Mobile to launch cheaper ‘Essentials’ plan

Judy Cobb
August 9, 2018

T-Mobile Essentials does without the usual add-ons of global data access, unlimited mobile hotspot, and other features, in the name of keeping the price down every month. It costs $60 for a single line, $30 for the second line and an additional $15 per line for lines 3-6, excluding taxes and fees with autopay.

Called T-Mobile Essentials, you're given unlimited talk, text and data.

Essentials customers are subject to the same fair use limit of possible throttling after using over 50 GB per month, and may also see speeds reduced if in congested areas. If you decide to skip autopay, you'll have to pony up $5 more per month. Essentials includes unlimited talk, text, and 2G data when roaming, but only in Canada and Mexico. What used to be a $10 add-on for more tethering data and unlimited 3G speeds while traveling overseas, is now $15 per line.

It's not often that T-Mobile introduces a whole new rate plan, but today that's exactly what the carrier has done.

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T-Mobile Essentials will be open for new and existing subscribers to sign up as of August 10. For $10 more, users get 1080p video and 10 GB of hotspot data before dropping to 3G. Oh, and you won't get that free subscription to Netflix.

As for mobile hotspot use, that's also included, though not at the same sort of speeds as T-Mobile ONE customers might experience. In January 2017, T-Mobile made a huge deal out of rolling taxes and fees into the price of its One plan, and all of the arguments it used back then against taxes and fees still apply.

The plan is a viable option for those who are looking to save money on their phone bill and don't need or want Netflix and the global data.

T-Mobiles plans are no longer simple for the average customer to understand. All of those prices are with autopay enabled; if you forgo autopay, you'll pay $5/month extra per line. [T-Mobile] wants to make it easy. Despite that, the company thinks there are some customers out there who may be willing to give up a few perks that normally come with their plans in exchange for small reduction in the monthly bill.

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