T-Mobile shocked the tech community when it announced its Data Stash program that not only allows customers to rollover unused data month-to-month for up to a year, but also starts you off with 10GB “just because.” Not one to be left in the dust, AT&T countered with its own, inferior program that allows Mobile Share Value customers to rollover data for up to one month.
When AT&T jumped onboard with rollover data, we assumed that Verizon Wireless wouldn’t be too far behind. Well, we couldn’t have been more wrong — Verizon Chief Financial Officer Fran Shammo confirmed today in an interview with CNET that his company has no plans of offering rollover data plans. "We're a leader, not a follower," said Shammo.
As Verizon’s CFO, Shammo is all about the bottom line, and a race to the bottom with outrageous promotions just isn’t in the cards. "We did not go to places where we did not financially want to go to save a customer," Shammo added. "And there's going to be certain customers who leave us for price, and we are just not going to compete with that because it doesn't make financial sense for us to do that."
Shammo does have a point; T-Mobile parent company Deutsche Telekom is growing antsy as it doles out $4 to $5 billion per year just to give T-Mobile a fighting chance against its three larger competitors. “The question is always the economics in the long term and earning appropriate money,” said Deutsche Telekom CEO Tim Hoettges earlier this week. “You have to earn your money back at one point in time.”
AT&T Mobility CEO Glenn Lurie isn’t nearly as blunt as Shammo when it comes to financial implications of competing in the wireless market. In an interview with The Verge earlier this month, Lurie explained, “We’re going to make very measured decisions about what makes sense. If you go back and look at what happened in 2014, we made our price moves when we felt it was necessary… but we’ve also been really on point with what our customers want.”
When pressed on the tendency of larger wireless carriers jumping when T-Mobile says “how high” with a new promotion, Lurie added, “Reaction? Competitiveness? Sure, there’s always pieces of that in anything you do.”
So we know how AT&T and Verizon Wireless stand on this competitive landscape and promotions like rollover data… what say ye, Sprint?