T-Mobile SIMs

If you haven't noticed, T-Mobile is making some big changes to the way it does business this week, including now a move to what is calling "Simple Choice" rate plans. We gave you the low-down on the new plans when they quietly released on Sunday, but T-Mobile is doing one better now by giving customers just three initial options when selecting a plan:

  • $50 per month for unlimited talk, text and web -- 2G speeds after 500MB
  • $60 per month for unlimited talk, text and web -- 2G speeds after 2.5GB
  • $70 per month for unlimited talk, text and web -- no throttle

Each of the plans includes mobile hotspot/tethering, although the unlimited plan will only let you tether for 500MB of usage -- with additional 2GB chunks of data on any plan costing you another $10 monthly. A second line costs $30 a month, with each additional line another $10. The same data plan tiers apply to each additional line in a family plan -- 500MB included, 2GB more for $10 and unlimited for $20 per month.

Of course none of these plans carry a contract, nor are there separate plans for LTE devices or different pricing for postpaid and prepaid. The data costs the same per line no matter how many you have, what devices you choose or when you decide to pay for the service.

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Reader comments

T-Mobile LTE 'Simple Choice' no-contract rate plans are here


If by "better", you mean paying less for less coverage, which means fewer places your phone will work, then sure, T-Mobile is "better".

The word "better" is purely subjective. T-Mobile works great for me. FYI, you can choose whatever works for you without attacking someone else's carrier of choice.

It says $70 on their website, no contract. Plus, Sprint has such GREAT 3G speed that I'd definitely consider them over T-Mo. :P Same price, pretty much same coverage, but faster speed on T-Mo.

I have to disagree, the Sprint 3G where I'm at isn't near as fast as the TMo 3G.
These are great deals for people who have WiFi or who are on family plans.

3G CDMA (Sprint) is slower by the radio wave capabilities vs 3G GSM / HSDPA / HSPA+ data speeds. (T-Mobile) and the GSM networks have lower ping time.

True, but Sprint's network is slower than my grandma! This is a great way to price it out. This is how it should be done, but if only their network were larger I would switch in a heartbeat. The whole subsidized phone thing is a B.S. way to rope you in. Down payment and monthly pay off for the phone is an outstanding way to go. Hopefully T-mobile is successful so maybe VZW and ATT follow suit.

Let's say my wife and I signup on a family plan..and I wanted to add my tablet. Do the same rules apply to it? 10 dollars more with 500 MB included, with 10 dollars per tier there after?

If so...this might finally convince me to get a 3G/4G tablet. 500MB is enough for most casual use, and when we go on trips I could just throw 10 more dollars at it.

If you go for the "unlimited" data plan, there's an extra fee to tether your tablet to the phone.

HOWEVER there's no extra fee if you go with the 500mb or 2.5gb plan. Those two plans both explicitly say "Includes Smartphone Mobile HotSpot for device tethering". The T-Mobile data service terms say "Unless explicitly permitted by your Data Plan, other uses, including for example, using your Device as a modem or tethering your Device to a personal computer or other hardware, are not permitted."

So, if you can get by with 2.5gb for your phone and tablet combined (I can), then you don't need anything else other than maybe an external battery for your phone.

So that seems silly - based on the pricing and they way they add data tiers, the "unlimited" $70 plan should come with at least 2.5GB of tethering, not 500MB. I don't use tethering often, but when I do it can typically be a GB over a week or so when traveling. My current 5GB data plan includes tethering for up to that limit, no extra charge. I dont' like being limited, so I think the better plan for me is to sign up for the 2.5gb plan and pay the $10 overage if I hit it.

I just switched from $70 prepaid T-mobile plan to the $70 postpaid plan. There are 2 $70 postpaid plans:

1. Unlimited everything - no throttle but no tether (although I am not sure how they will tell if I am tethering with my Google Nexus 4 bought from play store... I don't think they can but I may be wrong)

2. Unlimited talk and text with 4.5gb of data with tethering

Now I can use conditional call forwarding and my Google Voice voicemail (which is why I switched) but on the downside is I have to now pay taxes so it is not just $70 its $70 plus taxes (which are about $6 - so for me Google Voice is worth it)

I tried to link the T-Mobile plans page that shows the prices, but the comment form is pitching a fit.

For you, T-Mo would be 100 bucks total for you and your wife to each have 2.5gb per month with tethering included. If you ever get close to hitting your monthly limit, just switch to tethering on her phone instead!

Thanks for the reply. Tethering is an option..but not really ideal for me. The battery hit, and the time it takes to enable tethering, and connect to it kills the impromptu convenience of a dedicated data plan to the device.

However, I could get the 10 dollar a month plan for impromptu stuff like email and the such, and anytime I know I will be using alot of data just flick tethering on. That may not be a bad solution.

general question about contracts vs no contracts.
Currently i see no discount monthly if i choose a month to month plan at verizon. So why on earth would i want to buy the phone outright if verizon is willing to subsidize me for simply staying on their network for 2 years which i completely plan on doing anyway? i figured there were alot of people like me who actually love verizon or their network in their area and had no plans on leaving. Im not sure if some1 is aware of some discount you get if u choose month to month but i am not. so what am i missing? ** remember i dont want the option of leaving verizon because their coverage is superior in my area and where i travel.

What about the fact that some folks are no longer on the grad-fathered unlimited plan.... That would be a reason in itself. I myself still have unlimited, so if I want a new phone, I have to pay full price, or lose my unlimited.

Exactly. I'm on unlimited as well, and won't give it up. VZW is heading this way as far as ending phone subsidies. But VZW will never again offer unlimited now that they've duped consumers into paying through the nose. T-mobile has set up a good price structure here, unlike VZW. Currently I have 2 unlimited lines on a family plan for $70, plus $60 for the data. I'd be Ok with $10 more a month to keep unlimited. In fact, my wife would be fine with 2gb, but I need more. So this would work for us. But VZW at $40 for each phone, plus $60 for 2gb to share?????? Yeah right. I'd gladly pay T-mobile the same $140 for unlimited.

What T-mobile has done, is build out their network of HSPA....which is faster than 3g. When LTE is up and running, LTE with HSPA fallback is much faster than LTE with 3G back up. Hopefully T-mobile can broaden their coverage in the next few years.

Verizon's prices and practices have gotten extremely out of hand lately sure the network is strong but T-Mobile has WiFi calling and tethering included in all plans. T-Mobile has a much better value than Verizon and ATT because all they do is nickel and dime you for everything. Want hotspot? Extra fee. Want unlimited minutes and text? Extra fee. No unlimited data either.

I just switched to this plan yesterday from Verizon. The difference actually comes in how the phone is "subsidized"..

With T-Mo, when you buy a phone in store, you essentially buy it outright. You put a down payment ($90 in the S4's case) on the device, then pay an additional ~$25 per month for two years. The difference is that after those two years on T-Mo, the extra $25 comes off your rate. On Verizon, whether you brought a phone to their network or you got it from them when you activated the line, that subsidy charge never disappears.

Hope that helps!

- Andy

its about the same thing IMO.during the holidays I got the iphone 5 on VZ for $125 with a two year contract, so yeah I will be paying an unknown amount for the phone each month, but after 2 years I can upgrade to a newer phone and start over paying for the new phone, so its not like you're paying for the same phone foreever, well unless you don't upgrade when you're eligible.

xemtra - the difference is that after 24 months (the length of the phone "loan" given by TMo, and, coincidentally, the length of most service contracts) you no longer pay for the phone with these new TMo plans . . . and subsequently, you're billed for just your service after that. It's like a car loan in that sense. Currently on Verizon, ATT, etc. (and formerly TMo), you never see a reduction in your bill...you continue paying the same rate as you did on day 1. With these new TMo plans you also have the option of paying for the phone in full at the time of purchase, or paying off the balance at any point during the 24 months (with no penalty).

The real question becomes, how often do you upgrade your phone...or want to upgrade your phone? Currently, I'm presuming most people upgrade around every 24 months since that is the length of their contract. But if you don't plan to upgrade that often, then this new plan/pricing structure would be ideal, as you do not continue paying for the phone years down the road. And, if you actually do plan to upgrade more frequently (say, after 12 or 18 months), this plan still affords you the benefit to switch/upgrade phones at any point (you are of course still responsible for the balance of the original phone...but at least you have that option!). You can even bring your own phone! (buy cheap elsewhere on the web and bring it to your Tmo account)

Anyway, hope that helps a little.

Agreed, but I just read somewhere else that supposedly there's "fine print" that says on the "unlimited" you get throttled to 2G after 5 GB (which, honestly, isn't an issue for me, I currently have the 5 GB data plan and have never gone over that). I'm gonna go check for myself.

So I scoured through everything I could on T-Mo's site and I don't see anything that says the unlimited plan is throttled after 5 GB; it really looks like "unlimited" means just that. Now if they'd just include at least 2GB of tethering in the unlimited plan it would all be perfect (but there always has to be something ;) )

Ppl do realize when your payin the monthly payments on the phone if ya miss a payment ur phone will be locked down and service temp shutoff by the idem number. .so honest here there is no difference between this and contact. .go to tmobile store and it will be explained

How is there no difference? Your phone payments and plan payments are completely separate. If at any time you want to leave T-Mobile you simply pay off your phone and leave. You can even pay off the phone and stay if you'd like a lower monthly rate. You can also bring your own phone and skip the payments along the way. Or stop paying for the service but continue to pay off the phone...

I don't see how paying for something on credit is at all considered the same as a 2-year contract. You're not obligated to a certain period of time with an installment plan, only a certain amount of money.

Thank the lord. Someone who understands contract and no contract.

Random internet reaction-"OMG BUT ITS JUST A SHELL GAME" ya...righhhhhht

Plus if ya try to leave tm for att in the middle it is impossible because of the idem number. .miss payments and its shut off

If you pay off the remaining value of your phone you can leave tmobile to att, for instance, right after.

They aren't going to give away a 600 phone you just paid 100 bucks for.

You have a lot more freedom being off contract and save a lot more on tmobile generally speaking (im sure there are special grandfathered plans people still have).

As a VZW customer, I was sold on the no throttle plan until I read about the tethering restriction. Oh well. Big Red wins again. Grandfathered unlimited just can't be beat.

I'm probably leaving out something obvious, but I can't seem to find the 4/6/10/12GB plans on T-Mobile's website anymore. I can only find the 500MB/2GB/Unlimited plans that are listed in the article. Can anyone link me to those plans?

Does that mean you can buy a new phone whithout having to wait 2 yr for your contract to be up or whatever?

This is groundbreaking in my opinion. Is there any doubt that 5 years from now (or even sooner) there will be no international roaming? Think back to the days when we actually roamed in the US. Remember how the plans had limited areas? Amazing...and that wasn't that long ago

I do not see how this is a better deal at all. I am currently shopping for a family plan with two lines and two new phones (Galaxy S5). T-mobile service 80$ total with 2gb each line. Verizon 130$ 2 gb shared. I can get two S5's for Verizon through Costco for 189$ (buy one get one promo). TM wants 120$ down payment for each phone plus 25$ a month for each phone for two years. Bringing the total TM bill to 130$ per month plus 240$ down payment for the phone. TM claims this is a better deal because "you aren't tied down to a contract" and "you own the phone after two years which will take off that 50$ a month that was paying for the phones. Im not tied down to a TM contract but If I break the "agreement" in say the 8th month I owe the $340 balance of the phone. I have been using smart phones for about 8 or so years now and it seems like they really are designed to last roughly two years and after two years who doesn't like getting a new phone. I really think Tmobile is shooting their self in the foot by offering this as the only option when getting a new phone.