T-Mobile has announced a massive reconfiguration of its prepaid service to launch next week in its new slate of simplified prepaid plans that it calls “Simply Prepaid”, a new slate of three service plans featuring unlimited voice, messaging and a set amount of LTE data with throttled 2G data at 128Kbps after the monthly high-speed LTE allotment is used during the month. The new slate is listed below:
- $40 / month for unlimited data, talk and text + up to 1GB of 4G LTE
- $50 / month for unlimited data, talk and text + up to 3GB of 4G LTE
- $60 / month for unlimited data, talk and text + up to 5GB of 4G LTE
While the above slate is much simpler than the currently available slate that starts at $50 and goes up to $80 per month, the current Simple Choice Prepaid slate also includes full-speed LTE access, an unlimited LTE data option and T-Mobile’s Music Freedom program that allows customers to stream music from a list of supported apps and services without it counting against monthly data limits, two key features that are removed from Simply Prepaid.
Additionally, T-Mobile is following AT&T’s Cricket in throttling LTE throughput speeds to 8Mbps on Simply Prepaid, another key disadvantage to the Simply Prepaid plans. In fact, the only key features that the Simply Prepaid plans retain are access to Visual Voicemail and Wi-Fi Calling, but taxes and fees are not included, making the plans as expensive as the previous slate with much less value.
The new plans launch on January 25th, so there’s still time to sign up for the old plans and get grandfathered in. It would make more sense to sign up for MetroPCS for an unlimited LTE option with taxes and fees included for $60 monthly or GoSmart Mobile if low-cost service is a priority, as it also throttles its data speeds to 8Mbps on its service plans that start at $35 monthly and top out at $45 per month with included Facebook access.
Update: T-Mobile reps are rushing to clarify that the forthcoming Simply Prepaid plan slate will not replace the current Simple Choice Prepaid plans and that the new slate will be offered in addition to the current plans after several sites have reported on the Simply Prepaid plans as complete replacements for Simple Choice Prepaid, which is not the case.