Data plans for seniors can be arbitrarily restrictive, but T-Mobile has a new data plan for customers age 55 and up that includes unlimited talk, text, and 4G LTE data.
The T-Mobile One Unlimited 55+, which starts at $60 or $50 for the first line and $10 for the second line (after a $5 per line discount with auto bill pay enabled), doesn’t impose restrictions on the devices customers can use or charge higher per-line prices if family members move off the plan. It’s a stark difference to AT&T’s $30-per-month Senior Nation Plan, which limits customers to basic phones. Verizon has a plan for seniors age 65 and up, but it’s no longer available for new customers.
Another plus? T-Mobile’s Unlimited 55+ includes all of the carrier’s One Plan benefits, including unlimited text and data, roaming and low flat-rate calling in more than 140 countries, free roaming in Mexico and Canada, one free hour of in-flight Gogo Wi-Fi, T-Mobile’s DIGITS service, a mobile hotspot, and T-Mobile Tuesdays rewards and sweepstakes.
It also has the same restrictions. T-Mobile One Unlimited 55+ caps streaming video to standard definition (480p) quality and mobile streaming speeds to 3G (512 Kbps), and T-Mobile Unlimited 55+ subscribers are limited to a maximum of two voice lines per plan.
T-Mobile says that One Unlimited 55+ is aimed at the more than 93 million Americans in the U.S. over the age of 55. The 74 percent of Baby Boomers who own a smartphone spend 149 minutes a day using them. And a majority of those 55+ say smartphone is the #1 way they connect with family and friends.
“For years, the carriers have been patronizing the generation that invented wireless,” T-Mobile CEO John Legere said in a statement. “They thank these mobile pioneers by selling dumbed-down ‘senior’ plans with exactly zero data […] Today, the Un-carrier ends this ridiculousness with T-Mobile ONE Unlimited 55+ — an offer that recognizes how Boomers and beyond actually use their smartphones.”
Verizon and AT&T control 81 percent of the postpaid market among Americans age 55 and up, according to T-Mobile. That’s compared to to T-Mobile’s 18 percent of all wireless customers in the U.S.
“When this generation was getting their first phones, AT&T and Verizon were the only real options — and the duopoly has been taking advantage of them ever since,” Legere said. “Where the duopoly sees another group to patronize and monetize, we see an opportunity to bring the un-carrier revolution to more people not getting the service or respect they deserve.”
Starting August 9, new T-Mobile customers can sign up for a One Unlimited 55+ plan stopping in a local T-Mobile store. Current eligible customers can get a plan by calling T-Mobile’s customer support hotline, visiting T-Mobile’s website, or stopping by one of the carrier’s brick-and-mortar locations.
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