T-Mobile responds to Verizon's unlimited plan by rolling back its dumbest changes
When T-Mobile introduced its T-Mobile One plan last year, the internet was divided between people who thought the ostensibly unlimited data was a courageous move for a cash-strapped carrier with a patchy LTE network and those who saw it for a violation of the tenets of net neutrality.
6/ Starting Fri, #TMobileONE price includes HD video & 10GB high-speed 📱hotspot data –all at no extra charge. AND taxes & fees are included!6/ Starting Fri, #TMobileONE price includes HD video & 10GB high-speed 📱hotspot data –all at no extra charge. AND taxes & fees are included!— John Legere (@JohnLegere) February 13, 2017February 13, 2017
Now, after Verizon's surprisingly transparent (but slightly more pricey) foray back into the realm of unlimited, T-Mobile's CEO John Legere took to Twitter (seemingly the platform of choice for putdown broadcasts) to denounce Big Red's move as too little, too late. Legere said that as of Friday, February 17, T-Mobile One would expand its default functionality to include HD video streaming — previously $3 a day or $15 a month — as well as 10GB of tethering per month.
Also on the agenda was to undercut Verizon's plan even more by offering a $100 all-in cost for two lines, well below Big Red's $140 for the same number, though it's unclear whether the discount is a permanent change to T-Mobile One. Prior to the announcement, lines cost $120, or $60 each.
This latest move comes after, at CES this past January, T-Mobile announced that it was lowering the costs of all of its plans by around 15% by including taxes and other fees in customers' final bills, so the $70 seen in the advertised price is what the customer pays.
8/ And, how about a little promo to make it EVEN MORE compelling?! $100 for two lines on #TMobileONE ALL IN.8/ And, how about a little promo to make it EVEN MORE compelling?! $100 for two lines on #TMobileONE ALL IN.— John Legere (@JohnLegere) February 13, 2017February 13, 2017
While T-Mobile's move will certainly further spur competition in the U.S. telecom market, the reality is that the company took something very important away from its customers in the form of uncompressed video streaming, and is now returning it to them as a promotional feature. With the appointment of a FCC Chairman intent on dismantling net neutrality, it's likely we'll see more of these kinds of promotions in the future. In the meantime, T-Mobile One is now a little more customer-friendly and a little less expensive, which is always appreciated, especially when Open Signal just co-crowned it, along with Verizon, the best network in the U.S.
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Daniel Bader is a Senior Editor at iMore, offering his Canadian analysis on Apple and its awesome products. In addition to writing and producing, Daniel regularly appears on Canadian networks CBC and CTV as a technology analyst.