T-Mobile trumpets $100 family plan to undercut AT&T, Verizon and Sprint

T-Mobile US (NYSE:TMUS) is launching a new family plan promotion that undercuts similar plans from other carriers by around $60 per month for a family of four.

From July 30 through Sept. 30, customers who sign up for T-Mobile's Simple Choice plan can get four smartphone lines with unlimited voice and texting and up to 10 GB of LTE data, or 2.5 GB each, for $100 per month.

However, customers who sign up for those plans will only be able to take advantage of the offer until Jan. 2, 2016. After that date, customers will be reduced to 1 GB of data per line.

T-Mobile's $100 per month price tag also does not include the cost of a device.

In a company blog post, T-Mobile CEO John Legere took specific aim at AT&T Mobility's (NYSE: T) Mobile Share Value plans. "So, here's the math:  AT&T's 'Best-Ever Pricing' four lines for $160 vs. four lines for $100 with T-Mobile--with unlimited talk, text, and data plus up to 10 GB of LTE data on our data-strong network," he wrote. "Plus, their 'Best-Ever' deal comes with a boatload of crap--domestic overages, international roaming fees, hidden device subsidy costs, and on and on."

In fact, AT&T's Mobile Share Value plans, which it has been heavily promoting, do cost $160 per month for unlimited voice and texting and 10 GB of data to share among four lines, but that pricing does not include device subsidy costs. Like T-Mobile, AT&T Mobile Share Value customers can pay for a device via a separate monthly installment plan, or they can pay for the full cost of their phones up front or bring their own device. However, AT&T does levy international roaming fees and overage charges and T-Mobile does not.

Verizon Wireless' (NYSE: VZ) also offers unlimited voice and texting and 10 GB of data for four lines for $160. However, to get that pricing, all four customers must be enrolled in Verizon's Edge handset upgrade program, in which customers must pay off their devices in monthly installments.

Sprint (NYSE: S), for its part, charges customers $40 per month per line through its Family plan if they have a Framily group of four people. However, those plans offer unlimited voice and text but only offer 1 GB of data for each person. For 3 GB of data, customers pay an extra $10 per line per month and for unlimited data customers can pay an extra $20 per line per month.

T-Mobile's new promotion seems aimed mainly at AT&T and Verizon. AT&T in February first cut its prices to offer 10 GB of data for four lines for $160, and Verizon dropped its prices in April to match that offer. AT&T's management has pointed to that offer specifically as a major driver for its recent successes; AT&T added more than 1 million net postpaid subscribers in the second quarter, its best performance in the postpaid market in nearly five years. 

In announcing the carrier's new promotion, T-Mobile's Legere directed most of his barbs at AT&T, but he also took aim at Verizon and Sprint. "Yes, AT&T's 'Best-Ever' ploy is terrible, but Big Red and the Framily aren't any better," he wrote. 

For more:
- see this T-Mobile blog post
- see this USA Today article

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