US Mobile has updated its wireless plans for the third time since August 2023 or for the fourth time if you want to include the release of US Mobile's Home Phone plan in October. The latest plan updates see US Mobile shift its focus towards prepaid discount annual plans.
US Mobile has increased the price of its Unlimited Starter plan to $29/month, or $23/month for customers willing to shell out $276 in advance to prepay for a year's worth of service. Taxes and fees remain included in the price of this plan as well as all of US Mobile's other offerings. This isn't just a straight up price increase on the monthly rate though. The company also increased the amount of high-speed data included with the plan to 35GB up from 30GB. The amount of data that can be used for hotspot also doubled to 10GB up from 5GB. Finally, the plan will now include 1GB of native international roaming if used on T-Mobile with 150 minutes and 150 texts, and 1GB of international data on eSIM (for Warp 5G customers). Update: 12/20/23 - US Mobile has updated the monthly version of the plan to have multi-line discounts. Customers with two lines will pay $27/line and customers with three or more lines will pay $25/line.
US Mobile trialed annual plan pricing over the Black Friday/Cyber Monday holiday shopping week by offering its Unlimited Starter plan for $20.83/month when prepaid for a year in advance. In a Reddit post, the company's founder, Ahmed Khattak, cites the success of its holiday offering as a reason for updating its plans today to make annual plan offerings a permanent part of their lineup. And consequently, the company has introduced several other annual plan offers.
The wireless provider is now highlighting prepaid annual plan pricing on its flagship Unlimited Premium plan. Customers can get it for $480, or $40/month when they prepay for it annually. Otherwise, the plan is still priced at $50/month for a single line, and $40/month per line for customers with more than 3-lines. The plan comes with 100GB premium 5G data before throttling to 1Mbps and also allows for up to 50GB of data to be used as a mobile hotspot. Customers with multiple lines will not receive additional discounts by prepaying for the plan annually.
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The company's Light plan has also been updated to include 1GB of data and unlimited talk and text up from 500 MBs, minutes, and texts. Annual plan pricing has also been introduced here. Customers can get it for $72/year or $6/month when prepaid for annually. Without the annual plan the monthly rate is $10/month. It was previously priced at $5/line.
The Kosher plan got a price increase to $10/month but adds international calling to Israel (only when used on the T-Mobile network). The plan is still available at its previous price of $7.50/month if customers prepay for it annually for $90/year. It comes with unlimited talk and text but no data.
Bye Bye Unlimited Essentials Plan
In addition to the new annual plan offerings, US Mobile has removed one of its unlimited plans. The Unlimited Essentials plan has been discontinued. That plan was priced at $40/month or $30/month per line with 3 or more lines. It included 50GB of high-speed data before throttling to 1Mbps and allowed for 10GB of data to be used for mobile hotspot. US Mobile says that current subscribers who are on that plan will be able to keep it. Khattak stated on Reddit that a reason for the plan's removal is that its other two unlimited plans have been way more popular.
More International Roaming
Today's plan updates also saw US Mobile expand its native international roaming countries to 180 up from 102 when using US Mobile on the T-Mobile network. Unlimited Premium plan customers will now get either 5GB or 10GB included per month for roaming, depending on where you’re traveling. You get 10GB to use in the 102 countries not included in today's update and 5GB to use in the 78 new countries where roaming is now available. You'll also get 1000 minutes and texts in the 102 countries, and 500 of each service allotment in the 78 new countries.
Roaming is now also available as an add-on. Subscribers on a shared data or Unlimited plan using US Mobile on the T-Mobile network can add 1GB plus 150 minutes/texts for $15 or 5GB with 500 minutes/texts for $45. The roaming add-ons currently need to be purchased by contacting support, but will be available to order through your account dashboard sometime in January.
International calling is being added to US Mobile's Unlimited and shareable data plans using the Warp 5G network (Verizon). It will be available as an add-on to the Light and Kosher plan for $3/month starting in January. US Mobile claims this makes them the first MVNO ever to offer direct dial international long-distance calling on the Verizon network.
Khattak stated on Reddit that US Mobile plans to add AT&T as a coverage partner in the first half of 2024. The company has been talking about adding AT&T as a coverage partner for months, and recently said they planned to land an agreement to use the AT&T network by the end of 2023.
Free Trial Plan Change
Not part of today's update, but another recent and quiet change from US Mobile is that they lowered the amount of data included with the free trial offer. The free trial offer now only includes 30GB of high-speed data down from 50GB. The trial time has also been decreased from 50 days to 30-days.
Annual prepaid plans have grown quite popular over the years. The format was largely popularized by Mint Mobile and helped them grow to roughly 2 million customers and to receive a buyout offer from T-Mobile valued at up to $1.35 billion. Customers like annual plans for the discounts they offer over monthly plans, while wireless carriers like them for the 12-months of guaranteed revenue that they provide. Mint Mobile's success and valuation by T-Mobile also serve as fuel for other providers to want to offer them.
Personally, I feel prepaid annual plans are contracts. You as a subscriber enter a contract with your carrier when you pay for the plan. They agree to offer you a year of service in exchange for your money. If you leave before the year is up, the carrier gets to keep your money for however many months early that you leave. Consider that your early termination fee, and you lose out on both your money and the service. And that's a risk that should be considered before signing up with any annual plan regardless of the provider.
Now if you are ok with the prepaid annual contract, US Mobile is offering good value here. However, there are other providers out there offering similar pricing to US Mobile with similar data allotments without the need for prepaying annually. For instance, Tello Mobile recently updated its flagship plan to include 35GB of high-speed data and lowered the price of it from $29/month down to $25/month. Taxes and fees cost extra, in contrast to US Mobile which includes them in the price. Tello Mobile is a T-Mobile MVNO. However, unlike US Mobile which throttles data speeds down to 1Mbps after the high-speed allotment is used up on its Unlimited Starter plan, Tello throttles down to a less usable speed of 256Kbps.
On the Verizon side, MobileX offers 30GB of high-speed data for $24.88/month plus taxes and fees, while Visible by Verizon offers truly unlimited data for $25/month with taxes and fees included. However, Visible's data speeds are prioritized below other customers during times of network congestion which means data speeds will slow down compared to other customers when the network is busy. US Mobile's Verizon based customers get data that is prioritized above other customers when the network is busy as long as they have a 5G device.
US Mobile's Light plan with 1GB of data and unlimited talk and text doesn't have a comparable monthly plan counterpart from another provider. So it is a great value here. However, Good2Go Mobile does offer an annual plan with 1GB of data and unlimited talk and text for $5/month, but taxes and fees are extra.