Unlimited data plans are back in vogue thanks to T-Mobile USA. The carrier has announced that it will launch an unlimited 4G data plan after Labor Day, which is a clear shot across the bows of some of its rivals.
Verizon had capped unlimited data for any customer purchasing a carrier-subsidized phone, and AT&T has been pummeled with criticism for throttling data speeds for its top consumers. T-Mobile will launch its unlimited data plan at $20 per month, bringing the monthly cost for a single line Value voice and text plan with unlimited data to $69.99 per month.
"We're big believers in customer-driven innovation, and our unlimited nationwide 4G data plan is the answer to customers who are frustrated by the cost, complexity and congested networks of our competitors,” said Kevin McLaughlin, vice president of marketing for T-Mobile.
“Our bold move to be the only wireless carrier to offer an unlimited nationwide 4G data plan reinforces our value leadership and capitalizes on the strength of our nationwide 4G network.”
Cell Network photo courtesy of Shutterstock.
All telecommunications carriers are examining ways to relieve congestion on their networks as customers increasingly use mobile devices to stream video and download photos and other media.
The latest data plans from AT&T and Verizon focus on data usage instead of on minutes and texting. The plans have increased prices for many customers, and the companies are milking data usage by encouraging customers to share devices. T-Mobile has been outspoken about shared data plans, saying that they are bad for consumers.
T-Mobile currently offers an HSPA+ network but will begin its LTE rollout next year. While the company doesn’t offer subsidized devices for iPhone users, iPhone purchasers can pay full price for their phones and then use them with T-Mobile for lower monthly rates.
Ericsson and Nokia Siemens Networks will be partners for T-Mobile as they roll out their 4G LTE networks. T-Mobile has also announced that it will be the first carriers to deploy integrated radios, which will reduce site loading and accelerate deployment.
“While we never like to see directional downward pricing moves in the industry, we believe T-Mobile felt the need to make some change in order to attract attention with the well-advertised and promoted share-data plans by both [Verizon Wireless and AT&T]”, Wells Fargo analyst Jennifer Fritzsche told The Wall Street Journal.
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Edited by Brooke Neuman