Is T-Mobile's new $30 Wal-Mart plan perfect for the heavy data user?

Is T-Mobile's new $30 Wal-Mart plan perfect for the heavy data user?

Summary: T-Mobile will be rolling out a Wal-Mart exclusive plan on 16 October that offers unlimited data and text messaging with 100 voice minutes for just $30 per month with no contract.

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Yesterday I received this press release from T-Mobile and skipped on by thinking it was simply another advertisement for some kind of low cost prepaid simple feature phone service for the masses. I then went back and reread the press release and think T-Mobile may have just created the PERFECT smartphone data plan.

Readers here know I am always talking about the different ways I use data, but I do not that many actual phone calls and have been asking wireless carriers to make a plan that gives me just data and text messaging with a per minute calling fee. T-Mobile's new Wal-Mart plan (launching on 16 October) does this with a whopping 5GB of data up to 4G speeds (throttle after this limit is reached), unlimited text messages, and even throws in 100 minutes. Each additional voice minute is just 10 cents and there is no annual contract.

I have five phones on a family plan on T-Mobile and pay just over $190 per month (including all the taxes and fees) for 3000 minutes, unlimited text messaging on all phones, and 5GB unthrottled data on 2 phones. IMHO, this is a pretty good deal and if I switched to this Wal-Mart plan I could probably save $25 per month ($150 for the five phones plus taxes and fees bring it up to an estimated $165). My grandfathered family plan is still too good of a deal to give it up, but I think this new Wal-Mart plan is perfect for the heavy data user. Shoot, maybe I will get one to use a new Samsung Galaxy S II on since I am keeping Windows Phone 7 for my primary line.

I checked my bill and while I generally stay below 100 minutes within the Whenever Minutes time frame, I do tend to call more on the weekends and to other T-Mobile customers and these minutes are all free in my current plan. I think this 100 minutes is for all talk so make sure you understand the limitations here before picking up this plan. T-Mobile has other compelling plans if you want unlimited data and text messaging with more minutes too.

If you are an Android phone user then you may be able to get by with this new Wal-Mart T-Mobile plan for data and use VoIP services for all of your calls too. It generally isn't as reliable and the coverage is not as great, but if you have limited phone calls to make then this may just be a viable alternative.

Topics: Mobility, Collaboration, Hardware, Telcos

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26 comments
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  • This is a good deal. I am stuck with AT&T

    on my Samsung Galaxy S. :/
    Dietrich T. Schmitz *Your
  • RE: Is T-Mobile's new $30 Wal-Mart plan perfect for the heavy data user?

    Will you have to buy a whole new prepaid phone? Will you be able to use you existing phone like Defy and Comet?
    sheilametoo
    • RE: Is T-Mobile's new $30 Wal-Mart plan perfect for the heavy data user?

      @sheilametoo
      Should be able to use any tmobile phone for it like all other prepaid services. I never had a prepaid plan that i couldnt use my prior phone from same network on. i pay $35 a month for my evo 4g on Boost unlimited everything right now
      Fletchguy
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  • RE: Is T-Mobile's new $30 Wal-Mart plan perfect for the heavy data user?

    No, because a plan stinks without good coverage and in most areas T-Mobile is not good coverage!
    slickjim
    • RE: Is T-Mobile's new $30 Wal-Mart plan perfect for the heavy data user?

      @Peter Perry
      Very rarely do I have poor coverage on T-Mobile. Your statement is too general.
      Inside of buildings like some Wal-Marts and Sam's Clubs I do not have good coverage, but outside, pretty good, especially for the price.
      We have a Family plan for 750 minutes, unlimited text messaging, data plan on two of three lines for around 150/mo, we never come close to the minutes nor have any problems on the data plan either. Most calls are T-Mobile to T-Mobile, so aren't paid for, or the ones that aren't are not that long anyway--Land Line is better for long phone calls.
      dhays
      • RE: Is T-Mobile's new $30 Wal-Mart plan perfect for the heavy data user?

        @dhays : Just try leaving the city for a change. I, and my relatives, know from experience they have very poor coverage in rural areas, so if you are not an urbanite, think twice. For example, my daughter's phone does not work at all at her mother-in-law's house - it is "Verizon" country there.
        Willnott
    • RE: Is T-Mobile's new $30 Wal-Mart plan perfect for the heavy data user?

      @Peter Perry ROFL do you go like to the bunnies on hicktown in the middle of nowhere? cause I live around the city and get 4G, plus the good thing with T-Mobile you actually get international coverage, the GSM networks pair with T-Mobile's sim, one time we went to italy and my friend had a verizon phone and could not make a phone call if his life depended on it, that's what sucks about these national carries if you do traveling.
      anfoso
    • RE: Is T-Mobile's new $30 Wal-Mart plan perfect for the heavy data user?

      @Peter Perry
      Tmobile has actually very good coverage. far superior to AT&T and even my sprint service. I put it second to only Verizon in coverage.
      Fletchguy
    • RE: Is T-Mobile's new $30 Wal-Mart plan perfect for the heavy data user?

      @Peter Perry : +1 - totally agree - personal experience is they are way too urban-centric in their coverage. In addition, places where they CLAIM to have 4G proved to be really not so - not backed down to 3G, but all the way down to EDGE - and actual data flow rate was worse than dial-up (if anyone can remember that far back).
      The real topping for me was their claim that the modem I tried had a "money back guarantee"... They *DID* take the modem back at no charge, BUT they still insisted I had to pay for the data I used. My complaints fell on deaf ears, so now I tell everyone I can - Caveat Emptor!!!! It will cost you something to discover whether the plan really works for you or not.
      Willnott
  • RE: Is T-Mobile's new $30 Wal-Mart plan perfect for the heavy data user?

    I'll still take the Virgin Mobile plan. Unlimited data and text and 300 minutes for $35 per month, no contract. 2 of my phones are still at the old rate of $25 per month, no contract. I'm hoping they stay at that rate...
    milonfz
    • RE: Is T-Mobile's new $30 Wal-Mart plan perfect for the heavy data user?

      @milonfz lmao virgin data is like dial up, and that's for being in a city area! whereas T-mobile is better than dsl speeds :)
      anfoso
  • T-Mobile Is GREAT where I live and travel!

    I travel to Arizona, Michigan, Florida, New Jersey and live in Maryland. So far, I've been MUCH happier than when I had AT&T. Imagine my frustration when, after only a few days with T-Mobile, AT&T announced they were buying them! NOOOOoooooooo!

    The other great bonus of going to T-Mobile was that I was able to pick up a Nexus S at Best Buy when I signed up! No crap-ware, no annoying vendor UIs. Just pure Android that gets updated regularly. No waiting for the vendor to (maybe) come out with an update.
    thesuperstitions@...
    • RE: Is T-Mobile's new $30 Wal-Mart plan perfect for the heavy data user?

      @thesuperstitions@... lol no kidding, plus the activation literally takes only minues, whereas with sprint I remember we were for 3 freaken hours -.- lol
      anfoso
      • RE: Is T-Mobile's new $30 Wal-Mart plan perfect for the heavy data user?

        @anfoso
        Im on boost unlimited with shrinkage on the sprint cdma side using my evo took about 2 minutes to turn on. You go to the web site enter your esn and area code or you port number and put your personal info in and done. It took me about 15 minutes when i ported my number though.
        Fletchguy
  • RE: Is T-Mobile's new $30 Wal-Mart plan perfect for the heavy data user?

    This may appear to be a good deal to those folks who are still locked into contracts (seriously...who would sign a phone contract anymore?), but if you look at 4G service with MetroPCS and the other no-contract options that have been available for quite some time, it really is a cut below what you can already get elsewhere. What would make it a great plan? If tethering were allowed....then people would seriously consider signing up! If tethering isn't allowed on the new T-Mobile offering, then it is just another smokescreen offer. Who would ever use 5GB of data on a smartphone alone? If you can tether it to your PC and somehow replace the cost of your expensive Comcast Internet service with this offer, it would totally be worth it.
    malcolm@...
    • RE: Is T-Mobile's new $30 Wal-Mart plan perfect for the heavy data user?

      @malcolm@... haha you must have NEVER heard of rooting an android phone, and with some you don;t even have to root it! I have a Mytouch 4G from T-Mobile, and IT CAME WITH THE TETHERING APP! I've used it, got rid of my DSL line and yeah a heck of a lot faster than what I had for DSL brother, just get a mytouch 4G or you can also buy an iphone 4, those are also able to tether ^_^ and unline other providors like sprint or verizon and of course, at&t the tethering function doesn't get flagged ;)
      anfoso
    • RE: Is T-Mobile's new $30 Wal-Mart plan perfect for the heavy data user?

      @malcolm@... and btw, I also work for comcast and yes no kidding, our service is expensive unless you have a kid in school who gets free lunch, then you get internet for 9.99
      anfoso
    • RE: Is T-Mobile's new $30 Wal-Mart plan perfect for the heavy data user?

      @malcolm@... haha you must have NEVER heard of rooting an android phone, and with some you don;t even have to root it! I have a Mytouch 4G from T-Mobile, and IT CAME WITH THE TETHERING APP! I've used it, got rid of my DSL line and yeah a heck of a lot faster than what I had for DSL brother, just get a mytouch 4G or you can also buy an iphone 4, those are also able to tether ^_^ and unline other providors like sprint or verizon and of course, at&t the tethering function doesn't get flagged
      anfoso