US Mobile has suddenly limited its unlimited plan to 75GB of high-speed data.
This post covers everything you need to know about this change, including what happened, why it happened, and what it means for you.
US Mobile’s Previous Unlimited Data Plan
When US Mobile launched the previous version of their unlimited plan on March 8th, 2021, they said they were going “all-in.”
No data caps.
As low as $25 per line with taxes and fees included.
And in their Reddit post they even emphasized uncapped and unthrottled speeds.
These plans were awesome, and you can watch my video below about the announcement just to see how excited I was:
So what happened, why did it happen, and what does it mean for you?
What happened was this:
5 months after US Mobile launched their truly unlimited plan, they suddenly decided to limit the plan to 75GB.
On Friday, August 13th, 2021, US Mobile sent the following email to customers on the Unlimited All plan:
Beginning today, a tiny fraction of users who use more than 75GB of data in a single billing cycle may experience slower speeds until the end of their billing cycle. This should affect less than 0.1% of our customers most of whom are using modems and routers. If you use less than 75GB monthly, your speed and experience on our Unlimited All plan will remain the same.
If you’re getting this email, you have not yet hit 75GB in your current cycle, and so this change should not impact you directly. If you’re worried it might, you can reach us 24/7 through our contact information below.
And you can see US Mobile even updated their website to reflect the new 75GB limit for people who sign up on the Super LTE network.
The website reads, “Customers using over 75GB/mo on Super LTE (or over 50GB on GSM) may notice reduced speeds.”
How Fast Are The “Reduced Speeds”?
I checked US Mobile’s terms of service, and they appeared to lack this information.
Thankfully, I was able to chat with a support rep, and I was told the reduced speeds would be at 1Mbps.
So the updated plan now includes 75GB of data at full speeds, and then unlimited data at 1Mbps.
Why Is US Mobile Doing This?
When US Mobile announced their new unlimited plans back in March, I thought they had struck a deal with Verizon.
US Mobile uses Verizon to provide coverage, and Verizon’s own flanker carrier Visible offers basically the same plan: truly unlimited data for as low as $25/month with their Party-Pay discount.
So I thought, hey that’s cool, Verizon is giving US Mobile access to the same agreement to provide unlimited data.
But it turns out this wasn’t true.
US Mobile was actually paying Verizon per GB of data that US Mobile customers used on the Verizon network.
This meant US Mobile was losing money on high data users.
The way it worked is basically US Mobile launched the unlimited plans to appeal to customers looking for unlimited data.
And US Mobile knew that 96% of average consumers would use less than 50GB of data per month.
Those customers would be profitable.
But they also knew a handful of people would use over 50GB, 75GB, or even 100GB of data per month, and potentially lose them money.
US Mobile carefully did the math on this, and they realized if they had enough profitable customers, they could cover the losses of the high data users and still make money in the end.
And that’s exactly what they did.
That’s what allowed them to offer their truly unlimited data plan in the first place.
So what changed?
US Mobile basically wanted to stop losing money.
As US Mobile shared in their Reddit post announcing the new 75GB limit on high-speed data, “There will always be the smallest fraction of customers that will take advantage of our unlimited data to run up enormous data usage on modems and routers, that make it harder for us to offer lower prices to the rest of our customers.”
Ahmed even shared on Twitter that they saw people using over 1TB of data early on.
That’s over 1,000GB.
These people were using PDAnet to circumvent hotspot thresholds and essentially use the service to replace their home internet.
What’s interesting is that Ahmed also said that he believes US Mobile got a unique insight into the high-data user market, and that it cost them a significant amount of money to get that.
So yes, these high data users were costing US Mobile a lot of money, and the whole reason the plans are now limited to 75GB is so US Mobile can stop losing money and migrate those customers off the network.
How Many People Is This Affecting?
The email says less than 0.1% of subscribers are affected by this change.
So out of 100,000 people, that would be under 100 people affected.
And out of 1 million people that would be just under 1,000 people affected.
What Does This Change Mean For You?
Well, if you’re part of the 0.1% of people using over 75GB of data per month, then it means it’s probably time to move on.
You’re going to be better off with Visible’s truly unlimited plan for $25, or by getting a plan directly from Verizon themselves.
Or, if you were using the service to replace your home internet, then maybe it’s time to consider Verizon’s LTE home internet service or T-Mobile home internet.
For everyone else though, the 99.9% of you or whatever using under 75GB of data per month, you’re going to be totally fine.
I still believe that US Mobile is offering some of the best cell phone plans in the industry on the Verizon network.
They have a beautiful dashboard, great pricing and perks, and awesome data usage analytics too.
And heck, you could even use the data usage analytics tool to monitor your usage and see if you’re getting anywhere close to 75GB of data per month.
And Finally, What’s Next For Us Mobile?
Well, the extra money means they are going to be able to give back to you, the customer.
They have teased plans with postpaid priority data coming in Q4 2021, a 5GB hotspot add-on for $5 for their unlimited plans, Ultra Wideband 5G access coming soon, eSIM coming soon, and visual voicemail for Super LTE coming soon.
All of this is super exciting, but unfortunately, as Fine-Ability points out on Reddit, “coming soon” is US Mobile’s trademark phrase.
Who knows when these features will actually launch?
We’ve been promised eSIM and Ultra Wideband 5G for months now, and they are still not here.
My best guess is that if we’re lucky, maybe we’ll see them sometime before December of this year.
US Mobile’s Bigger Problem
And I think that brings me to what the overall bigger problem is with US Mobile.
The problem is not limiting their unlimited plan to 75GB.
That actually makes a lot of business sense to me, and if we’re being honest it’s something we all thought would happen in the back of our minds.
And the problem isn’t even their current plan offerings.
I still believe those are great and will continue recommending them to people.
No, what the problem is with US Mobile is the delta, or the difference, between the expectations they are setting and the service they are actually offering.
As Marques Bronwlee says, “expectations are the thief of joy.”
I personally feel disappointed in US Mobile because they are making promises they can’t keep and announcing features that aren’t ready.
And having the promise of a truly unlimited plan turn into a 75GB plan feels like salt added to a wound.
Yes, I agree with US Mobile’s decision to limit the plan to 75GB, and I think it makes a lot of sense, but I wish they had launched the plan at 75GB to begin with so people knew exactly what they were getting into.
And as for the promised features, I think US Mobile should stop talking and start doing.
Don’t promise anything more.
I don’t want to hear it.
The priority data by Q4 honestly just sounds like another deadline you’re going to miss.
Instead, focus on building.
I want you to tell me about a new feature when it’s literally already been out for two weeks and we somehow missed it.
Then I’ll listen.