T-Mobile, the fourth-largest wireless carrier in the United States, is hoping that big changes in the way it shares information about its network coverage will result in even more users purchasing the T-Mobile Samsung Galaxy S6 over versions from other carriers.
This morning T-Mobile updated its age-old coverage map to what it describes in a post on its news blog as a “next-generation” coverage map. With the launch of the Samsung Galaxy S6 close, it’s clear T-Mobile hopes that the move will boost its profile with those who haven’t been paying attention to the other moves the carrier has made over the last few years because of how small they perceive its network to be.
T-Mobile engineers have gone and rebuilt the company’s data map for a new age. Twice a month T-Mobile plans to update the coverage map on its website with real reports of data directly from users. In addition to providing a more accurate representation of where T-Mobile works and where it doesn’t, the map will report real speeds that T-Mobile users are seeing. In addition to the real-time data harvesting, T-Mobile says it’ll add in coverage information from sources users trust. The information provided in the map of network data speeds will expire after 90 days. In theory, what users are getting is a look at the actual T-Mobile network as T-Mobile itself sees it. That’s in stark contrast to the coverage maps of old.
This new coverage map tracks coverage for all three types of data that users care about: 4G LTE, 4G, 3G and lower. In total T-Mobile is saying that it uses a bit over 200 million data points to build this new coverage map. This allows T-Mobile to provide potential Samsung Galaxy S6 buyers with all the information they need to know before deciding to make the switch from a rival.
Of all the moves made by T-Mobile since it started launching Uncarrier initiatives, this coverage map change is among the most consumer friendly. Historically, wireless carriers haven’t exactly been forthcoming with details about their coverage map. As even T-Mobile’s post notes, wireless carriers usually rely on coverage estimates. Many of them don’t make it clear how old the data is that they used for their coverage map. Honest coverage maps are important. Smart consumers use coverage maps to decide which service they’re going to use. Naturally, signing a two-year agreement only to find out that your new phone won’t work at home because of reception issues is really bad thing.
There’s very little else that T-Mobile could have done to compete for Samsung Galaxy S6 customers than trying to alter the public perception of is network. It’s spent the last two years revamping every policy and plan to be more consumer friendly.
Early last year it announced Music Freedom, a way for users who have its Simple Choice Unlimited Plans to save their data when they stream from popular music services approved by T-Mobile itself. Later in the year it unveiled Data Stash. Data Stash lets users hang on to as much as 10GB of data for a year. T-Mobile doesn’t technically limit data, but does limit 4G LTE data. Having something left in the Data Stash is the difference between being stuck on T-Mobile’s slow data network after going over a data allotment and making it comfortably to the next billing cycle.
T-Mobile plans to offer both the Samsung Galaxy S6 and the Galaxy S6 Edge in storage sizes of 32GB, 64GB and 128GB. Those who purchase the T-Mobile Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge get a full year of the Netflix video streaming service to use on their device, PC, Xbox and more absolutely free. T-Mobile is already accepting pre-registrations for the Samsung Galaxy S6.