For the past year T-Mobile has been putting pressure on its mobile competitors through low prices and a variety of innovative pricing schemes and service offerings. More recently the largest mobile carriers in the U.S. have begun to respond directly to this competition, with AT&T lowering prices for its family plans and Verizon raising its data caps a bit.
Now it's T-Mobile responding to market pressures, as the carrier has now announced its own data caps will soon rise. The company will be raising the 4G data available on its Simple Choice plans.
The most basic Simple Choice plan currently offers unlimited text, talk, and 4G LTE data for $50 per month. The plan technically does provide unlimited mobile data the 4G data speeds are capped at 500MB. Customers can raise their data cap to 2.5GB for $10 more or pay $20 more for a 5GB cap. T-Mobile does not charge overage fees for reaching these limits and instead throttles data speeds significantly.
Under the new plans, basic Simple Choice customers will have a data cap of of 1GB with the option to pay $10 extra per month for a 3GB data cap. The prices for these tiers will remain the same, as will the 5GB cap under the extra $20 option. The price has been raised, however, for T-Mobile's "unlimited 4G LTE" offering which, for $30 a month now, will offer 5GB of data and the option to officially tether their device using T-Mobile's software.
"In the mobile age, wireless data caps and overage fees are just this side of extortion," said John Legere, CEO of T-Mobile. "Take the basic plans from the Big Two with ridiculously low data limits that hit you with fat overages each month. It's like getting your data from the neighborhood loan shark and paying 100 percent interest when the bill comes due. It's the classic shakedown."
According to T-Mobile, the company's subscribers are using 50% more 4G data than they were one year ago. Of course, one year ago was before T-Mobile began adding millions of customers each quarter.