U.S. Cellular becomes latest to imitate T-Mobile, with its contract-free “Simple Connect” plans

Screenshot 2014-04-07 at 23.15.05

We’re almost used to it by now. T-Mobile does something awesome, and someone else copies. More recently, it was Sprint’s attempt to copy Uncarrier 4.0’s offer to pay off a customer’s ETF with another carrier to switch and join its network that got the headlines. Today, it’s U.S. Cellular’s turn.

The carrier’s Simple Connect plans were launched today and are almost a direct copy of Simple Choice. The main difference being: there’s no truly unlimited option. Simple Connect has three price tiers: $40 for unlimited data on feature phones, $50 for unlimited data on a smartphone with a 500MB high-speed limit and $60 for a 2GB high speed limit. Each plan has unlimited calls and texts, and they’re contract free. Also like Magenta, you can purchase a device with 0% financing over 2 years.

Screenshot 2014-04-07 at 23.23.30

In every way, this is a pale imitation of Simple Choice. There’s no international roaming, no Stateside international talk and text, and the data on offer isn’t as much either. They virtually stole the name, but at least they didn’t use the sacred purple hue. But they do say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Uncarrier is doing it right.

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  • דקס וויליאמס

    ok i believe its 500MB not 500GB for 50 bucks.

    • Evan Lam

      haha, 500GB of data is cheaper than 2GB. What a steal! lol

      • My first thought was, “…not sure if trap…”

    • Ha! Good catch!

      • דקס וויליאמס

        why thank you.

  • taron19119

    I wish t-mobile just buy us cellular

    • Binny Gupta

      I think sprint will buy them because they support all the bands tmobile has now

  • S. Ali

    That is because US Cellular has been losing customer by the 1000. Chances are Sprint will acquire them.

  • sushimane

    It would be crazy if T-Mobile brought us cellular in the next coming years after all the Integration,auction, and upgrades to all the 2g towers

  • UMA_Fan

    So they actually decide to imitate a competitor that has nearly triple their market share but offer less data at each price tier? Wow.

    • gentleman559

      I know right. I was thinking that myself just now

    • Volker

      In rural parts of NH and a lot of northern ME, the only options are Verizon or US Cellular. Up until Verizon bought Unicel a few years ago, US Cellular and Unicel were the only two companies who offered coverage. Now it’s only USC or VZW for a lot of people. No other carriers in these areas provide native coverage – not T-Mobile, AT&T, or Sprint. I see this as a direct threat to Verizon in these two areas, since Verizon’s cheapest plans offer way less for way more. Verizon knows this and made a smart move to keep a few of those towers running the legacy Unicel GSM network for the sole purpose of generating roaming income from other carriers in a few more popular cities. I think this is a move directed primarily to lure customers from VZW in these markets, but I’m sure they are also counting on people switching from the rest of the carriers in the other markets in the nation that they operate in that overlaps with them too.

  • Fr0stTr0n

    Sincerest form of flattery comment in 3…2…1…

  • Alexis A

    I’ll take the 500GB!!! Over anything lol

  • Jared

    I’ll take 500 for $50 Alex

    • Alexis A

      Lol who do I have to sleep with!!?? I just want better coverage!!! And some 4g would be nice :( hell I’ll take 3g but I’m stuck on 2g so f the 500GB lol I mean MB

  • JBLmobileG1

    These plans are fine and dandy, but you have to remember that Tmobile still offers true Unlimited High Speed data. Plus their services are available all over unlike US Cellular. Aren’t they a regional carrier? For the best bang for your buck, Tmobile is still the number 1 carrier in my book.

  • Bklynman

    Thought US Cellular was going be brought out by the death star?

  • dm33

    TMobile is cheaper. $50 w 1GB, $60 w 3GB.
    Nothing to see here.

  • Jay J. Blanco

    U.S. Cellular should have bought Alltel and Cricket. But hey too late now

  • Fr0stTr0n

    500mb. Enough to watch a single decent length HD porn.

    • Paul

      So 5 minutes, 3 if I can turn up the volume.

  • 50 dollars for 500GB of unlimited data, data on.
    Why not proof read before posting. ….

  • Jackson

    I’m on the Unlimited High Speed Data plan with TMobile and everytime i hit 10 GB i get throttled to dial-up speed (56k). How is that Unlimited High Speed Data? Does anyone else have this problem?

    • Matt

      Do you know for sure that you have been throttled? By that I mean have you contacted customer care and actually gotten them to confirm it?

    • Alex Zapata

      The only problem I’ve had is that my speeds drop significantly during peak hours, but that’s part of the trade-off with unlimited data.

    • Paul

      You might check with them about that. I have unlimited and haven’t been throttled ever, even when I get near 20Gigs. It could be a mistake on your account.

  • Alex Zapata

    If it weren’t for the fact that US cellular has coverage in areas where TMO basically doesn’t exist I’d say they were crazy to charge these prices. Sadly there are quite a few areas where the only two choices are US cellular or Verizon.

  • Paul

    Luckily these aren’t contracted plans. Once the user realizes that they don’t get great speeds for the money they won’t have to wait for a contract to expire to switch.
    These are the same kind of deals the small guys offer, like Virgin Mobile. It might be good enough for some, but it’s not good enough for me.

    • Don Goyo

      If you have a 500MB or 2GB plan you dont really need great speeds. Actually its better to be on a slow connection, youll spend more time connected… LOL

      • Paul

        I use more data than they offer. My mom might not need a lot of data, but I do.

  • luvmytmo

    Not surprised they did this considering I was told in a Corporate meeting that Tmobile is actively looking to acquire US Cellular.

    • Paul

      Wouldn’t be a bad move.

    • hansonth

      This would improve coverage in tons of rural areas, espiecely Wisconsin. :D

  • fishermanners

    For a laugh, I thought I’d see what phones you could use on the $40 unlimited plan. Absolutely no Androids or iPhones. Not Even the Samsung Repp or a flimsy Alcatel Android can be used on that plan. I have a friend with a Defy XT who only pays $20/month, and that sounds like a better deal than this.