T-Mobile USA has expanded the participants in its program to provide residual payments to master agents and their sub-agents. So far, it has signed up PlanetOne Communications, Innovative Communication Services, Cellular Optimization, Advocate Networks, TBI and Nexlink.
“With the new channel-partner program, we are providing wireless channel partners ongoing residual compensation for maintaining relationships with businesses,” said Drew Kelton, T-Mobile’s executive vice president of business markets. The company is “breaking down the barriers the old telecoms have built to protect themselves and their profits,” he added.
The offering includes unlimited voice and text messaging with scalable data plans, a range of phone options, no-contract options, and flat-rate international roaming with unlimited data and text and a $0.20 per-minute voice rate in 132 countries. Customers can also bring their own compatible device to the plans. Partners meanwhile can choose from three models of compensation: traditional, one-time, upfront payments; a strictly residual option with a percentage in the double digits; or a hybrid of both. This is in sharp contrast with the standard wireless compensation model of one-time up-front payments per line.
“Wireless providers haven’t been historically channel-friendly, given their retail model and territorial approach to account protection,” said Ted Schuman, founder and CEO of PlanetOne, one of the first master agents to confirm its participation. “It’s been frustrating for the channel given the popularity of wireless in business. Now, all of that changes with the introduction of T-Mobile’s new approach. We finally have parity between the direct and brick-and-mortar sales forces, with a compensation plan that rewards partners monthly for our commitment. I don’t think I’m overstating it when I say that this is the most exciting thing to happen to our industry since the iPhone.”