Bonnie Cha

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T-Mobile Adds Unlimited 4G Data to Prepaid Plans

The trend with most cellphone carriers, even the prepaid guys, has been to do away with unlimited data plans or to penalize you for your data-hogging ways. But T-Mobile is doing the opposite.


Already available as a post-paid option, the carrier announced today at International CES that it will start offering its Unlimited Nationwide 4G Data plan with no annual contract. Customers can sign up starting tomorrow, and the cost is $70 per month. The plan includes unlimited voice, text and data.

Unlike the company’s previous $70 prepaid unlimited plan, data speeds won’t be reduced once you reach five gigabytes. There will also be no overage fees.

“Simply put, consumers want their data to be blazing fast, without limits and without overages. With our new Unlimited Nationwide 4G Data plan, that’s exactly what we’re giving them, and for the first time, we’re offering it without an annual contract. Other carriers want to lock customers in; we’re going to earn our customers’ business with an amazing 4G experience every day,” said Mike Sievert, chief marketing officer for T-Mobile USA, in a statement.

Prepaid plans have increasingly become an attractive alternative to long-term contracts. You pay full retail price for a smartphone, but in return, you’re not tied down to a long-term contract. T-Mobile’s prepaid handsets range from the entry-level T-Mobile Prism for $150 to the high-end Samsung Galaxy S III for $550. Customers can also bring unlocked devices like the Nexus 4.

There is an asterisk to this whole deal, though. T-Mobile’s “4G” network isn’t a true 4G LTE network like Verizon’s or AT&T’s. Instead, it’s 4G HSPA+; T-Mobile won’t launch its LTE network till later this year.

Recently, the carrier entered into an agreement with MetroPCS to combine its wireless operations. If approved, the deal would help T-Mobile expand its LTE network quicker than if it were to go it alone.

Struggling behind AT&T, Verizon and Sprint, T-Mobile has been looking for new ways to attract customers.

In addition to the new unlimited prepaid plan, T-Mobile revealed today that it will include 4G connectivity as a standard and free feature on select notebooks, tablets and Ultrabooks. The first machines to support the new 4G Connect feature include the HP Pavilion dm1 and Dell Inspiron 14z Ultrabook; T-Mobile will continue to add devices throughout the year.


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