Wireless Wars Heat Up with Even More Unlimited Data Plans

T-Mobile and Sprint began yet another duel yesterday by unveiling rival wireless plans with unlimited data usage. Their announcements came just one day after AT&T unveiled new wireless service plans it said will eliminate data overage charges for customers.

Starting at $70 per month for one line, the new T-Mobile One plan comes with several caveats, including slower data speeds after customers exceed 26 GB in a month. The new offering is set to become available for new postpaid customers starting September 6, while prepaid customers will have to wait, although T-Mobile didn't say how long.

Sprint's new plan, Unlimited Freedom, becomes available today. It starts at $60 per month for one line, with Sprint noting that "data deprioritization applies during times of congestion."

T-Mobile: Targeting a 'Major Pain Point'

In a video blog accompanying his company's announcement, T-Mobile president and CEO John Legere (pictured above) said the new T-Mobile One plan is aimed at alleviating a "major pain point for wireless consumers." Citing data indicating that U.S. customers spend $30 million "overbuying data," Legere also pointedly criticized AT&T's recently "jacked-up" prices and Verizon's "mafia fees" for data.

As with T-Mobile's Simple Choice plan, T-Mobile One customers who exceed 26 GB of high-speed data in any one month "may notice relatively slower speeds but only at specific times and places that may experience high network demand or congestion," the company said. The new plan also limits speeds for other devices tethered to a customer's smartphone via a mobile hotspot to 2G speeds, or around 128 Kbps.

For customers who want service for more than one phone, the T-Mobile One plan is $50 per month for a second line and $20 per month for up to eight additional lines if autopaid. DVD-quality video streaming at 480p is unlimited, but high-definition streaming will...

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