According to a Reddit post, T-Mobile is readying the launch of a new postpaid Essentials plan. The poster, who has a disdain for the plan, says it will launch on April 21st. It will cost $45/month for unlimited talk and text with 20GB of high-speed data. The interesting part is that after 20GB of data gets consumed in a billing cycle, data speeds will slow to a very useable 1.5Mbps for the remainder of the billing cycle. The plan will also come with unlimited 3G hotspot, T-Mobile Tuesdays access, Scam Shield, and one free year of Paramount+. Paramount+ is a $4.99 video streaming service.
The new T-Mobile Essentials plan will have multi-line pricing discounts. Customers can get:
- 2-lines for $80
- 3-lines for $100
- 4-lines for $120
Taxes and fees are extra. A maximum of 4 lines are allowed on the plan. Unfortunately, most device promotions will not be compatible with the new T-Mobile Essentials base plan.
Why A New T-Mobile Essentials Plan?
There are at least a couple of reasons for the new plan that I can think of. One salty Redditor believes it's so T-Mobile can advertise that they have lower prices.
And I do buy that as an argument. It allows them to undercut AT&T's $50 unlimited Value Plus plan. But there is most certainly more to it.
Another reason for the plan's launch is highly likely due to increasing competition from big cable. Cable wireless MVNOs led by Xfinity Mobile and Spectrum Mobile have been adding subscribers at a rapid pace while piling on massive revenue gains.
T-Mobile's new Essentials base unlimited plan actually seems to draw its inspiration from Xfinity Mobile. Xfinity Mobile offers what is basically the same plan for the same price. Xfinity Mobile customers can get an unlimited plan on the Verizon network for $45/month. Also like T-Mobile Essentials, the plan only includes 20GB of high-speed data before throttling. Throttled data speeds top out at 1.5Mbps, just like T-Mobile's new plan. Mobile hotspot speeds are also limited to 600Kbps, the same as T-Mobile. Do you know what else T-Mobile's new Essentials plan has in common with Xfinity Mobile? Multi-line pricing is also exactly the same. Xfinity charges the following for multiple lines of service:
- 2 lines - $80/month
- 3 lines - $100/month
- 4 lines - $120/month
Now, Xfinity Customers with a 5G device that can connect to Verizon's Ultra-Wideband network do temporarily have uncapped high-speed data. But in all other scenarios, high-speed data is indeed capped at 20GB.
So if there really is a new T-Mobile Essentials base plan launched on April 21, it would be a pretty clear indicator that T-Mobile is paying a lot of attention to what's going on with big cable and T-Mobile must see them as a threat. It may also mean that T-Mobile will have to switch from calling itself the "Un-carrier" to the "Copy-Carrier."
Who Is The New T-Mobile Essentials Plan For?
One potential audience for this plan is people that do not need an unlimited data plan. According to Statista, the average North American consumed 14.6GB of monthly data in 2021. The number seems to be taken from Ericsson's November 2021 mobility report. It should be noted that the number may be skewed higher than what most people (or the mean) living in North America actually use. Data hogs may be responsible for pushing the number higher than what most people actually consume. So this is a postpaid carrier plan to fit the needs of most people. Major USA carrier postpaid plans tend to neglect the needs of most and just focus on selling the word unlimited. Of course, consumers do find comfort in the word unlimited, whether they need it or not.
Another potential demographic for this plan are customers that already have their own phones. According to the Reddit post, most device promotions won't qualify for the plan making it best suited for BYOD customers.
Finally, this plan will also be best suited for consumers with just 1-2 lines. Anyone with more than two lines will be better off with T-Mobile's $60 Essentials plan as it is cheaper with three lines or more thanks to T-Mobile's perpetually running "third line on us" promo.