August 22, 2012
T-Mobile Offers A Really Real Unlimited Plan, Really
Michael Harper for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online
What do you do when you´re a mobile carrier who doesn´t offer one of the world´s most popular smartphones? You get creative.
In an attempt to make themselves as competitive as they can be without offering the one device millions of people are clamoring for, T-Mobile has now announced a new, unlimited data plan which we be rolled out next month.
According to USA Today, this new T-Mo plan will include unlimited voice calling as well, starting at $69.99 and will run up to $89.99 per month, depending on if users choose a subsidized phone. This new plan will roll out to carriers beginning September 5.
Further sweetening the deal, T-Mobile has also said their unlimited data will be truly unlimited, without the hassle of caps or throttling used by larger competitors AT&T and Verizon.
Though confusing and downright deceitful, other carriers who offer “unlimited” data will either drastically slow down your data speeds once you reach a certain point in your allotment (2GB to 5GB) or simply stop your data. Until this announcement, Sprint had been the only American carrier to offer this kind of “Truly Unlimited” data plan, a main selling point for many, especially those looking for unlimited data for their iPhones.
"We want to double-down on worry-free (marketing)," said Harry Thomas, T-Mo´s director of marketing, in a statement.
"We want to eliminate the situation of 'Do I want to stream Netflix for kids or worry about data overage?' "
Though T-Mo will begin offering this free-flow of data from their towers, they won´t allow any kind of irresponsible data usage. According to Thomas, they´ll reduce speeds for those “very heavy” data users, but these instances will be “very rare.”
Customers who wish to upgrade their plan can simply add $20 to their existing agreement in order to receive all the unlimited goodness. Likely in an attempt to discourage those aforementioned “very heavy users,” T-Mo is not offering this plan with their Smartphone Mobile Hotspot package. Those who wish to tether their devices will still have to choose a 5GB or 10GB option.
T-Mobile, the only major American carrier who doesn´t “officially” offer Apple´s iPhone, has been suffering dramatic subscriber loss in recent years. T-Mobile has even made claims that people are leaving Big Pink for more, iPhone friendly skies, and has therefore made several attempts and even pleas to Apple to bring the iPhone to their side of the spectrum. In May of this year, T-Mobile even announced their new 3G and HSPA+ 4G networks will be iPhone ready for, you know, whenever Apple decides to let them in.
This new move is especially important, as the two largest American carriers have slowly put to death their unlimited plans.
In the early days of the iPhone, AT&T offered unlimited data plans to these customers, but quickly regretted this decision once they realized just how easy it is to burn through data on such a device.
When the iPhone finally came to Verizon in 2011, the carrier offered an unlimited plan in an effort to bring new users angry at AT&T over to the Red side. The carrier soon removed this option the following summer, though they´ve yet to force customers to switch over to a limited plan.
The next iPhone is expected to hit American soil in just over a month, and is likely to be the first iPhone with 4G LTE connectivity. As such, Verizon has already announced they´ll be forcing any customer with a grandfathered unlimited data plan to switch to a measured plan if they want the new, 4G goodness.
Sprint, on the other hand, says they´ll continue offering unlimited data even if the next iPhone does ship with 4G.
Though a bold move for T-Mobile, it´s left to be seen if this announcement will retain any of their customers or, better yet, bring any customers over to their side. One can´t help but wonder if the best thing for T-Mobile would simply be the right to carry the iPhone.