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Getting prepaid data on T-Mobile

For a while, T-Mobile prepaid featured just one data plan. For a dollar per day you could get unlimited data and messaging on the Sidekick plan. From what I gathered, the plan worked not only with Sidekick devices, but also with other data phones, such as unlocked iPhones. Last summer, however, T-Mobile discontinued service for iPhones on Sidekick plans. I’ve also heard users of other smartphones complain about a lack of support on the Sidekick plan. T-Mobile does have a prepaid data plan, and while it can be a good deal it doesn’t cover nearly enough devices to be viable right now. lays out the options, and the picture becomes a bit clearer after reading their article. You can get data access on any 2G feature phone offered through their prepaid program for 99 cents per hour. That seems like a decent deal if you use it correctly. Unfortunately, T-Mobile does not support this plan for 3G postpay phones that customers are using in prepaid. That, of course, makes the plan much less valuable.

Apparently, you can purchase the plan on your 2G feature phone, and then swap your SIM into a 3G postpay phone and still receive the service. That’s an extra step, but perhaps a worthy one if this plan works for your usage patterns. This I did not know. That’s excellent news — at least until T-Mobile catches on and starts putting the kibosh on that. Hopefully they don’t and simply extend the 99 cent plan to all phones on prepaid plans.

The other point they make: the plan is not available for the Nokia Nuron, which is sold through Costco stores for $119.99. Unfortunately, you cannot get the 99 cent per hour data plan with this phone either, despite its prepaid nature. As PhoneNews explains, though, you can still do something with it.

So, what can the Nokia Nuron do? While T-Mobile won’t comment on it, you do get access to the Ovi Store and Ovi Maps without data usage. Of course, Ovi Store apps you download can’t access the internet, but if it’s Ovi branded, it can get on the web. T-Mobile appears to have opened a proxy for Ovi services data-free when using a Nuron.

As PhoneNews notes, prepaid data is a work in progress at T-Mobile. Hopefully they work out the kinks and start offering the 99 cent plan to all comers. I think they’ll find many interested customers.

9 Responses

  1. MenoRikey Says

    I’d be all over that, as a T-Mobile prepaid customer.

    Posted on June 11th, 2010 at 10:40 am
  2. mike freeman Says

    Joe, with all due respect, if they’ve been able to give unlimited data AND messaging to Sidekick prepaid users for years, why do they have to go backwards and charge 24 times as much ?

    This is NOT a deal by any means.
    Tmobile flexpay is better as is Simple Mobile’s new unlimited everything including data offering at $60 starting today, June 11.

    There is still no gsm prepaid offering with paygo AND unlimited data.

    Posted on June 11th, 2010 at 1:42 pm
  3. Android_User Says

    $1/day makes more sense with limited data. Or $1/10 MB that’s something reasonable. There’s a huge gap in their prepaid data service for customers who are willing to pay a little bit (not postpay though)

    Posted on June 11th, 2010 at 3:00 pm
  4. Shat Bricks Says

    Good lord. It almost seems as if T-Mobile USA is satisfied with being Americas Number 4 carrier. You would think they would want to be ohhhh NUMBER 1? Seriously Why are they coming out with this stupid plan.

    Posted on June 11th, 2010 at 5:38 pm
  5. Sam Says

    A way around I have been using is to use SimpleMobile. I have been using it with my unlocked iPhone and it has been working smoothly. Until now, they had a $60 plan with unltd talk and text and 150MB data. Yesterday, the $60 plan was upgraded to unlimited data too.

    So now for $60 you get unlimited talk, text and data on the same T-Mobile network.

    Posted on June 12th, 2010 at 9:50 am
  6. MenoRikey Says

    Does anyone know if I can use SimpleMobile with my Nexus One?

    Posted on June 14th, 2010 at 8:16 am
  7. MenoRikey Says

    Nevermind, I went on their website and it’s not listed. Too bad.

    Posted on June 14th, 2010 at 8:17 am
  8. Christopher Price Says

    MenoRikey, Nexus One is compatible with Simple Mobile since it is both unlocked, and supports T-Mobile 3G frequencies.

    Simple Mobile’s device list is merely phones they approve of, you can use other devices… they simply are unsupported.

    Posted on June 25th, 2010 at 12:51 am
  9. Trent Says

    If you have prepaid and a smart phone, the system will want to bill you an additional 2.99 per MB of data. That is crazy. With the new phones having 5M pixels, that would be and easy 3MB of data to send to Facebook

    Posted on October 4th, 2010 at 7:23 am

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