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T-Mobile Launches Simply Prepaid Plans, Discontinues Daily Plans

Yesterday T-Mobile launched their previously announced Simply Prepaid monthly plans. These new plans are $10 less expensive for the same amount of high speed data compared with T-Mobile's older Simple Choice plans, which are still available.

While the Simply Prepaid plans cost less than the equivalent Simple Choice plans they are missing several of their features and benefits:

  • High speed data on Simply Prepaid plans is limited to 8 Mbps. LTE speeds on Simple Choice plans average about 16 Mbps and can hit 60 Mbps in good conditions.
  • Simple Choice plans allow tethering and using your phone as a WiFi hotspot, Simply Prepaid plans do not.
  • Unlimited free international texting is included with Simple Choice, international texts on Simply Prepaid are 10¢ each.
  • Simple Choice plans include Music Freedom which doesn't count the data used by most streaming music services against the high speed data allowance. Simply Prepaid plans don't include Music Freedom.

The Simply Prepaid plans do make sense for many users. Unless they make a habit of downloading large files, I doubt that users will notice the difference between 8 Mbps and 16 or even 60 Mbps. 8 Mbps is more than fast enough for smooth audio and video streaming and web browsing. But anyone who tethers, uses hotspot or does a lot of international texting does need one of the Simple Choice plans.

Unfortunately T-Mobile has made the Simple Choice plans are hard to find for users who need them. They are missing from the main T-Mobile Prepaid Plans page. The only mention of Simple Choice Prepaid on the T-Mobile site is the table in the screenshot (above) which appears when you click a tiny "Compare our monthly plans" link on the main Prepaid plans page. The Simple Choice plans are listed in the plan change dialog on the my.t-mobile.com online account management portal and when presumably also when you activate a new line of service online.

T-Mobile also discontinued several plans yesterday. Gone are the $2 and $3 Daily Unlimited plans and the $40 and $45 Simple Starter plans.  Customers who were on one of the discontinued plans before 1/25/15 are grandfathered and can remain on the plan as long as they do not switch to another plan or allow their service to be terminated for non payment. I don't see the end of the Simple Starter plans  as a great loss, but the daily plans will be missed, especially by international visitors who found them cost effective for short stays.

Given how thoroughly T-Mobile has hidden the Simple Choice plans I worry that T-Mobile plans to discontinue them eventually.

Here's a table listing all of T-Mobile's currently av available prepaid plans:
PriceTalk MinutesTextsIncluded Data
$3/mo "Pay As You Go"  30 minutes or texts30 minutes or texts $5 500 MB/1 day, $10 1 GB/7 days
$30/mo 1 100  (overage 10¢/min)unlimited Unlimited (throttled after 5 GB/month)
$35/mo  Simple Starter unlimited unlimited Data not available
$40/mo Simply Prepaid unlimited unlimited Unlimited throttled to 8 Mbps for first 1 GB/month, then throttled to 128 Kbps
$50/mo Simply Prepaid unlimited unlimited Unlimited throttled to 8 Mbps for first 3 GB/month, then throttled to 128 Kbps
$50/mo Simple Choice 2 unlimited  unlimited Unlimited (throttled to 128 Kbps  after 1 GB/month)
$60/mo Simply Prepaid unlimited unlimited Unlimited throttled to 8 Mbps for first 5 GB/month, then throttled to 128 Kbps
$60/mo Simple Choice 2 unlimited unlimited Unlimited (throttled to 128 Kbps  after 3 GB/month)
$70/mo Simple Choice 2 unlimited unlimited Unlimited, (throttled to 128 Kbps  after 5 GB/month) 
$80/mo Simple Choice 2 unlimited unlimited Unlimited, Un-throttled 
1 this plan is available only when activating a new phone purchased at Walmart or when activating a new SIM at prepaid-phones.t-mobile.com/prepaid-activate. If you switch to another plan you can't switch back to the $30/month unlimited data plan except by activating a new SIM and account.
2 For BlackBerry users, BIS is included at no cost on $50 and higher plans.

For more about T-Mobile Prepaid, including details of all plans, see Prepaid Operator Profile: T-Mobile.

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64 comments:

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  1. Simple Starter plans were pointless anyway. Was shocked they kept the secret classified $30 plan or at least didn't tweak it a bit. Obviously its not. However I don't see the Simple Choice Prepaid/Pay In Advance plans on the prepaid site, unless its hidden. Just the Simply Prepaid plans, $35 and $30 plan.

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  2. "simple choice" is available only when I log into my account and hit the "Switch plan" link, there is gives me more options , including the "old" $80 ulimited plan.

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  3. Simple Choice doesn't appear for me, but it does when I log into my account, if a new customer were browsing prepaid they would see the "Simply prepaid" $40, 50 and 60 plans, in addition to the $30 5gb 100min, paygo and $35 unlt t&t. the only place I see all the plans that Dennis has in above chart are when I am logged into my account and use the "switch plans" link, for instance I don't see how a new customer would sign up for the $80 unlimited plan, unless I am missing a link!

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  4. The "presumably when you activate" is the key phrase because I see no other way for a new customer to activate any "Simple choice" plan , for example the $80 umlimited, if T-Mobile is making the old plans that obscure than obviously they won't keep them around long, I can't think of any other explanation for hiding them so well. Zach.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Call customer service to activate the older T-Mo Simple Choice plans, if you don't mind talking to a polite stranger.

      Delete
    2. i just switched over from boost mobile to tmobile and when i signed up online for my plan the system allowed me to sign up for the 80 dollar unlimited plan

      Delete
  5. I wonder if the elimination of the daily plans will make the grandfathered ones worth more? did anybody really use them?

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    Replies
    1. Probably the daily plan accounts will not be worth more than the cash balance unless you have a small balance. Hard to sell at $35 or more, and you will have to discount to move them in less than a couple of months, based on my experience with the older $1/day accounts. The bigger the balance, the larger the discount. You can just transfer the full balance to any other T-Mobile prepaid account instead. Call CS.

      Delete
  6. Starting now, make 12 on-time payments on any Tmo prepaid for postpaid montly plan and you qualify for no money down, no credit check, interest-free financing on Tmo smartphones. It's called
    "Smartphone Equality," and is covered in Legere's first V-Blog post here:
    https://amp.twimg.com/v/a1a949a4-f369-4fbe-895e-47ded1edeb1e

    ReplyDelete
  7. The New, Updated Tmo coverage map is now live. It shows 1900 Mhz and 700 Mhz coverage as well. Dennis could consider updating this site's coverage map(s) now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Does it show their promised expansion of coverage? Any progress? Improving hardware on the existing towers doesn't help much.

      Delete
  8. Do this new plans include International roaming (if you have additional money in your account)?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No. You need a Simple Choice plan to get Unlimited international texting and data roaming at no extra cost.

      Delete
    2. You need a postpaid Simple Choice plan to get free international data roaming.

      Paid international voice and text roaming is available on all prepaid plans. Rates are high:
      Canada voice: 59¢/minute. texts: 10¢ each to send or receive.
      Mexico voice: 1.79¢/minute, texts: 50¢ each to send, 10¢ each to receive.
      Roaming is available in a number of other countries at rates ranging from $1.49 to $5.99 per minute (rate sheet). Texts are 50¢ each to send, 10¢ each to receive.
      International data roaming is not available.

      Delete
  9. The daily plans were perfect for my usage . Very disappointed,

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can probably still switch to the daily plans if you have been a customer for a while. Call customer support. You just won't be able to switch back and forth as before.

      Delete
  10. I get the feeling T-Mobile is trying to encourage prepaid customers to switch to postpaid plans. A move that makes T-Mobile prepaid less competitive with other prepaid operators like Cricket. I think T-Mobile is transitioning from drawing in new customers to trying to recover lost revenue. There aren't to many reasons to choose T-Mobile prepaid anymore. AT&T with their Cricket brand running on a better network has taken the prepaid crown from T-Mobile.

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    1. I agree with everything you said, I think they're positioning metro as the prepaid and trying to move T-Mobile upmarket.

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    2. I don't see how that can win at all. Upmarket? With the much smaller network. T-Mobile needs to charge less, show itself as a "bargain" to make a showing against the big boys.

      Delete
    3. It’s a little early t “crown” a wireless carrier this year. AT&T lost 140K prepaid subscribers in the 3rd quarter, even as it gained 87K MVNO subscribers. Let’s see if their 4th quarter is any better.

      T-Mobile, on the other hand gained 411K branded prepaid customers in Q3. They also added 333K MVNO customers.and 22K M2M customers.

      BTW, T-Mobile gained ~2.1M prepaid subscribers in 2014, far more than AT&T, whatever 4Q looks like for them. T-Mobile prepaid plans and MVNOs are performing much better than AT&Ts, both in total and new subscribers.

      Delete
    4. "5:49" Anon: I'd crown a wireless carrier based on something that matters: its network. Consumers care about this. You won't find any, however, who care about supposed relative growth trends. Do people want a carrier that "performs much better" at having bars when they want to use the phone, or do they want one "performs much better" at statistically dubious sales/ad copy statistics? We all know the answer.

      Delete
    5. I get it. You drop the reference to the Cricket brand and give AT&T your personal crown based on NATIVE-ONLY coverage maps.
      In ComputerWorld 2014 wireless data network survey, actual customers crowned T-Mobile the clear winner over AT&T, taking 7 out of 8 individual categories.
      http://www.computerworld.com/article/2871484/which-mobile-data-provider-is-best-and-will-you-make-a-switch.html
      These results from actual customers mean a lot more than our personal opinions.

      Delete
    6. The "Computerworld" article ranks T-Mobile very low on coverage, which happens to be the most important matter for everyone. Why obfuscate it? It's not a personal crown: when you ignore misleading trend figures, AT&T and Verizon have far, far more customers (each) than T-Mobile. Something which also shows those to be the clear winner over the others (including T-Mobile) on matters that matter to consumers.

      Native-only coverage maps are very important, because for ALL carriers, data coverage outside of the "native" area is very small / begrudged / very expensive.

      In fact, the actual coverage map (native only) is probably the first place someone should look in evaluating whether or not a carrier, subsidiary, or MNVO is best for them. Because if there is no coverage at all (or only the always lousy data situation outside the native area), then there's no point in evaluating price, customer service, or the other much less important matters that "ComputerWorld" has T-Mobile winning in.

      The wise consumer looks at native coverage first. And if that checks out, looks at the rest of it.

      Because if there's no bars, the best customer service in the world doesn't mean a thing.

      Delete
    7. Anyone trying to claim that the difference between non-native coverage and native coverage for any network is selling us a bill of goods.

      Either that, or they think that only text and talk matter, and data should be used sparingly, like in 10MB drips per month, or not at all. It's a 1993 mentality.

      Delete
    8. "These results from actual customers mean a lot more than our personal opinions"

      The results from actual customers are best found by looking at how many customers choose each network. Actual, unaltered numbers, devoid of references to gains and losses. That's far and away the most accurate indicator of consumer opinion about each carrier and/or company. If you aren't referring to that, you are sounding like someone trying to mislead investors at a board meeting.

      Delete
    9. Tmobile needs to make money.

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    10. You don't get to change the rules after the game starts: "AT&T with their Cricket brand running on a better network has taken the prepaid crown from T-Mobile."
      That isn't happening. T-Mobile has far more prepaid customers than AT&T, and T-Mobile is adding new prepaid customers much more rapidly, for reasons well-documented in the ComputerWorld survey. A 13% difference in the data network availability score could make up for providing substantially better value, and higher satisfaction in ALL other survey areas. T-Mobile is much more competitive in prepaid plans now, and it's driving great results. That is what winners do. Losers watch their leads disappear.

      Delete
    11. Anon at 5:49 am
      Those numbers are from 2014 when T-Mobile was the most competitive carrier around. With these new plans it's clear T-Mobile is no longer trying to compete.

      Delete
    12. They weren't the top carrier then, and they aren't now. They might be when they have close to the coverage of the big guys, instead of just half as much.

      Unless they build more towers, T-Mobile's growth will hit a brick wall and still never approach the twice as many customers, because AT&T will still cover much more of the country.

      I have no idea where the "AT&T with their Cricket brand running on a better network has taken the prepaid crown from T-Mobile." statement came from. T-Mobile has always been a distant third or fourth in this horse race, and has never held a crown of any kind.

      Delete
    13. T-Mobile can have all the casual T-shirt wearing CEO's in the world, what they need is the coverage that AT&T/Verizon has, that takes $$ that TMO USA doesn't have and its parent company isn't inclined to invest much to the TMO USA.

      Delete
    14. Cricket is obviously the better choice, I don't know of anywhere that has Tmobile coverage that doesn't have AT&T/Verizon, there may be a few but inconsequential .

      Delete
    15. 1. T-Mobile passed Sprint in 2014 and now has the most prepaid customers. We were talking about prepaid. AT&T is a distant third.
      2. T-Mobile already has more towers than AT&T, Sprint or Verizon. They are deploying 700 Mhz spectrum on the towers ringing cities first, so they can better cover suburban and rural areas. Then they will deploy it in major cities to improve building penetration, and in rural areas to expand their native coverage.
      3. Besides winning 6/8 individual categories in ComputerWorld, T-Mobile tied Verizon in the 2014 survey of 63k+ readers for top customer satisfaction among the Big 4. AT&T rated very poorly among their users. An AT&T representative was quoted as saying that the company had been investing greatly over the last six years to improve its offerings. But others did not stand still. T-Mo went from 0 to 263M LTE PoP coverage in only 2 years, ahead of schedule.

      Delete
    16. "T-Mobile already has more towers than AT&T, Sprint or Verizon"

      I wonder how they have managed this while still having such terrible coverage: populated stretches of the country studded with AT&T, Verizon, and even Sprint towers, and absolutely nothing for T-Mobile. Do they cluster their towers right close together where they are useless and redundant?

      I've personally talked to them about when they will actually expand, and I get the most meaningless non-answers. I'd like to see a real competitor to Verizon and AT&T emerge. Looks like that will be years off.

      Delete
    17. "Cricket is obviously the better choice, I don't know of anywhere that has Tmobile coverage that doesn't have AT&T/Verizon, there may be a few but inconsequential "

      I tried to figure that out too. Areas of the US covered by Verizon and AT&T (but not Sprint or T-Mobile) are significant, and make up a large part of the country. It's much harder to find areas covered by the small ones and not the big ones. but they do exist, scattered about, in pockets.

      Delete
    18. Anon at 10:52:

      "....Then they will deploy it in major cities to improve building penetration, and in rural areas to expand their native coverage...."

      Have you seen anything on actual significant expansion, with new T-Mobile towers in areas not previously covered by them?

      Delete
    19. Edit: "T-Mobile tied Verizon in the 2014 survey of 63k+ readers for top customer satisfaction among the Big 4." This survey was done by Consumer Reports:
      http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/news/2014/11/small-carriers-outrank-the-big-ones-in-consumer-reports-latest-cell-phone-service-survey/index.htm

      Delete
    20. Prepaid is not as lucrative , I don't know why you don't get that. T-Mobile's Average revenue per user isn't good.

      Delete
    21. The AT&T 4Q results are in, and AT&T prepaid sales continue to slide. The chirp-chirp brand is not their salvation, and the old GoPhone brand slumped. MVNO sales are off too.
      AT&T lost 180,000 prepaid net subscribers, especially GoPhone and session-based tablet subscribers, and also lost 65,000 net reseller/MVNO customers. But hey, this is 2015! Q1 they could be King of Prepaid ;-)

      Delete
  11. These new Simply prepaid plans are already outdated and won't be competitive until T-Mobile doubles the amount of high speed data on the $40 and $60 plans and adds 1GB or 2GB to the $50 plan. And a $5 price drop on all plans would also be a good idea to remain competitive.
    These plans should look like this
    2GB $35-$40
    4GB or 5GB $45-$50
    10GB $55-$60
    And how about a new 20GB plan for $65-$70.
    1GB for $40 or only 5GB for $60 throttled to 8Mbps on a network as small as T-Mobile's won't attract too many new customers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think that's the point, I don't think T-Mobile wants their prepaid to be that attractive, they have Metro pcs for that, their new prices are nothing special. Agreed. I think they're trying to get customers to their more profitable post paid, they took away music freedom, tethering, and unlimited data, and slowed the 4G LTE.

      Delete
    2. AT&T's Cricket is trying to be competitive on a better network. I don't understand how T-Mobile expects to up sell their inferior network at a higher price.

      Delete
    3. Yes.... the realities of the market and network environments lean toward smaller network, with more data at a lower price.... competing against larger network with smaller data at a higher price.

      Is there a meaningful argument against this market reality? It does seem to emcompass in a general way how most pre and postpaid plans are presented now.

      Delete
  12. At least T-Mobile didn't take out voice roaming. But with all of the extra and unique features gone and the 8 Mbps speed cap on T-Mobile's limited network, Simply Prepaid won't compete well with plans from AT&T based operators.

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  13. The $45 Simple Starter plan with 2GB of unthrottled high speed data was better than any of these Simply throttled plans.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I like the extra high-speed and unlimited data that the Simply Prepaid plans offer, compared to the previous Starter plans. I don't mind the throttling; it will still seem fast at 8 Mbps. MetroPS is good, but I would have no option to reduce my plan to PayGo in months when one-three Tmo PayGo data passes are all I need. Cricket has the same issue, plus poor customer service and junk fees. Plus that dumb name is a turn-off. I might switch to Harbor Mobile, and pick up data roaming on AT&T, Music Freedom, etc. I will probably not use their free international texting and roaming, but their $30 for Unlimited TnT with 2.5 GB fast data (unlimited slow data after that) is the best plan around right now, unless you want their 4.5GB/unlimited data for $40 plan.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Harbor Mobile has great deals. And you get Hotspot use, too.

      Delete
    2. Who wants to use a hotspot at 2G ?

      Delete
    3. Such a hard question! ;-) Some obvious answers:
      Email is the number one use of mobile data. Works fine on 2G, esp if you don't download the photo attachments.
      Checking weather is another top use. Works fine on 2G tether.
      Posting to social media. Text does not require LTE (duh).
      The Drudge Report, of course! Loads fast.

      Delete
    4. Interesting. Its clear that using data on a T-Mobile-based system requires a 1990s, frugal approach to data usage.

      Delete
    5. When roaming on 2g, yes. Or early 2000s for that matter.

      Or, you could pick an AT&T prepaid or MVNO plan, and have NO data, NO voice and NO sms roaming at any price outside of their native network areas.

      Delete
    6. AT&T and T-Mobile (GSM) compatible phones can't roam on Verizon, Sprint or US Cellular (CDMA). So on which network should AT&T and their MVNOs roam on? T-Mobile? I don't think wireless customers with AT&T coverage miss roaming on T-Mobile.

      Delete
  15. Cricket has junk fees, what fees? Cricket's plan prices include all taxes and fees. With T-Mobile you pay the taxes on top of the plan price.

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    Replies
    1. Perhaps the old Cricket had "junk fees". There's simply nothing like that with the current Cricket. Perhaps the junk fee person went through a shady brick-and-mortar Cricket dealer who tacked on extra stuff? Maybe that too.

      Delete
    2. I guess you two did not read Dennis' Carrier Profile of Cricket:

      "Fees are charged for a number of services:

      Activation Fee: in-store $25 (waived for migrating Cricket CDMA customers), no fee for online activations.
      Device Change Fee: in-store $25 no fee online.
      Late Fee: $5 applies to payments 3 to 29 days past plan due date
      Reactivation Fee: $15 applies to payments 30 and 59 days past your plan due date. After 60 days, account will be canceled and can't be reactivated.
      Restocking fee: for device returns $25
      Phone number change: $15
      Care Assisted Payment Fee: Making a payment with a customer service representative: $5"

      That is a LOT of JUNK!

      Delete
    3. Easily avoided with Cricket...
      1) Activation? None if online, as you said. Anyway, I got this for free at the dealer
      2) None if online as you said.
      3) Late Fee? That's not "junk". It's not rocket science to pay your bills on time. You are being a deadbeat if you forgot to pay.
      4) Reactivation? See No. 3. You have to be really negligent to get hit with this small fee
      5) I went with BYOD. Wont return the phone to them
      6) Phone Number Change. Never needed to to this.
      7) Care Assisted. Did this online, got no charge

      --------------------

      Small fees, most of them waived, and you have to be really stupid, go out of your way, to get some of them. That's how I've avoided ALL of them after a few months with them, without even trying.

      Junk behavior = junk fees.

      Delete
    4. Cricket's fees can be avoided without even trying. It's much harder to avoid taxes on T-Mobile.

      Delete
    5. If your account is past due more than 30 days. You might as well activate a new account online for free and avoid the reactivation fee.

      Care assisted payment fee, do you really want to wait on hold just to make a payment?

      Delete
    6. I don't like it when companies like FreedomPop and Cricket play "Gotcha" with fees. Even the smartest people are not perfect all the time, and they know that. What really makes it stand out is that Air/Cricket tried to convince us they were a "Good, Friendly" company when they first launched in 2013 with all these fees. From Air website at the time; they called it the "Aio Way:"

      "Keep it simple. We give it to you straight. Keep it short and sweet. Because >>you've go better things to do than read between the lines.<<

      An attitude of gratitude. Enthusiastic service and support, flexibility, and perks to show we're glad you're with us. Just a few ways >>we say "thank you" every day.<<

      >>Spread the love. Lucky to serve you and our community. We never stop looking for ways to make a difference and make you smile.<<

      With hindsight, that turned out about as well as Google's slogan, "Do No Evil." We haven't heard that one lately ;-)

      Delete
  16. AT&T's Cricket and Verizon MVNOs already throttle their high speed data. But Simply Prepaid plans are the first and only T-Mobile based plans to do the same. Non of T-Mobile's MVNOs throttle their high speed data. Fast data was T-Mobile's best selling point, they got this idea from Cricket and Page Plus but without the coverage those two offer this is the worst move T-Mobile has made in a long time.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Simply Prepaid, Simple Choice, Simple Choice Prepaid, Simple Mobile. Anyone confused?
    Here's the breakdown, Simply Prepaid costs $10 less than Simple Choice Prepaid, Simple Choice Prepaid costs the same as Simple Choice (postpaid) but lacks some of the features found in postpaid plans and Simple Mobile is a TracFone owned T-Mobile MVNO. It's all really simple.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Is T-Mobile's $30 5GB 100min plan now throttled to 8Mbps as well?

    ReplyDelete
  19. Is this chat still active? I don't live in the USA but the $3 Day Unlimited works great for me, as I visit 3 or 4 times a year. Can't call T-Mobile now (I live in Europe) but wondering if this plan will allow me to use iPhone as hotspot? Anyone know? How can you contact T-Mobile to ask, from Europe? Live Chat never seems to work.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Daily plans are no longer available. If you have one that has been continuously active since before 25-Jan-2015 you are grandfathered can keep the plan as long as you don't let the funds expire.

      I doubt that T-Mobile would admit that tethering works on the daily plan but I successfully USB tethered my laptop to a Nokia N8 on the $3 daily plan a couple of years ago.

      Delete
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