In the US, Sprint and T-Mobile have championed the provision of unlimited data to customers at the same time as AT&T and Verizon have clamped down on it. For T-Mobile users however, there’s always been a catch – once you get past a certain level, you’ll suddenly enter a bottleneck where you crawl along.
T-Mobile Samsung Galaxy S3 and new unlimited data plan option
This changes this week, however, with T-Mobile’s “Unlimited Nationwide 4G Data”, which is an add-on to T-Mobile’s voice and text plans that includes cap-free access to the company’s HSPA+ airwaves – set at 42Mbps.
The “Value” package costs $20 for people that aren’t tied to a subsidized phone bought from T-Mobile. It costs $30 otherwise. The catch is that you won’t be able to use hotspots – if you need to use them you’ll have to go back to a traditional plan that puts the brakes on once you hit 5GB or 10GB, for example. T-Mobile couldn’t tell us if the plans would still be available once its LTE service goes live later this year, but a company spokesman did say that these rates aren’t “promotional”, so they’ll be around for a while.
Unthrottled all-you-can-eat voice, data and text plans will cost a subscriber $89.99 per month with this new plan, which compares favorably to Verizon and AT&T – $110 for 4GB – and Sprint’s $109.99 for unlimited data. Look out for the new packages as they come out on September 5.
The announcement of this plan also brings up an interesting question. The hottest Android smartphone at this time on T-Mobile is the Samsung Galaxy S3, which is also one data hungry device. While you would have to pay $279 on contract for a T-Mobile Samsung Galaxy S3 versus $199 via the other 3 major US carriers, the savings of $20 per month for T-Mobile’s unlimited data versus the top Verizon, AT&T and Sprint plans would mean you would make up for that in the first 4 months of your contract and then continue to save for the next 20 months plus get unthrottled unlimited data. It’s a no brainer actually.