T-Mobile Is Giving Customers a Year of Free Data to Play Pokemon Go

July 14, 2016, 8:09 PM UTC
Gamers play with the Pokemon Go application on their mobile phone, at the Grote Markt in Haarlem, on July 13, 2016. / AFP / ANP / Remko de Waal / Netherlands OUT (Photo credit should read REMKO DE WAAL/AFP/Getty Images)
Photograph by Remko De Waal—AFP/Getty Images

There are few executives in telecommunications—or most other industries for that matter—who are better masters of free publicity than T-Mobile CEO John Legere.

And so, with the popularity of the Nintendo smartphone game Pokemon Go exploding off the charts, Legere got in front of the parade and took to Twitter to announce that T-Mobile customers could get free data for the next year while playing the game.

“Ready to catch them all!? #TMobileTuesdays is giving you unlimited data use for #PokémonGo!,” Legere tweeted along with a picture of himself with inside the game’s augmented reality environment.

The offer kicks off starting on Tuesday, July 19 as of part of T-Mobile’s existing Tuesday free rewards promotion. The free Pokemon data will be an offer in the special rewards app for the next few weeks. Customers who claim it will be able to play Pokemon Go without having the game’s data usage count against their monthly allowance through the end of August 2017.

Legere had earlier tweeted that the number of active Pokemon players on T-Mobile’s network had doubled in less than a week and their data usage had quadrupled.

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Pokemon Go, released last week, has quickly become a cultural phenomenon, with people wandering through every major city peering into their smartphones to catch virtual monsters projected onto the real world through their camera apps.

The Nintendo (NTDOY) game is already the most popular mobile game in history with more daily active users than Twitter and rapidly closing in on Snapchat.

T-Mobile (TMUS) has been the fastest-growing U.S. wireless carrier for the past few years thanks to Legere’s populist bent and a bevy of price cuts and new features. Last year, the carrier introduced BingeOn, which allowed customers to watch many popular streaming video services without using up their data allowance.