If you’ve got an unlimited data family plan at T-Mobile, you’ll soon be getting free Netflix to go along with it. The new “Netflix on Us” perk is T-Mobile’s latest attempt to differentiate its service from that of larger rivals Verizon Wireless and AT&T. There’s not much fine print here; as long as you’ve got two or more voice lines on a T-Mobile One unlimited data plan, you’ll eligible to receive a standard Netflix subscription at no extra cost. The deal will launch starting September 12th and can be activated online, in-store, or by calling customer service.
What you’re getting is the Netflix plan that ordinarily costs $9.99 monthly and allows HD streaming and simultaneous viewing on two devices. If you want 4K video quality and more concurrent streams, you can upgrade to Netflix’s $11.99 plan and the $2 difference will be added to your phone bill each month.
T-Mobile says that customers who took advantage of the company’s “line-on-us” promotions still qualify for free Netflix. But it sounds like that’s not necessarily true for people on the 2-lines-for-$100 or recently announced Unlimited 55+ plans. Those subscribers can get the Netflix offer “by switching to the latest T-Mobile One plan.”
The company is positioning this Netflix giveaway as yet more proof that its network is better equipped to provide unlimited data than Verizon and AT&T. In a move that’s been rather unpopular with many customers, Verizon recently altered its unlimited plans and placed limits on video streaming quality. T-Mobile’s default unlimited data plan also throttles video to 480p resolution; customers who want to watch in HD must pay more money each month for the T-Mobile One Plus plan. So if you want to stream your free Netflix in high def, T-Mobile says you’ll have to upgrade your data plan.
T-Mobile points out that average LTE speeds for Verizon and AT&T have fallen since both companies revived unlimited data plans. And in a vicious bit of PR, Sprint — the company that T-Mobile has constantly been rumored to merge with — doesn’t even appear in that chart since it shows “speeds greater than 20Mbps.”
The Netflix/T-Mobile partnership could also be an attempt to counter the carrier/content pairings that are being formed between AT&T/DirecTV and Time Warner. AT&T now includes free HBO as part of its Unlimited Plus data plans — no family plan required.
Verizon’s offerings are a little less appealing, so Legere is particularly aggressive towards the company. “You can’t make up shit like Go90. And then they follow up that disaster by buying faded ‘90s dot coms like AOL and Yahoo. It’s like MySpace was actually too cool for Verizon, so they passed.”