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:
|Price||Talk Minutes||Texts||Included Data|
|$3/mo "Pay As You Go"||30 minutes or texts||30 minutes or texts||$5 500 MB/1 day, $10 1 GB/7 days|
|$30/mo 1||100 (overage 10¢/min)||unlimited||Unlimited (throttled 2 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|
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.