T-Mobile US Inc. has shot back in the wireless phone wars with a “family” plan that offers unlimited data for streaming videos, downloading apps and other popular uses of smartphones.
Its promotional offer starts Wednesday and charges $100 for two lines, providing unlimited texting, voice minutes and data.
Up to eight additional lines can be added for $40 each. Customers can maintain the plan’s terms by keeping the two original lines active.
The offer comes after Sprint Corp. announced a shared family data plan promotion that targets customers of AT&T and Verizon specifically.
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Sprint’s latest promotion offers the same data allowance that Verizon and AT&T customers currently get for half the cost of their current service plan. It is not available to T-Mobile customers and Sprint’s present customers.
T-Mobile continues to tout its unlimited data plans as the other carriers battle with their shared data plans that target family accounts. It said consumers don’t want to keep track of how much data their plan partners are using or face additional charges for going over their data limits.
“People are saying loud and clear that they hate the confusion and complexity of the carriers’ shared data plans, and they should,” John Legere, chief executive officer of T-Mobile, said in the company’s announcement.
Sprint also offers unlimited data plans for individual lines. AT&T and Verizon do not.
Sprint added shared data plans for family accounts in August under its new chief executive, Marcelo Claure.
Claure said he has targeted customers of AT&T and Verizon because those companies dominate the wireless industry.
Wednesday’s promotions from T-Mobile also include the return of a former promotion for four lines with 10 gigabytes of data for $100. Those on the account don’t share the data. Instead, each has a data cap of 2.5 gigabytes.
“It all depends on what the customer needs,” T-Mobile area vice president Martin Pisciotti said.
The new $100 unlimited data plan for two lines is 29 percent less than its previous offer of $140 for two lines with unlimited data. By comparison, AT&T last month cut the price for 15 gigabytes of monthly data to $100 for a limited time.
T-Mobile’s comparisons showed its unlimited plan for two lines costs the same as two Sprint unlimited individual plans for iPhone 6 customers. Sprint unlimited plans cost more for other phones.
Additional lines are cheaper under T-Mobile’s unlimited family plan.