T-Mobile and MetroPCS are offering unlimited data plans, but the latter is a limited time-only deal.
On Wednesday T-Mobile said it is launching a "true" Unlimited Nationwide 4G Data plan that doesn't have data caps, speed limits or "bill shock" next month. The new plan will be available to both current and new T-Mobile customers.
T-Mobile has always offered unlimited data -- it's one of the carrier's key points when comparing itself to Verizon and AT&T. But the catch is that plans still have data caps, thus the connection is slowed to a virtual crawl (throttled) once the user goes over the monthly allowance. However starting September 5, this new plan will cost $20 per month when added to a Value voice and text plan, or $30 per month when added to a Classic voice and text plan.
As an example of pricing, a single line Value plan with unlimited talk and text combined with unlimited nationwide 4G data will cost $69.99 per month. A single line Classic plan with unlimited talk, unlimited text and unlimited nationwide 4G data will cost $89.99 per month. Current T-Mobile customers on Classic or Value plans can simply upgrade their existing service by adding an Unlimited Nationwide 4G Data plan, the company said.
"We’re big believers in customer-driven innovation, and our Unlimited Nationwide 4G Data plan is the answer to customers who are frustrated by the cost, complexity and congested networks of our competitors," said Kevin McLaughlin, vice president, marketing, T-Mobile USA. "Consumers want the freedom of unlimited 4G data. Our bold move to be the only wireless carrier to offer an Unlimited Nationwide 4G Data plan reinforces our value leadership and capitalizes on the strength of our nationwide 4G network."
Meanwhile, MetroPCS has introduced a promotional 4G LTE service plan that offers unlimited talk, unlimited text, and unlimited 4G LTE data with no throttling for $55 (including taxes) on a single line, undercutting T-Mobile's new unlimited plan. But given that it's a promotional plan, the offer could be pulled at any time. However customers who sign up now will receive service at the promotional price for as long as they maintain service with MetroPCS.
The promotional plan arrives in conjunction with the launch of the Android-powered LG Motion on the MetroPCS network. The carrier is also offering consumers a mail-in rebate on the second of any two 4G LTE smartphone purchases. The rebate offer applies to all MetroPCS 4G LTE phones, including the newly launched LG Motion 4G -- meaning customers can purchase this new smartphone as a second device for around $99 and unlimited 4G LTE service for around $55 per month.
"As MetroPCS’ first smartphone powered by Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich), the LG Motion 4G has everything consumers need to fully utilize the benefits of one of the most advanced Android versions available," the carrier said on Tuesday. "Its 1.2 GHz dual-core processor makes multi-tasking easy while consumers use the phone’s 5MP still camera, 1080p HD video recorder and browse the web and multimedia on the 3.5-inch touchscreen."
The drawback to the MetroPCS plan -- outside the limited time offer -- is that the carrier only covers 14 cities nationwide. Even more, both the T-Mobile and MetroPCS options do not include built-in hotspot capabilities, preventing customers from leeching gigabytes of data from their desktop, laptop or mobile device. Hotspot capability is offered for an additional monthly charge, the carrier said.