T-Mobile last week made a few tweaks to it's plans - the most interesting revolving around bonus data for tablets added onto smartphone plans.
Here are the three key changes:
- Ten Lines Per Family - T-Mobile is increasing the number of lines that can be combined on a single plan from 5 to 10. This can be a great way to save money, but for nomads using T-Mobile as a secondary connection this is not likely to be all that useful unless you are sharing a plan with a fixed location family in a strong T-Mobile area.
- Simple Starter Gets More Data - T-Mobile's single-line "Simple Starter" plan costs $40/mo for 500MB of data, with unlimited talk and text. This plan is cheap, but more limited than T-Mobile's other "Simple Choice" plans that include unlimited streaming music, free international data, and more. To make Simple Starter more attractive, starting next week T-Mobile will offer a new version of the plan for $45/mo that includes a more reasonable 2GB of data.
- Bonus Data For Tablets - The most interesting tweak to T-Mobile's plans... Starting next week when you add a tablet to a Simple Choice plan that also has a smartphone activated on it, the tablet gets a dedicated bucket of data equivalent to the amount on the smartphone - for just $10/mo. T-Mobile's math gets confusing - but on paper you are effectively "doubling your data".
Here is how T-Mobile's math works out versus other carriers:
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The catch with T-Mobile data is that each device gets its own bucket of data, while the other carriers now offer a bucket shared amongst all devices on a plan. In this example - your smartphone gets 5GB, and your tablet gets 5.2GB.
(T-Mobile is including the 200MB it offers for free to every tablet owner...)
From our perspective, a shared bucket is a lot more flexible - you can use the data where you need it. But if your usage patterns fit T-Mobile's model, they do indeed offer a lot of data cheap -- just divided up more awkwardly.
Also worth considering - if you share a plan with people known for using more than their share, T-Mobile is a great way to keep everyone spending just their own allowance.
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These were some pretty minor tweaks to T-Mobile's offerings - but bigger news is likely coming next week. T-Mobile today sent out press invites to the "Uncarrier 7.0 Event" on September 10th, teasing with the tagline: "This time it's personal. Password: Speakeasy"
The competition and innovation T-Mobile has brought has had a wide impact - we're looking forward to seeing what the seventh phase of T-Mobile efforts to shake up the mobile industry brings.