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T-Mobile, MetroPCS join Sprint in offering unlimited data

T-Mobile and MetroPCS will soon allow users to sign up for all-you-can-download data plans. 

By Matthew Shaer / August 22, 2012

A T-Mobile store in Los Angeles.

Reuters

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By one account, there are more than 100 million smartphone users in the US. 

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That's more than a hundred million data plans and more than a hundred data-guzzling devices. No wonder that most carriers are getting rid of their unlimited data plans – it's expensive to give that stuff away for free, when you could be charging a pretty penny for it. There are, however, at least three exceptions: Sprint, T-Mobile, and MetroPCS, a budget carrier based out of Texas

Sprint has offered all-you-can-download plans for a while now. T-Mobile and MetroPCS are the newcomers to the party. Beginning Sept. 5, T-Mobile announced today, users sign up for an unlimited voice, data and texting plan; prices start at $69.99 per month. An unlimited plan with MetroPCS, on the other hand, will set you back $55, but MetroPCS is available in fewer areas nationwide. 

"We’re big believers in customer-driven innovation, and our Unlimited Nationwide 4G Data plan is the answer to customers who are frustrated by the cost, complexity and congested networks of our competitors," Kevin McLaughlin, the vice president of marketing at T-Mobile USA said in a press statement. "Consumers want the freedom of unlimited 4G data."

So hey, does this mean Verizon and AT&T – which have recently shied away from unlimited plans – will follow T-Mobile and MetroPCS's suit?

Dream on, writes Sascha Segan of PC Magazine. "Verizon is gaining customers hand over fist and doesn't see any need to give away the house," Segan notes. "AT&T was burned a few years ago with the unexpected iPhone data rush, has finally recovered, and would prefer to have a managed network than an unlimited one."

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