T-Mobile

The self-described "Un-Carrier" is also changing up the way it bills for mobile broadband on tablets, hotspots and data sticks today. There is now very little distinction between adding a phone and adding a tablet to your plan, with simplified pricing throughout. For stand-alone devices on their own account, tablets, hotspots, laptops and data sticks will have a base charge of $20 per month for 500MB of high-speed data, throttled to 2G thereafter. Each additional $10 per month adds 2GB to that allotment, all the way up to 12.5GB per month for $80.

If you are adding a tablet, hotspot, laptop or data stick to an existing individual or family plan, the prices are cut by $10 per month. So if you already have a phone line with T-Mobile, adding a tablet with 500MB of data is the same price -- just $10 -- as adding another phone line with 500MB of data.

This is a huge move in the right direction for T-Mobile, as it helps confirm what we all know already -- that data is data, no matter what device you're using it on. The carrier hasn't historically been a popular destination for users wanting tablet and hotspot data plans, but this may help sway some customers going forward.

 

Reader comments

T-Mobile simplifies tablet and hotspot data prices, too

16 Comments

Well, the Nexus 10 is WiFi only so tethering is the way to go in my current scenario, but I will definitely have to consider purchasing an LTE Nexus tablet when it becomes available at those prices.

Thank you T-Mobile for getting that data is data.

Step in the right direction, yes, but I still think if I'm already paying for unlimited data, I should use it however I'd like. If my phone can act as a hotpsot, then I should be able to use it whenever I'd like without paying extra for using the data I already pay for.

Well what you're describing only applies to the unlimited phone plans, which have a limited amount of tethering available. While it's not ideal, you can see where T-Mobile is coming from. If they were to factor in the cost of the people who would sign up for a $70 unlimited phone plan and use 50, 100, 200GB per month as a home internet connection, the plan would no longer be $70 (think more in the $150 range) for everyone.

Every other plan T-Mobile offers includes hotspot/tethering for no extra cost, you just use the data you bought. The same goes for these new tablet, hotspot and data stick plans, which have the same price and data tiers as phones do.

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)

The only way unlimited data is possible for wireless companies is smartphone only unlimited data. When you let users tether anything to their phones, people use it as a replacement for home internet and use hundreds of GBs a month. Wireless data can't support that level of usage on a per user basis plain and simple. Wireless spectrum is a very limited resource. Allow that kind of usage and T-mobile's fast network would suddenly become like Sprint 3G, awful and slow. Semantic arguments about the words unlimited data don't change reality. You can't get something for nothing.

Don't be ridiculous. You are paying for the use of their network. The unlimited plan is for your phone, not your phone, laptop, SO's laptop, and everyone else's. Such a scenario would bog down their network.

Id rather hear them say hey no more edge all 3g and 4g. ALSO roaming data is capped at 50mb on unlimited plans. So that just sucks

Do you use Tmo? I live in an area with it and i'm planning on trying it out but around the main city it says "service partner", i'm assuming that's data roaming? if it really is only 50mb that is embarrassingly low. if i have the 2.5gb plan i should get at least 500mb to roam; although honestly any limit at all is annoying as hell, i don't have to even think about it on at&t.

Quick question: Since tmobile is refarming its network and moving their 3G and HSPA+ to the 1900mhz band (which used to house their GSM and 2G network), why the threat of slowing down speeds to 2G speeds when really there will be no more 2G speeds unless of course you live in an area where their network refarming hasn't been completed?

When T-Mobile throttles you, it doesn't force your phone to only connect to EDGE (2G). It keeps you connected to HSPA+, and limits the speeds on the tower side to what you'd expect on 2G normally. You even still get the fast (~100ms) ping times of HSPA+ while throttled.

Lol, forcing the phones to EDGE would basically be T-mobile shooting itself in the foot.
putting all of those heavy users on it's slower and less efficient edge network as well as any normal edge users that still exist being punished.

It doesn't work that way, you're still connected to the 4G Network, it's just that they throttle your SPEED to edge equivalent.
No carrier can afford to offer unlimited tethering, or hotspot. If that were the case, I'd get rid of my Home Internet, buy a Netgear MBR1515 Pop a Sim Card in it save myself a ton of money.

Does anyone know if corporate discounts still apply with these new plans? That would really sweeten the deal for those with access to them.

I actually asked about this yesterday and confirmed from a Tmobile rep that they still apply. What I found interesting during that call also was that my classic family plan of $99.98 has been reduced by $20 to reflect the new family plan pricing. Oh and I get to keep my preferred unlimited android data plan of 5GB high speed :)

Just repeating what I said before. The $40 for 4.5GB is decent deal, you get text message, roaming and tethering. I was pissed off when I got the $35 Monthly Pass (prepaid) just a day before they got rid of the contract scheme. The Monthly Pass version doesn't have text capability, no roaming, no tethering and lower cell towers priority so slightly slower speed.

T-Mobile need to seriously redo their Monthly Pass version because right now its a rip off compared to the regular Mobile Broadband version. It should be $30 for 5GB just like their prepaid phone sim. (Prepaid phone sim's data is blocked from working on tablets.)