T-Mobile's MetroPCS prepaid brand has updated their $50/month plan to include unlimited, unthrottled data on the phone. The plan used to only include 8 GB of high speed data, with data speeds throttled to 128 Kbps after the first 8 GB. This offer isn't quite as generous as it sounds, however. Hotspot and tethering are no longer allowed on the $50 plan and videos are degraded to 480p quality. There are no changes to MetroPCS' other plans including its flagship $60 per month plan that offers unlimited unthrottled on-device data and HD video streaming. Although advertised as unlimited, $50 and $60 plan customers who use more than 28 GB in a month will be subject to data de-prioritization when the network is congested. Here's the new MetroPCS plan lineup:
$30 Unlimited Talk and Text and Data (throttled after 1 GB)
$40 Unlimited Talk and Text and Data (throttled after 3 GB)
$50 Unlimited Talk and Text and Data (no hotspot, 480p video)
$60 Unlimited Talk and Text and Data (hotspot throttled after 8 GB)
All MetroPCS plan prices include all taxes and regulatory fees. The $40, $50 and $60 plans also include unlimited zero-rated music streaming from over 40 providers. All plans also include Data Maximizer which lowers video streaming quality to 480p to reduce data consumption. Data Maximizer is enabled by default on all plans but users can disable it on all plans except the $50 plan. I suspect that current MetroPCS $50 plan users are grandfathered and can keep their 8 GB plans with hotspot if they want or switch to the new unlimited version of the $50 plan. However it looks like the MetroPCS family plan promotion that let you add additional lines of the 8 GB $50 plan for $30 is no longer available to new activations. MetroPCS' giving the $50 plan unlimited data appears to confirm that US operators are getting drawn into a price war over unlimited data. T-Mobile appears to be reacting to Verizon once again offering (postpaid only) unlimited data and Sprint's Boost Mobile new promotion offering four lines of unlimited data for $100/month. It will be interesting to see if AT&T reacts by cutting the price of its Cricket unlimited plan (currently $70) or if Verizon launches a prepaid unlimited data plan.