Plants growing in pots

T-Mobile Adds Data To Connect Plans

T-Mobile just increased the data allotments on its original Connect plans.

  • $15 Plan – Increased from 3.5GB per month to 5GB
  • $25 Plan – Increased from 6.5GB per month to 8GB

These plans were originally introduced to appease regulators during the merger between T-Mobile and Sprint. While T-Mobile committed to increasing data allotments on the plans by 500MB per year, the latest changes exceed T-Mobile’s obligation by 3x.

Underrated Plans

For years, I’ve considered T-Mobile’s Connect plans among the best budget-friendly, limited-data offerings. While the plans aren’t the absolute cheapest options on the market, many consumers are more comfortable purchasing from a big, well-known brand like T-Mobile.1

T-Mobile doesn’t market the plans heavily because they’re not terribly profitable. Reviewers rarely mention the Connect plans since T-Mobile doesn’t compensate people for referring subscribers.

Looking Forward

I’m not aware of T-Mobile making commitments to regulators about the state of the Connect plans after 2025. I’m unsure if T-Mobile will continue to gradually improve the Connect plans, let the offerings stagnate, or actively force customers to migrate to other plans. The two newer Connect plans (a $10/1GB plan & a $35/12GB plan) were not part of commitments to regulators. Those plans were unchanged in the recent updates.

Hat tip to Stetson Doggett, who alerted me to the plan updates.

T-Mobile’s Data Maximizer Can’t Be Turned Off On Connect Plans

Some of T-Mobile’s plans come with a setting called “Data Maximizer.” While Data Maximizer is turned on, most video traffic will be throttled to about 480p quality. Data Maximizer reduces the load on T-Mobile’s network and can help subscribers with limited data allowances to conserve their data.

T-Mobile’s Connect plans supposedly have Data Maximizer turned on by default. Subscribers can also supposedly turn off the feature. On portions of T-Mobile’s website related to the Connect plans, there are disclosures like this one:1

Video typically streams on your T-Mobile device at DVD quality (480p) with Data Maximizer. You may disable Data Maximizer at any time.

I’ve recently been testing a Connect plan. Sure enough, a test I ran with the app Wehe confirmed that some video traffic was being throttled:

Results from video throttling tests

When I tried to turn off Data Maximizer, I ran into trouble. I first tried to disable the setting from within my T-Mobile online account. While subscribers on some of T-Mobile’s other plans can turn off Data Maximizer through an online process, that didn’t seem possible with the Connect plan.

I went ahead and called T-Mobile to see if a support agent could turn off the setting. At first, the support agent looked into it and told me Data Maximizer didn’t seem to affect Connect plans. I explained that T-Mobile’s website suggested otherwise and that my video traffic appeared to be throttled. The agent seemed to agree something strange was going on. She said she’d put in a ticket to have someone at T-Mobile look into the issue.

I don’t think it would be a big deal if Connect subscribers couldn’t turn off Data Maximizer. 480p video is, in my opinion, very watchable. Conserving data while streaming can be really beneficial on plans that don’t have large data allotments. Still, the fact that I ran into this issue surprised me. The Connect plans will probably be popular. I’m surprised some sort of quality review didn’t catch this issue before the plans were released.