T-Mobile Offers to Drop 4G "Unlimited" Throttling for $20-$30 USD per Month
August 22, 2012 12:09 PM
T-Mobile has opened up a true all-you-can-eat data buffet.
(Source: The Northwestern Flipside)
New plan is between the cost of the previous 2 GB and 5 GB capped plan
T-Mobile USA, a subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom AG (
), is one of only two carriers in America to claim to offer "unlimited" 4G data. But that offer comes with substantial exceptions. Unlike Sprint Nextel Corp. (
) users, T-Mobile customers only have access to HSPA+ -- a "3.5G" or "advanced 3G" tech that T-Mobile rebranded "4G" as
a marketing gimmick
. Plus, unlike Sprint users, who enjoy uncapped connections, T-Mobile USA users with unlimited data have their connections throttled after using more that 2 GB of data.
A new deal from T-Mobile USA promises to change that. Announced yesterday, T-Mobile USA will be offering a "truly Unlimited Nationwide 4G Data plan" for $20 USD per month on Value plans and $30 USD per month on Family plans.
That rate is (roughly) midway between the current rates that T-Mobile USA charges
for its capped 2 GB and 5 GB connections
. For some users who use 2 GB or less per month, it may make more sense to stick with a throttled $25 USD per month 2 GB Family data plan, assuming T-Mobile allows it. Presumably the more expensive (5 GB and up) capped plans will disappear, with this new option.
A quick refresher on what the "Value" plan is and why it's cheaper: T-Mobile USA in March unveiled a push to get customers to buy their own (unsubsidized) phones, in exchange for cheaper plans. That's generally the model used in Europe, whence T-Mobile USA's parent company hails. However, it is generally not used in the U.S. market, where subsidized handsets and more expensive plans are the norm.
In order to try to push its users to "go European" and buy into the Value plan, T-Mobile USA bumped its Family plan data rates by $5 USD at each tier.
The new rates continue T-Mobile USA's push to get customers to "go European" and buy a Value plan.
[Image Source: Whedon.info]
In late June, T-Mobile USA offered up
new broadband plans for businesses
All of these options and flexibility are good news for customers. But they fail to fix some of the lower level underlying issues afflicting T-Mobile USA. Among these issues is the lack of a true "4G" network -- an LTE data network. With
Sprint's recent LTE launch
, T-Mobile USA is the only carrier to leave customers in the dark in terms of true 4G service. While its 3G speeds
, lack of LTE is a serious obstacle for the cash-strapped carrier.
The company has been languishing of late under a
run of deep losses
-- both of the fiscal and customer variety. Most recently
1,900 employees were laid off
. Amid that poor performance the unit's
chief executive resigned
, jumping ship to
become chief executive at rival Vodafone
Group plc.'s (
) European unit .
"So if you want to save the planet, feel free to drive your Hummer. Just avoid the drive thru line at McDonalds." -- Michael Asher
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