The year of our lord 2017 still has a few more months to drag out, but I seriously doubt any carrier is going to take the remaining 68 days to beat MetroPCS’s new deal. For $100, the prepaid carrier is offering four lines of unlimited data on T-Mobile’s surprisingly fast LTE network.

Now, I know that the majority of customers are happily signed up to postpaid accounts, which are more convenient to look after on a month-to-month basis, and have traditionally offered the best overall value. But T-Mobile’s prepaid arm is changing all that.

The offer is simple, and doesn’t have many strings attached. You need to activate at least one new line of service on MetroPCS, and then you get four lines of unlimited data for $100. MetroPCS is T-Mobile’s prepaid arm, so the coverage should be nearly identical to what T-Mobile offers.

Most of the same conditions that apply to T-Mobile’s unlimited plans apply here. You’ll be deprioritized if you go over 35GB of data a month, but there won’t be any overage fees or the like. Video streams at 480p SD quality, and there’s no tethering allowed.

For comparison, T-Mobile’s One plan has a 50GB deprioritization limit, tethering at (slow) 3G speeds, and the same data quality cap. You obviously don’t get access to perks like T-Mobile Tuesdays or the same international roaming plans, but the trade-off is price. Four lines of T-Mobile One will cost you $140, compared to the $100 on MetroPCS.

The only other possible downside is that traditionally, prepaid customers are the first to be throttled if the network in one particular place is congested. The arrangements between carriers and MVNOs like MetroPCS are confidential, but anecdotal speed tests show that prepaid carriers can sometimes show slower speeds than postpaid, which is worth keeping in mind.

View Comments