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T-Mobile gets aggressive on low pricing with new Simple Starter Plan

The Uncarrier is striking again with a new bottom-tier plan: T-Mobile's new Simple Starter plan starts at just $40 a month. For that rate, customers will get unlimited talk and text, plus 500MB of LTE data. The plans are set to be available starting on April 12, and customers will be able to take advantage of T-Mobile's pay-your-old-carrier's ETF deal, purchase phones on installment plans, and enroll T-Mobile's Jump! upgrade plan.

For comparison, the lowest-price plan from AT&T comes in at 300MB and would still cost $45 a month, while Verizon clocks in at $60 and Sprint at $55 (though Sprint and Verizon include device subsidies in their plans). Of course, you'll want to make sure that T-Mobile has service in your area.

Press release:

Day 1 of 3: T-Mobile On a Roll Again with Multiple Initiatives ... First with the Launch of its All-New "Simple Starter Plan"

Un-carrier introduces zero-risk, no annual contract plan for value-conscious Americans - and much-needed relief from other carriers' high-risk entry-level contracts

BELLEVUE, Wash. - April 9, 2014 -T-Mobile US, Inc. (NYSE: TMUS) has announced the first in what it promises will be the rapid-fire roll-out of multiple initiatives to extend its Un-carrier consumer revolution to several new fronts. First, the company today introduced its all-new Simple Starter value plan, designed to offer a desperately needed alternative to the data overage-intensive entry-level plans the largest US carriers target at Americans. This new plan makes T-Mobile the only major U.S. carrier to offer a single line of 4G LTE data @ just $40 a month.

Launching April 12th, the Simple Starter plan - at only $40 a month for unlimited talk and text and up to 500MB 4G LTE data and tethering - is purpose-built for value-conscious wireless customers and small businesses that want predictability and affordability, and promises absolutely no data overages. All on America's fastest nationwide 4G LTE network.

"Un-carrier is a movement, not a marketing strategy. We are freeing consumers from the predatory practices of traditional US wireless companies and that includes these plans that start with a low price and a low data limit, but then hit you with insane fees if you send one too many emails," said John Legere, president and CEO of T-Mobile. "It's wrong! And I personally want to drive those ridiculous schemes out of this industry. We will continue to be relentless and bring this forced march of change to the market every day so consumers can be creative with and enjoy the true benefits of wireless. I know we have it right and when we all are done reporting results from the first quarter - I think you'll share my conviction."

T-Mobile contrasted its new flat-rate value plan against AT&T's entry-level plan, whose costs immediately jump by $20 increments - in what amounts to a massive 44% price hike on those customers least able to absorb overages and bill shock. With Simple Starter, you'll get a ton more data compared to AT&T's 300MB, and you'll never pay data overages again - ever. And with data capped at 500MB, you'll never pay more until you choose to pay more - by purchasing additional data sessions whenever you like.

"Today, we are introducing a zero-risk value plan that will give consumers everywhere a predictable and affordable solution," said Mike Sievert, Chief Marketing Officer for T-Mobile. "Even more important, we are the only major U.S. carrier to offer a single line of 4G LTE data at just $40.00 per month. It is a fantastic deal!"

And, just as with all Un-carrier customers, those on the Simple Starter plan can enjoy many of the same benefits of being with T-Mobile, including America's fastest nationwide 4G LTE network, and paying little or nothing down for your new device on T-Mobile's equipment installment plan (EIP).

Simple Starter customers also qualify for T-Mobile's break-through "Contract Freedom" offer which pays the entire contract Early Termination Fees of customers who switch to T-Mobile and trade-in their phones. The plan also qualifies for the company's revolutionary JUMP!(TM) upgrade program, so customers can choose to get handset protection and they can upgrade when they want. Plus, as always with T-Mobile, there is the freedom of no annual service contract. The company added that Simple Starter is designed as a domestic plan for people that don't have a need for international texting and roaming. However, for customers that do want additional international benefits, the company's flagship Simple Choice plan includes unlimited international data and texting from 120+ countries and destinations, plus unlimited international texting from the U.S. to virtually anywhere all at no extra charge.

For more information on what to expect from the Un-carrier in the next three days, check out President and CEO of T-Mobile, John Legere's blog about the upcoming initiatives being rolled out. And for further information, visit the T-Mobile Newsroom.

Derek Kessler is Special Projects Manager for Mobile Nations. He's been writing about tech since 2009, has far more phones than is considered humane, still carries a torch for Palm, and got a Tesla because it was the biggest gadget he could find. You can follow him on Twitter at @derekakessler.

  • I've been with T-Mobile for 3 years & they've had great service everywhere I go, unless I'm in Middle Georgia where there is no LTE.
  • Yeah once you leave the metro atl service quality falls off greatly lol Posted via the WPC App for Android!
  • BURN! Ha try traveling with TMobile. Even Sprint does better with the right settings. VZW and AT&T, needless to say, leaves both in the dust.
  • How often do you travel? If you save $25 a month. That's $300 a year in savings. You could buy a Verizon Straight Talk phone and a $45 unlimited card for traveling. You'd still save $150.
  • I travel plenty. Look Down this thread to see your savings
  • Straight talk is by Verizon?
  • No, it's an MVNO of T-Mobile.
  • No Straight Talk is by trac phone. They sell VERIZON, ATT, T-MOBILE and SPRINT phones. So whoever has the best coverage in your area is who you should get a Straight Talk phone / plan. The plans are $45 Unlimited Everything per month. $120 if you prepay for 3 months. The only draw back you can't get a High End Verizon or Sprint phone. You can with Tmobile and Att.
  • In Savannah here. I get coverage all the way up I-16 to I-75 to Atlanta.
  • I've been with T-Mobile for 7 years and they have had horrible service most places I go in California.  Places you wouldn't expect it to be horrible (Like Disneyland). 
  • Hey Ordeith I have to disagree with that. I live in Los Angeles and have T-Mobile service via MetroPCS. My 4gLTE reception is good and I haven't had a dropped call yet. I also recently drove up to Hearst Castle and my Lumia 920 worked anytime I needed it for the entire trip. I have to say I'm quite happy with my service.
    PSA for those that didn't know. MetroPCS offers GSM service on T-Mobile's network and have had the same plan (unveiled today) for a while now. I pay $40 for 500mb of LTE and unlimited on everything else. Including data after the first 500 mb (speed reduced). I'm mostly on WiFi anyway so the savings per month is super hard to beat.
    I've shared this information for those that are inclined. If this doesn't pertain to you, so be it.
  • Hey KMF79 I am going to have to disagree with that.  Family had season passes to Disneyland last year, It didn't matter the time of year / week / month / day, T-Mobile was a constant disappointment. I don't go to the central coast that often, but I was there just last week.  I was in and out of T-Mobile dead zones and occasionally ended up roaming on AT&T's network anyway (The Firestone Walker brewery in Paso Robles is a particularly troublesome spot for T-Mobile). Luckily I had my AIO phone with me as well, streaming Pandora and using Snapchat without issue the whole way. 
  • I'm not saying you didn't experience what you said you experienced but what I experienced was definitely different. Btw how was the brewery? I'm debating where to go for my next little weekend vaca. Either Stone in El Segundo or Firestone Walker in Paso Robles. If I go up north there are more places to stop for wine along the way ; )
    Oh and next time I go to Disneyland in going to be thinking about this conversation. I'm too curious now not to compare.
  • The brewery was good for drinks.  They have 3oz samplers for $1.50-$3 depending on the brew, you can sample a lot that way.  The prices were decent for the regular sizes too, and with some choices you get to keep the glass. The food wasn't all that great.  I would consider eating elsewhere. The brewery itself is on the small side.  Even with a tour it won't take a lot out of your day.  It is a good place to stop on your way somewhere, I wouldn't consider it a destination on its own.
  • Ah, thanks. Good to know. "On your way somewhere". Wineries! If you're in LA check out Golden Road brewery. I did their tour last Sunday. It's a great place and their food is actually very good. The brewery's definitely a hangout spot for friends and family.
  • Had a different experience myself, last year went in July to disneyland with no issues on a htc 8x and the year before that at disney world no issues.  Not saying you dont, i dont live in cali, but all the areas i was in, was no issues including highway.  If there was dead spots i was more worried about the places or sites or driving around me than to worry if my phone was getting, tmo service.  I have certainly roamed, and there is a city, many here that stil only get 2g and 3g.  But most areas are the same for vz or att in terms of 2g service.
  • I'm in GA and I've had coverage everywhere I go just about.
  • Isn't this plan already $30 a month?
  • Ya.
  • nooo, $30 plan has 100 minutes, unlimited texs, and 5GB of data.
  • Its a better plan IMO. Incredibly cheap and perfect for those who don't talk alot.
  • Perfect for geeks like us who have no life.
  • Just wish they had better WP8 phones
  • The 925 is priceless
  • I would be using a 925 right now if it supported built in Qi and 32GB storage internal. I use more than 16GB in my current 920.
  • With the exception of the 16GB of storage, you can have wireless charging for $40. I just bought a 925 & I ordered a charging cover for $40 on Amazon.
  • As long as you have the 1900mhz spectrum on the phone you will get either 4g or lte on 90% of the tmo refarmed towers.  Just get an Icon, proven to work on the 4g/lte in my area with a friends of mine that we swapped sims on.
  • I have not heard even 1 report of being able to receive MMS on Lumia Icon on T-Mobile. No first hand experience but at least that is what the forums seem to suggest.
  • I'd have to agree.
  • Since they're GSM at least they have good flexibility for unlocked devices.  I'm using the 1520, which in my opinion is the best WP8 phone you can buy right now since the 930 hasn't been released, version RM-938, the Latin American unlocked model  on T-Mobile.
  • I have a 30$ plan with them its 100 minutes of talk unlimited data and 5gigs of 4g.
  • I wish ATT had something similar.
  • Keep wishing buddy. AT&T is not your friend. Only your money is their friend.
  • I know. But you can't beat their service and devices they carry, which is why I keep on paying them, while cursing myself.
  • Thanks. You just made me laugh.
  • AT&T doesn't, but they own AIO Wireless, one of their MVNO's.  They offer a $40 unlimited T/T w 500 MB 4GLTE, and if you autopay each month, it'll be $35/month.
  • I'm switching in a month, keeping my 1020, but where can I find a guide to make settings changes and the like for everything to work as it should?
  • Coming from AT&T you will feel the downgrade. But, pay AT&T and they will unlock it.
  • Ricardito90 he doesn't need to Pay to have his phone unlocked. That is wrong information. You can either call a rep and ask them Or you can search on AT&T's website for their unlock request page. Its super simple and quick. They will email you back the unlock code for your phone.
  • You are correct, he is lying. An AT&T rep will tell you to go to the website if you call them. I have unlocked several phones in the last year or so in my move to T-Mobile from ATT and it is as easy and straight forward as can be. Put in your IMEI number and phone number and bam, 24 hours later you get an email with the unlock code.
  • You can use your 1020 on AIO Wireless (it is essentially AT&T with cheaper plans, they are merging it with the Cricket brand they recently purchased). It will work there without unlocking first, and it is still AT&T's network.  $45 a month for 2.5GB unlimited everything with auto pay.  It is arguably cheaper than T-Mobile for the ammount of high speed data you get.  Better network, too.
  • someone actually bought out cricket? that will be an adventure that's for sure since cricket is extremely horrible, well when i worked there it was. bad coverage, service, and over the phone customer service. they wanted nothing more than peoples money they told my area to put people on the internet plan's without them knowing or even asking for it when they signed up. just as long as their first bill comes from the internet plan.  hopefully att turns that lot around, i personally dont like att but to each their own as long it helps WP
  • Don't worry, they bought them for the name. They're transferring everyone to AT&T's GSM Network. So, you'll be covered wherever AT&T has coverage.
  • If you switch to T-Mobile I can tell you their correct apn settings. This is if you get incorrect setting from the store employees when you sign up. They should give you information on apn settings though.
  • I already got it unlocked. I just want to make sure mms, and if possible, lte works. Seems to be the most issues.
  • LTE and text messaging will work as long as the sim card is activated. MMS (picture) messaging will work only with the correct APN settings in the MMS settings category. This all assumes the phone is unlocked. Which you said it was.
    When you're in store and activating service, just remember to ask them for the APN info. Once you input it you should be fine.
  • Yes they definitely need better wp8 phones...hopefully soon!!
  • Well, the less we pay them how are they going to get better phones lol......
  • Yup I'm switching to Tmobile
  • A single Sprint plan is $45 with a Reference Framily, doesn't competition on the market help us! Ha.
    and before people start bashing, coverage for both is relatively the same. Actually Sprint has better coverage in more rural áreas. But, T-Mobile does average faster LTE speeds.
  • As an employee of the actual best mobile provider in the US, thank you T-Mobile for sending your customers in our direction. 
  • Name or it didn't happen
  • Verizon and ATT have the same plan for $45 a month
  • Which is $60 per year more so why would you think that's a better deal?
  • I have AIO for $45/month (including tax) with unlimited talk/text and 2.5GB of LTE on AT&T's network....  I don't see how this is a deal, unless someone can tell me what benefits this gives me.
  • Not much if you buy your phone straight out, now if you want to do an installment plan for a phone its a different story Posted via the WPC App for Android!
  • You can't get a high end WP on AIO, but the 620 is only $50 (compared to $126 retail for a 521 on T-mobile).  Or you can get the 521 for $0 locked into an agreement.  AIO will unlock your 620 (or 520 if you'd prefer that) after 3 months of service.  I know once I need a family plan, T-mobile would be better, but for single lines, there isn't much point in not going prepaid...  paying a few hundred dollars for a phone and getting prepaid will still save you money in the end.
  • You can use any ATT phone on AIO, even the high end WP phones.  You just have to pay for it up front.  AIO is less expensive for one or two people.
    for three, They are break even, but AIO has the better coverage.
    for four to five, T-Mobile is the cheaper option.
  • how do you have it for $40 - that plan is $50 and even with auto pay discount, it comes out to $45
  • Yeah, I just checked.  This is my bad.  I only paid $40 this month because I had money on my account from the price drop that just happened.  I'm sorry. :-(
  • Hey SuperShoe why don't you go edit your original post? That misinformation only serves to confuse people.
  • I wanted to, but I didn't see how in the browser, I've updated it through the app. Thanks.
  • Well, for starters, people who go with T-Mobile will get great LTE speeds and far more than your paltry 8Mbps down on AIO.
  • Why 8Mbps if it uses att?
  • If only they could use it outside of your neighborhood.
  • Paltry? What do you do on your phone? That's plenty for watching HD video, which you won't do much of with 500Mb of data...
  • In Korea 40$ a month - unlimited talk and text and 1.5gb data in lte with 120mbps. But people still say it's too expensive and it's true :/
  • For the sake of all US wireless customers, I hope they turn this broken industry upside down. No more contracts and no more subsidies please.
  • On Th contrary. For the sake of informed consumers, I hope we are always given the option of contracting. Very much cheaper in the Long run.
  • How do you figure?
  • Please tell me how its cheaper?
    One time purchase of $450-550, more or less, vs two years of paying for a phone and service inflated to meet the carriers needs! I don't see the savings you're talking about.
  • Sorry, but I have yet to see figures and calculations that show contracting as a cheaper option in the short run or the long run.
  • It's hard to do a calculation because they don't tell you how much of your payment is for the phone. However, I think that over a 2 year period it's close to break even. If you hold your phone longer than 2 years, you will save money. On ATT & Verizon, you will continue paying for a phone even though it was fully paid for if you don't renew and get a new phone. Right now I am paying $160 for 4 phones on AT&T family plan with unlimited call, text and 10 gb of data. That comes to 2.5gb per user. That seems like a better plan than this. The only advantage with T-mobile is that you get throttled data once you run out. However, I haven't hit the data cap yet since we are on wi-fi most of the day. 
  • MATH LESSON: Purely in layman terms, I will compare all three carriers to T-Mo, and assuming a reasonable data user and for a Galaxy S4 SRP $650 (demo only, I love WP):
    VZW contract $40+$80(6gb)=$120x24mon= $2,880
    AT&T contract $40+$80(6gb)=$120x24mon= $2,880
    Sprint contract: $50+$30(unlmtd)=$80x20mon= $1,600
    T-Mo: $40+$40(unlmtd)+$27/mon(S4)=$107x24mon= $2,568 Where are the "enormous" savings when you pay closer to the best two carriers of the US? VZW ETF: Max is $375
    AT&T ETF: Max is $325
    Sprint ETF Max is: $350
    TMo ETF Max,is : $650 ( varying by Phone.)
  • You left out AIO.  Same criteria.
    AIO Wireless: $580 (Buy the phone outright, use for 2 years) $45x24mon = $1660
  • Why 20 months for sprint? Why not 24?
  • Sprint users can renew their contract every 20 months
  • Fail. Unlimited data on Tmobile is $20, not $40.
  • FAIL your Fail. T-mo has changed. It used to be $50 base+20 for unlntd=$70. Now, it totals $80. base has changed too. Now it is $40. So unlntd data is $80.
  • Is the unlimited T-mo unlimited LTE or is it throttled at some point?
  • On T-Mo you can buy unlimited LTE, or you can opt out of paying any additional and get unlimited 2G (throttled after 1GB of LTE).
  • What all those ^^ guys said.
  • Is this accurate pricing information about AT&T's plan? I am paying $65 a month on the new AT&T Mobile Share plan and get 2GB of data per month and unlimited everything else.
  • No its not this article wasn't researched. ATT & Verizon both have the same for $45
  • That seems to happen alot when comparing T-Mob and ATT. Not just on this site either. (CNET, Engadget etc)
  • It only take 2m to go to the website and check pricing. Its not rocket science ;)
  • I moved from T-Mobile to AT&T because I could no longer stand how T-Mobile abandoned its' Windows Phone devices and at how sucky T-Mobile's service was indoors. My current AT&T plan is 300 mb with unlimited calls and texts, normally that is $60, but with the "Mobile Share Value Savings" (you are buying a phone on installment, or have brought your own) $15 is taken off for a total of $45.     Again though, it is only 300mb vs. 500 mb on T-Mobile.    That said, I still do not regret my decision to switch to AT&T.   I do hope this increases pressure on AT&T to either drop the cost more, or increase the data alotment.
  • I was on ATT website yesterday and it was 500
  • Sweet, now can we please have some Windows Phones?
  • Gimme 300 mins 5k text and unlimted lte for 45$ and I may think about it.
  • I'll take that even if text is not included or only 100-200
  • Wish I had LTE on my 928. T-Mobile
  • Not bad! Would've beaten SIMple Mobile's $40 plan if they hadn't just upped their 4G to 1GB/month. This does give you the "non-prepaid" benefits if you need them though.
  • Or AIO Wireless.  $5 more for 2.5GB high speed, unlimited everything, and you will actually get coverage when you travel. (AT&T's network)  
  • AIO has a Unlimited talk/text with 2.5GB of Data for $45? If this is true I'm going to go buy a 1520 32GB off eBay right now.
  • $45 with auto pay, $50 without. See for yourself.  
  • Been with SunCom / Tmo 12 years now. Anyone in the southeast should've heard of SunCom"s UnPlan. Very glad to see Tmo pushing it nationally.
  • Anybody just get an update from T-Mobile? I have xbox video now, don't know if I had that already though.
  • AT&T's 300MB data with Unl Talk and Text is actually $45 if you choose the installment offer. Its only $65 if you sign up in 2yr.
  • bingo
  • I'm sorry but this is not the right place for T-Mobile news
  • I don't mind as long as they get the info correct.
  • Why not???..other wireless carriers news show up here so tmo should too.. If u don't have tmo..skip on to the next article..simple as that
  • This should be called the 70yrs+ plan..
  • I just came back from a 2 week Europe trip and had great experience with T-Mobile!  We hit London, Paris, Barcelona, Santorini, Athens, Brasov and we get unlimited texting and unlimited data (slowed down to 2g speed) but still free!   Calls were only $0.20 per minute and WiFi Calls were free!  I don't know if any other carriers can beat that.
  • It's getting there gradually. They still haven't quite come to the level of service provided by Ultra mobile and Simple mobile yet. Unlimited talk, text, data + international calling credit for 39 bucks a month. T-mobile is getting close tho.
  • Not so relevant to WP users since they have such a poor range of WP handsets.
  • Correction to the writer. AT&T's cheapest plan is $45 per month. Unlimited talk and text and 300MB of data.
  • There is a plan for Verizon that is $45 a month for unl. talk & text, plus 250mb. of data.
  • That was a promotional plan that is no longer offered, current promotional plans are 60 for 1gb for a single line and 75 for 2gb single line promo plan
  • With Verizon the lowest is 55 for 1 smartphone and unl talk and text with 250mb, I should know since I just left their customer service 2 days ago
  • If you can get in on the AT&T family plan, it is a better deal. I pay $150 for 4 phone 10gb plan. I am getting an employer discount. This plan is normally $160. That makes it $40 for unlimited voice & text and 2.5 gb per user of data. Of course, if you are getting this plan with friends, you would have to deal with friends not paying on time and maybe someone hogging the data. I pay for my family and it's easier.
  • That's with no contract or att next only, same price with Verizon edge (like att next) but it is 24 monthly payments instead of 12 or 18 so its cheaper for the device
  • I have this on on a 24 month contract and I get an upgrade. I don't subscribe to ATT's next. Initially, tehy new family plans inticated that they wouldn't subsidize the phones. The sales rep said otherwise. As a matter of fact, the ATT website shows I can get an upgrade on 2 of my phones and I am hoping Nokia releases something new soon.
  • You have to take into account though that the price of T-Mobile's plan doesn't count for the price of the phone you want to buy. In all the other plans, you're paying a premium rate which goes in to pay for the price of the phone that you buy. So in essence it looks like AT&T's plan is the best as far as price. You just have to deal with it for two years.
  • Still no high end windows phones. Thinking if switching..
  • TMO is horrific in Austin, TX and if you travel
  • T-Mobile is horrible is central New York. The only real options for reliable service, as well as LTE is AT&T and Verizon.
  • So... how about that 810 support?  Oh right... too important... I guess uncarrier means unsupport as well.
  • I use an 810 with absolutely no problems with T-Mobile.
  • They just need better phones and I will be there tomorrow
  • So living in the US still sucks. I'm paying 24$ here in Denmark, for 2GB of data, unlimited calls, texts and MMS, with LTE. And this isn't even one of the best packages!
  • I too live in LA and don't have drop calls and I've been with tm for about 10 years it good service here .