After being quiet for the most recent round of wireless plan revamps, T-Mobile has finally jumped into the fray, launching a new unlimited plan Monday for those looking to cut back on the bonus features in exchange for a cheaper rate.
Called “T-Mobile Essentials,” the new plan will be available starting August 10 and is just like the name implies: the basics. For $60 per month for one line, $90 for two or $120 for four, you get unlimited talk, text and 4G LTE data. You can have up to six lines on the new plan, with the fifth and sixth lines each costing an additional $15 per month.
(That price requires you to also sign up for the company’s automatic bill payments service or pay $5 more per line.)
Unlike T-Mobile’s One plans, the Essentials option has no frills or perks. There is no bundled Netflix and – with the exception of painfully slow2G data in Canada and Mexico – no free data when traveling abroad. Taxes and fees are also not included in that rate.
The plan still comes with the ability to turn your phone into a mobile WiFi hotspot, but that is limited to 3G speeds. Subscribers can still take advantage of the company’s T-Mobile Tuesday’s app and its weekly offers such as discounted movie rentals.
Those who want faster mobile hotspot data or HD video streaming will still need to subscribe to the company’s T-Mobile One Plus plan. For plans with multiple lines, that’ll add an extra $20 per month per line– or an additional $10 per month on top of the T-Mobile One plan.
While it may seem like the company’s latest offer isn’t much of a deal, T-Mobile is keeping its more powerful Netflix-included, One option around and is not changing its price.
Instead, the new plan is meant to compete with the cheaper unlimited offers from AT&T and Verizon, whose cheapest unlimited plans are each $40 per line for four lines and offers similar features such as non-HD video streaming. (AT&T does, however, include its new Watch TV service with 30 live TV channels).
The plan is a viable option for those who are looking to save money on their phone bill and don’t need or want Netflix and the international data. But does it make sense for a current T-Mobile subscriber? That’s harder to say since taxes and fees can vary, possibly cutting savings down to much less than $10 a month.
Follow Eli Blumenthal on Twitter @eliblumenthal
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