T-Mobile Plans | 2010 Wireless Broadband Review

For most recent info, see 2011 T-Mobile 4G Plans Review

T-Mobile Plans | Wireless Internet
<< (Page 2 of 5: 2010 T-Mobile Wireless Internet Review) >>

Last year we saw the debut of T-Mobile Plans for 3G mobile broadband. While other providers (i.e. Sprint & Verizon) have switched up their mobile broadband plans, T-Mobile’s have remained the same with one exception:

  1. T-Mobile Total Internet for $39.99
  2. T-Mobile webConnect 200 MB Data Plan Lite for $29.99
  3. T-Mobile webConnect 5GB Data Plan for $59.99 (previously $49.99)

Let’s get into the finer details shall we?

T-Mobile Plans | Wireless Internet & Mobile Broadband
Plan Monthly Cost Data Included Overage Charges Cancellation Fee
Total Internet $39.99 EDGE (2G) & WiFi None None
webConnect 200 MB $29.99 EDGE, WiFi & 200 MB of 3G Mobile Broadband $0.20/MB (or $204.80/GB) for Mobile Broadband Only $200 (decreases with time)
webConnect 5GB $59.99 EDGE, WiFi & 5GB of 3G Mobile Broadband $0.20/MB (or $204.80/GB) for Mobile Broadband Only $200 (decreases with time)

T-Mobile Total Internet (EDGE & WiFi, no Mobile Broadband)

Designed more as an add-on (hence no cancellation fee), the T-Mobile Total Internet plan gets you unlimited data on your cell phone and laptop via their EDGE and WiFi networks respectively (no 3G mobile broadband is included in this plan).

EDGE is not mobile broadband. At best, it’s a speedy version of dialup (56 – 114 Kbps while EDGE is around 200 Kbps).

WiFi on the other hand is broadband speed. However, you can only access it at designated T-Mobile Hotspots. This might be viable option if your working environment is predictable and remote. However, if you need a solid connection at any random point of the day (in any random location), you’ll be needing a 3G connection (ala T-Mobile webConnect)

T-Mobile webConnect 200 MB

As the cheapest of the bunch, you can also expect the least of the bunch. They didn’t name it the Data Plan Lite for nothing. In this corner, we have the T-Mobile webConnect 200 MB weighing in as the lightweight contestant.

Do not expect to do more than email and very light web browsing.

While I’d recommend a small amount of data such as 200 MB for occasional users, paying $30 a month consistently for something you may or may not use isn’t economical. Instead, go for prepaid mobile broadband and just pay for what you use when you use it.

This plan is different from T-Mobile Total Internet because it has comes with 3G mobile broadband. As such, you’ll need a T-Mobile AirCard or broadband card to use it. Along with that comes the subject of T-Mobile 3G coverage.

In addition to 3G mobile broadband, all T-Mobile webConnect plans include unlimited WiFi T-Mobile HotSpot use (AT&T does the same). This is a win-win for you and them since they get to reduce network congestion (it’s cheaper for them to run data over HotSpot networks) and you also get faser than 3G speeds (until they upgrade their network at least).

More on that later.

T-Mobile webConnect 5 GB

One difference between last year’s 5 GB T-Mobile plan is the $10 rate hike. Now at $60, it’s on par with the industry standard offered by the big 3 (AT&T, Sprint & Verizon).

As expected, everything that’s included in the webConnect 200 MB plan is back (unlimited HotSpot use, 3G mobile broadband & EDGE speeds where neither are available). Not trying to be Captain Obvious here but the difference is 5 Gigabytes of data as opposed to 200 MB.

Chances are this is the plan you’re gonna get. However, The question of “How Much Is 5 GB & Is It Enough?” might linger for you. While it’s definitely not for power users, a good number of people will find it to be enough especially if it’s a secondary connection (i.e. to a cable/DSL connection at home or work).

A Quick Word on Cancelling T-Mobile Plans

THE EARLY TERMINATION FEE IS: $200 IF YOU TERMINATE WITH MORE THAN 180 DAYS REMAINING ON YOUR TERM; $100 IF YOU TERMINATE WITH 91 TO 180 DAYS REMAINING ON YOUR TERM; $50 IF YOU TERMINATE WITH 31 TO 91 DAYS REMAINING ON YOUR TERM; AND THE LESSER OF $50 OR YOUR MONTHLY RECURRING CHARGES (including any applicable taxes and fees) IF YOU TERMINATE IN THE LAST 30 DAYS OF YOUR TERM..

T-Mobile Terms & Conditions – February 10, 2010

There is a cloud with a silver lining here.

“You can cancel your Service without paying an Early Termination Fee if you cancel WITHIN 14 DAYS of activating a new line of Service.”.

T-Mobile Terms & Conditions – February 10, 2010

In short form, you’ve got 14 days to get T-Mobile 3G service, take ’em for a spin and see if you like them.

“What If I’m Outside the 30 Day Window?”

Then check out 5 Steps To Get Out Of Any Mobile Broadband Contract. Learn how I only used 2 of the 5 steps to get out of my contract in 13 minutes and 55 seconds.

A Few Lingering Questions…

Figuring out which of the T-Mobile plans you’ll need for mobile broadband is only part of the puzzle. There’s still a few questions that need answering to figure out if it’s really for you:

  1. How fast is T-Mobile’s 3G speed?
  2. Is there T-Mobile 3G coverage where I am?
  3. What kind of broadband cards can I get?

First up, we tackle T-Mobile 3G Speed.

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