What's Up With The "T-MobileONE" Plan?

  • 18 August 2016
  • 69 replies

I've been a T-Mobile customer for several years now. I've also been a big fan of all of the Un-carrier moves until #12.


The articles I've read state that T-Mobile will be phasing out the rest of the plans and the T-MobileONE plan will replace them all. Can anyone verify if this is true?


Also can anyone comment on if you are already a customer on an old plan, can you keep it indefinitely and add lines to it in the future?


I currently have 3 lines with the default 2 Gb’s of data on all lines making the total $90 a month. In the upcoming years I plan to add two more lines which would bring my total to $110. I like that price, that’s why I switched to T-Mobile!


With the new plan for my same 3 lines I would pay (If I understand this correctly) $70 + $50 + $20 = $140. This is with auto pay; I believe it is $5/line more if you don’t have auto pay. So this is a $50 a month increase to what I pay today. This cost only goes up more as I add additional lines, like I plan to in the future.


If they are phasing out all of the other data plans and replacing it with this one, isn’t this basically just a price increase for everyone? This is just a simple way to increase ARPU?


I for one don’t really want unlimited data, just don’t need it. I use WiFi primarily. The point is T-Mobile is forcing unlimited data on everyone to increase prices and calling it an un-carrier move, well I don’t think so.


Also doesn’t this negate the prior Music Freedom and Binge On moves they made (Which were truly un-carrier)? With unlimited data, Music Freedom and Binge On don’t apply anymore.


I think T-Mobile is getting it wrong with this one, does anyone agree/disagree or see it differently?

69 replies

My theory is that management decided that they needed a higher ARPU and that zero-rated streaming and Data Stash were costing too much on the lower bucket plans. For me, the 2G-speed tethering is a non-starter.  I'll hang onto what I have now (thank you very much) and advise others to do the same. If anyone is thinking of signing up, they might want to do it before the new rates go into effect.

Userlevel 4

T-Mobile has always kept people grandfathered on plans if they wanted (although, the super-de-duper old plans were finally migrated to newer "equivalent" ones for less than a dollar difference for simplification).

I still have my grandfathered data plan from back in the day.  They have no plans on touching that (to my knowledge).  They're not like AT&T and Verizon who threaten their grandfathered customers to get a current plan or else 😊

The complicated part is if you have a plan now and want to add on to it when the plan no longer exists.  I've HEARD you can do that, but you may have to go through certain channels (a lot of times, stores won't help you out because their interest is to put you on a new plan). 

The new One plan is a stinker if you sip data, rather than require a firehose.  We have two lines with 2Gb, $80 per month. I need about 1Gb on one, and 0.2 on the other, and to be honest, 2G would be fast enough  I know I can keep these, at least for now, but the cost for similar service will soon be $120.

I do love the "Mexico and Canada included" and the Global coverage. But if my price goes up, I'll be looking for a cheaper solution.

Exactly, especially if you are not able to add lines on the current grandfathered plans it will be time to look elsewhere.

I remember when Verizon and AT&T initially had $30 unlimited data plans. Verizon was first to say unlimited data is not sustainable and started to tier. $30 only got you 2Gb and so on. AT&T was soon to follow with tiered data.

Well it turns out unlimited data is sustainable as long as the price is right and T-Mobile has made it mandatory for everyone! This is anything but an un-carrier move, in the short term revenue may go up along with churn, but credibility as an un-carrier will definetly go down..

Seems like a lot of the prior un-carrier moves like Data Stash, Music Freedom, and Binge On were just a means to the ultimate goal of  increased ARPU.

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johntmobile wrote:

I've been a T-Mobile customer for several years now. I've also been a big fan of all of the Un-carrier moves until #12.

The articles I've read state that T-Mobile will be phasing out the rest of the plans and the T-MobileONE plan will replace them all. Can anyone verify if this is true?

Also can anyone comment on if you are already a customer on an old plan, can you keep it indefinitely and add lines to it in the future?

Yes from the article and from what I got from his live FB chat the plan is to "eventually" phase out the other Simple Choice plans.  With that being said and mentioned by others T-Mobile has always "grandfathered" and as always doesn't make the announcements effective immediately or the next day like the other carriers do so you have a chance to make changes to lock yourself in, that's what I did when they announced the 2x100 deal was ending and gave everyone about a 1 week and half notice. It can be problematic to add or change a grandfathered plan since technically the plan doesn't exist anymore but also as mentioned some have had limited success by going thru various upper channels but wouldn't count on it. Verizon used phone upgrades to get people off their unlimited plans and wouldn't let you upgrade unless you got a new plan.

AT&T just announce a rate hike so while looking elsewhere may be an option I doubt even with this it will be cheaper for everything you get.  I do agree they need a lower level TOne plan but how do you do that with still leaving everything unlimited. I can see both sides and the with the reasoning that with BingeOn and Music Freedom that everyone using them essentially had unlimited but with the price point they came out with think they could have done a bit better.

If you look at it current single line unlimited is $95 versus TOne $70 + $25 (HD Video) so the same with the difference being tethering which goes from limited LTE to unlimited 2G (not a good trade IMHO).  I think they could have done the same thing and while yes maybe adding a couple bucks to the plan but have like 3 TOne plans like TOne Magenta = current unlimited, TOne Gold = the new plan but say some amount of LTE Tether and TOne the new plan but with the pricing of the magenta plan closer to the new numbers (with maybe a slightly higher amount for extra lines) and then slightly less for each plan after that.

I like the thought of Un-Carrier 12 just not sure they thought it out as well as they should have, especially since it is a major $$ leap from their current lower plans. I would assume though just like Simple Choice has been that this will be the "base" plan but they will offer specials and deals like the 2x100, 3 lines 4th free and etc.

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It appears to me the rates are going up over 50%.  If you have 2 lines.  Now $80.  After 9/6  $120!!  Each additional line is doubling from $10 to $20!!  (I admit - $10 for a phone line is too cheap.)

  TM never, in the past, forced existing users to "transition" (Mr. Legere's word) to a new, higher end plan for unwanted/needed services.

smplyunprdctble wrote:

T-Mobile has always kept people grandfathered on plans if they wanted (although, the super-de-duper old plans were finally migrated to newer "equivalent" ones for less than a dollar difference for simplification).

When I was forced to a new plan it was about $5 more than my grandfathered plan.

I agree, this is a huge price increase. As far as what the CEO said it just seems like he will sell the unwanted services to the new customers. The problem is adding new services to grandfathered plans. In my experience it never seems to go to well.

It's no secret that the churn rate across the industry has been stabilizing. T-Mobile has been adding over a million subscribers over the past 12 or so quarters. I believe this is or will start to slow down, so they need to increase revenue by increasing the price for new customers and by converting existing customers to the new plan.

There is no doubt T-Mobile did change the industry, but in pursuit of increasing revenue now it seems they are forgetting the "Simple Choice" plan along with all of the other pain points they eliminated and un-carrier moves they made over the past several years is what has brought them to the #3 carrier position.

Data is the current premium service for all the carriers, voice and text are a commodity. One possibility is this new plan is just a step closer in commoditizing data. As you mention to compete for new customers now they will have to offer deals on the base plan. Which means other carriers will do the same.

Sprint has already announced $60 for unlimited everything. At least I can thank T-Mobile for getting rid of contracts in the industry so we can choose to leave whenever a better deal comes along. Hopefully when it comes time to add lines to my plan it will be possible. If not I will be forced to evaluate my options.

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I just watched the video on FB with John Legere, Mike Sievert and Neville

Ray and it does sort of get into how they arrived at this and while it

makes sense I still think they could have tweaked it a bit better.

They clearly based numbers on a family of 4 to where it comes out at $40

per line unlimited everything. They noted that only 1% of there current

customers have turned Binge On off. So as they mentioned that for a single

line unlimited which is currently $95 99% of there customers will get a $25

discount since that is now $70 but for the 1% that want HD the price is the

same. Of course the tethering is still a loss although it does go from 14GB

of LTE to now unlimited I still see that as a negative but I am sure they

have numbers on how many people tether. They also pointed out that most

people are tethering tablets which for $20 you can add a tablet to any

phone plan and that is unlimited LTE data. Again I see the logic but don't

totally agree with it.

They mentioned Binge On and to some extent music Freedom were tests and

this is something they have been working towards for 2 to 3 years which was

to get to 1 plan.

They did also point out that the current Simple Choice plans won't

immediately go away on September 6th either but rather over time, hopefully

if this new plan doesn't go well they will make the appropriate tweaks to

make it better. I like the idea and direction just needs a bit more polish


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The only reason I have BingeOn is because of the free movie rentals. I bet a lot of users do the same.

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True, and while most don't really notice a difference of SD versus HD on a

5 inch screen I do, especially because the Samsung Galaxy has such a good

screen capable of that kind of resolution even on a small screen.

I do believe that's why they aren't getting rid of the Simple Choice plans

right away, gives them some time to see how the first iteration of T-Mobile

One goes and they can tinker with it if need be without removing the plans

they know work.

They are using an the example for the current unlimited customer base. My guess is the current number of single unlimited customers is far less than all the rest. This is a savings for a very small percentage and an increase for most. It is about increasing revenue across the board on average. I agree, as you mention time will tell. I predict the next few quarters they will not get as many new customers, but that's ok if the customers they get pay more. They are at the point in their network speed and coverage where they feel they are closer to being able to compete on price with the duopoly, hopefully it doesn't turn into a triopoly. With one plan there will not be much more they can do in terms of un-carrier moves other than compete for customers with pricing.

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I just wanted the free rentals is why I did it. Don't really care for HD or not personally. I guess because I grew up in the era of VGA and lower resolution it doesn't bother me seeing a few pixels especially when I am given $31 and some change for rentals or purchasing movies.

The new offering is somewhat of a lateral move. Just less tethering in my eyes.

I guess I will find out soon enough. I plan on to adding a fourth line in the near future, but do not need unlimited data on any of the lines and do not want to switch to the ONE plan.

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Chances are they'll move people over like they did with grandfathering like 3 or so years ago.

I had my favs and the new plan was more expensive but they dropped it down to a $1 more than what I was paying. People have to remember we are protected in the sense of the terms and use.

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Since I use all of 1-1.5GB of a 2GB plan for $50 and still get Music Freedom, and 480 BingeOn, though it is not zero-data, the $20 increase does me no good.  I am a single line plan though, but $70 beats VZW's $100+ that used to be around.

tidbits wrote:

Chances are they'll move people over like they did with grandfathering like 3 or so years ago.

If they try to stick me on One, I'm outa here.  I actually don't use all that much data but when I need to tether, I need to tether at better than 128 kbps.

I'm one of those who turned off Binge On. I have no interest in movies or streamed music. I do want my internet for nature research,etc.  Or getting the right article in the store.

We have a Roku, and I subscribe to MLB so I got At Bat from them. My tablet, where At Bat lives is wifi only.

The other half likes his flip phone, and the third line will be held for kid when she comes Stateside.

No, I'm not one customer that spends a lot, but I do pay my bills on time and have done so for 9 years.

I also have not participated in the giveaways. I am not a fan of this type of promotion.

I've ignored that whole dratted page.

I also resent autopay. I haven't missed in 9 years.

I read all the nonsense in the TMO News and was rather upset to see that someone thought it had something to do with an iPhone offer. If that is true, why should I pay for someone else's desire, and convenience. If they want it, they pay for it.

I bring my own phones as I want simplicity. I do not want tracking, ads, and there is no place to put them on the phone. I don't do any social networks. Everything that could do that has either been deleted or disabled on the phone. I have not taken advantage of TMobile and am a tad insulted.

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From what I have been seeing internally, there aren't any plans to force a migration.

I've sent out some feelers to see what making changes/adding features or lines to a grandfathered plan will be like, but haven't gotten a lot of info. It seems they really didn't want this to leak, so there isn't a lot of content quite yet, but I expect there to be more and more soon.



Does this mean if we're thinking of coming back, and need tethering (I typically use 5-12GB during winter months, traveling and using laptop/tablet for work), the only option is to come back immediately, and get one of the current (seen to be grandfathered) plans?

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Yes and no.  Yes if you want it included in what one of the current plans is.  On the T-Mobile One plan you can purchase tethered data in 5GB increments or just add for instance a tablet for $20 per month with unlimited (although the tablet would have to support cellular).

They did say the original Simple Choice plans wouldn't immediately disappear on September 6th but did say they will be phased out at some point so is that weeks, months who knows.

I think with the push-back they're getting, it will more likely be years, provided they don't just completely reconsider the idea and let it quietly die.


Yeah, that 5GB increments thing would get prohibitive, fast.  Maybe, itemized over the year, it would make sense, but to be paying sky-high bills all winter, it would be tough to convince myself that it'd be okay, in the summer.

Plus, if we took trip(s) during the summer much, we'd have to add data there too, or face the 128kb (that's barely above 56k modem speeds, and I bet 128 is "perfect", not the average) barrier, which would almost make doing work on a laptop or tablet un-doable.

I hope that the push-back will be the deal, that it'll "quietly die" as mentioned, and there are still options, if I decide to switch back (I was currently looking at around Nov-Dec timeframe).

I guess there's always Fi, since that gives you TMo anyway, plus the partner carriers at no additional.