T-Mobile announces contract-free data passes

If you've got a 3G device that only seldomly needs an actual mobile connection, like a tablet or hotspot, you're no doubt frustrated that they're normally sold with expensive contract plans. T-Mobile hopes to alleviate that with a handful of new off-contract plans. Of course, you'll need to buy their hardware outright, but for quite a bit of customers this might make a lot more sense. Naturally you'll get access to T-Mobile's "4G" HSPA+ network.

There are four tiers of plans, with different times and limits on each one. At the lowest end you can but a 1-week pass good for 300MB of data, for a mere $15. Jumping up to $25 gets you 1.5 GB over a month, followed by 3.5GB for $35 and 5GB for $50. Considering the price of other hotspots and USB broadband adapters on-contract, it's pretty reasonable. There's no mention of overage charges, so presumably once you go over your limit you're cut off.

The plans are about twice as generous, on average, as T-Mobile's current offerings, and go into effect on May 20th. Unfortunately you'll be limited to tablets, hotspots and USB adapters, so those who want a smartphone with just data (and they're out there) need not apply. If you want the 3.5GB or 5GB plans, you'll have to make tracks to your local Wal-Mart – they get an exclusive on the higher plans for sixty days.

[via Android Community]