Sprint and T-Mobile US drop data limits on LTE

19 August 2016 | Alan Burkitt-Gray


Deutsche Telekom’s US subsidiary, T-Mobile US, has dropped data limits on its latest package of LTE offers – and rival operator Sprint, owned by SoftBank, responded within minutes by introducing its offer.

Both companies include unlimited standard-definition video in their offers, with no limits and no extra charges.

T-Mobile US is offering one unlimited LTE connection for $70 a month, a second in the family for $50, and additional connections at $20 each.

“All include unlimited talk and text and unlimited 4G LTE smartphone data while on our blazing-fast network,” said the company, which offers the service as the latest tweak to its Un-carrire brand.

Sprint came back with its offer under the Unlimited Freedom brand: “Two lines of unlimited talk, text and data for the incredible price of $100 a month,” said the company.

Sprint’s rates are $10 a line below T-Mobile US for the first two connections: $60 for the first, $40 for the second. Additional connections are pricier than T-Mobile’s, at $30 a month.

T-Mobile and Sprint are rivals for third and fourth place in the US mobile business, which is dominated by AT&T and Verizon, each with a market share somewhere above 30%.

“Only T-Mobile’s network can handle something as huge as destroying data limits,” said T-Mobile CEO John Legere. He said AT&T and Verizon – which he calls “Dumb and Dumber” – “can’t do this. They’ve been running away from unlimited data for years now, because they built their networks for phone calls, not for how people use smartphones today. I hope AT&T and Verizon try to follow us. In fact, I challenge them to try.”

Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure responded: “Wireless customers want simple, worry-free and affordable wireless plans on a reliable network. There can be a lot of frustration and confusion around wireless offers, with too much focus on gigabytes and extra charges. Our answer is the simplicity of Unlimited Freedom. Now customers can watch their favourite movies and videos and stream an unlimited playlist at an amazing price.”

T-Mobile US includes what it calls “mobile without borders” – but that applies only to Canada and Mexico. Other countries are charged at $0.20 a minute. Sprint made no mention of roaming charges.

T-Mobile includes standard-definition video in its unlimited data offer, but charges $25 a month extra for each connection using high-definition. Sprint also includes standard-definition video, but makes no mention of prices for high-definition video.