T-Mobile’s New Unlimited Plan Serves Up the Base Essentials for $45 a Month – CNET

A large T-Mobile logo on a phone
Sarah Tew/CNET

T-Mobile has a new unlimited plan that’s cheaper than its other offerings. Just be prepared to give up some perks. 

The new plan, called Base Essentials, went live on April 21 and runs $45 per month for a single line, a $15 savings compared with its current cheapest Essentials unlimited plan, which is $60 per month. The new option is also $25 cheaper than the Magenta option and $40 less than a single line on its priciest Magenta Max offering. 

With this plan, you’ll get 20GB of high-speed data and access to T-Mobile’s 5G network, but you will lose out on high-speed data after that allotment has been used up. Instead, your download speeds will slow to 1.5Mbps for the remainder of your billing cycle. 

Those on this Base Essentials plan will also be limited to “3G speeds” when using your phone as a hotspot, according to Reddit user a9uirre and The T-Mo Report, which first spotted the details of the new plans. 

Read more: CNET’s Guide to Picking the Best Unlimited Plans

Unlike other T-Mobile plans, people on Base Essentials will not be able to take advantage of device upgrade offers or have taxes and fees included in the sticker price. There is no discount for automatic payments and the carrier is not bundling subscriptions to Netflix or a free year of Apple TV Plus as it does with its Magenta and Magenta Max plans. You still, however, will be able to get a free year of Paramount Plus Essentials.  

Two lines will run $80 on the Base Essentials plan — a savings of $10 per month compared with regular Essentials (which runs $90 per month with AutoPay). You can have a max of four lines with Base Essentials, with three lines running $100 and four lines costing $120. 

With T-Mobile’s current promotions on its other plans, this Base Essentials option only makes sense for those with one or two lines. Three lines of regular Essentials — which has 50GB of high-speed data per month — will run $90 per month ($10 less than Base Essentials), while four lines of regular Essentials is $105 per month (a $15 savings versus Base Essentials). 

The new Base Essentials offering can be found by clicking on the “See other plans” option on T-Mobile’s listing of wireless plans. 

“Starting April 21, 2022, new and existing customers can get Base Essentials for $45 per month plus taxes and fees for 1 line, with 20GB of high-speed smartphone data, with 5G access included,” the company said in a statement Monday provided to CNET.  

“We know there’s a group of customers who are looking for a low-cost option, have limited data needs, aren’t looking for device offers or extras and don’t need more than four lines — but who want a T-Mobile branded service. And Base Essentials enables us to reach and serve that group of customers uniquely.”

T-Mobile isn’t the only carrier creating new, stripped-down unlimited plans for single users. AT&T recently added a new unlimited plan option to its portfolio called Value Plus. The $50 per month option is limited to just a single line and lacks any hotspot functionality or perks like HBO Max but does include unlimited talk, text and data with access to AT&T’s 5G network.

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