T-Mobile will ditch data plans for one unlimited option

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

NEW YORK — T-Mobile is going to the extreme by dumping its tiered data plan model.

On the heels of Verizon and AT&T adjusting data packages and prices, T-Mobile is giving customers a one-size-fits-all deal: An unlimited data plan for $40 a line for a family of four.

If you don’t have four lines on one account, the company is sweetening the rest of plans, too. The first line is priced at $70 a month, the second at $50 and additional lines are only $20, up to 8 lines.

The flat fee offers unlimited 4G LTE data, text and talk time.

“The era of the data plan is over,” said T-Mobile CEO John Legere in a statement on Thursday.

While T-Mobile will keep its existing data plans around, Legere said during a press conference the plan is to eventually retire them.

The company likened the move to what happened when the carriers moved away from monthly talk “minutes” to “unlimited” options.

The news comes a day after AT& announced it would stop charging people for data overage fees. Instead of hitting customers with fees for going over data quotas, it will automatically reduce wireless speeds to 2G for free. Customers can pay for more data at faster speeds, if they so choose.

Meanwhile, Verizon recently introduced a pre-paid “Safety Mode” feature, which allows users to pay a set overdraft fee before quotas are met.

Both of these strategies are meant to provide a pseudo-unlimited data plan, but T-Mobile’s latest flat-fee update may be more appealing.

The news comes as carriers fight for new ways to keep and lure customers to its networks. Just last month, T-Mobile gave customers free data to use while playing Pokemon Go after it noticed data usage quadrupled among those playing the mobile game.