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T-Mobile launches a cheaper unlimited phone plan for just the ‘essentials’

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It includes unlimited talk, text, and data for cheap — to an extent

T-mobile store logo (1020)

T-Mobile announced today that it’s launching a new mobile plan for people who only use their smartphones for the bare necessities. The plan is called T-Mobile Essentials, and it covers talk, text, and data for cheap — but there’s a catch.

This unlimited talk, text, and data plan will cost $30 per line for a family of four ($10 less than T-Mobile’s other basic plan T-Mobile ONE), but the discount comes at a cost of quality. Streaming quality is what will suffer the most. In fact, the company points out that at times and places with “heavy network demand,” Essentials customers will be the first to see slower speeds. And if they use upwards of 50 gigabytes of data each month, internet speeds and video quality may be throttled even further. Video “typically” streams at 480p, the company said in its press release. (That’s the quality of a standard DVD. Yuck.)

T-Mobile Essential, like its other plans, also costs more if you do not plan to opt into the family deal: the package starts at $60 for a single line, $30 for the second, and an extra $15 for every additional line added to the plan. Features offered with the T-Mobile One plan, including in-flight texting and unlimited music streaming, will not be available on T-Mobile Essentials.