Mobile's new unlimited plan delivers the bare necessities

T-Mobile Essentials: new unlimited data plan

Called the T-Mobile Essentials plan, it offers only the basics, without numerous extras that T-Mobile has become known for.

Called "T-Mobile Essentials", the new plan will be available starting August 10 and is just like the name implies: the basics.

As always, T-Mobile is listening to customers, and T-Mobile Essentials is designed for those who say they just want the basics: unlimited talk, text and smartphone data in the US - all at the industry's best price, only $30 per line for a family of four with autopay. Subscribers on the Essentials plan will also be the first to see slower speeds at times and in places where there's "heavy network demand". If you add ONE Plus “for the whole family”, you can have it for the previous rate of $10 per month per line.

T-Mobiles Essentials plan will cost $120 for four lines ($30/line) while T-Mobile ONE goes for $160 ($40/line).

What's not included in T-Mobile Essentials are features like free Netflix for family plans.

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The cheaper plan limits video to 480p and hotspot connections are always 3G.

"The other guys have got Above Unlimited, Unlimited Plus, Beyond Unlimited, Unlimited and More ..." You'll need to get a credit approval to sign up.

No changes are being made to the earlier T-Mobile One and One Plus plans.

T-Mobile's move to a tiered pricing structure for its unlimited options follows similar moves by the rest of the nation's wireless operators. [T-Mobile] wants to make it easy. "T-Mobile Essentials is a plan for people who predominantly use their phone domestically", the carrier says, pointing frequent travelers in the direction of T-Mobile ONE instead. Without autopay, it's $5 more per line. Despite that, the company thinks there are some customers out there who may be willing to give up a few perks that normally come with their plans in exchange for small reduction in the monthly bill. Wireless companies (including T-Mobile, which was contacted for this article) don't provide any guidance on average taxes, given the vast difference in how the taxes and fees are calculated and applied in different states. It starts at $40 per line with taxes and fees included for a family for four with autopay.

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