T-Mobile USA announced today that beginning Mar 22, customers on "qualifying" Simple Choice Prepaid plans will get Data Stash rollover data. The Data Stash perk is something that T-Mobile added to postpaid plans January 1, 2015.
The way Data Stash works is that T-Mobile will give every prepaid voice customer with a qualifying Simple Choice plan a one-time bonus of 10 GB of data. Beginning after the 10 GB bonus is used up, unused plan data will roll forward for up to 12 months.
So what's a Simple Choice Prepaid Plan? And which ones qualify?
There are currently four Simple Choice Prepaid plans priced at $50 to $80 per month. All four include unlimited, talk and text. The four plans differ only in the amount of included high speed data; 1 GB on the $50 plan, 3 GB on the $60 plan, 5 GB on the $70 plan and unlimited, unthrottled data on the $80 plan.
All the Simple Choice prepaid plans also include unlimited international texts, unlimited Music Freedom streaming and unlimited data throttled to 128 Kbps after the high speed data is used up. They also allow tethering and hotspot usage up to the plan's high speed limit except for the $80 plan where tethering/hotspot is capped at 5 GB.
As for which plans qualify, on postpaid Data Stash is available on phone plans with a 3 GB or greater high speed data allowance. If T-Mobile uses the same criteria for prepaid, only the $60 and $70 plans will qualify for Data Stash. The $50 plan doesn't qualify as it only has 1 GB of high speed data and the $80 plan already has unlimited data, so Data Stash is irrelevant.
On the other hand, T-Mobile could make other unannounced changes to their prepaid line up coinciding with the launch of prepaid Data Stash on the 22nd. T-Mobile has a history of pre-announcing good news and then making other unannounced and unpopular changes simultaneously. Like they did on Jan 25, when they launched pre-announced, lower priced Simply Prepaid plans and discontinued their prepaid daily plans without warning.
I'm actually surprised that Data Stash is being added to the Simple Choice Plans rather then the currently heavily advertised Simply Prepaid plans. T-Mobile hasn't been promoting Simple Choice Prepaid recently and the Simple Choice plans aren't even listed on T-Mobile's main prepaid plans page. Currently the only way to see the Simple Choice plans and prices is when activating a new T-Mobile prepaid line of service or for current customers, when changing plans on the My T-Mobile online account management site. The Simple Choice plans are so thoroughly hidden that I suspected that T-Mobile was getting ready to eliminate them. Instead, it looks like Simple Choice Prepaid is getting rejuvenated with Data Stash.
Update 3/23/2015: T-Mobile has posted a web page with more information about Data Stash for both prepaid and postpaid plans. The page confirms that only the $60 and $70 Simple Choice Prepaid phone plans are eligible for Data Stash and that Data Stash is not available with prepaid mobile broadband plans.
Current customers with $60 or $70 Simple Choice Prepaid plans will get their 10 GB of bonus data the next time their plan renews. New customers on those plans get the 10 GB bonus immediately after they activate the plan.