T-Mobile today announced a new Essentials wireless plan that undercuts the pricing of unlimited plans at Verizon and AT&T. But it also undercuts T-Mobile ONE, while providing fewer benefits. This might make things complicated for current and potential T-Mobile customers.
“The other guys have got Above Unlimited, Unlimited Plus, Beyond Unlimited, Unlimited and More … Unlimited and More Premium,” T-Mobile John Legere is credited with saying in a prepared statement. “No wonder nearly half of Verizon and AT&T customers are still stuck on data bucket plans with overage penalties. The other guys make it so confusing! [T-Mobile] wants to make it easy. Give customers the options they want … but keep it simple.”
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T-Mobile’s unlimited plans may or may not be simpler than what Verizon and AT&T are offering. But things have gotten decidedly more complex since T-Mobile announced that it would offer only a single unlimited plan to its customers. Now it offers four, depending on how you count.
The new T-Mobile Essentials will provide unlimited talk, text, and data (with speed caps after 50 GB of usage in a month) for just $60 per month for a single user or $30 per line per month for a family of four. By comparison, T-Mobile ONE is $40 per line per month, but comes with additional features. T-Mobile ONE Plus is $50 per line per month, but again comes with more. And T-Mobile ONE Plus International is $65 per line per month; yes, it adds yet more still.
As its name suggests, T-Mobile Essentials offers the basics. In addition to the unlimited talk, text, and data, you get 3G hotspot capabilities and some basic international features (unlimited talk, text, and 2G data in Mexico and Canada, plus unlimited text and flat rate calling at $0.25/minute in over 210 destinations).
T-Mobile ONE adds no-charge Netflix, no additional taxes and fees, unlimited streaming at 480p, one hour of data access and unlimited texts on flights with Gogo Internet access, and 5 GB of LTE data in Canada and Mexico.
T-Mobile ONE Plus is an update to ONE and it adds HD streaming, 10 GB of LTE mobile hotspot data, 4G/LTE data when used internationally, unlimited in-flight Wi-Fi on flights with Gogo Internet access, voicemail to text functionality, and Name ID for calls from unknown numbers.
T-Mobile One Plus International, finally, is also an upgrade over ONE. In addition to the One Plus features noted above, it adds unlimited international calling, unlimited 4G/LTE data in Mexico and Canada, and 4G LTE hotspot data.
T-Mobile says that its new Essentials plan will launch on August 10. You’ll pay $5 more per line. if you don’t use auto-pay. But customers who go this route can still take advantage of the new $5 per day international day pass, too, which is nice.
Good luck figuring out this mess.