T-Mobile Data

The joy of purchasing a device with no data plan requirement is quickly becoming a thing of the past. Sure, a lot of carriers out there will still allow you to do it. But come Aug. 8, T-Mobile will not be one of them. T-Mobile will require all customers purchasing a smartphone to take on a data plan before walking out the door. Not the end of the world or anything, but still -- rather lame.

*Update* - Like most leaks, before official information is confirmed -- this one has caused quite a bit of speculation as to its real meaning. Based on the info available, this breaks down to T-Mobile stopping customers from removing data features on their account that were contracted. A loophole existed where customers could escape their contracted terms by swapping devices out ie: a dumbphone, on a previous smartphone account, now -- they will no longer be able to do so.

Source: TMo News


Reader comments

T-Mobile to require data plans even if you pay full price come August 8


Also FYI, T-Mobile also did away with their payment plans. I bought an HTC Sensation 4G Yesterday (upgrade) and was told about 2 weeks ago they were told no more payments plans and i had to pay the full UPGRADE price up front.

Hmm, I suppose this is so the justice department cannot say people will have fewer choices once the merge happens with ATT.

Well, what else would you do with your smartphone purchased outright?

Its not like everybody else uses Tmobile bands and you can migrate this phone to some other network is it? I thought T-Mo bands were pretty unique.

Unless I'm missing the obvious, this seems like they are closing a door that nobody was using.

That being said, there must have been some reason for them to even bother making this rule.

Maybe people were buying a smart phone with no data plan and using wifi for data?

But do you get data, like under the basic feature phone allocation, or do you just use WIFI for data?

So basically, you can't buy a phone for full price anymore without signing up for a contract (data only)? Otherwise, I don't get it.

i guess my question is...if you're already on a smart phone, and you're just buying a new phone at full retail...wouldnt you already have a data plan?

and why wouldnt you want a data plan if you dont already have a smart phone and you're upgrading to a smartphone? so why is this a bad thing?

The only thing I could think of was there was a loop hole in their available plans that allowed people to get a smartphone without a data plan, turn off cellular data and use only WIFI for data.

If you spend 99% of your time in a WIFI zones, at home, on campus, at work, you might not mind having no email of tweets for the few minutes it takes to drive from place to place.

What makes this a bad thing, and the reason why this is a problem, is that people like me buy a Smartphone (Evo4g) at full price, and to avoid being locked into a contract for two years, would rather pay for my data month to month.

This gives me the freedom to change my phone or carrier at my discretion without the bondage of a contract and the requirement to pay an early termination fee to be released.

I guess T-Mobile wants to do away with the month to month option and force everyone into a contract.

Another benefit of being month to month is that if your financial situation in your family changes and you have to forego the data on your phone you can do so without breaking a contract since you only pay for each month you use it. Basically, it gives you freedom that a contract does not.

He means that you could sell your phone and move to another carrier. Or, you can use that prepay service that uses T-Mobile's towers (Simple Mobile?).

I've been off-contract with T-Mobile for almost two years and it's been great. I get a good discount on my service and have complete freedom to move if I need to. Of course, the carriers are trying to lock you down but I'll go with a prepaid service before I'll sign another contract.

@Icebike: To answer your question about who else runs T-mo bands other than T-mo; nobody!

However, today I am a Sprint customer, if tomorrow the next latest and greatest device comes out on Verizon I can easily switch carriers because I am not locked into a two year data contract with Sprint.

If I later decide to leave Verizon and purchase another smartphone with At&t I can easily do so, because again no data contract.

Folks, this whole issue is not about buying a smartphone without a data plan, but rather whether the data plan requires me to sign a two year contract or not.

If any of you just purchased a Galaxy Tab 10.1 4G LTE with Verizon who obviously purchased a data plan. The difference is that some of you decided to spend $529 and sign a two year contract, while others decided to pay $629, sign no contract, and pay for their data month to month.

That's the issue folks!

Uhhhhh OK. Not sure where the news is here. It gets more & more obvious why T-MO is getting bought out. Pathetically small network & piss poor business decisions.

Would there be a reason for them to do this because of an iPhone? Seems like carriers bend over backwards for iPhones.

The reason one might want a smartphone without a data plan is that when you're in a WiFi hotspot you can use the phone in all its glory. I'm sure there are some people that are in WiFi areas for a big enough part of their day that they don't require a data plan. I'm not on T Mo and I have a data plan and this still pisses me off!

There as been an UPDATE to the TMO news site...
"A loophole exists in T-Mobile’s systems that allows for employees to remove data features a before customer fulfills the required contract term. This will NOT force a customer to have a data requirement if they do not want…"

So it seems all this does is force people who CHOSE a dataplan, to stick to it for the life of thier contract. It does not appear to require a contract if one does not wish one.
Again.. till it's officially released by Tmobile press releases, everything is subject to change.

No where does it say you must sign a contract, if you choose to walk away after to months than do it. My opinion is T-mobile is squeezing the last out of their customers before AT&T buys them. the execs want a little extra cash before the possible merger. Not familiar with the smallest data plan, but times that by how many customers must get a data plan, that will add up to a nice wad.

I don't see where it affects people coming to T-Mo with a phone, just the ones buying a new phone from T-mo. Looks like Craigslist or e-bay for your t-mo phones, I'm guessing there will be many loop holes.

@ chillfactorz: You are correct. No where does it say that you must sign a contract, but if it's in the fine print, then this makes the news very sour.

I have to pay for data, i don't mind that. What I don't want to do is sign a two year agreement to do so. I prefer to pay full price for my devices, and pay for my data month to month.

The explanation is very simple! Big companies are all about money. If this new agreement will make the company more money, of course they are going to do this. It's the way of the world.

I do believe this is the result of certain people buying smart phones and using the WiFi rather then the carriers phone service.

These companies are getting worse and worse. It's only a matter of time before Sprint ends their unlimited data. And I'm a sprint user.

Why are so many people surprised? T-Mobile has WANTED to be like AT&T and Verizon for years.The only people who love T-Mobile are the old timers who have old T-Mobile/Voicestream plans which are dirt-cheap.Back then, T-Mobile actually cared about being a discount provider alternative to Verizon and Cingular and used CS quality and creative plans to set itself apart.