T-Mobile took a big step last month in announcing that it will now allow customers to rollover their unused data from month to month. This new T-Mobile rollover data plan called Data Stash is an unprecedented first step amongst wireless plan providers which continues to demonstrate T-Mobile’s aggressive marketing quest for new subscribers.
If you watched the SuperBowl this year, you may have seen the below T-Mobile advertisement with Kim Kardashian which takes a tongue in cheek approach to save your poor unused monthly data… won’t anyone think of the poor orphan data 🙁
What Is Rollover Data?
If you’re unfamiliar with what rollover data is, then let me explain. For many plans that don’t have an unlimited data usage feature, you are often allotted to a certain amount of data each month that can be used for Apps and browser activity that connects your phone to the Internet.
Many plans, such as AT&T already had rollover minutes, where the minutes that you don’t use for talking on the phone get to be saved and added to the next month’s balance. Well T-Mobile is doing the same thing with that rollover minute idea except with data.
Of course, no one really cares about rollover minutes anymore since the phone part of most people’s mobile devices is probably one of the least used features – kind of ironic, don’t you think? So carriers like AT&T make you think they’re doing you a solid when it is likely most of those minutes will go unused anyways.
So why is rollover data so important? Well since most of us are now carrying around tiny computers with Internet streaming capability, data becomes one of the most cherished wireless commodities with SMS text messages in second, and talk minutes very far behind.
Here, lets have the CEO of T-Mobile, John Legere, explain it in the following video from a CNBC interview:
In the video and associated CNBC article, John had the following to say in regards to what the traditional wireless carriers have been doing with everyone’s unused data:
“This is a $50 billion issue, where carriers are taking back on average 3 gigabytes of data a month per 100 million customers.”
What most people have had is a “use it or lose it” only option when it comes to their allotted monthly data usage, which means most people are probably overpaying. Being able to rollover data now means one could potentially go with a cheaper cell phone plan with a smaller data allotment that they can accumulate over time for those months where they want to use more than normal.
Other Rollover Data Plans
With T-Mobile taking the first punch with the new rollover data plan, it is only a matter of time before other wireless carriers begin match this move.
Since AT&T has been T-Mobile’s main punching bag over the last year, it is only natural that one would ask, does AT&T have rollover data? And the answer is, they do now! You can check out AT&T’s response to the rollover data option here.
That said, this is still a new concept and may take a few more months for the rest of the wireless world to catch on, particularly Verizon whose CEO said the following for a CNET interview:
“…And there’s going to be certain customers who leave us for price, and we are just not going to compete with that because it doesn’t make financial sense for us to do that.”
Down the road, as more carriers jump on board the bandwagon, I’ll be making a comprehensive article comparing the pros and cons of the different rollover data plans, so stay tuned for that.
In the meantime, if any readers are taking part in either T-Mobile or AT&T’s new data rollover plans, please let us know what your experience with the new option is in the comments below, and if you think it is beneficial to you in terms of saving money.