T-Mobile is launching a new plan for those aged 55 years and up. The new plan is called Essentials Unlimited 55 and it will offer subscribers unlimited talk, text, and LTE data for $40/month with auto-pay billing enabled. If you need two lines the price is just $55/month with auto-pay billing enabled. Taxes and fees are not included in the prices shown and do cost extra. The plan is launching September 6th and will live alongside two other plans that T-Mobile offers to those in that age group.
Essentials Unlimited 55 Plan, Details And Fine Print
This is the cheapest unlimited plan offered by T-Mobile and as such it's a stripped-down offering compared to T-Mobile's other plans. However, I suspect it will meet the needs of most who qualify for the plan. The plan includes the following features and fine print:
- Unlimited talk, text, and LTE data
- Unlimited international text messaging to and from over 210 countries
- Access to T-Mobile Tuesdays which offers subscribers perks every week. Past and current perks include free Taco's from Taco Bell, free coffee from Dunkin Donuts, a free subscription to MLB.tv and much more
- Video streams at a resolution of 480p
- Unlimited mobile hotspot with data speeds limited to 3G estimated to be 600Kbps
- Unlimited talk, text and data while traveling in Mexico and Canada with data speeds limited to 2G
- A maximum of two lines allowed
- Primary line holder must be aged 55 or higher with proof, no age requirement for the second line
As is typical with unlimited data plan offerings, there is a data prioritization policy in place. Customers who consume more than 50GB of data in a month may experience temporarily slower data speeds during times of heavy network congestion.
How Essentials Unlimited 55 Compares To T-Mobile's Other 55+ Plan Offerings
T-Mobile offers two other unlimited plan for those aged 55 and up. T-Mobile's signature plan is called Magenta Unlimited 55 and it is priced at $50 for a single line and $70/month for two lines with taxes and fees included. It offers all the same thing that the Essentials plan includes with the following upgrades
Magenta Unlimited 55 Feature Upgrades
- Unlimited data at 128Kbps while traveling internationally
- Unlimited mobile hotspot with the first 3GB of data at 4G LTE data speeds
- 5GB of LTE data while traveling in Mexico and Canada
- 1 hour of in-flight Wi-Fi on Gogo enabled flights
The other plan offered is called Magenta Plus Unlimited and it costs $65 for a single line or $90 for two lines with taxes and fees included. It offers all the same features as Magenta Unlimited 55 with the following feature upgrades:
Magenta Plus Unlimited 55 Feature Upgrades
- Unlimited data at 256Kbps while traveling internationally
- Video streaming at a resolution of 1080p
- Unlimited mobile hotspot with the first 20GB at 4G LTE data speeds
- Unlimited Wi-Fi on GoGo enabled flights
- Free subscription to Netflix
- Name ID to identify calls and texts from unknown numbers
- Voicemail to text transcriptions
On the surface pricing of this new plan is really great for a carrier-based offering. It should suit most subscribers who meet the plan's age requirement. However, there may be a major issue with the plan for some potential customers. The plan does not include taxes and fees like the other two 55+ plans. T-Mobile says that taxes and fees may add an additional 10% to 33% to the cost of the customer's phone bill. If you are in an area with high taxes this plan will not be economical for you. At a tax rate of 33%, the cost of the plan for a single line rises to $53.20 and for two lines $73.15, both work out to be higher than the cost of subscribing to Magenta Unlimited 55 which is priced at $50 for a single line and $70 for 2 lines.
Although this new plan may not be ideal for everyone due to the taxes, T-Mobile still has the edge in this market segment compared to other major carriers. AT&T, for instance, doesn't even offer an unlimited plan for that market segment but rather offers a plan for $29.99/month that only includes 200 minutes, has no data, and is only available to those aged 65 and older. Sprint does offer a similar plan that is price matched to T-Mobile's Unlimited 55 plan. Verizon also offers a plan for customers 55+ but only those in Florida can get it. Verizon's 55+ plan is priced at $60 for one line and $80 for two lines with taxes and fees included. It doesn't include as many features as the T-Mobile Magenta Unlimited 55 plan.