Today, T-Mobile has updated its Unlimited offerings to include a new option called Essentials. This plan would be one step below T-Mobile’s ONE plan and brings the total number of different tiers to three (four, if you count T-Mobile ONE Plus International).
The new Essentials plan is still unlimited like T-Mobile ONE only it doesn’t offer a couple of the carrier’s perks. Essentials will not offer free international roaming, free Netflix, reduced 480p streaming, and tethering will be capped to 3G (512 Kbps)speeds.
T-Mobile’s Essentials plan will cost $120 for four lines ($30/line) while T-Mobile ONE goes for $160 ($40/line). However, T-Mobile also plans to charge taxes and fees for its Essentials plan on top of the advertised price, which is one of the practices that T-Mobile has been so passionately against when it first introduced T-Mobile ONE.
UnCarrier Next: January 2017
So now customers can choose between a $160 plan with no taxes, or go with the $120 plan and get taxes slapped on later. How exactly is this easier for the customer?
T-Mobile is also raising the price of T-Mobile ONE Plus. What used to be a $10 add-on for more tethering data and unlimited 3G speeds while traveling abroad, is now $15 per line. It does get a bump in tethering data, though: 20GB of hotspot per month instead of just 10GB, now the T-Mobile ONE plan has 10GB included. If you add ONE Plus “for the whole family”, you can have it for the previous rate of $10 per month per line.
Currently, we don’t know if T-Mobile Tuesdays and Music Freedom would be limited to T-Mobile ONE plans from now on. We’ll have to wait until T-Mobile releases its terms and conditions for the new plan to see exactly which of the T-Mobile perks it will or will not include.
They seem to be doing everything they can to turn rate plans into a hot, confusing mess. They’ve got Above Unlimited, Unlimited Plus, Beyond Unlimited, Unlimited and More…Unlimited and More Premium?! … The other guys make it sooo confusing! The Un-carrier wants to make it easy. Give customers the options they want … but keep it simple, stupid!”- John Legere
Is it is really stupid simple now? T-Mobile just made its selection of plans more confusing by introducing Essentials, bringing the total number of plans up to three (Essentials, ONE and ONE Plus). Now customers need to add taxes and fees to an advertised price – we thought T-Mobile was past this.
T-Mobile’s plans are no longer simple for the average customer to understand. It’s simple in that they all offer unlimited data with a 50GB data soft-cap. Now you have to decide if you want all the extra stuff and whether you want to pay for it or not.
An individual Essentials plan is $60 per month, not including taxes and fees. So let’s say those taxes and fees add up to $6. Customers aren’t really going to save money with this plan when ONE costs a few bucks more with all the perks included. The Essentials plan is designed to save the carrier money and confuse customers in the process.
T-Mobile has always been transparent, and this move is a step backwards for the carrier’s entire UnCarrier movement, the last of which was UnCarrier “Next”: which included the movement to eliminate taxes and fees. Is T-Mobile still the UnCarrier? Or has the Sprint merger done something to change that?