T-Mobile really, really wants the Sprint merger to go ahead, and it’s promising an even more affordable plan if it’s allowed to combine the two networks. The New T-Mobile Connect prepaid plan, revealed today, would include 5G access but at half the price of the current cheapest plan the carrier offers in the US and Puerto Rico.
Right now, that plan comes in at $30. The new T-Mobile Connect plan, however, would be $15 per month instead. That would include unlimited talk and text, as well as 2GB of data.
There’d be a second version of the plan, at $25 per month, which would push that data allowance to 5GB. T-Mobile also says that it would increase the data allowance every year, at no extra cost. The so-called Annual Data Upgrade would add 500MB more monthly data to the allowance, each year, over a five year period until 2024.
As you might expect, there’s a little small print to deal with. Taxes and fees are on top of the $15 or $25 monthly fee, for example, and T-Mobile reserves the right to slow service or pause it altogether depending on overall network load. On-device usage will be prioritized over tethering, too, which could mean the latter happens at slower speeds.
Likely to be more pressing is the fact that, once you’ve burned through your 2GB or 5GB of data in a month, T-Mobile plans to cut it off altogether; there’s no “reduced speed” tapering as the carrier’s other plans offer to those customers who hit their allowance. Subscribers will be able to purchase an add-on pass for extra data that month, though it’s unclear at this stage how much that will cost.
Still, with cellphone service often an increasingly large chunk of peoples’ monthly bills, the idea of a more affordable plan for those willing to temper their data use is likely to be appealing. Don’t plan on going into your local T-Mobile store today to ask to sign up, however.
“T-Mobile can make these commitments if the proposed T-Mobile and Sprint merger closes,” the carrier points out. It has also previously promised to ensure “access to the same or better rate plans at the same or better prices for three years” if the deal gets approval. The FCC gave it the green light earlier this week, but the carriers still face lawsuits from a number of states, unconvinced that it’s necessarily in the best interests of subscribers.
That lingering skepticism has prompted a big push to demonstrate otherwise. Earlier today, T-Mobile announced that it would light up its 5G network on 600 MHz spectrum from early December, complete with two new phones that would not only take advantage of that but the Sprint 5G deployment in 2020. T-Mobile also announced new promotions for first responders, as well as subsidies for low-income users.