T-Mobile, through the very first video blog by President and CEO John Legere, announced that the company is launching Smartphone Equality, which the company hopes will allow for more Americans to own smartphones.
While wireless carriers continue to spend billions for the advertising of new promos and plans, the truth is that 1 out of every 2 Americans are not able to avail such deals. When customers walk into the stores of wireless carriers, half of them find out that they are simply not qualified for the offers.
With 63 percent of Americans having a less-than-perfect credit score, more than half of the customers are being forced to pay more to avail plans and offers for smartphones, if at all allowed to sign a contract with a wireless carrier.
Legere admitted that T-Mobile has previously been one of such wireless carriers implementing the practice. However, the trend ends for the company with the announcement of Smartphone Equality.
Smartphone Equality is a new approach by T-Mobile that makes it possible for all customers to avail of deals that have only been previously available to those with great credit scores.
Instead of basing the capability of customers to sign up for an offer on their credit scores, T-Mobile will now begin to evaluate customers based on their history with a carrier. As such, all customers of T-Mobile that have always paid their bills on time for 12 consecutive months will automatically qualify for all the best prices and offers that the company releases, including zero down payments for devices.
According to Legere, the company's relationships with its customers better predicts the customer's future behavior compared to their credit scores.
T-Mobile hopes that Smartphone Equality will be able to lower the barrier to allow millions of Americans to finally be able to own a smartphone, which the company tags as "the most transformational technology in our lifetime."
According to the Pew Research Center and the United States Census Bureau, over 100 million American adults do not own a smartphone, making the country rank only 13th globally when considering smartphone penetration into the population.
Legere considers the smartphone not as a luxury, but as a necessity in today's world. The device serves as an important source of information and news for its users and as the means to maintain connections with loved ones, among other important functions such as carrying out banking transactions and searching for jobs.
"This is not a 'First World problem' we're solving today. It's a critical issue when a handful of companies in a single industry can play gatekeeper to the Mobile Age - and shut out millions and millions of Americans," Legere said, ending the blog post by stating that there is more to come from T-Mobile to grant mobile Internet access to all Americans.