In this article I am going to take a look at the plans and features for Metro by T-Mobile for Februrary 2019. Before I get started I want to point out this is not a review, just a look at the plans and features currently offered.
I have never reviewed Metro before, but I have discussed it before. Some Metro customer have shared some details with me so see my previous articles and videos as well as the comments.
Metro by T-Mobile is a prepaid wireless service formerly known as Metro PCS. Metro is owned and operated by T-Mobile and it uses the T-Mobile network. In the past you could find MetroPCS phones and services in retailers or order it online, but currently its sold through their network of Metro authorized dealers.
Metro has a reasonable selection of phones, you can check online and then find a store near you. If you want to bring your own phone, check with a dealer to buy a SIM kit.
Since I last looked at Metro in September 2018, they updated their site, rebranding it from MetroPCS to Metro by T-Mobile. While the site a clean design, I find they removed a lot of information from the plan description and moved it into the support, FAQ, and terms of service sections of metropcs.com making it much more difficult to find.
Metro PCS offers four different monthly plans. All of the plans include nationwide talk and text. Two of the plans include a fixed amount of high speed data the other two include unlimited high speed data.
All Metro plans include taxes and fees in the plan price, so what you pay is the price listed on the page. Several Metro customers have told me they are getting charged taxes though, but I have been able to confirm this.
$30 Plan Unlimited Talk, Text and 2 GB Data
The $30 plan includes unlimited talk, text, and 2 GB of high speed data.
According to the FAQ, after you use up your high speed data, you’ll have reduced speed data. I am still looking for details on the reduced speeds. If you use up your high speed data you can purchase add-on data. More on that later. Any remaining unused high speed data expires at the end of the month. Back in September 2018, you could use Mobile Hotspot with the fixed data included with this plan. Since they removed that feature from the $40 plan, I assume it’s also removed from the $30 plan.
$40 Plan Unlimited Talk, Text and 10 GB Data
The $40 plan includes unlimited talk, text, and 10 GB of high speed data. The same rules for data on the $30 plan apply here. The $40 plan adds Music Unlimited. With this feature, any of the data that you use to stream music is not counted against your 10GB of high speed data. It works with 40+ different music apps. Just to be clear, its the data used for streaming that is free, you still need to subscribe to the music services.
$50 Plan Unlimited Talk, Text and Unlimited Data
The $50 plan includes unlimited talk, text, and unlimited data. This plan includes 5GB of data for mobile hotspot.
The plans includes 100GB Google One service plan. I’m not that familiar with Google One. It offers expanded storage for your Google photos, Gmail, and Drive. It will also back up your mobile device to the cloud. Google One also offers expert support for Google products and services, so if you need help you can ask a Google expert. You can share this plan with up to 5 family members. Your Google One membership includes member benefits such as Google play credits and special rates on hotels.
$60 Plan Unlimited Talk, Text and Unlimited Data
The $60 plan includes unlimited talk, text, and unlimited high speed data. With the $60 plan, you can use up to 15GB of high speed data with mobile hotspot.
The plan includes the Google One service described as part of the $50 plan.
The $60 plan also includes an Amazon Prime membership. I’m not going to describe what Amazon Prime is as you can look up the details on Amazon. The difference between the $60 plan and the $50 plan is the Prime membership so your paying the extra $10 per month for prime. Prime normally costs $13 per month or $120 per year. So with this deal, your saving $3 per month over the Amazon’s monthly rate.
With Google One you are getting additional storage and backup. Prime adds a music and video streaming services so as a bundle, it’s making a complete offering.
Metro does not include a list or description of the plans features directly on the plans page. Instead I had to find this information in the support and FAQ pages.
All Metro plans include Visual Voicemail for iPhone and supported Android phones. Phones that do not support Visual Voicemail will have regular voicemail.
All Metro plans include Wi-Fi calling. With Wi-Fi calling, your phone can make and receive calls and send and receive text messages using your active Wi-Fi connection instead of Metro’s cellular network. Wi-Fi calling makes it possible to use your phone in areas where there is poor or no cellular coverage but Wi-Fi is available. Note your phone will need to be compatible with Wi-fi calling on the t-mobile network,
Metro offers Mobile Hotspot on their two unlimited data plans, but not the two fixed data plans. The $50 unlimited plan includes 5GB data for hotspot and the %40 plan includes 15GB. Mobile Hotspot lets you connect your laptop, tablet, or other Wi-Fi device to the internet using your phone’s cellular data connection
More about Cellular Data
According to the FAQ, Metro’s fixed data plans include reduced speed unlimited data. The FAQ does not specify if this is “2G” speed data or other details.
Metro does not enforce a fixed maximum download speed for unlimited data plans. However they state that “On all plans, during congestion users >35GB/mo. may notice reduced speeds due to prioritization”. In the fine print on the plans page it states “If congested, the fraction of customers using >35GB∕month may notice reduced speeds and Metro customers may notice reduced speeds vs. T-mobile due to prioritization”.
According to the FAQ, all video streams at SD / DVD / 480p quality. In some places they refer to this as Data Maximizer, stating they reduce video quality to optimize it for your device and conserve your high speed data.
On the unlimited data plans, video streaming is reduced to Standard Definition that’s 480p or DVD quality. Previously this referred to as Data Maximizer. The do not say whether or not this applies to the fixed data plans. According to the FAQ, you add HD video service to your account for an additional fee. Supposedly its an additional $10 per month.
Add On Features
Metro lists a large number of add-on features in the FAQ. Too numerous to describe in detail here. I sumarize the most important.
Add-On Monthy Data
Metro offers three additional data add-ons. For $5 you get 2GB, for $10 you get 5GB, and for $20 you get 10 GB of data. The price works out to $2 per GB, which an excellent price for add-on data. The add-on data can be used to add high speed data to your phone or for mobile hotspot on plans that included mobile hotspot. Note this are recurring monthly add-ons.
According to the FAQ, you need to call Metro or visit a dealer to add additional data to your account. This seems extremely inconvenient. It’s unclear whether or not they have an option to purchase data online or from a mobile app.
International Calling Options
Metro offers $5 calling add-ons for Mexico and Canada. Each country is an additional $5. These add-ons include unlimited talk and text both to and from Mexico and Canada respectively. So you’ll be able to use your phone when you travel to these countries. This includes 5GB of data for use in each country.
They also offer a $10 Global Voice and $20 Global Voice+ add-on for international calling. These add either 50 or 100 minutes of international calling respectivelty.
This does not include international text which is available separately.