T-Mobile is expanding its lineup of unlimited data plans, with an eye toward tweaking its phone carrier rivals while also giving customers the chance to upgrade their phone every two years.
Announced today (April 20), the Go5G and Go5G Plus offerings cost $5 more than T-Mobile's current Magenta and Magenta Max unlimited plans. The biggest difference is that latest plans offer what T-Mobile is calling "upgrade flexibility," building in the ability to get a new phone after two years.
"The promise that we're making customers is that they can get the very best device deals every two years," said Jon Freier, president of T-Mobile's consumer division.
T-Mobile says it's responding to three-year agreements offered by AT&T and Verizon, its biggest rivals when it comes to the best phone carriers competition. Not only does that lock people into using the same device for three years, the carrier says it leaves them subject to rate hikes.
The new Go5G plans weren't the only T-Mobile announcements at the company's latest Uncarrier event today. T-Mobile also unveiled new incentives for leaving behind your current carrier, while also introducing a way to simplify returning to your old wireless provider if you end up not caring for T-Mobile's service. In addition, the company is dropping the price of its lower-cost Essentials unlimited plan as part of a limited-time promotion.
Here's a closer look at all the T-Mobile announcements from today's Uncarrier event and how the new offers compare to some of the best unlimited data plans out there.
T-Mobile's new Go5G and Go5G Plus plans
The Go5G and Go5G Plus monthly plans start at $75 and $90, respectively, for a single line of data. That's $5 more each month than the existing Magenta and Magenta Max options, which had been among the best T-Mobile plans.
A second line of data for Go5G costs $55 while additional lines cost $25 each. That means a family of four would pay $180 each month compared to $160 for four lines under the Magenta plan. Similarly, four lines of Go5G Plus costs $220 per month, which is $20 more than what Magenta Max customers would pay.
The extra money gives you the ability to upgrade your phone every two years under the Go5G plans. The plans are also subject to Price Lock, which is T-Mobile's guarantee that it won't raise rates if you keep your plan.
The Go5G plans enjoy the same benefits as Magenta and Magenta Max customers, including picking up the coast of a Netflix subscription for accounts with two or more lines. The Go5G plans also enjoy the same travel perks as their Magenta counterparts, and Go5G Plus customers get the same complimentary Apple TV Plus subscription that Magenta Max subscribers receive.
|Monthly cost (1 line/4 lines)
|Data in Mexico/Canada
One of the noteworthy changes involves hotspot data, as Go5G customers get more of it. Specifically, Go5G accounts receive 15GB of high-speed hotspot data while Go5G Plus subscribers get 50GB. That's 10GB more than what comes with either Magenta plan.
The Go5G plans also get 5GB more high-speed data for use when traveling in Canada and Mexico — 10GB for Go5G customers and 15GB if you get Go5G Plus.
The cost of a single line Go5G Plus is comparable to what Verizon charges for its $90 Get More plan as well as AT&T's $85 Unlimited Premium Plan. Both of those plans offer extensive perks. Verizon's Get More includes the Disney Plus bundle with ESPN Plus and Hulu while also letting you accrue Travel Passes that cover using your cell phone plan overseas. AT&T's top unlimited plan lets you use your data in 19 Latin American countries. Neither of those plans includes the ability to easily upgrade phones, though, and T-Mobile also bakes the cost of taxes and fees into its rates.
To mark the launch of the Go5G plans, T-Mobile is letting Go5G Plus customers get a free 5G phone with an eligible trade-in. Phones released in the last six years are eligible for a trade-in value, with T-Mobile offering up to $800 to cover the cost of the new phone.
T-Mobile's Go5G plans go live on April 23.
T-Mobile's Easy Unlock and Go Back Guarantee
T-Mobile already offers to pay off early termination fees when you switch to its phone service from your current carrier, covering up to $650 of your costs. That's not changing under T-Mobile's Easy Unlock program, but now you'll be able to trade in your existing phone for a new device. The offer is good for up to two lines, T-Mobile's Freier said.
Easy Unlock is a limited time promotion.
If you do switch to T-Mobile and find the new service wanting, a new Go Back Guarantee takes some of the complications out of switching back. Drop T-Mobile as your carrier within 30 days of switching, and the carrier will give you $50 back for each line of data to pay off your bill — essentially waiving the cost of your first month of service should you decide to switch back.
T-Mobile Essentials pricing
T-Mobile Essentials, the carrier's least expensive unlimited data plan, is getting a temporary discount to mark all of T-Mobile's other promotions. Normally $60 a month for one line, Essentials will now cost $50.
The discounts also extend to multiple lines of T-Mobile Essentials, where a family of four would now pay $100 per month instead of the usual $120. Those prices are covered by Price Lock as well.
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Philip Michaels is a Managing Editor at Tom's Guide. He's been covering personal technology since 1999 and was in the building when Steve Jobs showed off the iPhone for the first time. He's been evaluating smartphones since that first iPhone debuted in 2007, and he's been following phone carriers and smartphone plans since 2015. He has strong opinions about Apple, the Oakland Athletics, old movies and proper butchery techniques. Follow him at @PhilipMichaels.
Why would anyone with any sense want to replace something that is working perfectly fine every two years? :??: It's just a profit booster for T-Mobile.💲Reply