Aug. 22, 2012 at 11:28 AM ET
We often complain that "unlimited" data plans always seem to have a catch, be it hidden limits, speed throttling or a combination of the two. But T-Mobile's trying to eliminate all those silly things by offering what appear to be a truly unlimited data plan to its customers, starting on Sept. 5.
The new plan, appropriately labeled "Unlimited Nationwide 4G Data," will cost $20/month if added to a "value" plan or $30/month with a "classic" plan. (Whether you have a "value" or "classic" plan appears to depend on whether you paid a full or subsidized price for your mobile device.) This means that you could snag a plan with voice, texting, and unlimited data for as low as $70 or $90, depending on your situation.
So, again, what's the catch? Well, you won't be grabbing that all-time favorite data-gobbling device, the iPhone, on T-Mobile anytime soon, for example. And the carrier only offers HSPA+ data speeds (which, in real-world testing, have proven inferior to brisk 4G LTE speeds).
It's also worth noting that hotspot capabilities are not available with the unlimited plan, unfortunately, so you have to use all of that unthrottled data on your phone, and can't connect a laptop. As a result, T-Mobile's other (more limited) data plans will continue to co-exist with the new one. With them, you can turn your mobile device into a hotspot for your other gadgets, but you'll have to deal with speed throttling at certain usage levels.
Want more tech news or interesting links? You'll get plenty of both if you keep up with Rosa Golijan, the writer of this post, by following her on Twitter, subscribing to her Facebook posts, or circling her on Google+.