T-Mobile’s Monthly4G “unlimited” data now TRULY unlimited!

no-quotes-unlimited

I’ll admit it: As a blogger, I’m tired of putting quotes around “unlimited” in many of my articles, combining it with an asterisk and a footnote, or a set of exclusions in parentheses. “Unlimited” is not the same as unlimited. “Unlimited” means unlimited, but only for a certain amount, after which it’s limited, so it isn’t really unlimited. It’s confusing. There was a time when unlimited really meant unlimited, and T-Mobile is looking to bring that back with their latest change to their Monthly4G plans.

With most MVNOs using T-Mobile’s network, this comes up a lot. I don’t know how many times I’ve used the phrase “data limited to {X} GB/month of high-speed 4G data, after which 2G throttling occurs)”. It’s annoying.

Coming on January 9, 2013, however, those of you who really, really, really want unlimited data (notice the lack of quotes) can have it! Previously only available on their postpaid offerings, T-Mobile’s Unlimited Nationwide Monthly4G Data offering is removing its 5 GB soft cap (after which 2G throttling occurs…) with no increase in cost. That’s right; for $70 a month, you can have truly unlimited talk, text and data with no contract.

While it’s been touted by proponents of tiered data caps that most people don’t actually consume even 2 GB of data per month, with this new offering, I can now recommend T-Mobile’s Monthly4G as a prepaid provider with confidence for those with high data needs. Previously, with their 5 GB soft cap at $70 per month, I couldn’t in good conscience recommend them over Solavei, who offers the same 5 GB soft cap at a much lower $49 per month.

  • For $50 per month, you get 100 MB of data at 4G speed (“good for email, occasional web surfing and social networking posts”)
  • For $60 per month, you get 2 GB of data at 4G speed (“great for downloading aps/music/games, email, and GPS navigation”)
  • For $70 per month, you get unlimited data at 4G speed (“perfect for video chat, streaming music/movies/TV and playing online games”)

T-Mobile’s Monthly4G plans all include unlimited talk and text. Correction: All of the above outlined plans include unlimited talk and text. T-Mobile Monthly4G also includes two $30 options which don’t include unlimited talk and text, as follows:

  • For $30 per month, you get 1500 minutes or messages (i.e., 1 message “costs” 1 minute) and 30 MB of data
  • For $30 per month, you may also get 100 minutes and 5 GB of data at 4G speed — available only through Walmart.

Thanks for the correction Jaime!

Way to go, T-Mo.

via TmoNews.

I’m just one guy on the internet who’s come about this knowledge of prepaid phone plans from various sources and become empassioned enough about it that I feel like it should be shared with everyone in one easy to find place. It is my goal to provide you with the information and the tools you need to make an informed decision in the easiest way possible. IF you find my information helpful and you make the switch to a prepaid phone plan, I do have referral links which throw a monetary kickback in my direction if you sign up, and I’d appreciate if you use them – but if you don’t, that’s fine too. My goal is education, not monetization. There are no lies, no marketing spin, no abstractions of the truth, and no fine print to be found here.

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About Aaron Burke

I’m just one guy on the internet who’s come about this knowledge of prepaid phone plans from various sources and become empassioned enough about it that I feel like it should be shared with everyone in one easy to find place. It is my goal to provide you with the information and the tools you need to make an informed decision in the easiest way possible. IF you find my information helpful and you make the switch to a prepaid phone plan, I do have referral links which throw a monetary kickback in my direction if you sign up, and I’d appreciate if you use them – but if you don’t, that’s fine too. My goal is education, not monetization. There are no lies, no marketing spin, no abstractions of the truth, and no fine print to be found here.
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3 Responses to T-Mobile’s Monthly4G “unlimited” data now TRULY unlimited!

  1. Jaime says:

    Not all of TMo’s Monthly4G plans have unlimited voice & text. Their famed $30/mo plan is unlimited web & text but only 100 minutes and it’s considered a Monthly4G plan:
    http://prepaid-phones.t-mobile.com/monthly-4g-plans

    Coincidentally, I was wondering if you knew the difference between TMo’s Monthly4G plans and SIM-only plans (http://explore.t-mobile.com/phone-sim-card)?

    Thanks in advance!

    • Aaron Burke says:

      That’s a very good point; I’ll edit the post to reflect that. I’d actually forgotten about their $30 plans when writing this post. Of course, I have to add that your usage of unlimited in the $30/mo is technically “unlimited” (5 GB soft cap). :)

      Re: Monthly4G vs. SIM-only: The SIM only plan is a requires a 2-year contract — i.e., it’s postpaid, not prepaid.

      In this limited comparison (the $70/mo Monthly4G vs. single line “bring your own phone” SIM-only), the only differences between the two (other than the single penny) are:

      1) The SIM only plan grants you access to all roaming agreements whereas the Monthly4G does not (generally speaking, Monthly4G is talk/text roaming only, no data, and not all roaming areas will be available). So if you rely heavily on roaming, you’d be better off with the postpaid option — though really, if you’re roaming-heavy, you’re probably better off with a different backing carrier (e.g., AT&T via Straight Talk). T-Mobile’s prepaid coverage map can be found here: http://prepaid-phones.t-mobile.com/prepaid-coverage

      2) Since the SIM only plan involves a contract, Early Termination Fees will apply if you decide to switch service. Since T-Mobile isn’t subsidizing a device for you in this case (which is usually what the ETFs are meant to recover), it’s a completely bogus ETF, but the contract is the exact same as if you’d actually received a subsidized device, so it’s a case of general contract provisions applying across the board regardless of device choice.

  2. Jaime Denizard says:

    Wow very insightful information, thanks a lot Aaron. :-)

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