US Mobile Unlimited All plan hands-on and Pooled Plan launch | ZDNet
I’ve been a T-Mobile customer for about 20 years and thanks to its generous support for military plans my family has enjoyed its services and coverage at very affordable rates. For the past month I’ve been testing out two SIM cards from US Mobile after the company launched its unlimited and family plans. At the end of last week, US Mobile also announced its new Pooled Plans that gives businesses and families more affordable options if there is no need for unlimited everything.
US Mobile offers two SIM options for customers; Super LTE (black SIM card) and GSM LTE (white SIM card). While it isn’t advertised on the US Mobile website, putting the SIM cards into a phone and viewing the connections settings reveals that Super LTE service is provided on the Verizon network and GSM LTE service is provided on the T-Mobile network. These SIM cards have LTE in the name, but understand that 5G is also supported, with no additional cost, on the low-band spectrum. This means that UltraWideband 5G is not supported by US Mobile.
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Plan options and pricing
As a person who commutes on a train daily for two hours and writes about mobile technology, unlimited data plans are my default selection. However, there are people on either end of the spectrum, including those who communicate primarily via talk and/or text. US Mobile offers extremely affordable options for everyone, as detailed in the table below.
|Service name||Talk minutes||Text||Data||Hotspot||Price|
|Unlimited Talk & Text||Unlimited||Unlimited||None||None||$10|
|1 Line||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited||20GB for $10||$45|
|2 Lines||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited||20GB for $10||$30/line|
|3+ Lines||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited||20GB for $10||$25/line|
The unlimited data plans also include up to 10GB of LTE data outside the US, in supported countries. In addition, if you sign up for three Unlimited All lines you get to choose one perk and with four Unlimited All lines you get two perks. Perks include Apple Music Family, Spotify Family, Disney Plus, HBO Max, Xbox Live Gold, and many more.
While pricing is the same for either Super LTE or GSM LTE, there is a slight difference with the unlimited data plans. Unlimited All plans on Super LTE are uncapped and unthrottled. Unlimited All plans on GSM LTE come with 50 GB of high-speed data, and a tiny fraction of heavier data users may notice reduced speeds afterward.
US Mobile just announced its new Pooled Plans option that lets you share data across as many devices as you want so you can use it for a small business, large family, or another group that wants to pool resources.
Customers pay $9 per month per line and then $2 per GB of shared data. There are no pre-selected amounts of data so the Pooled Plans are fully customized by the customer themselves. All lines include unlimited talk and text for the $9 per month charge.
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US Mobile created updated dashboards and provides real-time usage analytics so you can manage all the details of your Pooled Plans account. You can even snooze, resume, and remove lines in bulk.
Pooled Plans is available now for the Super LTE network (Verizon). If you are an existing US Mobile customer with a GSM LTE SIM card then you can contact US Mobile to convert to a Super LTE Pooled Plan if you want this new functionality.
Experiences with Super LTE and GSM LTE cards
Both review SIM cards arrived as activated cards ready to test out. For new customers, there is a $3.99 SIM card starter kit that you order with arrival likely in just three days. The kit includes both the Super LTE and GSM LTE cards so you can activate the card that works best for the unlocked phone that you own and the coverage that you desire.
I tested both SIM cards with an iPhone 12 Pro Max, OnePlus 9 Pro, OnePlus 9, and TCL 20 Pro 5G. In my experiences, the GSM LTE (T-Mobile) card provided me with the fastest download and upload speeds with these phones, ranging from 10 to 85 Mbps in the various locations around the south Puget Sound region.
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Calls sounded great on both sides of the conversation, text messages went through flawlessly, and data coverage was as reliable as other networks I have tested in the past. The overall experience with US Mobile was what I experience on the big three networks in the US.
My excellent T-Mobile military plan ends up being just $20/month per line for six lines so I don’t plan to switch from that carrier at this time. However, US Mobile is a great option at just $25/month per line for more than three lines. When you consider that I would also qualify for two perks from US Mobile, the cost may actually work out to be the same or better on US Mobile so I’ll look a bit closer at the complete package I pay for on T-Mobile.
With millions still working remotely from home offices, you may also be wondering about WiFi calling support. This functionality is available with the GSM LTE (T-Mobile) SIM card for Android smartphones. US Mobile continues to work on iPhone support and support for Super LTE SIM cards.
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