T-Mobile goes all in on unlimited data plans, but there's a catch

T-Mobile CEO announced its Un-carrier 12 event today, launching an all-new unlimited plan for the company's customers. He proudly proclaimed that the firm will be going all-in on unlimited.

Indeed, T-Mobile's ONE plan will come with the following benefits:

  • Simple Global: unlimited text and data roaming and low flat-rate calling in 140+ countries

  • Mobile Without Borders: use your service in Mexico and Canada like you’re at home

  • Carrier Freedom: we’ll help cover your cost of switching

  • Wi-Fi Unleashed: coverage beyond the reach of cellular

  • Stock Up: become a T-Mobile shareholder

  • T-Mobile Tuesdays: get thanked just for being a customer every week

When discussing pricing, this is where it starts to get a bit confusing. The plan will cost $70-per-month, but to add a second phone, it will be an additional $50-per-month. Your third through eighth phones will be an additional $20-per-phone-per-month, with anything beyond that coming in at $30-per-phone-per-month. All of those prices will cost an additional $5 if you're not subscribed to autopay.

T-Mobile claims that it will be the first company to offer an unlimited plan for tablets. This will be an additional $20-per-tablet-per-month. But that's not the confusing part.

As they say, the devil is in the details. Video "typically streams at DVD quality (480p)", which is the quality that is offered through the un-carrier's Binge On program. If you want to stream in HD, that will be an additional $25-per-device-per-month. It's worth noting that the HD add-on is a bit of a misnomer, as those that purchase it are not limited to HD (720p); T-Mobile promises resolutions of up to 4K (2160p).

Also, the new unlimited plan will limit tethering to 2G, which is 128kbps. We asked T-Mobile about this and the company issued the following statement:

T-Mobile ONE includes unlimited tethering at 128kbps (2g). The majority of customers don’t use high speed tethering every month, so rather than price it into T-Mobile One, we made it a standalone add-on.

Customers can purchase 5GB at $15 per month up to 15GB. With T-Mobile One, we took a fresh look at what customers value, and they’ve told us loud and clear they value unlimited high-speed data on that device.

The firm boasts that a family of four can sign up for T-Mobile ONE for $40-per-line. Still, if you want to be able to stream HD video and/or you need to use tethering (face it, 2G isn't going to do anything for you), it can get pretty expensive.

It's also worth noting that before you go and purchase the HD add-on, you might want to make sure that the video streaming services that you use will stream HD content to your device at all. Some services, such as Netflix, will stream to many Android devices at 480p (thanks Rosyna).

There is just a bit more fine print, which says that your traffic will be "prioritized" if you use more than 26GB of data.

As with T-Mobile Simple Choice, customers using the most data, the highest 3% (currently those using more than 26GB of high-speed data/month) may see their data traffic prioritized behind other users once they cross that threshold during their billing month. As a result, they may notice relatively slower speeds but only at specific times and places that may experience high, competing network demand or congestion.

The un-carrier also confirmed to Neowin that its Simple Choice plans will continue to be offered to new customers; however, T-Mobile ONE will be its main offering. If it's not obvious, the Simple Choice Unlimited plan will be retired.

The plan is to launch for postpaid customers on September 6 at stores and tmobile.com. Prepaid customers will be offered the plan at a later date.

Source: T-Mobile (1) (2)

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