MetroPCS undercuts AT&T's Cricket, Boost with $75 2-line unlimited plan

Heating up the war for prepaid wireless customers, MetroPCS has debuted a two-line, unlimited mobile rate plan for $75—a deal that slightly edges the competition.

Under the plan, the T-Mobile USA division is offering the first line of unlimited LTE data, talk and text for $50, then customers can add up to four more lines for $25 per line—translating into $75 for two lines. In terms of the service differentiators, video streaming is supported in SD at 480p, and there’s also a $100 instant rebate on devices for new customers for each line.

That’s roughly in line with Sprint’s Boost Mobile, which offers a prepaid unlimited plan for $50 per month for the initial line, and $30 per month for each line after that, for an $80 per month deal for two lines. That offer, unlike MetroPCS, includes an international flair: Unlimited talk and texts to Mexico and 8GB of roaming data while south of the border. On the video front, Boost also touts “mobile-optimized streaming” in HD.

AT&T’s Cricket Wireless, meanwhile, offers a special two-line bundle of unlimited talk, text and data also for $80 per month, along with free phones (certain models) for new customers. It includes calls and texts to Mexico and Canada—but no roaming allotment and the video support is SD, at 480p.

Overall, the top three prepaid brands are offering the basics for about the same amount, although who has the competitive advantage comes down to niche plays. MetroPCS is hawking its new plan as a perfect fit for students, with a “back to school” theme—Boost and Cricket on the other hand have a wider range of customer targets, as evidenced by the HD streaming for the former and the NAFTA-like North American calling plan for the latter.

As for Sprint’s recently relaunched Virgin Mobile, it offers $50 per month for unlimited talk, text and data per line—no family plans available. Under its Inner Circle deal, which it has extended to the end of August, users can take advantage of a promotion for $1 per line for a year—if they upgrade to an iPhone.