The battle for customers seeking unlimited data plans intensified this week with T-Mobile, MetroPCS and Sprint announcing they will offer them with few strings attached as larger rivals move away from the plans.
T-Mobile’s new Unlimited Nationwide 4G plan comes without data caps or the threat of throttling, or slowing connection speeds for users who gobble up data unmercifully. Starting Sept. 5, customers can get unlimited text, talk and data for $89.99 a month with a subsidized smartphone, or $69.99 without the subsidy.
Unlike new, and more expensive, “shared plans” from Verizon and AT&T, however, T-Mobile’s plan doesn’t come with a mobile hotspot option that allows you to share the phone data connection with other devices.
MetroPCS’ unlimited data plan offers a better price for talk, text and data on prepaid phones for $55 a month for a single line and $50 for additional lines (up to three). MetroPCS, however, is only in 14 cities, including Atlanta, while T-Mobile has lot larger reach as the nation’s fourth-largest carrier. MetroPCS also doesn’t come with the mobile hotspot option.
MetroPCS says its deal is for a limited time but even after the promotion the deal rates continue as long as you keep the service.
Sprint’s Simply Everything unlimited data plan also “boasts no throttling, metering or overages for data use — as long as you are on the Sprint network,” according to PC World. “ If you are roaming, the limit is 300MB, after which you will get throttled.”
A price comparison by the Wall Street Journal showed:
Unlimited voice, text and data will cost $89.99 for a single T-Mobile user with a subsidized phone. On Sprint, a similar plan will cost $109.99. Under the shared-data plans from AT&T and Verizon unlimited talk and text with 4 gigabytes of data will cost about $110 for a single user.
What’s the best service among the latest plans? According to a recent PC Magazine review of speed and coverage, “T-Mobile has the best balance of speed, a broad selection of smartphones, and nationwide coverage.”