We detail all the minutia of the new T-Mobile Prepaid Data rollout. At the end, you’ll see all the tidbits of where each T-Mobile device stands on prepaid data. Brace yourself for some twists and turns.
In general, T-Mobile says they have two prepaid data plans. One’s new, and one’s old. The old one being the Sidekick Prepaid Data Plan. It’s $1/day and includes unlimited data and messaging. The new plan, is $.99/hour for unlimited data on other devices.
It’s the term “other devices” that gets hazy. And, unofficially, there’s a third data plan, for the Nokia Nuron.
In case you didn’t know, Costco is selling in their stores the Nokia Nuron for $119.99 as a prepaid phone. Though, it’s currently sold out online.
The Nokia Nuron would be perfect for the $.99/hour plan. After all, HSPA data with tethering in a pinch, at a fair price for a per-hour plan. Only, the $.99/hour plan doesn’t work with the Nokia Nuron. T-Mobile claims only prepaid devices sold on their web site work with the $.99/hour plan currently.
So, what can the Nokia Nuron do? While T-Mobile won’t comment on it, you do get access to the Ovi Store and Ovi Maps without data usage. Of course, Ovi Store apps you download can’t access the internet, but if it’s Ovi branded, it can get on the web. T-Mobile appears to have opened a proxy for Ovi services data-free when using a Nuron.
This actually gives you access to a lot of great stuff, such as free turn-by-turn GPS navigation. And, the Nuron also lets you download maps from your Mac or PC for offline use. Know of any standalone GPS units that give you 180 countries of map data for only $119? We didn’t think so.
Figuring out T-Mobile’s prepaid options is so difficult, we made a chart of your choices.
We did check with T-Mobile beforehand to see if this information was correct. They did confirm the above in regards to Sidekick and 2G Prepaid Devices. We’re still waiting to hear back on the future of prepaid data on the Nokia Nuron and other 3G devices. We suspect however, that eventually they too will be offered the $.99/hour option.
Our take on the matter is that T-Mobile is still rolling out prepaid data. It’s clearly a work in progress. After being the lone prepaid carrier in the Big 4 that hasn’t offered any prepaid data at all, T-Mobile is working on a comeback plan.