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T-Mobile increasingly proving a tease, offering customers "unlimited" data plans and giving them something less. Rumor has it that it's preparing new fees.  (Source:

A leaked document reveals overages coming on Saturday.  (Source: TmoNews)
Overage fees are capped to limit the damage done

Deutsche Telekom AG's (ETR:DTE) T-Mobile USA is showing creeping signs that it's moving towards its possible new parent company, AT&T Inc. (T), in pricing and allowances.  While T-Mobile continues to offer competitive multi-line plans, some loyal fans have been fearful about a series of erosions to the company's "unlimited" data plans.

i. Bye Bye 200 MB "Unlimited", Hello, Overage!

In recent months "unlimited" was transitioned to a capped plan where T-Mobile did not charge for overages, but throttled data connections past your plans defined MB/GB limit.  Now T-Mobile may be preparing to make an even greater shift, with word leaking that there will be overages on new 200 MB plans, starting August 13.

The 200 MB plan is T-Mobile's most affordable tier, available for a mere $10 USD/month.  Existing customers can continue to use the plan in its current (overage-free) form, at least until their contract expires.

For new subscribers, you will get hit with $0.10 USD/MB fees.  That may seem rather high (AT&T's overage is $10 USD/GB -- or rough $0.01 USD/MB), but T-Mobile has softened the blow, capping the maximum overage at $30 or $35 USD, depending on what kind of line you have.  In other words, customers will likely reach the overage far faster, but won't risk the hundreds of dollars of overages that customers on some other carriers have experienced.

ii. AT&T to Grandfather T-Mobile Users

In related news, an AT&T spokesperson responded to our inquiry regarding how the possible acquisition will affect T-Mobile users' plans.  They stated, "T-Mobile consumers will be able to keep their rate plans for as long as they want to, even when upgrading to a comparable device, once the merger is completed."

We asked what exactly "comparable device" meant.  Our guess was it was based on the type of modem (3G, HSPA+), but it could also mean feature phones versus "smart phones".  The AT&T spokesperson was unsure of the definition and was unable to provide us with this information, so the precise details of the grandfathering scheme are a bit nebulous, even if it is clear there will be such a scheme.

AT&T has the second highest data prices in the industry, behind only Verizon Wireless (VZ).  Ironically their price follows their current size in terms of U.S. subscribers -- Verizon is no. 1 in the country, while AT&T is a close no. 2.  Despite the newly added limitations, T-Mobile's data plans are still cheaper and less restrictive than either of the top two.

Sprint Nextel Corp. (S) remains the only carrier to provide truly uncapped and unlimited smart phone data.  It also happens to be in a close competition with T-Mobile for lowest data rates.

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Until and if this merger happens....
By Cheesew1z69 on 8/11/2011 9:20:26 AM , Rating: 2
I think ATT needs to shut their mouth in regards to other companies policies. They don't own T-Mobile yet.

By chick0n on 8/11/2011 9:41:23 AM , Rating: 3
with all the bribe ... I mean lobbyist that they have. They are pretty sure they will get T-mobile, no matter how many(everybody?) people is bitxhing about this.

RE: Until and if this merger happens....
By theapparition on 8/11/2011 12:22:23 PM , Rating: 2
Once the acquisition was announced, they have every right to comment. It's called full disclosure, and T-Mobile customers should have the right to know what AT&T plans if the merger is approved.

Keep in mind, AT&T and T-Mobile entered into a contract for the purchase. It's been signed by both parties. As such, they've opened thier books to each other, and have some other contractual obligations.

In other words, They've already bought T-mobile, just waiting to see if the government let's it continue. Certainly not as simple as you make it out.

RE: Until and if this merger happens....
By Samus on 8/11/2011 1:02:34 PM , Rating: 5
AT&T has donated half a million dollars to Tea Party congressmen, who are hypocritically for large corporations meanwhile also for a downsized government. Sure, let Walmart and AT&T rule the world, unregulated.

God I hope this merger doesn't go through. Appearantly government officials don't learn anything from the past. AT&T became an outragous monopoly once before and had to be split up for the sake of infrastructure integrety, consumer protection and national security (unreliable communications systems during the cold war are one of the many blunders of that era.) The war in the middle east is just another huge, relevant example of how we learned nothing from the vietnam-era.

By Chaser on 8/11/2011 2:37:42 PM , Rating: 1
AT&T has donated half a million dollars to Tea Party congressmen
So you have a source for this?
who are hypocritically for large corporations meanwhile also for a downsized government.
Yes they are the only same people in Washington right now that are for the growth of the private sector that creates money rather than the government that confiscates or borrows and re-distributes money. So that's hypocritical? But that's right we need to spend our way even further towards prosperity. Right.

Despite being labeled as "terrorists" by the rather terrified left as 2012 approaches, they are the only politicians that are demanding their lofty goals: Stop borrowing to spend what you don't have. Live within your means like most responsible states and households do. And submit a budget? Remember those? Well the democrats haven't in like over 2 years, even when they had complete control of all of Washington DC over that period.

Yeah that evil tea party. Curse them!

Not suprised.
By Nutzo on 8/11/2011 11:01:34 AM , Rating: 2
Not suprised.

I'm sure AT&T will hold a big fundraiser for Obama to make sure it goes through.

Once AT&T takes over and starts changing the T-Mobile plans, I'll switch. Looks like Sprint is the only reasonably priced option left.

RE: Not suprised.
By theapparition on 8/11/2011 12:24:09 PM , Rating: 2
Yep, but for how long? How long can Sprint keep losing money? It's only a matter of time before Sprint goes looking for a buyer, aka Verizon.

F0ck AT&T
By dxf2891 on 8/11/2011 12:53:08 PM , Rating: 2
I'm leaving as soon as my contract is up. Hopefully Sprint's unlimited plan will still be around when it's up. That's 5 phones and customers they will lose. We're also going to deactivate our home service as well. I hope the company chokes on it's greed and dies.

RE: F0ck AT&T
By cschuele on 8/11/2011 5:09:21 PM , Rating: 2
I'm leaving as soon as my contract is up. Hopefully Sprint's unlimited plan will still be around when it's up. That's 5 phones and customers they will lose. We're also going to deactivate our home service as well. I hope the company chokes on it's greed and dies.

Ive heard that sprint will pay your early termination fee upto $250, why wait? switch now while your still angry and motivated

Cellular data
By atlmann10 on 8/11/2011 9:14:20 AM , Rating: 2
As far as it goes this At&t/T-Mobile deal in many ways is an absolute fiasco for the general cellular consumer. The FCC/DOJ have also received more complaints regarding that probability than any other singular event from what I am hearing. However; they have also been bought and paid for to a very large degree from what I see as well so it is most likely an inevitable event.

I know Sprint has been the major complainant as far as companies/corporate interest's go. I don't know though as I know At&t and Verizon controlling all the data backhaul lines is a bad thing. I still don't think you can really even dream of a better marketing campaign.

If the At&t/T-Mobile take over goes through I will be going to Sprint. There is not really much choice carrier wise period in the US on the same spectrum. Oh and I have been an At&t customer in the past, and I dumped Verizon somewhat recently and went to T-Mobile. I also was a Sprint customer for a small amount of time (27 days lol) last October.

At that time I could not use my Wireless N home network as a connection, and I get basically no service with any carrier stably at my house. So we will see what happens, which I am still hoping for the best thing, which is that the FCC/DOJ says no such luck At&t as you don't even need the spectrum or deserve to be a government made cellular monopoly.

With our government now though I doubt that will be the case, not to mention the fact that they have paid off every single state representative (all federals) in the state of Georgia down to our Governor. They have probably done the same for almost every individual here.

Not surprised
By FS on 8/11/2011 9:34:30 AM , Rating: 2
Expect more crap if AT&T and T-Mobile merger becomes a success. This is just the beginning.

By ksuWildcat on 8/12/2011 10:08:23 AM , Rating: 2
My wife and I left T-Mobile after 5 years, because Sprint offered a better overall value for us. The plan is truly unlimited, the phone selection was better, and we're paying slightly less now.

T-Mobile tried to nickle-and-dime us with "other" charges and insurance fees once we left, even though we've never carried the protection plan on our phones. So definitely watch out and check your bill carefully should you leave T-Mobile.

My guess is that customers are ditching T-Mobile in droves now, because we got an offer to come back: free smart phones (any in stock), about $20 lower monthly bills, and a few other "perks". But frankly, Sprint has better plans, if you live/work/travel to places where Sprint has coverage.

Nice picture....
By AEvangel on 8/12/2011 4:01:49 PM , Rating: 2
I likes me some Eliza Dushku she can handle my ball anytime...

Gotta love America
By bill4 on 8/12/2011 1:57:25 AM , Rating: 1
The world going to hell and the biggest thing by far fat lazy americans bitch about is the phone company. Phone companies that give amazing service for great prices.

That's because most Americans are communists and trained to attack corporations rather than the liberals taking over...oh no, ATT charges me a few bucks if I go over a really high, extremely reasonable data cap, that's way more important than Obama raising the deficit by 4 trillion and taking away all my freedoms.

Why dont we just turn all phone service over to the govt so you stupid people will stop bitching. Then you can all pay $500 a month to Obama and like it. Isn't that what this constant phone company bashing that occupies at least half the internet is really about? American communists?

Oh no, ATT charges me $67 a month, AND DARES TO CHARGE ME IF I GO OVER TWO GIGABYTES OF DATA. Life just isn't worth living in this hell.

"I f***ing cannot play Halo 2 multiplayer. I cannot do it." -- Bungie Technical Lead Chris Butcher

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