Report: T-Mobile to launch data-only plans, likely for smartphones, starting at $20 a month for 2 GB

T-Mobile will launch data-only plans that appear to be intended for smartphones, starting at 2 GB for $20 a month, according to a report from TMoNews.

A half-dozen Simple Choice Data Only plans will launch March 30, as outlined in an image posted by TmoNews. In addition to the entry-level plan, T-Mobile will offer 6 GB for $35 a month, 10 GB for $50 a month, 14 GB for $65 a month, 18 GB for $80 a month, and 22 GB for $95 a month.

The carrier will presumably throttle network speeds for users who exceed their monthly allotments, just as it does with its other plans.

Unlimited texting is included in each data-only plan. The plans are available only on the carrier's GSM phones; tablets and other mobile Internet devices must still be activated through T-Mobile's Simple Choice Mobile Internet Plans.

U.S. carriers have expanded their rate plans in recent years to include data-only plans targeted primarily at tablet users. Sprint offers five such plans starting at $15 a month, Verizon launched five new data-only plans in October starting at $15 a month, and AT&T customers can choose from one of three DataConnect plans starting at $15 a month.

T-Mobile's upcoming plans appear to be intended for smartphone users, however. While the lack of traditional voice calling will limit the appeal of T-Mobile's new plans, they may prove compelling to users accustomed to making calls through apps such as Google Voice. And if T-Mobile includes its zero-rated Binge On and Music Freedom with its new data-only plans, they might gain substantial traction among data-hungry users.

For more:
- see this TmoNews report

Related articles:
Verizon launches new prepaid plans for tablets, mobile hotspots, starting at $15 for 500 MB
Verizon to hike prices for grandfathered unlimited data plan users by $20/month
T-Mobile to crack down on customers who abuse mobile hotspot data allowance for tethering
 AT&T's Cricket appears poised to offer mobile hotspot services for phone tethering
T-Mobile: Throttling policy for unlimited customers who hit 21 GB is OK under net neutrality

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