T-Mobile will reportedly begin offering data-only mobile plans starting March 30, giving customers an option to buy mobile services without paying for voice calling.
The rumored Simple Choice Data Only plans were revealed in a March 28 story by TMoNews. The data-only plans, which will allow customers to buy data in 2GB to 22GB monthly packages, also will include unlimited texting, the story reported.
The data-only plans will only work with GSM devices. BlackBerry users will be limited to using the plans only with a BB10 or Priv device.
A 2GB data plan will cost $20 a month, while a 6GB plan will be $35, according to the story. A 10GB plan is $50, a 14GB plan is $65, an 18GB plan will be $80 and a 22GB plan will be $95 per month. The rates are the same that T-Mobile already offers for tablet users.
"Being the Un-carrier is about giving customers the freedom to use their device however they want, and that's why, on March 30, we're happy to launch new Simple Choice Data Only rate plans, which will include unlimited texting," the company states in a leaked announcement that was obtained by TMoNews.
A data-only plan could work well for users who take advantage of WiFi or services such as Skype for their calling.
T-Mobile already has an existing prepaid plan which provides 5GB of data, unlimited texts and just 100 minutes of monthly calling for $30, but the rumored data-only plans offer larger buckets of data for users who want it.
T-Mobile did not immediately respond to an eWEEK inquiry seeking comment about the reported data-only plans.
Earlier in March, Charge Mobile Data launched its own data-only offerings for Apple and Google Nexus LTE smartphone and tablet users from any carrier. Service for GSM devices will be offered in the future, according to the company. Charge, which charges $15 per GB for data that never expires, also offers a rate of $13 per GB when purchasing 3GB or more at the same time. There are no activation fees, device fees, contracts or monthly fees for their data services. Charge Mobile Data uses the Sprint network to provide its services.
T-Mobile has introduced a wide variety of mobile innovations over the last few years to attract and retain customers, including its Binge On video streaming services, JUMP! On Demand frequent device swapping options, unlimited Music Freedom music streaming, mobile phone WiFi services for free and its Data Stash monthly data rollovers
In February, T-Mobile reported a profit of $297 million for the fourth quarter of 2015, up almost three times the $101 million it posted in Q4 2014, while raising its revenue to $8.25 billion from the $8.20 billion it reported one year ago, according to an earlier eWEEK story. The carrier added 1.3 million new net postpaid customers in the quarter, giving T-Mobile 4.5 million total net postpaid customer additions for the full year of 2015.
Earnings for Q4 2015 were 34 cents per share, which was more than twice the 15 cents per share that was expected by a sampling of analysts by Thomson Reuters.
The Q4 profit, or net income, of $297 million was up from $138 million in the third quarter of 2015. For the full-year 2015, net income was $733 million, compared with $247 million in 2014.
The company reported 2.1 million total net adds in the fourth quarter, including the 1.3 million net postpaid additions, and a total of 8.3 million new combined postpaid, prepaid and wholesale customer additions for the full year of 2015. Postpaid customer churn for Q4 was 1.46 percent, down from 1.73 percent one year ago.
T-Mobile says it now has 63 million customers as of the end of Q4. The quarter was the sixth consecutive one in which T-Mobile reported more than 1 million branded postpaid net customer additions. Branded prepaid net customer additions in the fourth quarter of 2015 totaled 469,000, with a total of 1.3 million for the full year of 2015.