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T-Mobile changes the way UK mobile is charged.

New standards of mobile value. Britain’s first flexible tariffs.

Launch of Flext

  • Totally flexible mix of talk time, texts, picture messages, voicemail
  • Charges expressed as £ per month, not set numbers of minutes and texts
  • Call costs as low as 3.9p per minute. Texts as low as 1.9p each

§    £180 of monthly value delivered for £35 per month on Flext 351

§    Weekly SMS to advise customers of remaining credit

§    Automatic 6 monthly ‘BestPlan’ promise

Thursday, 2 February, London In a move to cut tariff confusion, do away with bill shock and introduce new standards of value and flexibility for mobile customers, T-Mobile UK today launches ‘Flext’, a unique new way of using mobile.

These initiatives are central to the way T-Mobile intends to grow its market share and raise customer usage and loyalty, following its decision to increase investment in its UK business to £1.5 billion over this year and next.

The moves follow the record customer growth achieved by T-Mobile in the fourth quarter of 2005 and are designed to build on this momentum.

Flext introduces a new way of charging for mobile, attacking the rigidity of mobile tariffs and introducing new standards of contract value, and is designed to cut bill shock.  Flext denominates value in terms of £s spent per month, not fixed numbers of minutes of texts, and it lets customers spend their money on whatever mix of minutes, texts, voicemail and picture messaging they want. (Typically, in the industry, voicemail and picture messages are charged extra to monthly contracts).

With Flext, T-Mobile is launching completely new standards of value.

It delivers call rates which can be as low as 3.9p per minute and texts as low as 1.94p each.  This compares with 15p per minute and 5p per text for the cheapest ‘no frills’, pre-pay service currently in the market and with typical high value contract call rates ranging from around 10p per minute and per text and upwards. Flext bases its value by taking highly market competitive rates and then substantially improving on these rates within the monthly bundle.1

For example, ‘Flext 35’ costs £35 per month and gives 900 minutes of talk time or 1,800 texts or any combination of these. Voicemail and picture messaging are charged at 10p per minute and 20p each respectively.

(The average numbers of minutes used and texts sent by contract customers in the UK are around 225 and 36 respectively---Source Ofcom)

In addition, Flext will automatically send customers a text message each week, at no cost, to tell them their running balance of remaining monthly minutes, texts and other credit.

Every 6 months, Flext customers will also receive an automatic ‘BestPlan’ check-up to see if they would be better off by moving up or down the Flext tariff scale – which runs from £20 to £75 per month.

Flext contracts are for 18 months.

Flext 20 and 35 are launched today exclusively through T-Mobile’s own stores and direct sales channels. From March 1st, the full range of Flext tariffs will be launched through independent dealers as well as T-Mobile’s channels.

A substantial double digit million advertising and promotional programme for Flext starts in March.

Jim Hyde, Managing Director of T-Mobile UK, said:
“We intend to grow our market share, and simple fair value  for our customers is at the heart of this.

“Mobile costs are too high; tariffs are too complicated and rigid; and customers often feel ripped-off when their actual bills frequently exceed what they think they’d signed-up for.  This is no way to encourage loyalty and usage.

“The way customers use our services varies month by month, and often unpredictably so.  Charging set amounts of minutes and texts therefore doesn’t work for many customers.

“With Flext, we’re introducing a brand new concept.  Totally flexible mobile usage for voice, texts, picture messages and voicemail, all with exceptional value.  We’ve significantly increased the number of minutes and texts our customers can use at the most relevant price points and we’re coupling this with weekly up-dates, so customers know their usage, as well as our ‘BestPlan’ promise.”

Phil Chapman, Marketing Director of T- Mobile UK, said:
“Mobile has to think through customers’ minds and answer their needs, not do what happens to be traditional and suits the mobile operators.  Having customers feeling confused and facing bill shock is not a recipe for success.

“Flext listens to what our customers want and delivers flexibility, value and an inclusive mix of services, which should meet practically everyone’s needs---without their having to exceed their monthly contract payment.”

1. Current competitive rates in the mobile industry are around 20p per minute for calls and 10p for texts. These are the run-on rates that Flext customers would be charged should they exceed the mix of talk time, texts,voice mail and picture messaging in their monthly contract. In contrast, run-on charges within the industry can be up to twice these levels if customers exceed the set limits of minutes and texts in their plans.

Another way of calculating the value of Flext, therefore,  is to convert the number of minutes and texts Flext customers receive and cost them at the highly competitive run-on rates. On this basis, Flext 35 delivers a monthly value of £180 for a cost of £35.

- Ends -

Media Enquiries:

Robin O’Kelly, T-Mobile UK                           T-Mobile:      +44 (0) 7786 702 526
Laura Moxham                                              T-Mobile:      +44 (0) 7932 078 816

email: laura.moxham@t-mobile.co.uk

Anthony Carlisle, Citigate Dewe Rogerson  
    T-Mobile:      +44 (0) 7973 611 888
Laure Lagrange, Citigate Dewe Rogerson   
     T-Mobile:      +44 (0) 7768 698 731
                                                                  
Notes to editors:   Flext Plans:
 

 

Flext – 18 month contract

 

Price plan

Monthly charge

Equivalent value received1

Pure minutes

Pure texts

Flext 20

£20.00

£34.00

170 minutes

340 texts

Flext 25

£25.00

£60.00

300 minutes

600 texts

Flext 30

£30.00

£90.00

450 minutes

900 texts

Flext 35

£35.00

£180.00

900 minutes

1,800 texts

Flext 50

£50.00

£255.00

1,275 minutes

2,550 texts

Flext 75

£75.00

£390.00

1,950 minutes

3,900 texts

1. Calculated at normal run-on charge rates

  • 18 month minimum term contract
  • Minutes are for local and national calls to any UK network, and for voicemail retrieval. Texts are to any UK network
  • Minutes cost 20p per minute, texts 10p each, picture messages 20p each and voicemail retrieval is 10p per minute

About T-Mobile UK
T-Mobile International is one of the world’s leading mobile communications companies. As one of Deutsche Telekom`s three strategic business units, T-Mobile concentrates on the most dynamic markets in Europe and the United States.

Around 87 million mobile customers are today served in nine T-Mobile markets with a common technology platform based on GSM, the world’s most successful digital wireless standard. T-Mobile is the only mobile communications provider with a seamless transatlantic service.

T-Mobile also is partner of FreeMove, an alliance of four of Europe’s leading mobile companies - Orange, Telefónica Móviles, TIM (Telecom Italia Mobile) and T-Mobile - to help their customers communicate as easily while travelling abroad as they do at home.

For more information about T-Mobile UK, please visit www.t-mobile.co.uk

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