T-Mobile debuts $50 unlimited talk, text plan with tethering

By on March 25, 2013, 2:30 PM

After slipping to a distant fourth amongst America's largest wireless carriers, T-Mobile has been attempting to better define itself as a compelling alternative. In its latest bid to do just that, the company has just debuted a contract-free, unlimited talk and text plan which comes bundled with 500MB of tetherable data for merely $50 per month.

Because T-Mobile has gone contract-free, phone subsidies are effectively gone. While this means T-Mobile subscribers will be paying sticker price for a new smartphone (ouch), they'll still have the option to ease that burden by spreading the phone's cost across two years of monthly payments.

When T-Mo's $50/mo plan is paired up with payments for a high-end smartphone spread over two-years, the carrier's prices still manage to fare favorably against contract-based carriers like AT&T and Verizon.

Although the new $50 plan includes 500MB of data, subscribers won't actually be capped to (or charged) for exceeding this monthly allowance; rather, customers who go over the data limit will find themselves throttled to "2G speeds". This provides would-be data hogs a soft ceiling in the event they do exceed their 500MB allotment while simultaneously ensuring T-Mo's network service quality.

Meanwhile, subscribers pining for more than 500MB of unadulterated data can tack on an additional 2GB of monthly bandwidth for just $10 more per month. This should prove particularly useful for subscribers who plan on tethering their smartphone to other devices -- a feature which T-Mobile is allowing at absolutely no additional cost.

There is also a $70 unlimited-everything plan and further discounts for multi-line family plans. A two-line plan with no contract and 2GB of pooled data, for example, costs just $100/mo.

Although T-Mobile's new pricing is attractive, it remains the only national carrier without 4G LTE service. Its HSPA+ network isn't shabby though, delivering solid speeds and better national coverage than competing LTE networks.

If lack of 4G coverage is a bummer though, give T-Mobile just a little more time -- the company is working right now on rolling out LTE 4G with the promise of covering over 200 million people by 2014.

User Comments: 9

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howzz1854 said:

I welcome more options, less restrictions, at a competitive price. kudos to T-mobile.

Tygerstrike said:

Where I see how Tmoble is doing this, Im concerned that their new phone payment structure will hurt them. Basically a customer can bring their own device, pay for the phone at a complete retail value, or pay $69.99 then 20$ a month extra on your bill. The last one concerns me simply because ppl are theives. If they can get a top end smartphone for 70$ then turn around and sell it for 200-300 then skip out on any future payments. That is a issue for concern. Not my issue, but a issue that I hope Tmoble has already thought of and addressed.

Guest said:

"Network Management: Data traffic of postpaid plans with limited high-speed data allotments greater than 2 GB will be prioritized over other currently offered plans during periods of congestion. Service may be slowed, suspended, terminated or restricted for misuse, abnormal use, interference with our network or ability to provide quality service to other users, or significant roaming."

Branded said:

We were quick to sign up for this today. We had been Verizon customers for 9 years, and we always wondered why our subsidized phones failed to come off our monthly bill once we had completed the 24 months of a contract. Our latest contract ended 3 weeks ago so we were looking for something better. We bought a share plan and a couple Nexus 4's. We thought about buying the phones outright, but with 0% interest we would have been crazy not to carry the terms. We can pay-off the phones anytime, and then our bill will (rightly) only be for the service. Other providers would be wise to pay attention to what T-Mobile has done here.

Mbloof said:

I see that T-Mobile is following the Sprint playbook (and dictionary) on attracting customers.

Good for them.

The SINGLE biggest feature T-Mobile brings to the table is free WIFI calling built into many of their newer phones. However their coverage always seems to be lacking. Far to often I'll be standing next to a ATT/Verizon and even a Sprint user who are able to use there phone(s) while my T-Mobile phone has no signal or 'emergency only'.

While the industry currently is marketing LTE as the 'cure all' for cell phones the reality is that unless more towers and/or roaming agreements are put in place LTE won't magically make a tower appear where there there was no 2G/2.5G/3G/3.5G tower before. Even worse is the fact that the LTE coolaid that the industry is feeding USA customers is NOT 4G but rather 'LTE Lite' or 3.75G.

(not that it would make any difference in coverage or network speed)

If you rarely roam outside of a major metro area T-Mobile can be a good alternative to the other carriers. If you happen to live in a cell phone signal 'black hole' their free WIFI calling is a real boon, otherwise Verizon or ATT provide better coverage.

MilwaukeeMike said:

This does sound great... I'll be dropping Sprint (for a company who's wireless speed is measured in Mpbs not Kpbs) in the next month or two when I get a new phone and I was looking at Verizon. Looks like T-mobile might be a better choice.... I hate paying $200/month for my wife and I to have smartphones.


This looks decent... I only use about 2-300 MB of data a month anyway. I ended up with a Verizon 3G phone, and it used to be decently quick right when 4G was coming out. Now it is slow as crap all the time. I swear that VZ is intentionally throttling their 3G users so they will want to go get a 4G phone. My contract is almost over and I regret buying a smart phone because I just don't use it that much. I like the occasional convenience factor of looking stuff up anywhere, but its not worth the cost to me. I think I'll be checking out TMobile when my contract is over here. VZ gets crap coverage at my house anyway, and a friend of mine has TMobile and they get great coverage at my house.

veLa veLa said:

It appears as though I'll be switching. None of the carriers have particularly good coverage in my area but the fact that for $70 you can get truly unlimited 4G data I'll be happy to switch from AT&T.

Guest said:

Regarding HSPA+, I did a test with my Nexus 4 on T-Mobile and my friend with his iPhone on AT&T 4g and I got about 16 Gb down when he got about 12 Gb.

I used to be on Sprint - need I say more...

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