New info as of 03-28-2012
Good Morning, TeamUSCC'ers! Just a quick post here, as I'm getting ready to head to the hospital with my 5-year old (he's having his tonsils out today!) We received some good info last night to clarify some of the confusion that has surrounded previous leaks. Some of this may seem like we're re-hashing old news, but our tipster's post was so well written that I just want to give it to you straight, as-is. So here it is, I'll break in occasionally with a comment or two.
So, to break it down into simple English.
100MB - $10(for feature/non-smartphones only)
300MB - $20(for any phone, including smartphones)
2GB - $25(rollover charge for each GB overage is $10)
Tethering and additional 2GB of data - $20
5GB(tethering included) - $50(rollover charge for each GB overage is
10GB(tethering included) -$90(rollover charge for each GB overage is
Somewhere between 90%-95% of US Cellular smartphone users, consume
less then 2GB of data
1-and-done Contracts are still in effect (Editors Note: I would be interested to find out if I switch to the new plans, will I need to sign a new two year, or is the fact that I'm currently on a Belief Plan good enough? That's one thing that could keep me off the new plans.)
New eligibility timer is a default of 22-Months vs. 18-Months currently
New Belief Plans will earn more Belief Points then current Belief
Plans. On the call they did say that customers will still be able to
upgrade around as soon as the current plans. They will just have to
spend the extra points they are earning to do so. (Editors Note: This is kind of what I was thinking - more points means upgrading sooner, so around the same time as it is currently.)
The new plans ARE going to be cheaper then current plans. They just
won't have the data already rolled into the package like it is
arranged currently. This is done so that Family Lines will have more
options. Example: Currently if a family of 4 is on a plan, and only 3
of those are smart phones. It would be the same price to them to be on
the Essential plan(no internet) w/ 3-data phones, as it would be to
have all 4 lines on the Essential Plus Plan (w/ Internet). The 4th
line doesn't need data, yet it isn't a price cut for it to not have
data either. (Editors Note: This makes sense. Essentially it could save me around $25 a month? I'm all for that.)
Motorola will be releasing the first Shock Resistant, and Water
Resistant Android Device for US Cellular in upcoming months. No
details on the specs yet. I would anticipate it to be a mid-range
Android. (Editors Note: We have had one agent tell us that the Motorola Defy popped up in his system the other day when he was activating a Motorola phone. Just because the current Moto Defy isn't 4G LTE doesn't mean it's not true.)
US Cellular is currently testing, meaning already developed. The
World's First Quad-Band 4G LTE Device. It is developed by Samsung, and
nothing more is known as far as the specs. The benefit of Quad-Band
however would be, that the device will have 4 frequencies of 4G LTE to
search for, vs the Current 2 frequencies. Basically this means as 4G
begins to spread, it's more likely w/ a quad-band phone that you'll be
on a 4G Network vs having to settle for 3G Coverage on your 4G LTE
4G LTE Will NOT cost more. It will be priced the same. Obviously
however the device has to be a 4G LTE Device
4G LTE is the only "Real 4G". Despite clever advertising, Verizon
Wireless was the only carrier in 2011 to offer "Real 4G". Sprint,
T-Mobile, and AT&T all claimed to have 4G last year, when in fact what
they had was 3G on steroids. Faster then 3G yes, but not near as fast
as 4G LTE. 4G LTE will be almost twice as fast as DSL, and can be
compared to the broadband speeds of Cable internet.
In early 2012, Sprint announced it will be launching 4G LTE coverage
to 6 different coverage areas by mid-2012
In early 2012 AT&T announced it will be launching 4G LTE coverage to 6
different coverage areas by Q1
In early 2012 US Cellular announced it will be launching 4G LTE to 6
different coverage areas by Q1, and plan to cover an additional 10
areas by the end of 2012.
T-Mobile is still on "fake" 4G
Currently US Cellular is set to launch 14 new devices by the end of
the year. Most of in which are going to be smart phones, that's an
average of 1-new smartphone device per month.
The chances of US Cellular getting an iPhone this year? Better then
any year previously. For one, the iPhone 5 will more likely be a 4G
LTE Phone. In Q4 of 2011, US Cellular stated "when the iPhone offers
'LTE' Technology, we will reconsider working with Apple". Also in Q4
of 2011 US Cellular lost most of their customer base. Which is when
the iPhone 4s was released. Also with that being said, know that US
Cellular's #1 goal for 2012 is to increase customer growth. Which
means they won't want to see a repeat of Q4 2011.
Another top goal Mary Dillon stated in our recent annual all company
get together. "Our goal is to get the latest smartphone technology, as
it becomes available" and "To get more smartphones from more
manufactures, to keep costs low, and more competitive".
The HTC Hero S is at End of Life as of last week. HTC was having
numerous reception issues, in which they could not seem to correct. So
US Cellular is pulling it from the shelves.
HTC Wildfire was announced End of Life some time back.
This leaves the HTC Merge as being the only HTC Android product...HTC
So that's it on our tip. To sum up, I think it's very possible that these new plans are going to save a majority of customers some money, while at the same time bring in more revenue to USCC from those who are heavy data consumers. If you're not sure how much data you consume, US Cellular has a tremendous new online data tracker (see our previous post about it). Head over there and see how much data you're consuming. Start now, track it through when the new plans launch, and see if the new plans would save you any money.
Keep in mind, there's been nothing said that customers will be FORCED (sorry for the caps, inside joke) to switch to the new plans. We have several USCC agents in the forums who have said that they have customers still on original USCC plans. In the past, USCC has not forced people to switch, so I don't see that happening now.