John Legere
John Legere

A week after it became apparent that there is no merger on immediate the horizon for T-Mobile, the fourth-largest carrier continues to crank out the announcements.

Today, T-Mobile said it will soon change the way it charges prepaid customers, by streamlining the options from a tiered cost structure into one flat rate for texts and talking. It is also allowing prepaid customers to pay for data for the first time.

Under its new program, which launches on Aug. 17, it said Pay as You Go customers will be charged a flat rate of 10 cents a minute and 10 cents per text message. Customers will be required to pay a minimum of $3 a month (equal to 30 minutes of talk or 30 text messages) to keep their account active.

The prepaid account does not require a credit check, a deposit and does not have an annual service agreement.

Currently, T-Mobile offers a tiered pricing structure, ranging from 10 cents to 33 cents a minute. In order to receive the cheapest rates, customers are required to pay $100 upfront for 1,000 minutes, which they have to use within a year. It costs 10 cents to send a text message.

Going forward, for a single day, data will cost $5 for up to 500 MB, and for a seven-day pass, data will cost $10 for 1GB.

The biggest beneficiaries of this change will be current T-Mobile customers who load small amounts of minutes to their accounts. T-Mobile claims it is now the cheapest in the industry when compared to “major nationwide carriers,” but that was eve extremely difficult to verify because of all the different tiers of pricing the other carriers offer. So, if it’s not the cheapest, T-Mobile at least gets bonus points for being the easiest to understand.

By rolling out new Pay as You Go plans, the Bellevue, Wash.-based carrier continues wooing customers away from its competitors by promising to remove what it calls “pain points.” These efforts have been ongoing since the company’s “un-carrier” marketing campaign went into effect, however, in the last week, it has put out a flurry of announcements after word started circulating that it turned down a buy-out offer from Iliad, a French-based communications company, and that Sprint was giving up on its plan for consolidation.

For instance, yesterday, it unveiled a new app called “Device Unlock” that lets people unlock their devices to run on any wireless carrier. And, last week, Legere also predicted that T-Mobile will surpass Sprint in total customers by the end of the part of T-Mobile’s announcement that it has already overtaken Sprint in prepaid wireless customers.


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  • N S

    But how long before the minutes expire? Once you reached ‘Gold’ status ($100 existing balance), minutes don’t expire for an entire year. Provided you don’t let your account lapse, you kept gold status regardless of your balance. So if you put in $100 the first year, you could put in $5 the next year every year and not worry about minutes expiring.

  • clibou

    T-Mo’s new single day data pricing, same crap as Verizon LTE, $5 for up to 500 MB.

  • Tricia Duryee

    Thanks for the comment. I asked about minutes expiring, and T-Mobile provided a little more info for existing customers:

    –All current customers will be grandfathered into the existing Pay As You Go plan, so their service offering will remain the same as it is today including any Gold Rewards benefits.
    –If they want to migrate to the new plan they can contact customer care.
    –The $3 minimum in the new Pay as You Go plan solves for expiry.


    I already have gold status..My question is about internet access…will I have internet access on my phone?

  • Kevin

    Well, it sounds like they are targeting 2 kinds of customers, not all prepaid customers. I would say it won’t attract all Sprint prepaid customers.
    1. Super budget customers who call just a few minuted a day and probably no data usage. They can be elderly people and some jobless very budget people
    2. Young customers who tend to need more data for FB, instagram, chatting

    I am the current prepaid customer, my reason is just simply I do not like a contract and my usage is sometimes very low in other months, so then prepaid is easy to change my plans. Even though, pay as you go plan is very expensive. Of course, they know because they want ARPU.

  • Aamir Islam

    $40 seems a bit much for monthly data alone. They should consider also selling monthly cards for perhaps $25 and 5 GB

    • Aamir Islam

      Or just have the balance in your account used for data. Such as every MB = $0.05

  • Peter Tester

    There are resellers under T-Mobile that offer pretty attractive deals too but more niche than T-Mo directly.

  • disqusingthis

    I’m a T-Mobile prepaid customer. Your title is completely wrong. They raised the cost of their prepaid plan. The old plan was $0 per month .10 cents for minutes and texts. On the old plan you could switch instantly to $2/day unlimited talk text and data then instantly switch back to then “pay-as-you-go” $0/month 10 cent plan. The new $3/month plan offers a $5 day pass with a 1gb limit and it does not include talk and text. I am a soon to be former T-Mobile customer. This new pricing sucks.

  • Raymond Chow

    3 dollars a month to keep the number is a scam. I travel in and out of the country and that’s why the old plan works better. When you are not here for 2 months, zero charge. Now 2 months absent will cost me $6. I normally use about $100 a year. Now I will pay the same but I get to talk less. I would say close to 20% less. Nice strategy T-Mobile. I think T-mobile is still the cheapest man in town. Other companies are so much worst. Those $40+ per month are for suckers.

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