Starting on September 6th, new T-Mobile postpaid subscribers or current postpaid customers looking to change their plan will have exactly one choice: the ONE plan. T-Mobile is dramatically simplifying its [admittedly, confusing at times] plan structure for individuals and families by introducing literally one plan. Again: the ONE plan. It works like this - as you can see in detail in our post on the news - but let me give you the flyby version.
As an individual, you'd pay $70 per month for the ONE plan. Unlimited talk, text, and data. Sounds nice! And simple. But the strings attached aren't so much strings as structural-grade steel cables. Want to be able to watch video above 480p on your LTE connection (i.e., turn off Binge On)? You'll need to fork over $25 per month extra. OK, so now, at $95 per month, it's really unlimited, right? Well, no. If you go over 26GB of data use in a month, you risk being throttled during peak congestion and high network load. Fun!
But hey, at least you get tethering, right? All the tethering you can handle is included... at 2G speeds. If you want proper high-speed tethering? That's another $15 per month, and you get a measly 5GB of tethering data. Once you go over that 5GB, you'll need to pay another $15 for another 5GB of tethering data. Insert Lando Calrissian "this deal gets worse all the time" GIF here.
For the person who uses their smartphone in the way T-Mobile wants and expects them to - not for mobile HD video, and not for extensive tethering - the ONE plan may represent a solid value. But that value really is just a mirage: HD video and tethering are easily the fastest and most common ways to use up significant amounts of mobile data. And T-Mobile knows this. It's been their plan all along, as is now becoming much more clear: make people pay extra if they actually want to use their plan in ways that typically consume a lot of data, while simultaneously feeding them a narrative that they're getting tons of "value" and "unlimited" access. The ONE plan seems to be the final piece of the T-Mobile revenue enhancement and marketing narrative puzzle.
You'll likely see a lot of tables and math comparing the new ONE plan to T-Mobile's old plans introduced as part of Uncarrier X last year in the next few days. And I do implore you to pay attention to them. For example, at $65 a month, you can get 6GB of LTE data - all of which is available for tethering and Data Stash. You can also turn off Binge On at no cost on this plan. I don't know about you, but I'd take this deal in a heartbeat over T-Mobile's new ONE plan.
But I'll leave the extensive comparisons to everyone else. What you need to know is this: T-Mobile's new ONE "unlimited" plan is a data plan that makes you pay extra to turn off video data throttling, pay extra to use your plan data how you want to use it (tethering), and is still subject to draconian "network management" restrictions if you go over a certain amount of data each month. In other words? The thing T-Mobile most seems to have "simplified" with the ONE plan is its business plan to investors. The ONE plan seeks to profit on consumers who are actually savvy of how their data plan works and demand it be flexible and not subject to annoying restrictions.
I think we can safely say the "Uncarrier" age is over. This is very "carrier," T-Mobile, and your customers will see it for what it is.