T-Mobile is setting data free with its new unlimited plan


Forever focused on stealing the spotlight away from Verizon, Sprint and AT&T, T-Mobile announced that it will no longer offer different levels of data plans.

Instead of offering small, medium and large-sized data plans to choose from, the latest Uncarrier move now sees T-Mobile removing those options, and one-upping the rest with its new unlimited plan called T-Mobile One.

This plan offers the benefits that you may remember from years back when carriers used to dole out unlimited data, talk and text. While times have changed—even those who were "grandfathered" on a legacy unlimited plan have now been kicked out—T-Mobile is bringing it back for all of its customers.

If you have a family of four, the plan will cost an average of US$40 per line, with the first device being $70, the second being $50, and the rest (up to eight additional lines) being $20. If you don't have autopay set up, each line will cost an additional $5.

Each member of a family can enjoy unlimited talk, text and data with T-Mobile's new plan, which aims primarily at taking the guessing out of data usage. T-Mobile CEO John Legere stated that up to 82% of its customers have no idea how much data consumption that one movie sucks up. While going over the data limit used to result in a slow down in data speed, that's no longer the case because T-Mobile One doesn't impose a limit.

There's no such thing as free (HD) lunch

However, there is a rather large caveat. T-Mobile One provides unlimited data, but caps video resolution at 480p by default. Opting for unlimited HD streaming through the plan tacks on an extra $25 per line. That raises the average per plan to $65, which is still reasonable for what you're getting.

T-Mobile CEO John Legere stated that Verizon's largest plan for a family of four, which still presents a data limit, would cost over $500 per month. And as for why carriers such as Verizon, Sprint and AT&T no longer offer unlimited plans? They can't, according to Legere.

"Their networks are old. They built them with last generation technology for how people used phones back then—just for phone calls. Once smartphones took off and data usage exploded, the carriers choked hard. The first iPhone brought AT&T's network to its knees, and the carrier's congested networks have struggled to keep up ever since."

The new unlimited plan at T-Mobile will be available starting September 6 for all contract customers, while prepaid customers will have access to T-Mobile One at a later date.

Cameron Faulkner

Cameron is a writer at The Verge, focused on reviews, deals coverage, and news. He wrote for magazines and websites such as The Verge, TechRadar, Practical Photoshop, Polygon, Eater and Al Bawaba.