What is the story with T-Mobile's data plans?

There has been some long and varied discussions going on over at the http://www.howardforums.com boards and at Pocket PC Thoughts regarding access to T-Mobile’s data network. I personally bought the $20 data plan back in 2002 with my Sidekick and then kept the $20 plan with my resulting Nokia 3650. Last fall (at least that is when I think I switched), I heard GPRS was free (with limited open ports) so I cancelled my $20 plan and used it for about 8 months for free. I could not access secure sites or use MSN Messenger, but I could get POP/IMAP email and browse most sites. Last Friday on vacation, my free GPRS access through wap.voicestream.com stopped working. I called up and ordered the $20 plan and was zooming away within an hour. The nice thing was that I could finally access my work Groupwise web access site (it is a https site) and use MSN Messenger.

Today, my Geek.com boss in Boston (I am in the Seattle/Tacoma area) told me his $4.99 T-Zones plan didn’t block any ports. So I called up this morning and switched from the $19.99 plan to the $4.99 T-Zones plan. I can now use MSN Messenger, access my work secure Groupwise web access site, etc. using only the $4.99 plan. I think the $20 plan is an excellent deal, but $5 is even better and I am willing to pay this for reliable access.

My loss of free GPRS access may have been a temporary deal, but I don’t mind paying $5 to gain MSN Messenger and secure access. You will read a lot of various opinions and stories about what works and what doesn’t work and I just recommend you do like I did and try out the different services yourself. You can switch around these data plans without any penalties. What has been your personal experience?

I use about 30-40MB of data a month and even though GPRS is slower than CDMA, you can’t beat the rates and my coverage has been excellent everywhere but at my house. I received a flyer from T-Mobile the other day stating they are adding towers and it has gotten a bit better at home.

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  1. #1 by Anonymous on August 4, 2004 - 15:38

    Hey!
    I have a quick question, will you go over your megabytes with the 4.99 plan? I don’t have a pocketpcthoughts account, but could you ask that question in the thread ( what the MB limit is, for the FREE* Plan ) ?
    I called and they said they didnt have a free plan ?!?
    I guess I’ll tell them to remove it alltogether

  2. #2 by palmsolo on August 4, 2004 - 18:42

    There are no limits on any of T-Mobile’s data plans. They never tracked my usage with the “free” plan, but back when I was paying $20 a month I was using 25 to 35 MB a month. I definitely get my money’s worth of data:)

  3. #3 by Anonymous on August 6, 2004 - 03:11

    What do you give up by paying $5 instead of $20?

  4. #4 by palmsolo on August 6, 2004 - 09:57

    I don’t think you give up anything since I can access secure sites and use MSN Messenger. You may not be able to use VPN, but I don’t have this so I can’t test it myself.

  5. #5 by Anonymous on August 9, 2004 - 08:18

    Matt,

    I am connected pretty much through out the day with my T610 to either my 4350 or laptop without paying anything, like you when I first got the phone I had signed up for the $19.99 plan, but when I called to add my wife to my plan, the customer service rep told me that I would get free email and webaccess through Tzones and if that is all I needed it for, they would prorate my account. I have been using it for about a year now for free and as of Feb.27th 2004 in Boston I am able to access FTP,VPN,Messenger,etc, now that they have dropped free WAP browsing from the phone,but GPRS data access is still free. According to my GPRS monitors on my PPC last month I downloaded about 278MB of data and uploaded 73MB, on my laptop it has been 568MB download and 117MB upload. They have me hooked since I can run unfiltered to access IM and ftp while at work and would pay again for the access to data if this is their plan then, it seems to be a good one…

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