Mobile without borders

What John Legere has brought to T-Mobile is an instinct for change without caveats. T-Mobile’s recent mobile without borders change is an example of that, where customers can now travel throughout North America, making calls, texting, and using LTE data without roaming, overage, or special add-ons or extra charges.

When Legere unveiled the change, one of the data points that stood out to me was that 35 percent of U.S. calls are to Mexico and Canada. So it’s a big deal that T-Mobile is making life easier.

Another thing that stood out was that the other carriers are charging something like 120x the cost for data when customers travel abroad. It’s great to know that traveling to Montreal or Vancouver or even Niagara Falls will just work, without add-ons or extra expenses.

What fascinates me about Leger’s approach is that I think he’s applying the utility model to the cellular industry. No one thinks about their electric or water service at this point. It just works. Mobile connectivity has been largely the opposite of that since its inception—complex and riddled with caveats and surcharges.

It makes sense that T-Mobile is finding traction by acting more like a utility, especially one with a distinctive personality.

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