T-Mobile’s unlimited data plan price is dropping, while Verizon’s starting to throttle LTE data on its network—without a price drop in sight.
We reported earlier this week that Apple may, in fact, bring T-Mobile JUMP, Verizon EDGE, and AT&T Next plans to local retail stores across the US. Well, you may have a new reason to head back to T-Mobile retail stores instead.
Just yesterday, T-Mobile CEO John Legere decided to make one more move that would put T-Mobile ever closer to be the country’s true UNCarrier (in every sense). The latest move for T-Mobile involves slicing AT&T’s Family Plan prices to an even more affordable one: whereas AT&T will give a family of four 10GB of shared data plus unlimited calling and texting for $160 a month, T-Mobile’s new plans will provide the same thing for $100 a month. That’s $60 less a month for families on T-Mobile’s plan, as compared to AT&T’s “Best Ever Pricing Plan.”
Keep in mind as well that after your family plan consumes 10GB of data, T-Mobile will throttle your data (but not stop it), while AT&T will tack on charges beyond the 10GB of shared data. A family of four members will have 2.5GB of 4G LTE individually to share (if you divide the shared data equally).
Legere took some time when writing his post to mock AT&T, a never-ending mission for T-Mobile’s most outspoken CEO yet: “It infuriates me that they’re selling this [AT&T Best Ever Pricing Plan] to hardworking families who could use that money for more important things. And they have the nerve to call it ‘Best Ever Pricing.’ I just couldn’t stand by without speaking up and calling them on their BS.” These are quite colorful words for the Magenta Pink CEO, but they’re typical Legere.
And yet, T-Mobile’s offer isn’t quite the “Best Ever Pricing” plan either, for it comes with a few conditions. First, the plan is only good from now through September. The bottom of Legere’s announcement contains some important fine print that says, “Offer ends 9/30/14. Pricing for 4 lines only 2.5GB data per line/month until 1/2/16, then 1GB data per line.”
In other words, not only is the deal for a limited time, but the 2.5GB of data per 4-user family will only last until January 2016 – it’ll drop back to 1GB of data per line. The 10GB plan will return to nothing above 4GB of shared data come January 2016. It may be enough to get some users to leave their carriers for T-Mobile, but the offer and benefits are temporary. The gravy train won’t last forever.
While T-Mobile and AT&T are vying for consumer sign-ups, Verizon’s on the other end calling a few shots of its own – in the wrong direction, according to some long-standing Verizon users. The nation’s largest carrier with America’s widest and most reliable coverage will throttle data speeds of unlimited data users starting on October 1st.
Now, there’re some things you should know before you get upset about your unlimited data plan being throttled. First, the data throttling applies to high users, those who, according to Verizon Wireless, use more than 4.7GB of LTE data a month (the top 5% of unlimited data plan users). Prior to this, unlimited 3G plans were being throttled, but 4G LTE plans will fall under Verizon’s throttling action come October. If you’re an unlimited data user who’s still using your plan despite Verizon’s promotion of its tiered data plans, you’ll receive a notification from Verizon on August 1st with details.
I think it’d be nice to live with T-Mobile’s promotion (even if the pricing is temporary) than to experience throttling on Verizon’s grandfathered unlimited data plan – but, at the end of the day, Legere and T-Mobile still have work to do. No matter how fast a car drives, or how gorgeous it is, it doesn’t benefit consumers if the vehicle’s not available in their area. There’re still a number of rural areas and customers that’ve not yet been given access to T-Mobile’s blazing fast 4G LTE network. If T-Mobile would bring more LTE access to rural users in rural areas, deals such as these would really pose a threat to AT&T and Verizon – and give more customers a real reason to celebrate.
Verizon’s $99 deals on the Galaxy S5, LG G3, and HTC One M8 make it even harder for Big Red customers to leave Verizon’s clutches. Even T-Mobile’s full out-of-pocket prices (or monthly pricing on a Simple Choice Plan, credit check required) provide another reason to stay with Big Red.