23
Oct
1

Earlier this month, Team Uncarrier dropped a fairly large bomb on the mobile industry by offering users access to international data roaming at no additional cost. Now, it's taken the wraps off of its newest offering, this time targeting tablet users: free data. The company is basically giving away monthly plans that offer 200MB of LTE bandwidth to anyone with a compatible T-Mobile LTE device. That's huge.

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Judging by the wording in the PR, this plan will be available to everyone, not just those who already use T-Mobile as their primary cellular carrier:

T-Mobile is the only national wireless provider to offer tablet owners up to 200 MB of free 4G LTE data every month for as long as they own their tablet, even if they're not yet a T-Mobile customer.

From the sound of it, you should be able to buy a compatible tablet, like the new Nexus 7 for example, take it to T-Mobile, and leave with a SIM and free 200MB monthly data plan. No fees, no charges, no questions asked. This actually sounds too good to be true, so we've reached out to T-Mo for clarification and will update with a response as soon as we hear something back.

Update: It may sound too good to be true, but apparently it's not. We received word back from T-Mobile, and the above situation is indeed how it works – free data for all!

Of course, those who need more than 200MB of data can opt for a higher plan, though charges will apply (naturally). Current T-Mo customers can grab 500MB of data for $10 a month, and it jumps in 2GB increments for $10 each there. There are also daily and weekly passes, for those times when you just need a bump for a short period of time. Customers who elect to go with a Simple Choice tablet plan will also get unlimited data in the 100+ countries at no additional cost.

Beginning on November 1st, those who wish to ditch their Wi-Fi-only tablet and hop on the LTE train can do so at T-Mobile stores with the new trade-in program; just give up your old tablet, and get a discount on a new T-Mo compatible device. At the current time, T-Mobile is offering the new Nexus 7 and Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 in its tablet portfolio, though the recently-announced iPad Air and [new] Mini will be available in the future. You know, if that's your thing.

Good job, T-Mo. Keep shaking things up.

BELLEVUE, Wash. - Oct. 23, 2013 - If you purchased one of the nearly 90 percent[i] of all tablets that only connect over Wi-Fi because you worried mobile connections would mean big monthly bills, listen up.

Just two weeks after upending the wireless industry with its Un-carrier 3.0 moves, T-Mobile US, Inc. (NYSE: TMUS), America's new No. 1 choice in wireless[ii], is at it again. In its latest Un-carrier move, T-Mobile today announcedTablets Un-leashed, a revolutionary approach to make tablets just as mobile and connected as smartphones.

"Tablets are supposed to be un-tethered like smartphones, but it hasn't worked out that way because people know carriers will charge them an arm-and-a-leg for mobile data," said John Legere, president and CEO of T-Mobile. "Carriers figured out a long time ago that they could make money - a lot of money - by forcing customers into restrictive, overpriced data plans. We changed it for smartphones and we're changing it for tablets."

T-Mobile is the only major national wireless provider to make tablets affordable, connected and mobile right out of the box. There's no bait and switch, no trial period and no strings attached. T-Mobile is the only national wireless provider to offer tablet owners up to 200 MB of free 4G LTE data every month for as long as they own their tablet, even if they're not yet a T-Mobile customer.[iii] It's really as good as it sounds - 200 MB of free data on T-Mobile's nationwide 4G LTE network. That means each month customers can send approximately 800 Instagram photos, more than 2,500 emails or stream 200 minutes of music - all for free.

Customers wanting more data can choose from a range of simple, affordable and flexible options - with no annual service contracts, no data overages and a blazing-fast nationwide 4G LTE network. T-Mobile offers daily, weekly and monthly options for adding 4G LTE data. For T-Mobile voice customers, 'always-on' tablet plans start at just $10 a month for unlimited data including 500 MB of 4G LTE data each month. Customers can add even more 4G LTE data in 2 GB increments for just $10 more per month. For customers who would rather have the flexibility of on-demand data, T-Mobile offers daily and weekly passes. Daily passes include unlimited data with 500 MB of 4G LTE data starting at just $5. The weekly passes include unlimited data with 1 GB of 4G LTE data for $10. No caps. No overages. Just simple value.

Additionally, postpaid customers who add a monthly Simple Choice tablet plan automatically get unlimited data to include more than 100 countries worldwide, at no extra charge. This means that T-Mobile's home data coverage area for tablets is now larger than AT&T's and Verizon's combined.

T-Mobile is driving unparalleled value for tablets across its entire line-up. New and existing customers will get affordable and hassle-free access to the latest 4G LTE tablets at the upfront price of $0 down with monthly device payments. With incredible upfront pricing and great value rate plans, T-Mobile has the lowest total cost of ownership among the top US carriers for tablets. In fact, compared to similar AT&T plans, consumers can save up to hundreds of dollars over two years with T-Mobile's Tablets Un-leashed offer.

"By offering free data for life with incredible upfront pricing, T-Mobile is un-leashing customers to fully enjoy tablets as they were meant to be enjoyed - mobile and connected," Legere said.

T-Mobile Announces Tablet Trade-In Program and New Device
T-Mobile today also announced plans to extend its existing smartphone trade-in program to tablets. Beginning Nov. 1, anyone with a qualifying tablet can bring it into a participating          T-Mobile store - even if it's only Wi-Fi capable - and receive a discount on a new tablet.

Tablets in T-Mobile's portfolio will include:

  • Google Nexus 7 (2013), Google's flagship 7-inch LTE tablet, featuring a stunning 7-inch full HD display and virtual surround sound is built to deliver the best of Google in a slim, light and extremely portable tablet. T-Mobile today announced it will offer the Nexus 7 beginning Nov. 20 for $0 down with 24 equal monthly device payments of $16.[iv]

  • Samsung Galaxy Tab(TM) 2 10.1, with its brilliant 10.1-inch display, lets customers take entertainment, like games, music, movies and social networking, on the go while taking advantage of T-Mobile's nationwide 4G LTE network. The Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 is currently available for $0 down with 24 equal monthly device payments of $19.iv

Cameron Summerson
Cameron is a self-made geek, Android enthusiast, horror movie fanatic, musician, and cyclist. When he's not pounding keys here at AP, you can find him spending time with his wife and kids, plucking away on the 6-string, spinning on the streets, or watching The Texas Chainsaw Massacre on repeat.

  • http://randomphantasmagoria.com/ Shawn

    200MB to get people hooked and make them see why LTE tablets wipe their @$$es with WiFi-only tablets is a genius business idea. Not gonna lie.

    Maybe now that "Jesus H. T-Mobile" is pimping LTE tablets, all the Android geeks who have kept the undeserved T-Mobile fellatio party going since late March will finally stop ragging on LTE tablets.

    "LTE tablets suck...until T-Mobile gets behind them! Now I needs to getz me an LTE Nexus 7, yo!"

    Too bad this genius business idea came on a network that can't seem to get even 3G coverage outside of metro areas, nevermind LTE. Whatever. I digress.

    • Ethan

      Do you have to copy and paste this on every single android site?

      • Guest

        No, I rarely do. Only on certain posts, and it's only between here and DL. haha

        • Arthur Dent

          Well you come off like an asshole, regardless.

    • anezarati

      i got a feeling of deja vu

    • jonathan3579

      Someone's panties are in an awful wad this afternoon.

  • Josh C

    Wonder if i can trade in my wifi only first gen nexus 7 for a new nexus 7 and if so how much credit i'll get towards it.. but this sounds great, if its true. 200MB a month of completely free data? Sign me up!

    Oh, and thank you so much androidpolice team. I was waiting this article. Its really great user friendly and well writing.

    • Kenny O

      I am wondering the same thing

    • http://androidandme.com/ Taylor Wimberly

      Yes, you can trade in a Nexus 7 WiFi (2012). Don't know how much credit they will give you though.

    • anezarati

      i am definitely going to at least check this out. i'll do it if they give a decent amount of money for my new n7

      • Gandalf_Teh_Gray

        Know the answer yet?

        • anezarati

          i dont think they are offering it unitl nov 1

          • Gandalf_Teh_Gray

            What news from the Mark?

    • Derek

      If they offer more than $50 for my Nexus 7 WiFi (2012) I will be SO happy.

  • solbin

    This is pretty awesome. If you do go over 200mb, will it just throttle you back to EVDO/edge speeds or drop you completely?

    • http://randomphantasmagoria.com/ Shawn

      Disregard. I should learn to read.

      • Josh C

        Well it says "200MB of free LTE" so i'd assume its LTE

        • http://randomphantasmagoria.com/ Shawn

          Oh whoops, I missed that. My bad.

      • wjrandon

        T-Mobile ‏@TMobile1h
        We have unleashed TABLETS! No strings attached, no commitments, no 2yr service contracts, 200MB FREE 4G data – current customer or not!

        • http://randomphantasmagoria.com/ Shawn

          Yeah I missed that. My bad.

      • solbin

        Edge still isn't great, but having an option of Edge or no mobile internet access at all for a tablet, why wouldn't you pick Edge? You won't be able to stream music or movies, but could easily browse websites and check email.

        • jeffrey6283

          Well the Nexus 7 doesn't seem to be equipped with a EDGE/3G radio, but you're kinda SOL if you aren't able to connect to LTE.

          • ins0mn1a

            you joking, right?

          • KevinMCo

            No, the only radio the Nexus 7 is lacking is EV-DO, which is the older CDMA. All GSM data networks are compatible, using my LTE Nexus 7 on T-Mo in Missouri I have seen all of these: GPRS, EDGE, UMTS, HSPA, and LTE of course.

          • jeffrey6283

            Ah, it was listed as just LTE not GSM-LTE. My fault.

    • http://randomphantasmagoria.com/ Shawn

      It'll almost certainly drop you completely since you aren't paying for it.

      • solbin

        Very likely. Going to be interesting to see what will become of this.

  • TSON1

    So so so so SO glad that merger failed.

    • Brandon Bradley

      was thinking the same thing!!

    • Mircury119

      +1 x 1,000,000 I was one of the ones wrote letters to the FCC about how horrible this was.

    • Cuvis

      Yeah, we dodged a bullet there.

  • atlouiedog

    My mom has a Galaxy Tab on AT&T that currently isn't on a plan. Hopefully it's easy to bring to T-Mobile when I visit them next month.

    • http://randomphantasmagoria.com/ Shawn

      It'll most likely work on T-Mobile EDGE and that's it.

  • KChristainsen

    LTE new nexus 10! can't wait now

  • Lang Marong

    I definitely will trade in my galaxy tab 10.1 for a nexus tablet. I hope the credit is decent.

    • jrop

      Same here...I just bought a Nexus 7. If this is as good as it sounds, I'm definitely investigating a trade-in. Hopefully they pay well.

  • then00b

    If I buy a T-mobile LTE tablet will it also work on AT&T LTE network if I plan on switching later ?

    • http://randomphantasmagoria.com/ Shawn

      Most likely not, unless it's a 2013 Nexus 7.

  • remister

    I'm kicking myself now for not getting a LTE enabled Nexus 7....

  • Mystery Man

    These prices are ridiculous. Apple and Android tablets are equivalent to giant phones and should have the same data prices.

    If we are talking about full Windows 8.1 tablets I could see why they wouldn't want to offer unlimited for $20 a month like with phones.

    • Michael Pahl

      there is still uTorrent and many other huge data hogs on Android. Something to consider.

      • gierso

        yeah but it doent matther if it is a tablet or a phone we can still hog the data :)

  • Cenarl

    This is pretty amazing if there are no strings attached.

  • Cuvis

    Hmmm... I'd love to have more info on that trade-in program. If I could get credit towards a Galaxy Tab for my old Touchpad, and get zero-interest financing to boot, that could be very attractive.

  • MJ

    I am going to most likely be getting a Nexus 5 when it comes out (and getting off of Verizon) so wondering if there is going to be a way to get this to work on a phone? I use Wi-Fi at home and work so that's like almost 90% of the time so this plan would be perfect with Google Voice.

    • NinoBr0wn

      So just get a data plan.

    • solbin

      Try buying a prepaid SIM through Tmobile's website, then sign up for the free 200mb plan online. You won't lose anything other than the price of the SIM card.

  • Chris Jutting

    Or if you're on T-mobile already you can just use tethering on a WiFi tablet since tethering is free with any data plan. Why don't all carriers do this?

    • Freak4Dell

      AT&T and Verizon do, to a certain extent. It's not free on their old unlimited plans, but their data share plans include tethering. Sprint is the only major carrier that still charges for tethering (well, T-Mobile does too, if you want over a certain amount).

  • Drake Hand

    Still the only carrier I've ever had out of the big four that seem to actually give a damn about their customers. And in this case, even their non-customers.

    • solbin

      I agree. Seemingly every other wireless company seems to put profit over customer satisfaction. Tmobile has its flaws, but they are much more pro-consumer the competition.

    • KevinMCo

      When you're in fourth place, you actually have to compete. The market is finally coming through for consumers.

      • Marc Peters

        Unless you are US Cellular. They're #5 and just went to share plans that look like they are copy posted from Verizon.

  • jorge pacho

    Whats happens if I live in mexico?

    • gierso

      excelent question : )

      i want to know as well

      if i get this with the nexus 7 lte and activate would it work in other countries? especially mexico or overseas like with their plans worldwide?

  • MeCampbell30

    Holy god.

  • Oli72

    Great move T-Mobile.

  • Matthew Fry

    Wow. That's fun. Good going T-Mobile.

  • http://turbofool.com Jarrett Lennon Kaufman

    Well, T-Mobile just made getting an LTE tablet a lot more tempting. I wonder what the trade-in credit for my Nexus 7 2013 32GB would be toward an LTE version.

  • http://planetmew.com/blog/ Christopher Glass

    I have spare old unlocked Android phones. I reallllly want to know if this would work with them. That'd be awesome to have a spare free working SIM, even if the data is as low as it is.

  • Nick

    Come on Nexus 10 2013... PLEASE have LTE in it.

  • Cat Astrophy

    lol thats not even one netflix movie

    • MeCampbell30

      It's also free. Seems like only a jerk would complain about it "only" being 200mb.

      • Cat Astrophy

        No it just means their incentive to buy a tablet from them is still zero. TMo's deal isn't a charity, it's a loss leader to get you to buy a tablet from them. 200mb isn't going to cut it if you do anything real data-wise on a tablet. Hell even web surfing will eat that up immediately if you don't run ad blockers or accidentally have a youtube video setting on HD

    • deltatux

      Not everyone streams Netflix on the go, if they offered something like this in Canada, I'd still be within the 200 MB limit since I mainly use my mobile data to check messages and light surfing.

  • The_16th_Doctor

    am i glad to be a tmobile user, not that it makes a difference

  • Bryan Bonds

    Can this work on a smartphones or is it somehow restricted to tablets? like it you bought a Nexus 4 or 5, would it work? Would it also work if you have a T-mobile sim for pre-paid minutes?

  • j¤n Gårrëtt [5,000+]

    Is it really $0 down and not another one of those T-mobile-pay-me-up-front-and wait-for-a-rebate gimmicks?

  • Kenneth Porter

    This is crazy! I only use about 325mb per month on my phone and I use my nexus 7 even less. T-mobile....you guys are awesome

  • WTFTMo

    This is BS. Went to a local store they ran my credit said i was approved then said its out of stock. so i called 5 more none had it. Went to t-mobile.com and find out that they don't even carry the nexus 7 all it says is Coming Soon. WTF

    • WTFTMo

      Called 1-800-T-MOBILE got someone who didn't even know the nexus 7 was a tablet. She said her supervisor hasn't heard of a date they will be selling it.

  • saas78

    I am current customer with Tmo. I called the customer service and what they are saying really is - You get your own tablet or buy from us, we give you 200MB of free data every month. But you have to pay $10 for this additional line every month as service fee. And there is no activation fee. And since you are paying this $10 as service fees they will give additional 300MB of data. So altogether they are giving $500 MB of data for ten bucks and calling it as service fees.

    I do not know why do they think customers are so stupid. Or may be we really are. I'd rather pay $20 to verizon without contract and get LTE coverage all over US for 1GB data. BTW...some one needs to remind Tmo that their LTE is only in few big cities and not all over US.