T-Mobile USA, currently reeling after the failed AT&T purchase with its customer service in the doldrums and in the midst of a network conversion in order to attract iPhone users with 3G access, has taken the unprecedented step of bringing back unlimited data access, with the offering being revived beginning September 5th.
The offering is being pitched as a promotion and will consist of two price tiers, $30 a month for those on Classic monthly postpaid plans and $20 monthly on Value plans for both handset installment purchase and BYOD customers that sign a new agreement or decide to switch data plans on either monthly offering.
For T-Mobile to relaunch unlimited data access during the crucial back to school timeframe reflects just how badly the carrier needs to attract more profitable postpaid customers, as its last quarter saw it lose over 200,000 postpaid customers with prepaid customers shoring up the losses at a lower rate.
This move will also be a boon for the carrier as it seeks to level the playing field against much larger rivals AT&T and Verizon who have eliminated unlimited data plans for new customers and have recently launched shared data plans in order to drive non-smartphone data device sales, which do not require the routinely massive subsidies that smartphones do.
The only caveat with the new T-Mobile unlimited data offering is that mobile hotspot access and tethering are not officially supported on the unlimited data plans, while the regular tiered plans still offer hotspot access. Should T-Mobile experience success with the newly revived offering, this would make the carrier a viable alternative to Sprint, who still offers unlimited data, at the expense of immediate data network performance while the entire network is being upgraded through the ongoing Network Vision improvement initiative and LTE is added to more markets on a regular basis.