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Battle of the Carriers: T-Mobile's New Promotion Offers Three Unlimited Data Lines For $100 (theverge.com) 61

A battle is raging between telecommunications giants and the public is benefiting from it. In response to T-Mobile's "One" unlimited data plan announced in August, Verizon introduced unlimited data plans of their own a couple of weeks ago. This caused a ripple effect as Sprint and AT&T unveiled new unlimited data plans that same week, both of which have their own restrictions and pricing. The battle appears to show no signs of slowing as the carriers are continuing their efforts to win consumers over. Today, AT&T undercut Verizon and T-Mobile with newer unlimited data plans. The "Unlimited Choice" plan is the cheaper of the two new plans, featuring unlimited data at a maximum speed of 3 megabits per second, standard definition, and no mobile hotspot for $60 per month. While it's lower than T-Mobile's $70 plan and Verizon's $80 option, it may not be as generous as T-Mobile's latest promotion. The company just announced a new promotion after AT&T's announcement that offers three unlimited data lines for $100. The Verge reports: In its continuing efforts to attract more sign-ups, T-Mobile's latest promotion offers an additional line for free for accounts with two or more lines. The offer works whether you want to add an extra phone line or a line for wearables or tablets. The deal is available for current and new customers -- the amount of data available to the free line will match up with whatever your current plan is for the other lines. If your plan does not have the same amount of data between devices, the free line will get whatever's the lowest of the bunch. Just two weeks ago, the company updated its T-Mobile One plan to include unlimited data for $100 a month between two lines. CEO John Legere said the free line promotion also applies this new plan. If you are confused about the four carriers' recent announcements, you are not alone. We have included related links below to help you make sense of each carrier's plans.
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Battle of the Carriers: T-Mobile's New Promotion Offers Three Unlimited Data Lines For $100

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  • I don't want plans or contracts... but that seems to be what the war is over.

    • by dj245 ( 732906 )

      I don't want plans or contracts... but that seems to be what the war is over.

      When the big companies come down in price, the MVNOs come down too. I have 2 lines, one on Straight Talk for $45/mo with 5GB + unlimited edge, and the other on H2O wireless with 3GB/mo + unlimited edge for $30/mo. H2O wireless has been a 4 week experiment so far, but I have seen 0 difference in coverage between the two lines and will probably move the Straight Talk line over to H20. The H20 wireless plan was about $10 more expensive 12 months ago. Other prepaid MVNOs have come down in price too. All

    • This is not my site, I am making nothing off of it, but I consulted it back when I used a prepaid phone (though I admit I never actually switched off Virgin Mobile since at the time, it was the most convenient and _close_ to cheapest with its autopay system).

      http://www.cellguru.net/prepaid_compare.htm [cellguru.net]

    • by cdrudge ( 68377 )

      I don't want plans or contracts...

      So what exactly are you wanting? Even if you paid by the second and/or bit you'd still have a "plan" that stated what your rate was.

      Unless you finance a phone over X months there isn't a contract with T-Mobile. And if you do finance the phone, the agreement is only covering the payback for the phone. You are free to pay it off in full at any time early and the agreement ends. $50/month for unlimited talk, text, data (28GB at 4G speeds, throttled after that). $100 for two (o

      • by AvitarX ( 172628 )

        Two things:

        1) where are you seeing that single line option (I'm at $70 for one).
        2) it only throttles you during peak usage, which I think is pretty cool of them (in my one experience, they did indeed not constantly throttle me).

  • by Anonymous Coward

    ATT is not cheaper than T-Mobile. Taxes are about 28% of bill

  • by msauve ( 701917 ) on Monday February 27, 2017 @06:50PM (#53942397)
    "If you are confused about the four carriers' recent announcements, you are not alone. We have included related links below "

    Now we're even more confused, since those included "links below" are non-existent.
  • by BoRegardless ( 721219 ) on Monday February 27, 2017 @06:52PM (#53942411)

    I stood outside of Starbucks with a friend the other day with my iPhone on ATT and his on TMobile.

    He ran the "Speed Test" on his and I on mine. I am not kidding that TMobile had 10 times the speed.

    Why? I am not sure. What I can tell you is that I went over my data plan last month and ever since, my data speed is throttled. ATT offers no clue.

    I'm moving to TMobile!

  • by markdavis ( 642305 ) on Monday February 27, 2017 @06:57PM (#53942441)

    Isn't it wonderful when there are multiple choices and competition? Would be nice if the plans were for all qty, not just 3, though.

  • by rahvin112 ( 446269 ) on Monday February 27, 2017 @06:57PM (#53942451)

    This is only happening because the DOJ blocked ATT's purchase of T-mobile. If they'd been allowed to purchase T-Mobile then ATT wouldn't have had to compete against an upstart network that's gaining subscribers by stealing them from ATT. This is why regulation is so important because without it ATT would have used their deep pockets to finance purchasing a competitor to eliminate competition and increase prices in coordination with Verizon. Under the Trump administration that purchase would have likely been approved to the detriment of every consumer.

    • I want multiple cable options.

      • by MightyYar ( 622222 ) on Monday February 27, 2017 @07:14PM (#53942553)

        We only JUST got cable competition (FIOS vs Comcast) and it immediately resulted in price reductions and internet speed increases by Comcast. We should try this with other monopolies.

      • While not exactly the same, you do have _some_ competition.. cable & satellite services & U-Verse & for some, streaming systems or even 'just' OTA.

        (Personally, while sure, I would always want it cheaper, cable is the one thing that everyone _else_ complains about the price of, that I think I get more entertainment than I can watch for a decent price.. of course, I tivo everything and skip the ads.)

    • Came here to say exactly this. The AT&T takeover was blocked primary because the FCC thought it would reduce competition and harm consumers. And look, now T-Mobile has lead the way in creating competition in the marketplace which will benefit all consumers.

      This is a shining example of the success of regulated capitalism.
    • Under the Trump administration that purchase would have likely been approved

      Would it? I mean, do you have reasoning to support that? I genuinely can't tell what Trump is going to do.

  • ...am I the only one who will never, ever, give another cent to AT&T? Nevermind their willingness to be the government's bitch, their customer support and billing practices are a joke.

    After all the headaches they've caused me and my employer over the years, I took great joy in canceling every line we had with them a couple years back and vowed never to make that mistake again.

    • by tim620 ( 1052986 )
      I feel the exact same way about Sprint. Never ever again. I don't care how cheap Sprint is. However, I've had the opposite experience with AT&T. I've never had an issue with them. My experiences with AT&T are far superior to Sprint.
  • Day dreaming (Score:4, Insightful)

    by 140Mandak262Jamuna ( 970587 ) on Monday February 27, 2017 @07:34PM (#53942679) Journal
    Day dreaming one day cable companies will fight this hard to serve us...

    When politicians talk about private sector as the epitome of American perfection, remember private sector without competition and as a state sanctioned monopoly will function exactly like the cable companies.

  • I pay for the data, voice and text I use. All three lines are calculated together, the more I use the less I pay per megabyte/minute/message. I am usually around $50/mo for all three lines give or take a few bucks. Ting is only a re-seller of other carriers (Sprint and optionally T-Mobile), but there are other re-sellers that are similarly priced. I used to spend about the same on Virgin Mobile USA (Sprint). I'm sure if you could find MVNO's for the AT&T and Verizon that have a decent pay-as-you-go plan

  • Verizon just announced something like this where it was an introductory rate and they jack it up to $170 or so in year 2. I'm wondering if this is the same. If not I'm paying about $135 for 3 lines (technically 4 but the 4th line is unused) and 3gb/mo so I'd be game.
    • I don't know what's going on in this specific situation, but I'll say this.. A T-mobile rep told me that the $100 for 2 line deal will eventually go up to $120. I asked if my price would go up to $120 when this happens, and he said that my bill will be $100 for two unlimited lines forever as long as I don't change my plan. This made me suspicious that I would be entering a contract, and he told me that it's month to month and I can leave whenever I want. Of course, they've also told me a lot of things in
      • by AvitarX ( 172628 )

        In my experience that's true with Tmobile.

        They have never forced me to change plans, even when I was on one that hadn't been offered for a couple years and was less than the price of it when it canceled.

        They may try to get you to change with incentives, but I've not personally experienced a forced change (just an anecdote, but I was on a plan ripe for forced switch).

        They got me to change when I was traveling to Canada, as the new plan had free slow data roaming in Canada. I took the throttled video forever

  • by radarskiy ( 2874255 ) on Monday February 27, 2017 @08:04PM (#53942861)

    Why do I need three phone lines? I can only talk on one phone at a time.

    • by hawk ( 1151 )

      Well, *you* are clearly not a teenage girl . . . :)

      hawk

      • Teenage girls and boys don't TALK on phones any more. It is all Snapchat, Instagram, texting and Facetime.

        Source: me. I have had chance to hang around multitudes of teenagers and young college kids. Nobody is using voice. Everybody is on Snapchat. Nobody uses Facebook. It's purely something their parents use, which means it is not cool and not for them. Everybody is on Instagram too.

        Facebook will be the next MySpace in a few years: dead and forgotten. It's already dying from the bottom up with a lot

        • Oh come on. Slashdot has been predicting the oncoming death of Facebook since just about the beginning. Teens don't e-mail either, but Facebook and e-mail have values beyond trendiness, and as teens get older the fact that everybody (including their parents) has a Facebook account is surely going to be some kind of a draw.

          Not to mention, Facebook owns Instagram and presumably the future trendy sites as well. Teens are effectively using a sub-section of Facebook, one that integrates pretty seamlessly into

    • by Karlt1 ( 231423 )

      It's not just for phones. You can use the extra line for data only devices I believe like tablets. Even if you can't use them for tablets, it still may be worthwhile to get if you tether a lot. Tethering is still limited. In my case, it would give me an extra 14Gb a month. I would just pick up a cheap lte phone that tethers.

    • by b0bby ( 201198 )

      Three lines is perfect for me and my kids, I'm thinking of switching to this from Cricket. One thing I'm weighing is that we currently each get 3GB fast data, after which we're throttled, and i actually don't mind them getting throttled since they watch less Netflix that way.

  • The real question here, which shouldn't even need to be asked but does...

    Which of these plans is the least-limited version of "unlimited"? I've already discovered that Verizon won't offer their plan for 4G access points (even though I can buy a five year old sacrificial phone and tether to it 24/7). AT&T apparently doesn't allow tethering at all (which I thought the FCC had previously spanked them for, but, no surprise they went for a "Hail Mary" pass after this past January).

    So, which of these pl
    • Can't speak for the others, but I believe T-Mobile gives you full speed up to the mid 20 GB range. At that point you're not slowed down, but "deprioritized". I had this happen once on the 5 GB plan and it meant I was slowed down to the point where streaming audio did not work. This was in a fairly low population area that still had pretty good signal.
  • From the release:

    Free Line: Qual’g credit req’d. Customers cancelling a line after 1/1/17 not eligible. May take up to 2 bill cycles. 1/acct; must keep existing lines. Taxes/fees may be applied to pre- bill credit price on some legacy plans.

    1. Qual'g credit req'd. Nice way to hide that one T-Mobile. So qualifying credit required - so is someone with less-than-stellar credit not able to get a free line?

    2. Customers cancelling a line after 1/1/17 not eligible. In other words, if you already have all the lines you need, don't think you can just cancel one and then get it back for free. And if you cancel any line, you are no longer eligible to get a free line and will lose any "free" line you currently have.

    3. May take up to 2

    • I don't get why the hell they had to abbreviate qualifying. They had PLENTY of room for the whole actual word. Yet they chose to go to some effort to reduce it down to Qual'g which is not actually a version I'd ever seen before and had to stop for a second and think about what the hell they were trying to say. Qualcomm? Qualifying? Oh.

      But they had all that room left! WHY T-Mobile!? WHY!

      Guess I will stick with my Simply Prepaid service. Never had to qualify for it and it costs less per month anyway.

  • Just a reminder that if there are isn't a speed cap on them, these plans typically start throttling you after you use 20 something gigabytes of high speed data in a billing period. Therefore, these so-called "unlimited" plans are actually "20 something gigabytes of high speed data per month" plans.
    • They only reduce the speed if the cell you are in is saturated. If it's not, you get full speed. A lot of places do have underutilized cells so it may never throttle for some users.

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