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Cheaper Plans, Faster Data Coming to Simple Mobile

After Tracfone's parent company América Móvil purchased T-Mobile MVNO Simple Mobile in May, I speculated that América Móvil would probably not make any significant changes to Simple. It turns out I was wrong. There are changes coming, but they are good ones.

According to a leaked email from Simple Mobile to dealers that was posted on HowardForums, the T-Mobile MVNO is making several improvements to their prepaid Monthly Unlimited plans. The changes, which are effective this coming Wed, Aug 1, include:

  • "Faster" data On the $40 Unlimited Nationwide Talk, Worldwide Text & Web Plan - For years Simple has catching flack from its users for advertising their $40 plan as having unlimited "3G" data. Users have consistently reported that their data speeds on this plan are always 120 Kbps or less, which is nowhere near what anyone expects from 3G. Hopefully this change means the $40 plan will finally deliver at least 384 Kbps, which is the maximum  data rate achieved UTMS, by the oldest and slowest true 3G standard.
  • The price of Simple's $50 Unlimited Nationwide Talk, Worldwide Text & 4G High Speed Web plan is being cut from $60/month to $50. This plan has always delivered true un-throttled 3G and HSPA+ 4G speeds of up to 10 Mbps.
  • For BlackBerry users the $50 plan will now include both un-throttled 4G data speeds and BlackBerry Internet Services (BIS) BIS is needed for BlackBerry Messenger (BBM), BlackBerry Email, the BlackBerry Facebook app and BlackBerry App World to work. 

Both the $40 and $50 plans include unlimited domestic voice calls, unlimited domestic and international text messaging and free 411 directory assistance. The $50 plan also includes a $5/month international call credit. Unlimited calling to Canada, UK, Mexico, India, China, Dominican Republic and 46 other countries is available as a $10/month add-on for both the $40 and $50 plans.

Although data is advertised as unlimited, users have reported that their speeds on the $60 "4G" plan have been throttled when they exceed 2 GB of data use in a month. Users on both the $40 and $60 plans have reported that their data was shut off after 3 GB in a month.

Simple Mobile uses the T-Mobile native network (coverage map). Unlike T-Mobile Prepaid there is no off-network roaming.

Update:  the plan changes are now active and posted on the Simple Mobile website. A couple of Simple Mobile $40 plan users posted on HowardFormuns that they are getting 230 and 241 Kbps download speeds. That's twice as fast as it was before although still on the low side for 3G.

19 comments:

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  1. There is little or no compelling reason to go with Simple Mobile as your provider. T-Mobile's own prepaid service is far more compelling.

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    1. Wrong!! For some of us immigrants the included unlimited international text messaging is vital. T mobile charges $15 for that

      Delete
  2. T-mo's own prepaid plans are more expensive, however they are truely unlimited, I am not sure at what point Simple will cut you off if you use too many minutes and text.

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  3. This seems like a pretty good plan for blackberry users. If I'm not mistaken it's probably the best given the combination of price and network, or am I wrong? If I'm wrong, what is the best T-Mobile, AT&T or Verizon MVNO offering unlimited data with BIS? I can't think of a better less expensive option.

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    Replies
    1. Simple Mobile's $50 Plan is the least expensive GSM BIS plan in the US. That makes it an especially good deal for BlackBerry using International visitors. The only cheaper BlackBerry plan is Virgin Mobile's $35/month 300 minute, unlimited messaging data and BIS plan.

      Delete
    2. Update, T-Mobile is now offering a $10 BIS add-on for their $30/month unlimited data and messaging and 100 minutes plan making it the least expensive GSM BIS plan.

      The $30 T-Mobile plan is an online exclusive, only available when activating a new account online.

      Delete
  4. Interesting, it's the least expensive GSM BIS plan in the US. Are there any Good options with AT&T MVNO service providers? I'm a little concerned with Simple Mobile network footprint since I assume they probably lack voice and data roaming arrangements with other carriers. Any idea or suggestions? I like T-mobile pre-paid voice coverage, and they don't charge for roaming on it but data is another thing, How about the AT&T MVNOs?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. None of the AT&T MVNOs or AT&T itself offer prepaid BIS.

      There's no voice, text or data roaming on Simple.

      Delete
  5. "Simple Mobile's $50 Plan is the least expensive GSM BIS plan in the US."

    Actually, you can add BIS for $10 to a Tmobile $30/month plan. Total $40.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I just checked the T-Mobile site and you are correct, the BlackBerry add-on is now available with "...Monthly4G plans $30 and up that include unlimited data." It used to say $50 and up.

      I'll edit the post to reflect that.

      Delete
  6. BIS works with the $30/month plan that includes 5GB of data at full speed, unlimited text and 100 minutes of data.

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  7. 100 talk minutes (typo).

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  8. "The $30 T-Mobile plan is an online exclusive, only available when activating a new account online."

    The $30 Tmobile plan with 5GB full-speed data is also available for new SIMs (& Tmobile phones with their new SIMs I believe) purchased at Walmart.

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  9. Hi.. Im from the philippines and ill be visiting my sister there for couple of months.. Im wondrin if its safer and cheaper to buy bb phone here and just to have a prepaid connection there which would be the cheapest, or would i buy a bb phone there in the us? I realmy dont knw how its works.. Can you help me out? I ill buy bb phone here in the philippines, this will cost me $390 for the phone alone..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. An unlocked BlackBerry Bold 9780 is $265 at amazon.com. Curves and older models are less. If you buy one in store it will probably be $50 to $100 more.

      Unless you don't mind slow data be sure to get a phone that supports the AWS (1700) 3G band used by Simple Mobile and T-Mobile in the US.

      Delete
  10. "Update, T-Mobile is now offering a $10 BIS add-on for their $30/month unlimited data and messaging and 100 minutes plan making it the least expensive GSM BIS plan."

    If your family will use two BB for the next couple of years, the Tmobile Value plan contract gives you BIS, 1000 anytime min to share and 200mb data each line for %59.98, or $29.99 each (plus tax). $35/line to start service.
    - Add unlimited text to either line for $5/month.
    - Get 2mb/line for either line for $5/month.

    The Value plan costs $39.99 for one line with BIS, 200mb, 500 anytime min./month, plus tax. Free nights and weekend calling. Add unlimited texts or 2 mb/month for $5 each.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Is the Simple Mobile $40 plan before taxes and fees or is it a flat $40? Thank you.

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    Replies
    1. It's definitely a flat $40 with no taxes and fees if you use refill PINs from CallingMart, etc. I believe that if you pay on the Simple Mobile site they charge applicable state sales taxes and 911 fees.

      Delete
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