T-Mobile has spent the years since its failed acquisition by AT&T building its LTE network and launching new phases of its “UnCarrier” initiative. Today, the provider that started the industry trend away from contracts and handset subsidies is also getting rid of mobile data plans. From here out, it will offer one postpaid option: unlimited voice, data, and text. [More]
Maybe you’ve had that moment, the one where you’re 47 minutes deep in a Star Trek: The Next Generation binge session on your phone (because you can’t be bothered to find a larger screen) and you suddenly realize you haven’t switched over to WiFi. Visions of your swiftly dwindling data plan may no longer dance in front of your eyes at such times if you’re a T-Mobile customer, if a new rumor proves to be true. [More]
Why is the wireless industry so antsy? Not so long ago, it was all about giving customers a vast array of options so they could very precisely buy just the amount of data they want. Now, following Verizon’s recent simplification of its plans, AT&T is culling a number of its data tiers, which could result in savings — if you make sure to do some math before switching. [More]
How much LTE mobile data does your family (or just the unrelated people on your mobile phone plan) really need? 10 GB? 20? 40? It depends on what you do with your mobile device and where you use it, but most people don’t use that much. Today, T-Mobile announced new plans designed to compete with similar offerings from Verizon, but that include more data than most people could need. [More]
Over the weekend, AT&T announced a promotion on its biggest and priciest family plans for data: during October, they will double the amount of data that users on most expensive plans, starting at the 15 GB tier, get with their monthly plan. “Oh, yeah?” said competitor Sprint. “We’ll DOUBLE their double data!” [More]
Brad stuck with AT&T Wireless through thick and thin, through the terrible dark days when iPhones could barely connect to the network in some metropolitan areas. He stayed partly because he signed up as a customer back when unlimited data plans were still a thing. Then he got an iPhone upgrade and AT&T took away his unlimited data even though he didn’t ask them to. He is sad. [More]
Mike’s phone spent two weeks in the repair depot at Samsung. When it came back, shortly afterward his data stopped working. Oh, no! Would it have to go back for more repairs already? Well… no, that wasn’t the problem. The problem is that his mobile carrier, Straight Talk, has throttled his data access down to nothing. [More]
Mark has a teenage son. His son has an iPhone. Like many teens (and quite a few adults, come to think of it) his son has trouble managing his usage on his 200-megabyte data plan. Most of the time he’s near wi-fi…but that’s only most of the time. Mark called up AT&T to see whether there was any way that he could lock down the phone from his account so it just can’t access the data network at all after reaching its limit. That would be a nice feature, wouldn’t it? Too bad that AT&T doesn’t offer a way to do that without somehow giving them more money. [More]
Earlier today, we shared the story of a grave consumer injustice: an AT&T customer who brought his own unlocked iPhone from three generations ago, but wasn’t interested in using mobile data. AT&T still mandates that such a smart phone have a data plan, though, and they caught him after nine months of wifi-only frugal bliss. Our readers, however, are always looking out for each other. Jon wrote in with one method that some rogue smartphone lovers have used to avoid having a data plan when they don’t want one. [More]
We keep hearing about a wi-fi bug that leads to iPhone 5 owners racking up huge data bills when they thought they weren’t on the mobile data network. When Matt contacted Verizon about it, the ever-helpful customer service representative told him that it was just because the iPhone 5 is a 4G LTE device. This is probably the cause of many data complaints that new smartphone users have, but isn’t the case for Matt. He says that he hasn’t changed his browsing habits: using the same amount of data in a shorter amount of time doesn’t mean that he uses more data. At least, not according to the math that everyone except Verizon uses.
Amy may be the first reader in Consumerist history to complain about being left on an unlimited mobile data plan. She has tethering on her smartphone, which lets her use her phone as a mobile Internet hotspot. Yes, apps exist that can help you get around this limitation. Officially, if you want to tether, you generally have to pay for a data plan that includes it. Amy was paying for a $30/month plan, but learned that she was grandfathered in, and a cheaper plan existed. Sure, the cheaper plan only includes two gigabytes of data, but she never uses that much anyway. It costs $10 less. She wanted to alert her fellow Sprint customers to this change, and complain that the company didn’t let her know she had an opportunity to give them less money in exchange for capped data.
When Sam was having problems with his T-Mobile smartphone, he did what he thought he was supposed to do: call up support. The agent on the phone couldn’t restore his phone’s Internet connectivity, but they did try to upsell him on some new services. He’d rather have the services he was already paying for working, thanks. When he took the phone to a retail store for help, he learned the real cause of his problems: he’d been wandering around for two years with an old 2G SIM in his 4G phone. He thought that he should have the extra cost of a 4G data plan refunded to him, and T-Mobile acquiesced… but only after he launched an executive e-mail carpet bomb.
Back in July, we first wrote about AT&T’s plan to start throttling data for wireless customers with unlimited plans who crossed over into the top 5% of data users. And starting in October, those customers began getting warning texts from the Death Star. But in recent months, we’re seeing more and more complaints from people who are receiving these texts but whose data usage isn’t terribly high.
If you plan to switch to AT&T for a new smart phone or wireless tablet contract, do it now. After January 22, AT&T’s monthly wireless data plans get more expensive by $5. If it’s any consolation, you do get up to one additional gigabyte of data.
The point of having a smartphone that can use wi-fi networks is so the device uses less data, right? Especially at night, when you’re at home snoozing, enveloped in the comforting waves of your home Internet connection. Yet Anthony’s phone and his father’s phone sneak off, accessing the mobile data network in the wee hours of the morning and pushing them over the limits of their T-Mobile data plan. They could just turn the phones off at night, but this is far from their only problem with these phones. Far. But T-Mobile won’t let them have different, functional phones or cut them loose.