for its customers as well as for those currently with the competition.