In brief: T-Mobile's new unlimited plan could be an attractive offer for some but be wary of the details - taxes and fees aren't rolled in and you'll be the first to be throttled during times of network congestion.
More isn’t always better, especially when it comes to wireless. Increasingly, we’re seeing providers bundle in all sorts of features and services with their plans to differentiate their offering from the competition or seemingly offer a better value.
It’s virtually useless (and often times more costly), however, if you only need the basics and that’s where T-Mobile’s new Essentials plan comes in.
T-Mobile Essentials offers the bare necessities – unlimited talk, text and data in the US – for just $30 per month. Of course, there are some noteworthy restrictions.
For starters, the advertised $30 rate is only good for a family of four (or more) with autopay enabled (pricing starts at $60 for a single line and scales down as more lines are added). Also worth noting is the fact that T-Mobile says this is in addition to taxes and fees, extras that are normally included in the overall rate (remember the whole advertising campaign about this?).
The most alarming aspect of the Essentials plan is T-Mobile’s admission that “during times and places with heavy network demand, Essentials customers may notice slower speeds than other customers” and further reduction if using more than 50GB of data per month.
In other words, Essentials customers will be the first to be throttled during times of network congestion.
Essentials customers will also see their videos streamed at an average of 480p (DVD) quality on smartphones and tablets.