Small Changes To Data/Messaging Plans!

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Well its been a while since we’ve last seen T-mobile make any major changes to data plans and last time we got pretty much a total overhaul. Well, apparently 7 months was long enough and its time for a little revamp. Boygenius just ran a story about the Family Text Message changing from $19.99 to $24.95 a month. While still lower than the competition, in this economic climate, every dollar counts and you would think our benevolent low cost carrier would go in the opposite direction, but oh well, still a good deal. That’s not at all however, a minor change will also come at the lower end of the messaging scale, the smallest package currently available is $5 for 400 messages, well that’s going to change to $5 for 300 messages. Our source pegs these changes on May 27th though BoyGenius is running with “sometime” in June. 

Aside from the small price changes, T-mobile is also reporting a change in T-mobile stance regarding data plans with smartphones. Adopting a more AT&T/Verizon model, all smartphones will now be required to have an add on data plan, save for the BlackBerry Pearl, BlackBerry Pearl Flip, Samsung Behold or Samsung Memoir. Also slated for a “sometime” in June launch. 

Via Boygenius

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  • J

    The phones are not fully subsidized by the 2 year contract. Not anymore anyway. The phone is only a small portion of what your monthly fee has to cover. It has to cover leases for cell sites, transport costs, labor costs, and equipment replacement to just name a few items. Then T-mobile pays for any of your roaming costs on top of that. Those costs only increase when you go to 3G and eventually 4G.

  • Chuong

    @ math

    Since when did AT&T require a mandatory data plan (for the entire contract) on any smartphone except the iPhone?

  • GoddeZz

    @WIZARD

    LOL, YOU HAD TO SPECIFY THAT IN THERE…HILARIOUS

  • dantek

    I have the old $4.99 tzone plan. If I was to buy tmobile’s branded touch pro 2 from someone other than tmobile. Would I still be able to browse the internet, check email with my tzone plan? or will I see a webpage asking me to subscribe to the data plan?

  • Big S

    WHEN YOU BUY A LAPOP DO YOU NEED A LAPTOP STICK FOR THE INTERNET YES YOU DO…(UNLESS YOU STEAL IT FROM SOME ONE THAT USEING A WIRELESS ROUTER AND THEY DIDNT ADD A PASSWORD, OR WHEN YOU GOT HOTSPOT LOCATIONS) THIS IS THE SAME THING YOU NEED TO GET THE INTERNET TO RUN THE PHONE FOR ALL IT FUNCTIONS UNLESS THE PHONE HAS WIFI AND YOU LINK UP TO THE ROUTER OR HP LOCATION…..

  • Rommel

    @math-thanks.

  • Panic

    I like having choices and tmobile is usually very good about that. This doesn’t effect me, but, I don’t like the idea. At the very least they should offer subscribers the option of not subscribing to the data plan and in return those consumers may have to pay a little more. Essentially reducing the rebate if you don’t sign up for the data plan when buy a smart phone.

  • AC

    @the_wizard

    Yeah, I got that from TMOemployee’s comment, and there’s really no complaint from me about that. However T-Mobile wants to sell their phones under contract is their business — they are a business after all, and IMO better than all the others in various aspects with a fairly large network. What I don’t quite understand are the attitudes some here have about people with smartphones without data plans, and that they should get “dumb” phones instead, as if internet access is by mandate all a smartphone is good and should be used for.

    @Big S

    A laptop has more applications than just the browser. It’s capable of productivity, organization, games, music, movies, etc. Internet access can be had at home via ethernet or WiFi, or out and about at locations that offer WiFi access — stealing isn’t necessary. If you need to be online all the time and wherever you are, like if you’re on the road all the time, then yes, you would need a Laptop Stick or similar. This applies for smartphones as well. Smartphones don’t need internet access for all of the functions I mentioned for the laptop. If and when they do need internet access, they can go online via WiFi, bluetooth, or USB. If you need to check email, look up map directions, download apps, and check social networking updates on the fly, then yes, you definitely need a data plan.

  • AC

    @ Panic

    I think that’s how it’s going to be, based on TMOemployee’s and the_wizard’s comments, only that there will be no rebates at all, and one would have to buy the phone at full price if they get it from T-Mobile.

  • barban

    @AC

    I think these people are really internet oriented. A lot of people just use their computer to browse the web. Same thing for smartphones. They can’t comprehend that there are so much more to smartphones. I think they should get dumphones if all they use are web browsers and e-mail.

  • math

    @Chuong I was referring to the iphone however ATT is rolling out the same requirement in June.

  • Wizzyconsin

    all the people on here that say if i dont want a smartphone for its basic capabilities then not buy a smart phone can really just kiss the fattest part of my ass. If i want to buy a phone with a full keyboard, i will pay greatly more than i need to for it just in the store. why do i need their forced data package? all of the actions that tombile has done up until now are working out for them now. they have you actually BELIEVING that a phone HAS to come with this package and service! It SHOULD be like a car (especially since both almost need loans now). you want this feature? pay for it. you dont want it? fine but you dont get the full functionality of the phone but its still usable and fun. get a mind of your own, people. stop letting tmobile do the thinking for you. I, for one, cant wait to see them change our terms of agreement so that I can jump from this sinking ship.

  • steve

    I still don’t think this is right. Again, Tmobile isn’t losing money! They are profitable. As far as the subsidy on phones goes we need to keep in mind that while they are picking up the cost of part of the phone (in exchange for a 2 year contract) they are not paying retail for the phones! That $500 MSRP phone is probably costing them less than half direct through RIMM or whomever and we pay what….$100 or $200 for a new service activation? That doesn’t fly with me.

    If I add it up all correctly, they will now be priced almost as high as verizon for comparable voice/data services but without the coverage. That just doesn’t make sense for someone who is supposed to be a value provider. I hate to say it but sprint is looking pretty nice right now….you get more for your money AND pay less.

    And for those who say if you don’t want to be forced into a data plan don’t upgrade that will only work for so long. Let’s be honest, most cell phones last what, 2 or 3 years at most? You may not want to upgrade but you almost have to because of equipment failure.

  • Big S

    @ AC I was only speaking to the fact that people buy laptop mostly for the internet, I am not that dumb I know the laptop does a lot more then that.. I didn’t think I needed to waste my time typing all the other stuff considering this has been the argument that hole time, why buy a smart phone only to use half of the phone and the other half say they don’t need the internet on the phone…. I really don’t care what people do with their phone to be honest….

    I SAY THIS AND I AM DONE ON THIS TOPIC…. IF YOU BUY A SMARTPHONE OR ANY PHONE FOR THAT MATTER READ THE DIRECTIONS BEFORE YOU CALL CST CARE TO FIND OUT HOW TO USE YOU PHONE…..I get more calls with people asking how to change there myfaves, ring tone, volume, check their voicemail…need I say more…. take 30 min to look over the manual and another hour to play with the phone before you call us to get help….I have also read in hear before that cst service is not as nice as they use to be… I WONDER why getting bombarded with STUPID @55 questions….

  • Alex

    T-mobile T-Mobile T_mobile…

    When will people realize that although we are in somewhat of a struggle, lower prices = more people.
    Equals everyone wins!

    +/

  • kyouki

    To many people are just jumping to concutions! Just chill and wait for the changes, first don’t worry if your grandfather you get to keep your rates, second the kids on here saying can’t wait for t-mobile to force me so I can get out of my terms, stop being dumb, tmobile not breaking any terms because they are not changing your current terms there inforcing future contract you sign when geting a data plan so give that one up you agreed to your contract, witch if you read states tmobile hold the right to change rates at anytime. 3rd this is a good thing it does cost tmobile a lot money that customers don’t understand, it takes an average of 10 months for tmobile to make money off a new customer this will speed that up allowing for faster groth. And sorry for any bad grammer or misspells I am also using my g1 to post very fast, and guess what it with a data plan!

  • J

    More customers means more operating costs. The network does not have limitless capabilities. It has to be expanded as more people get on it. So, more people also means more cost. 3G only adds to the cost. In my market, we already pay millions of dollars a year for 2G circuits. 3G will probably increase monthly costs for circuits by about 35-40% initially. As more customers get on 3G, that will likely double. If T-Mobile were to keep data plan prices the way they are, they would not be able to provide faster data rates due to that cost. It may cost you a few customers, but if you deliver the data rates you will gain more profitable customers. Those are the customers you will need if you want to build out a 3G network and begin a 4G network.

  • Ben

    This is BS! This seems to punish the loyal customers who have patiently been waiting for the 3G footprint to hit their cities.

  • JustAnotherEmployee

    This argument should be looked at from a different perspective: T-Mobile has recently lowered the prices on a number of rate plans – the 49.99 Loyalty rate plan, the 1800 minute MyFaves plan with M2M for the same price as 1000 minutes without M2M are just two examples – to compete with the Metro/Boost crowd, so it is clear that T-Mobile is still trying to reach the low-cost/high-value subscriber.

    On the other hand, if you’ve got the money for a new smartphone in this troubled economic envoronment, and are not simply buying one to impress the chicks at the club, you NEED a data plan and can probably afford it, too.

    REMEMBER THIS, though:

    If this change adversely affects the bottom line, i.e., if T-Mobile starts bleeding customers because of the new data plan requirements, believe me, the Big Boys in Bellevue will drop it in record time.

  • Ron

    I’m wondering if Tmobile will do this in shifts? For 3g areas and non 3g areas. I have been with Tmobile for over 6 years and out of contract and was looking forward to the TP2 but was not going to get the data plan until they established 3g in my area. I just can’t see paying that much for edge service.

    @JustAnother Employee

    I know Tmobile would change if they start bleeding but the damage might already have been done. I can see the person now “I have to pay that much for edge???!!!??” Just don’t think that it’s a good idea right now. If they have a major 3g deployment before this it might be fine.

  • Steve

    @justanotheremployee

    In your opinion do you see tmobile possibly lowering the price of their data plans to retain their value focus? The reason I ask is that I’ve been under the assumption that they are just going to force everyone to add a $30 data plan, plus messaging etc now you are priced with verizon for edge service while everyone else is on 3g.

    IF that holds true then sprint will replace tmobile as a value leader given the benefits/pricing of their family data plan.

    What do you think?

  • Heather

    Remember that VZW’s 25 dollar data plan only covers data… for that phone. Where as TMo’s data plans (even on their 3G devices) cover a higher GB (VZW is 5GB, before they throtle you), 400 messages, and allows for tethered modem on supported devices. To get that on a VZW phone you would have to pay sixty and get a messaging plan, and the speeds for their none rev A devices (read most of their PDAs) is really not all that much faster then a UMTS device, and in some cases slower then HSDPA.

  • bryant

    im sorry but forcing data plans is just too much. i am a college student at Long Beach State and everyday i check my email before i go to class to see if a class is canceled, reminders from professors. For me, the data plan is useless because one i enter the parking lot of the school wifi is available, not only at the parking lot but all through out the school. What is the need for data when you have wifi. It will not only enable me to browse the web but also updates email clients and wheather and all that good stuff. other than that i dont need the data plan outside school but at home which i also do not need because i have wifi running in the house. but when im on the go. i only use my phone to make calls as well as receive calls. i say we should have the decision whether or not we should add a data plan to our phone. My blackberry does what it needs to do when i get to school, to inform me through email, and when i get bored in class i browse the internet.