T-Mobile to offer a real unlimited plan with 5G and no speed throttling

Photo (c) MichaelGordon1 - Getty Images

There are lots of add-ons for consumers upgrading or switching plans, ranging from free Netflix to free in-flight service

T-Mobile opened the week with what might be a true game-changer: the return of a real unlimited data plan with 5G, 4K video streaming -- and, for the cherry on top -- no throttling on speed. 

The company believes this innovation is a major throwdown to any service who’s been wagging loudly about their 5G service. “Everyone who is tired of hearing what a 5G network can do and is ready to experience it,” the company boasted.

The plan rides on the backbone of T-Mobile’s new Magenta MAX, a platform that the company says will give American consumers the “largest and fastest 5G network.” With Magenta MAX, T-Mobile says its unlimited Premium Data will work for both 4G LTE and 5G, so customers can’t be slowed down based on how much they use. 

To sweeten the pot for consumers, the company’s new Zero Cost to Switch deal gives AT&T and Verizon customers up to $650 in savings ($475 for AT&T and $650 for Verizon) and will let users pay zero in device switching costs when they bring their own phones.

Avoiding "speed bumps" in service

In explaining its apples-to-apples differences, T-Mobile says that legacy smartphone plans are built for lower capacity 4G LTE networks -- so prior to this, Verizon, AT&T, and even T-Mobile’s unlimited plans allowed providers to lower a user’s network priority if they’d used a massive amount of data, such as for downloading audio or video.

In that situation, users tended to run into “speed bumps” if the network got congested. T-Mobile claims that Verizon and AT&T market this as “Premium Data” and give most customers 50GB. “But, there’s nothing premium about paying more for fast 5G that’s only in ‘some parts of some cities,’” T-Mobile said in a news release. The company claims that its upgraded network is “so powerful it can start unleashing the power of 5G to deliver unlimited Premium Data.”

“When you’re a heavy data user with a super-fast 5G smartphone, you don’t want to be hit with speed bumps. It’s like having a Ferrari and being forced to drive it in the school zone. Well, now it’s time to open ‘er up on the wide open magenta road! And we are just getting started. Buckle up!,” said T-Mobile CEO Mike Sievert.

Everything that’s included

Magenta MAX takes the place of Magenta Plus and launches Wednesday, February 24 for consumers and small businesses alike. 

The cost for Magenta Plus users is typically $57 per line per month for three lines, with autopay and monthly taxes and fees included. But for customers moving to Magenta MAX, the monthly fee drops to $47 for the same amenities for a limited time.

In addition to unlimited talk, text, and unlimited Premium Data on both 4G and 5G, T-Mobile is offering some rather attractive enticements to get users to move or upgrade. Those include: 

  • Netflix on Us – now for single lines and family plans;

  • Unlimited UHD streaming at up to 4K UHD resolution;

  • 40GB of high-speed smartphone mobile hotspot data (and unlimited 3G speeds after that) – the industry’s best for consumers;

  • Unlimited Gogo in-flight texting and Wi-Fi for the duration of a flight;

  • For worldwide travelers, free texting and data in 210 countries and destinations, as well as unlimited talk, text and data in Mexico and Canada with up to 5GB of high-speed data; and

  • Free Scam Shield Premium protection, which includes free Scam Block and Caller ID.

Don’t forget the fine print

No matter how good a deal sounds, there’s always fine print that consumers should read and understand before they jump in with a new carrier or an upgraded plan. In T-Mobile’s situation, it’s no different. Straight from the company, here are all the finer points of its new offer that should be considered:

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