Families are the new big fish that wireless carriers are casting for, and T-Mobile has announced a new deal with which to reel them in: four lines, sharing 10GB of LTE data, for $100 a month.
The deal will be available July 30 through September, and last until 2016.
Four-line family deals from AT&T, Verizon and Sprint, while details vary, are each $160 a month.
"It doesn't take a genius, right? That's $60 in your wallet every month for a family of four—or $1,440 over two years," T-Mobile CEO John Legere said in a July 28 blog post. "What would your family or small business do with those savings?"
Responding to an AT&T ad, in the fired-up-mode that's become his standard public persona, Legere added, "It infuriates me that they're selling this to hardworking families who could use that money for more important things. And they have the nerve to call it 'Best-Ever Pricing.'"
The post includes a chart breaking down the four-line service plans from the top four carriers.
AT&T's Mobile Share Value and Verizon's More Everything plans include unlimited talking and texting, 10GB of data, overages for exceeding the limit and included tethering for $160.
Sprint's Framily plan starts at four lines and 4GB of data for $160 (overages apply after 1GB per line). Tethering isn't included, though it's offered for an extra $10, and users get unlimited talking and texting.
T-Mobile Simple Choice includes unlimited talking, texting and data, though after a user exceeds the 10GB data cap, he or she is bumped to a slower network. There are never overage fees, tethering is included, and so are data and texting in 120-plus countries, and streaming music services don't count against a user's data allotment. That's for four lines, again, for $100.
"Take a look at the facts and judge for yourself," said Legere.
All About the Family
AT&T, announcing its second-quarter earnings July 23, said it experienced a record-low churn rate during the quarter, thanks in large part to its Mobile Share Value plans, which families are turning to.
Introduced in December, the plans include a new lowest rung of 300MB, the ability for customers to bring their own contract-free devices to the plan, and the option to purchase an unsubsidized phone through a monthly payment plan.
Plus, as more people sign up for Mobile Share Value plans, they're buying "bigger buckets" of data, AT&T executives said. More than 14 million customers are now on the plans, and more than half of them are signed up for 10GB or higher.
"As customers add lines to their Mobile Share Value plans," CEO Ralph de la Vega said during the call, "we're seeing that the number that are selecting 10GB or higher to be 70 percent. … So we feel really good the strategy is working, and it's evident [in] the results."
AT&T also added 1 million postpaid subscribers and sold 1.6 million smartphones.
In January, Sprint introduced Framily plans, which are essentially family plans for any group of people that want to go in together. The more users who join a Framily, the less each pays per month.
T-Mobile will announce the results of its second quarter Thursday, July 31, and Sprint will do the same July 30.