It’s not because John Legere swears like a truck driver during his press briefings that we like T-Mobile so much. I mean, it doesn’t hurt, but an uncharacteristically plain-spoken CEO alone doesn’t win us over. We like T-Mobile because it’s legitimately shaking up the U.S. wireless business, which is badly in need of some serious shaking.
On Friday, T-Mobile announced it’s effectively doubling the amount of 4G LTE data for users on its cheapest post-paid plan. However, customers with the highest-tier plan aren’t so lucky.
A year ago, the magenta marvel unveiled its “Un-carrier” initiative with the introduction of Simple Choice. Basically, it meant no more phone subsidies, so your phone bill got cheaper when you were done paying off that shiny new device.
Friday’s announced upgrades boost the amount of data available to users on T-Mobile’s Simple Choice post-paid plans. T-Mobile continues to call its plans “unlimited”, as it doesn’t cut you off or charge you overages when you blow past your limit. Rather, it throttles your speed—by quite a lot.
The bottom tier of Simple Choice currently gives you unlimited talk and text and 500MB of 4G LTE for a month for $50. That’s going to double to 1GB. Additional lines will still cost $30 for a second line (with its own 1GB of data), and $10 for each line after that.
The next step up was to pay an extra $10 a month for 2.5GB of 4G LTE. That’s getting a small bump to 3GB at the same price. So, not double, but still a nice boost for free.
An extra $20 a month used to get you totally unlimited 4G LTE, but now you’re limited to 5GB. T-Mobile calls this “a new offer,” because the unlimited plan is still there, it’s just $30 a month more (bringing your total line bill to $80). The unlimited plan used to have only 2.5GB of tethering data, but that’s going to double to 5GB. It’s the least the carrier could do for charging you more.
For users on the base plan or 2.5GB plan, the new rules taking effect on March 23 are an unquestionable upgrade. If you have the $70 unlimited plan, though, you’re getting hosed. There’s a silver lining, though, if you already have the plan (or sign up before March 23), you can keep it. So the price hike at the high end only affects new customers.
Also buried in Friday’s announcement was that seven new countries are now eligible for Simple Global (20-cent per minute international calls and free texting and data).