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Analysts Think T-Mobile’s Data Stash Rollover Program Might Not Affect the Industry Much

December 17, 2014 - Written By Nick Sutrich

Practically every month this year T-Mobile has unveiled a new part of its master plan, called Uncarrier, and nearly every month it’s done something to shake up the industry in one way or another.  In a nutshell since John Legere has taken over the reins at T-Mobile he’s attempted to change the vision of not just his company but of the expectations of consumers and ultimately the movement of the market.  While this may be pie in the sky wishful thinking, many of the Uncarrier moves that T-Mobile has made have vastly changed the landscape of the wireless industry over the past year or so.  Its latest move, announced just yesterday, is one that we’ve only seen from smaller US carrier C Spire and it’s a play on AT&T’s old rollover minutes plan.  Data Stash is essentially rollover for your data, meaning that if you pay for 3GB per month but only use 2GB, that 1GB left will roll over to the next month giving you 4GB of high-speed data to work with.

The possibilities here for the consumer are tenfold as people who commonly pay for more data than they use would be able to reap the rewards one busy month when they’re broken down on the side of the road or some other incident comes around that causes you to be in a non-WiFi enabled location for umpteen hours at a time.  While many of us at Android Headlines got excited over the change this could bring to the industry it looks like many analysts aren’t thinking this will make as big of a difference as might have been originally thought.  Speaking to Fierce Wireless a number of analysts seem to have concluded that most T-Mobile users already use most of the data they pay for, with the median user using around 2.8GB of data per month and the average LTE user sucking up about 4GB per month.  This doesn’t leave much data to move over to the next month, thus sort of negating the whole benefit of the program.

Still if this plays out to T-Mobile’s advantage the strong mindshare that AT&T’s rollover minutes had for years could quickly be transplanted to data as people move in droves over to T-Mobile as they have been over the past year.  This coupled with the constant increase in network data reliability and speed, along with the dumping of the old EDGE network in favor of LTE over the next year or so could really help T-Mobile’s public image as well as their earnings and market share.  Whether or not AT&T and Verizon respond will of course depend on how many customers they lose over this stunt, but if history repeats itself as it has with many of these Uncarrier plans, AT&T and Verizon should be following suit to some effect over the next few months.