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Is Your Tablet Eligible For 200 MB of Free T-Mobile Data Every Month?

When T-Mobile CEO John Legere announced the operator's ground breaking Free Data For Life (FDFL) initiative to give tablet users unlimited free Internet for life he made it sound like the offer was good for any tablet that can connect to T-Mobile's data network. It turns out that's not exactly true. T-Mobile has published a Webpage listing all the tablets eligible for the promotion. The list includes well known devices like every iPad and many Samsung Galaxy Tab variants as well as every tablet T-Mobile has sold including really some old ones like the Dell Streak 7.

But more shocking is the statement by T-Mobile the "The ASUS Nexus 7 (LTE) is excluded if it was purchased before October 31, 2013."  This is especially surprising given that the new Nexus 7 was one of the tablets mentioned by Legere in his announcement. Phonenews.com is speculating that the reason pre-Nov. 1 Nexus 7's aren't supported is that they are eligible for a separate 2GB of free data for one month offer from T-Mobile. Whatever the reason, there are going to be a lot of Nexus 7 LTE users unhappy with T-Mobile.

T-Mobile also clarified the process users need to go through to enable free data on eligible tablets. Which is to go to mim.t-mobile.com using their tablet's browser and sign up.

Update 4/28/15: T-Mobile has removed the list of eligible tablets from their site. You can view a copy from 4/5/15 on the Internet Archive. T-Mobile is now saying that any tablet that works on the T-Mobile network is eligible for free data for life. However users of many non-T-Mobile tablets are receiving a message that their device is not eligible when they try to sign up for FDFL. If this happens to you see this thread on T-Mobile's users forums for help in getting your device activated: Official Free Data for Life discussion: Can you add my device? | T-Mobile Support.

Source: T-Mobile via Phonenews

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44 comments:

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  1. yeswap this has nothing to do with this article. but i am one of the ex boost iden customers that switch to boost cdma and they made me go from the 10cents grandfathered plan to the 20 cents new cdma plan. i asked you about it a few months ago and you said you were able to talk to a certain department and they gave you the 10cents back. well I barely use the phone and I rather my 10cents back I was wondering do you have the higher up 800 number so I can by pass the incompetent front line customer service reps who will probably tell me I can't get my old plan back like they did before. I really want to use my minutes up and switch over to airvoice so I can use some prepaid for data. so if you could please give me the best number to make this happen and tell me what you told them to make them give you it back? thanks!

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    1. The number I used was 877-438-8643 at the time I called it bypassed the IVR system and went straight to a representive. I don't know if it still does.

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  2. For this to work, you turn off WiFi on the iPad, launch Safari and it will redirect you to the Tmobile site where you create an account for the free 200/mb/month. Phone number, email address and 4 digit PIN.

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  3. I must be obtuse but I am still not clear how to sign up. When I go to the mim.t-mobile.com website it tells me " Not Yet Activated? Please disable the WiFi on your device and access your account to activate Mobile Internet on this device"
    How am I supposed to access there webpage except via wifi? I don't currently have a TMO account. Won't I need a SIM card from TMO? Can I go to a TMO store and have them activate this "free" plan on a SIM or call customer service and have them send me a SIM activated on this plan? Thanks

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    1. SIMs are normally $10 at T-Mobile stores and online but are currently on sale for 99¢ online only in regular, micro and nano sizes. Once the SIM is in a supported tablet you will be able to connect to the activation site without WiFi

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  4. Fromprior announcements it sounded like you could switch your SIM around to other devices after you activated your account. Now it sounds like you can only access this data from the original device. Is that true?

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    1. That's what the T-Mobile site says. Maybe you could activate multiple tablets each with their own SIM.

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  5. I don't want to sound rude. But I can easily go through 200MB of data within minutes. How does this sound like an offer?

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    1. While it doesn't work for you, 200MB is plenty for many people who are around WiFi most of the time and want to be able to check Email, Facebook and News headlines while they are away from WiFi.

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    2. I can make it 200MB last a long time too, if I don't listen to TuneIn, or directly download podcasts over 3G.

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    3. Unlike Freedompop or some other equivalent snake oil salesman, I trust T-mobile when T-mobile says free 200 MB of data for life.

      The free amount is in fact enough to sway me to consider buying the LTE version of the iPad Air with T-mobile. If you look at what ATT charges for 250 MB, and by saving on that amount each month, the LTE version looks attractive.

      Btw, 200 MB a month adds up over time.

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  6. It all sounds pretty nice. but it's academic until T-Mobile removes the "un-" from its "carrier "status, and steps up to cover the nation instead of a tiny fraction of it.

    The best free data plan in the world is of no use at all if you have to drive a long distance to even find any place covered under it.

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    1. You exaggerate, T-Mobile's network covers 96% of Americans.

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    2. I don't think the data network is available to 96% of Americans. Does a tablet roam with pay in advance?

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    3. No, there's no data roaming. The 96% figure is according to T-Mobile so they might be stretching it a little. T-Mobile coverage doesn't work for everyone but it does meet a lot of people's needs.

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    4. It needs to cover a larger proportion of America, comparable to Verizon and AT&T. 96% of Americans" is misleading, and does come across like TMO ad copy. These "Americans" had better sit still when using their TMO phones, as so many populated urban areas are not covered by TMO. Don't drive anywhere.... call them just "T", because it doesn't work very well if your are "Mobile".

      The real value of cell phone coverage is looked only when you consider both population coverage and geographic coverage.

      This map shows urban centers all over the country. There's a huge proportion of these served by AT&T, VRZ, and even Sprint, without the small regional carrier known as T-Mobile having any presence at all over vast stretches of the country.... totally ignoring many urban centers.

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    5. Everyone needs to use what works for them. I have both Boost and T-Mobile prepaid. In the past year I was in four places where T-Mobile phone had service and my Boost phone didn't: Pt Reyes Station, CA, Mendocino, CA, Booneville, CA and Elko, NV

      There was nowhere that my Boost phone worked and my T-Mobile one didn't.

      No operator has coverage everywhere. Verizon and AT&T cover more of the country than Sprint and T-Mobile but all four cover most of the areas where people live and work. Use whatever works for you.

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    6. With prepaid it is so inexpensive and easy to carry a backup phone (or hotspot) that there is no good excuse for not picking the plan that is best for you. Tmobile, MetroPCS, Walmart Family Mobile, Solevei, Brightspot all offer free roaming, good customer service and excellent value.

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    7. Dennis: I do wonder if it is possible to get regular T-Mobile in their roaming areas (covered by "service partners" on their maps). Or even advisable/feasible.

      Would these even work at all? Does TMO block this by looking at your home address and saying "We don't cover in your area?"

      Is that something one can work-around by getting the T Mobile account with a friend who is in TMO territory? Figured you might have heard of someone trying this.

      This might be complicated when the discussion expands to TMO-based MVNOs. The Walmarts around me refuse to offer the "Family Plan", which implies to me that that particular MVNO does not include TMO roaming at all.

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    8. You can "get regular Tmobile in their roaming areas," but you have to activate a new phone number that is in their Tmobile network coverage area. Activate the sim online and pick a zip code or area code+prefix where they have coverage. Your local Walmarts are not in a Tmobile network area, apparently. Try to order the WFM activation kit online, and then activate the number with a zip code or area code+prefix that has Tmobile native coverage. The last time I did this with Tmobile prepaid, the sim began working initially in a partner area.
      If Walmart will not sell you the activation kit online for shipping to your home, pick a friend or relative's address for delivery if you can use your billing address for the credit card. If this does not work, you will have to travel to another Walmart.
      Read the WFM terms of service to see how much partner roaming they allow with this plan. I have had no problem for 7 years constant roaming in an area that has no Tmobile native coverage, but I am using the regular Tmobile prepaid, so they get enough money at 10c/minute to pay AT&T and still make a profit.

      Note: I have not tried to do initial activation with a number port-in, so I do not know what you can/can not enter or can/can not give them for your home address when you port in. They may insist on getting your home address for your old account, even if you have not specified the address in your current prepaid account. If you give an old address in a non-Tmobile native area, you may have trouble with the port-in. Also, you want to have your correct 9-1-1 home address listed in your online account for emergencies, and I do not know what happens when you try to add that with a phone number from another city.

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    9. I forgot to mention that WFM does include roaming, but as I mention above, see the terms of service to learn any limitation on its use with their unlimited service plan.

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    10. I assume the OP is talking about the 200MB free data on tablets plan as that's the topic of this post and he didn't say anything about voice.

      The 200MB free plan is data only and there's no data roaming so it would be useless in a roaming area.

      Delete
  7. So, can you activate the Nexus 7 from the Play Store if you bought it after Halloween? I'm thinking of buying it from there but wasn't sure if it is eligible or if I can do a workaround of some sorts. T-Mobile charges an extra $15-20 if you buy it from them.

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    1. Nexus 7s purchased from the Play Store after Oct 31 are eligible for the 200 MB free data offer.

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    2. @Dennis

      You can get the free 200MB data plan on T-Mobile Prepaid, right? Also, do you need to buy a Broadband SIM when bringing your own tablet?

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    3. Prepaid users with supported tablets do get 200MB/month free.
      You do need a SIM of course but I'm not sure if you need to buy a prepaid mobile broadband SIM or not. If your tablet came with a T-Mobile SIM or you have an unactivated T-Mobile SIM it might work.

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  8. If you have a new phone sim, call Tmobile customer service and they can set you up.
    I had an AT&T iPad, and they had to set me up anyway.

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  9. I am considering buying Ipad Air just for the Google Hangout voice calling feature. I'm around wifi most of the time and barely make phone calls so the 200 mb would probably be enough for emergency. If this works out, then i don't even need to pay for a phone. however $650 upfront is a bit steep. I wonder when the calling feature would come to android Hangout because all android VOIP apps are crap

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    1. I'm sure voice calling is coming to Android Hangouts soon. In the meantime Talkatone works well for me.

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    2. if my calculation is correct, then 1 hour of voip call would use about 10mb of data, the 200mb would give me 1200 mins of voip calling and text messaging, More if i'm on wifi. If calling ever comes to hangout on android, I think i'll pick up a nexus 7. But what concerns me is the fact google seems to be banning 3rd party access to google voice very soon.

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  10. Last I read the ATT iPad mini did not work on t-mobile, is this still the case? I'm fine with 3G data (as long as it's free!)

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    1. The original AT&T iPad Mini supports T-Mobile's LTE band 4 and the 1900Mhz band that T-Mobile uses for 3G in re-farmed markets and for 2G everywhere. It lacks the 1700Mhz band that T-Mobile uses for 3G in markets that haven't been refarmed.

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    2. Ya I read that people could get signal, everything looked like it was working, but they couldn't actually get any data down. i.e. the issue was something other than raw compatibility...

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    3. That would happen if they didn't setup their data APN.

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    4. I guess it's moot anywa, they're sold out of the mobile data sims :@

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    5. I used a phone sim for my iPad. Just call customer service and they make a workaround in their database and you are all set.

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  11. would nexus 7 purchased from the playstore receive the free 200mb if purchased after 10/31/13 and activated on tmobile?

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  12. Tmobile is still on a roll, adding >1M new subscribers in Q3 and beating all other carriers. 643K new phone subscribers, vs. 481K for Vzw. All the other stats are here:
    http://www.fiercewireless.com/story/t-mobile-adds-1m-subs-q3-uncarrier-strategy-keeps-rolling/2013-11-05?utm_medium=nl&utm_source=internal

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  13. The link to the Internet Archive of 4/15 is no longer active. The Community Discussion, is very active. So you'll want to rewrite your 4/15 update.

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    1. The Internet Archive link still works for me. Try clearing your browser cache or using a different browser.

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  14. The archive is there at:
    https://web.archive.org/web/20150405191541/https://support.t-mobile.com/docs/DOC-9700

    However, web.archive.org does not leave the page open long enough to read the table. This is true for Microsoft Edge and Firefox browsers - has nothing to do with cache

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    1. I'm seeing that too. it seems like an Internet Archive bug. If you hit the browser stop button as soon as the page loads that will prevent it from disapearing.

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    2. Yes, that works. Thanks, Dennis, and thanks for all the info on this site.

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