Here's a bit of good news for T-Mobile, Sprint and Metro by T-Mobile wireless customers during these trying times: For the next 60 days, all three carriers are lifting their caps on existing data plans, in effect giving everyone unlimited data for the next 60 days for no extra charge. They're are also providing every line with an additional 20GB of hotspot data.
The move comes after a number of wireless carriers and home broadband providers signed the Federal Communication Commissions' Keep Americans Connected Pledge, to relieve usage constraints on customers while people are especially reliant upon the internet to work from home an connect with loved ones.
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AT&T was among the first to act last week, lifting data caps for home internet customers, though it hasn't extended that effort to wireless users yet. Comcast followed suit, and while Verizon has yet to do the same, Verizon is waiving late fees for the next two months for residential and small business customers unable to pay their bills.
If you use T-Mobile, Sprint or Metro, you don't need to do anything to get these extra perks; they're extended to all users effective immediately. What's more, even if you aren't on a plan that allows you to use your phone as a hotspot, you'll still get 20GB for the next 60 days — though all three carriers haven't rolled that out quite yet, and those measures are "coming soon," according to their press releases.
As network strain increases, T-Mobile is also looking to utilize more 600MHz spectrum to broaden its network capacity during this period. Sprint customers will also have access to T-Mobile's network through roaming, again free of charge, and both networks are offering users "complimentary" international calling rates to Level 3 countries as defined by the CDC, where nonessential travel is advised against.
Interestingly, T-Mobile and Sprint's measures haven't been extended to Boost Mobile customers. Boost is a subsidiary of Sprint, but will likely be spun off as the Now Network finalizes its merger with T-Mobile.
It also remains to be seen whether Verizon and AT&T will lift data caps for mobile customers, given that they have already done so for residential users. Because those carriers also offer home internet service, and because many people are likely staying indoors anyway, they'll likely maintain the status quo on the mobile side. We'll update this story if that situation changes.