T-Mobile is launching a big bid to get people buying tablets on its network. Beginning this weekend, it'll be offering 1 GB of data service for free through the end of the year to anyone who subscribes to a T-Mobile postpaid voice plan. It'll also be offering a big discount on LTE tablets, dropping the prices of the iPad Air, iPad mini, and other LTE tablets down to what they traditionally sell for with only Wi-Fi — in the iPads' case, that's about $130 off. At the year's end, pricing for the 1 GB of data will jump up to $20 per month, though anyone can continue to get the 200 MB that T-Mobile offers all tablet owners for free.
T-Mobile is obviously hoping that once people start getting data to their tablet they won't want to stop, and it's structuring the deal such that it might not seem like much of a change when they have to start paying. While the 1GB is effectively offered for free, T-Mobile is technically giving subscribers $10 off of both the $20 data plan and their voice plan. Consequently, it'll only look like a $10 price jump to each, and T-Mobile even notes that it may choose to extend the discount on subscribers' voice plans, meaning the increase may just be $10 overall to start. T-Mobile has previously said that it's had success in adding data subscribers by letting tablet owners try its network for free, and there's a good chance it's hoping to play into that even more with this new promotion.