If you’ve been looking to get a hotspot or tablet plan on T-Mobile, this article is for you. T-Mobile offers a total of 18 tablet and hotspot plans to choose from. In this article I’ll be covering exactly what your different options are, and ultimately which plan you should sign up for.
The first five plans T-Mobile offers are for people who would like to add a tablet line to their postpaid account. These plans mirror the available plans for smartphones, including T-Mobile Essentials, Magenta, and Magenta MAX, except they are designed specifically for tablets.
The five plans are:
These plans vary in features and price. If you add a tablet plan to an existing T-Mobile account with one or more active voice lines, then you get a $40/month discount on the tablet plan.
You can also purchase the tablet plans as separate, standalone plans, but without a voice line the cost will be $40 higher per tablet line.
T-Mobile Essentials for Tablets is one of T-Mobile’s most affordable tablet plans. It’s designed for existing T-Mobile Essentials customers. This plan costs $20/month to add to your account if you have an active voice line. There is a $5 auto-pay discount that brings the price down to $15/month.
If you wanted to get this plan as a standalone plan with no voice line, it would cost $55/month with auto-pay.
Essentials for Tablets includes the following features:
Essentials for Tablets gives you unlimited data on your tablet so you can use it as much as you want. However, it’s missing some of the more premium features found with T-Mobile’s other tablet plans. You don’t get any international data, and you also don’t get any high-speed hotspot data.
Taxes and fees are also extra with this plan.
T-Mobile Magenta for Tablets is designed for existing customers on the Magenta plan. You can add a Magenta Tablet plan to your existing account for just $20/month with auto-pay, or $25/month without auto-pay.
Like the regular Magenta plan, Magenta for Tablets includes all taxes and fees in the price. What you see is what you pay.
If you would like to use this plan without a voice line on your account, then the price is $60/month with auto-pay.
Magenta for Tablets includes the following features:
The four differences between Essentials for Tablets and Magenta for Tablets is that Magenta for Tablets costs $5 more, includes all taxes and fees, includes 5GB of high-speed data in Canada and Mexico, and it includes international data at 128Kbps.
Both plans will be great options for Essentials or Magenta customers looking to add a tablet line to their account.
Magenta customers also have the option to purchase the PlusUp add-on to their tablet plan to make it a Magenta Plus Tablet plan with slightly more features.
The PlusUp add-on has three main differences compared to the regular Magenta Tablet plan:
There are actually three versions of the PlusUp add-on. The only differences are the price and how much high-speed hotspot data is included.
The entry-level Magenta Plus tablet plan is $30/month with auto-pay and when you add it to an account with an existing voice line. Without a voice line, the price is $70/month.
Magenta Plus Tablet 10GB includes the following features:
For $5 extra per month, the Magenta Plus Tablet 20GB plan doubles the amount of high-speed hotspot data from 10GB to 20GB. It includes all the same features as listed above.
This plan is $35/month with auto-pay and an active voice line on your account. As a standalone plan, it costs $75/month with auto-pay.
Increase your hotspot data to 30GB for $10 extra per month. This plan costs $45/month with auto-pay and an active voice line on your account. The cost is $85/month with auto-pay if you wanted to use this plan as a standalone plan. All the same features of the regular Magenta Plus tablet plan are still included here.
Overall, most people will probably be fine with just the regular Essentials or Magenta tablet plans. They are the most affordable, at $15/month and $20/month respectively, and they include unlimited tablet data.
The only reason to consider upgrading to the Magenta Plus tablet plans is to get HD video streaming in the United States, or to get the extra high-speed hotspot data.
However, considering your smartphone line gets 5GB of hotspot data on Magenta and 40GB of hotspot data on Magenta MAX, it’s highly unlikely that you will need additional hotspot data for your tablet as well.
In addition to the five tablet-specific postpaid plans, T-Mobile also offers six data-only plans that can be used in either tablets or hotspot devices, like the Netgear Nighthawk M1.
The six postpaid hotspot plans are:
These plans are essentially data-only plans. They are designed to be used in either tablets or dedicated hotspot devices. The listed prices include a $5 auto-pay discount.
Each plan includes its specified amount of high-speed data. You can connect to either T-Mobile’s 4G LTE or 5G network for coverage, whichever your device will support. After your high-speed allotment, your data speeds are slowed to 128Kbps.
Here is the full list of features of what these hotspot plans include:
These plans can be decent options for people who want to use a dedicated hotspot device.
However, given that T-Mobile’s Magenta and Magenta MAX plans already include 5GB and 40GB of hotspot data respectively, I think it’s tough to justify spending an extra $10 to $40 for what ends up being a pretty small amount of data.
The $50 100GB plan starts to become a little bit more worth it, I think, because you get so much hotspot data that it could potentially replace your home internet for lighter users. But at $50/month, why not consider just getting T-Mobile Home Internet plan for $60/month with truly unlimited data?
Honestly, the two plans that are worth it here are the $5 500MB plan and the $10 2GB plan, but not for hotspot devices.
The $5 500MB plan is perfect for connecting smartwatches. It’s the lowest-cost smartwatch plan I’ve come across.
And the $10 2GB plan is a nice, low-cost option for adding a tablet line to your account if you don't need unlimited tablet data and you don't want to spend $20 per tablet line.
Speaking of tablets, it turns out that there is one additional tablet plan here as well. Tablet users can choose to get unlimited tablet data for just $10 extra per month on top of the base $10 2GB plan. The final plan comes out to $20/month with all auto-pay discounts applied, which appears to make this plan identical to the $20 Magenta tablet plan, except for the fact that taxes and fees are extra instead of being included.
Finally, we have T-Mobile’s prepaid hotspot plans. There are also six options here, and they closely mirror the options available for postpaid subscribers. However, there are some key differences you should know about.
The six prepaid hotspot plans are:
Despite being mostly the same plans and prices as T-Mobile’s postpaid offerings, there are four key differences here:
T-Mobile’s Prepaid Hotspot plans include the following features:
Considering that the prepaid hotspot plans are exactly the same as the postpaid hotspot plans but with fewer features, I think it’s tricky to recommend them.
Either the postpaid or prepaid hotspot plans can be good options if you are just looking to get data for your tablet or hotspot device.
But if you have an existing line with T-Mobile, wouldn’t it be cheaper to upgrade to Magenta MAX and get 40GB of hotspot data included directly with your plan?
The right tablet or hotspot plan for you depends on what your current plan is. Here are my recommendations.
If you are an existing T-Mobile customer on the Essentials plan, get the Essentials for Tablets plan.
If you are an existing T-Mobile customer on the Magenta or Magenta MAX plans, get the Magenta for Tablets plan.
If you are an existing T-Mobile prepaid customer, consider the $10 2GB or $20 5GB prepaid data-only plans for your tablet. Or choose a different data amount depending on what you need.
If you’re looking to use these plans in a dedicated hotspot device, get the postpaid hotspot plans. I think the $30 10GB plan may be the sweet spot for getting work done on the go, but of course how much data you need will vary depending on your use case.
Either way, those are all 18 of T-Mobile’s tablet and hotspot plans explained, and I hope that’s helpful.