T-Mobile takes aim at Verizon, AT&T with new IoT plans

T-Mobile is taking on Verizon and AT&T in the IoT with new data plans that package service with Sequans LTE Cat 1 modules.

The carrier Tuesday launched IoT Access packs, a two-tiered offering starting at $20 per year per device for 5 MB of data per month. The price drops to $6 per year per device after the first year. An unlimited data plan at 64 Kbps is also available at $25 per year per device, and for a limited time customers can get $5 off the first year for each device.

Both offerings include the cost of the Sequans module via a bill credit from T-Mobile, up to $16 per module. T-Mobile is positioning the plans as simpler alternatives to the IoT service offerings of Verizon and AT&T.

“Like everything they do, the carriers over-complicate the Internet of Things, and that leads to more hassle and cost for customers,” said T-Mobile Senior Vice President Doug Chartier in a prepared statement. “The wireless industry needs simpler options for IoT to take off, and that’s exactly what we’re delivering.”

As is often the case with wireless service plans, comparing one carrier’s offering to another’s isn’t as straightforward as it might seem. For instance, AT&T’s IoT plans start at $25 for 1 GB of data and 500 SMS that can be used over the course of 12 months, and top out at $100 for 5 GB of data and 1,500 SMS that can be used over 24 months. The data can be used to power up to 1,000 devices on AT&T’s network, and the carrier sells an IoT Starter Kit for $99.

Verizon’s machine-to-machine plans are somewhat more complicated and are offered in three “share groups,” enabling customers to share data between plans within each tier. The cheapest share group offering starts at 1 MB for $9 a month and tops out at 25 MB for $30 a month, for instance.

The most expensive group includes a single plan of 5 GB of data for $100 a month. Those plans are available only to business customers with five or more CLEU (corporate liable end user) lines that have a Major Account Agreement with the carrier.