T-Mobile’s UnRadio may NOT be available to all unlimited data plans

by: William Neilson JrJune 24, 2014

e31597be133341d7afbf5345e29e37f5-f0afc56167bc4f71a3f9631b165c341a-4 KTVU

Recently T-Mobile CEO John Legere announced a free streaming music from several different streaming radio apps that would not count against a T-Mobile customers data plan. This exclusive was said to be free to ALL customers with an unlimited data plan and cost $4 a month for those with a tiered plan.

Except, now we are seeing that this may not be the case. According to TechnoBuffalo, the exclusive is not available to ALL unlimited data customers only available to those on newer unlimited data plans.

Our editor-in-chief Sean Aune, a relatively new T-Mobile customer, tried to give unRadio a whirl recently, but found that even though he’s on an Unlimited 4G plan. His plan, an older Simple Choice plan that allowed you to add Unlimited Nationwide 4G for $20, doesn’t actually qualify for unRadio. Instead, you need the most recent Unlimited 4G LTE option, which costs $80 per month. In other words, not all unlimited plans are treated equally, and you’ll need to cough up an additional $10 per month for a newer unlimited plan for free unRadio. – Todd Haselton, TechnoBuffalo.

T-Mobile responded to TechnoBuffalo by pointing to their press release for unRadio which states that unRadio is available to customers on “its newest unlimited 4G LTE data service.”

ap20423665044 Gannett

So, what makes an unlimited data plan new enough for T-Mobile? We are not sure but TechnoBuffalo’s editor-in-chief signed up after unCarrier 3.0 which was LESS THAN A YEAR AGO.

  • Jimmy Buck

    Can confirm. I have the “old” unlimited data plan and I wasn’t able to sign up for the free Rhapsody service. I called T-Mobile and they said that I needed to pay $10 extra for the plan with 5gb of hotspot instead of the 3gb I have now. I’ve only had T-Mobile since November of 2013, so it’s not like my plan is that old. Kind of lame.

  • supremekizzle

    This will totally work with the $30 unlimited plan. Haha haha, yeah….right….

  • Qbancelli

    Tmobile is getting sleazier by the minute.

    • Arturo Raygoza

      I LOVE T-Mobile but yes I agree.

  • jimmiekain

    I don’t get it. If I already have unlimited data why does it matter if they count music? My assumption when I heard about it was that it would apply to people who don’t have unlimited 4g.

    What am I missing here?

    • John Garlits

      Exactly. I guess people still want their “free” stuff, even if already was before.

    • abqnm

      If you are on the top tier fully unlimited plan, then it doesn’t matter. The music not counting toward your data applies to those who have unlimited data with limited 4g data.

      And this article is speaking to just Rhapsody unradio which is normally $4 a month, but if you have the Simple Choice plans that came in April or newer, you get it for free.

      • jimmiekain

        Thanks for clearing this up. I didn’t know they gave free subscriptions I thought it was just to allow people who didn’t have unlimited 4g to stream without it counting against their data cap.

        • abqnm

          Yeah there were two different music announcements. Everyone on an unlimited plan $50 or more gets the unlimited streaming at 4g speed for the announced services. Just those on the newest simple choice plans get the free Rhapsody unradio (normally $4/mo).

          • jimmiekain

            Does any of this apply to prepaid customers paying $70 for unlimited 4g?

          • abqnm

            Nope. No free Rhapsody and the data cap is already irrelevant.

            To me it seems like the free Rhapsody unradio is just a perk to make the $10 price hike on the newest unlimited plan less painful for new subscribers.

          • ElijahGregory

            It seems to me like they want to bait customers to Tmobile by offering free access to UnRadio with unlimited plans and then switch the offer with 5GB Mobile HotSpot data/mo. as an additional requirement at checkout.

          • I’m not worried about music services but the distinction between 4G and 4G LTE.

          • abqnm

            What do you mean?

          • Brad B

            4G is slower than 4G LTE

      • Way to Go T-Mo!

        …which is ridiculous.

        They are basically saying:

        Anyone thinking of switching – Wait for a few more UnCarrier announcements. Who knows when they’ll announce a better one you’ll only be able to be a part of if you haven’t already jumped.

        • abqnm

          Huh? Nobody is getting screwed here. If you have a limited plan that doesn’t qualify for Rhapsody unradio, you can switch to the newest plan at no cost and then now you get it for free. If you have a fully unlimited plan, you are either paying $80/mo and get free Rhapsody unradio or paying $70 and don’t get it for free. And even if you add it, you are still saving $6 over the plan that includes it.

          And waiting for the next announcement is pretty pointless (unless one has already been announced). There will always be something new around the corner. This applies not just to plans, but devices and life as well.

          • The newer plan cost more $’s.

          • abqnm

            You can’t argue a new subscriber plan price change as an argument supporting customers are being screwed by Rhapsody unradio being limited only to the newest plan subscribers. Nobody is getting screwed. Some people were late to the party and have to pay more, but it is still presented up front. Rate increases are a fact of life. Those etf fees have to come from somewhere. Yes they increased the price for new subscribers only for the highest data tier, which is actually less popular than you may believe. The two lower tiers remained the same price. And they were nice enough to include a music streaming package subscription for free that would cost others $4 to soften the blow to new subscribers that a month earlier they could have gotten true unlimited for $10 less.

          • ElijahGregory

            People who are buying “just” unlimited data plans ended up with nothing new through all of this. Nobody on unlimited plans was streaming against a cap to begin with, and they don’t get access to UnRadio for free.

            All of the plans TMobile sell are unlimited, the only difference according to a TMobile rep is the amount of Mobile HotSpot data that comes with it.

            People feel screwed over because they are being told their unlimited plans aren’t unlimited enough, and the only way to make them TRULY UNLIMITED is to buy something they don’t use or want. Unfortunately, there’s no way for Tmobile to avoid looking bad in such a situation.

      • ElijahGregory

        They do not sell anything but unlimited 4G data plans. The only difference at checkout is the amount of Mobile HotSpot data you agree to purchase each motnh.

        The especially pathetic aspect is how useless Mobile HotSpot data is when their network only goes as far as public WiFi networks (and sometimes not even). This severely limits the value of Mobile HotSpots.

        • abqnm

          Sorry, but that is incorrect. The Simple Choice plans offer limited 4g data, but data itself is unlimited. The $50 plan gives you 1gb of 4g data (which can be used either on the phone or as wifi hotspot). After you consume 1gb, your speeds will slow to 2g speeds for the remainder of the bill cycle. Only the top level plan offers truly unlimited 4g data (though Hotspot data is still limited to 5gb).

          • ElijahGregory

            You can type out the word ‘incorrect’, but that won’t mean you’re using it correctly.

            If you go to TMobile.com and purchase a plan, you will note on checkout the only difference between plans is the amount of Mobile HotSpot data offered. Please encourage speedier updates to the site.

          • abqnm

            Clearly you have failed to follow your own advice and read their site properly. The 4g data limit applies to 4g speeds and Hotspot access. On the $50 plan, you get 1gb of 4g data that you can use for your phone or Hotspot or a combination of both. After 1gb, your speed will be slowed to 128kbps for the rest of the billing cycle.


          • ElijahGregory

            My advice was to go all the way to checkout and look at what you are buying. You will see they list all plans as Unlimited and the only difference between them is Mobile HotSpot Data.
            If you ask a TMobile representative to explain the difference in service between the data plans, they can only tell you it is the amount of mobile HotSpot data.

          • ElijahGregory

            All Unlimited 4G data plans allow for mobile data usage without a data cap. There is no threshold where throttling to 128kbps occurs unless you are on any limited data plan.

          • abqnm

            Still wrong. Yes they are all “unlimited” because they don’t cut you off or charge you if you go over your 4g allotment. With the exception of the $80 truly unlimited plan, you will have a limit of 1gb, 3gb or 5gb, which applies to both 4g data and mobile hotspot usage. Even in the checkout, this is explained.

            And if you have T-Mobile reps telling you different than this, then they are wrong. I can assure you that I, as well as every other Simple Choice customer have limited 4g data unless you are on the top tier plan.

          • ElijahGregory

            The facts speak for themselves. Anyone who goes through the checkout process will see I am correct and you are not.

            I’m going to stream 5GB of HD video without throttling on my $20 Simple Choice plan now.

            [EDIT: It looks like I’m getting a different checkout screen if I’m logged in vs. not logged in. This is probably why grandfathered plans are crying foul, we are seeing the $30 plans offered as just more hotspot data. Not logged in, the plans offered are clear about the service.]

          • abqnm

            By mentioning the $20 Simple Choice plan, I assume you are referring to the data add-on being $20 since there is no $20 plan. And if you are on a plan older than March, the $20 data add on is completely unlimited. On your grandfathered plan, your other options for data would have been $10 for 3gb (4g or hotspot) or 1gb 4g or hotspot included for no extra data fee.

            So again, only the top tier plan is fully unlimited. Everything else limits 4g and Hotspot usage.

          • ElijahGregory

            My plan is a $20 data plan advertised as “Unlimited 4G Data”. Mobile HotSpot data is just a gimmick where they arbitrarily limit the amount of data other devices can use through your phones extant hardware. It’s like Microsoft charging $60/year for the right to execute netflix.exe on an XBox.

            Are you surprised people still think this move by Tmobile is scummy?

  • John Grabb

    Typical John Legere being really gross. Can you say idiot?

  • John Conatser

    same here. Im actually offended. So, screw your current customers and put out a hook to reel in new customers? Is that all this is? I guess it doesnt matter as I “stream all I want” already with unlimited data on iHeartradio! lol

    • abqnm

      This is only for the Rhapsody unradio. Only for this do you have to have the newest plan. Otherwise, if you are on any unlimited plan with limited 4g of $50 or more, music streaming from the listed services doesn’t count toward your usage.

      If you have a fully unlimited plan, the music not counting toward data doesn’t matter for you. And as for Rhapsody unradio, if you aren’t on the newest plan, you are already saving $10, so you can pay for Rhapsody unradio and still save $6 a month. There isn’t really screwing going on. More along the lines of making the $10 price hike on the fully unlimited plan more appealing.

      • Brad B

        4 bucks is a lot for garbage. But it does show how quickly Tmobile can screw you over.

        • abqnm

          Oh I agree with the first point. I would rather the full Rhapsody or Spotify subscriptions for music. I am not going to pay for Internet radio.

          As for your second point, well, that is subjective. And the only people who got screwed here were those that waited. The latest plan announcement came weeks before the plan went into effect, so people are really the only ones responsible for whether they got in early enough or waited and got “screwed”.

  • Darcy Myers

    Wrong. Anyone with a simple choice plans qualifies for this for no extra charge. This article is wrong. I asked.

  • AJ

    I have the Unlimited 4G LTE plan and I cannot get unradio. Apparently you have to have 5-11GB of mobile hotspot to get the free unradio. I will not pay extra for that.

    • The lack of distinction between 4G and 4G LTE is my issue. I guess down the road something may change for now I guess I’m strapped to the service. I left sprint and AT&T and Verizon are not an option.

      • Brad B

        To get 4G LTE you just need a LTE capable phone.

  • rogerinvegas

    Guys, quit your b****ing… They don’t have to give out anything for free! If you have the old unlimited plans then you can get rhapsody for only $4 a month which is a great deal. Stop the misinformation and go to their website and read it!

    • Brad B

      It’s actually a terrible deal.

  • Neo Morpheus

    Tmo, don’t turn evil just because you have more suscribers….

  • KUSH

    First off if this email actually reaches you I want to applaud you in your business tactics and marketing. I like the direction T-Mobile is going in and I love your attitude and enthusiasm.

    Now onto the unfortunate reason for my email: I signed up for T-Mobiles test drive program hoping that I would discover your coverage and service is equal to or greater than my current verizon 4g LTE. My test drive phone is set to arrive on 6-27 and I will out of town from 6-27to 6-30.

    I called T-Mobile to set the test drive start date to the 30th instead so I can actually get 7 days instead of 3-4 to test the phone. I was transferred between 3 different reps and finally told there is nothing they can do until the test drive is active and even then I am to call in on the 7th day to discuss a POSSIBLE increase in the test drive length. I don’t want an increase in length I just want to try it for 7 days as advertised. I don’t see this customer service as a reflection of your company direction.

    I am dying to drop verizon but no other carrier can match their coverage and I know T-Mobile has been expanding their coverage so I am hoping I can drop them for you guys. So here I am with no T-Mobile account and already a bitter taste in my mouth. I have 3 lines that would move over with me. I have no payment issues and perfect credit. I am an ideal customer who is even willing to pay MORE for better service but I am being pushed away at the door. I hope this email reaches you and I hope we can find some sort of resolution and restore my confidence in T-Mobile.

    • kush

      That was my email to john legere. Lets see if they are really all about customer service and change

  • I was on the phone with a rep about this yesterday very “un-clear” I don’t care about the music service as I pay Spotify monthly. But the lack in the distinction between 4G & 4G LTE is what bothers me. Will there be a speed difference some time down the road. I avg 10GB month via Spotify on extreme quality and SoundCloud during exercise and commutes.

    The rep would not make the distinction between 4G & 4G LTE maybe their literature hasn’t caught up to the announcement.

    Any thoughts?

    • Brad B

      4G and 4G LTE break down. 4G is actually a firmware upgrade to use a max possible 3G speed. The LTE or LTE (4G) is an evolving speed system which breaks the boundaries of 3G. Think of T Mobile’s 4G as 3.5G and Tmobiles 4G LTE as 5G. 6G, and 7th generation.

      • Bori

        I think what he’s is trying to say is, When you look at the description of the 70.00 unlimited data plan, it says Unlimited 4G. But, when you look at the 80.00 unlimited plan description, it says Unlimited 4G LTE. I think the key word here is LTE, I am also confused, since I have the 70.00 plan. I get LTE where ever it’s available, but I can see how the wording itself could cause confusion. I read this as getting unlimited LTE on the 80.00 plan but just Unlimited 4G on the 70.00 plan.

        • I pay 20 dollars for Unlimited on network data access at any frequency. Usually frequencies that carry less data go further. LTE goes say 2 Miles. Edge goes 8 Miles. LTE has issues passing through solid walls. Edge can pass through walls easier. The (Unlimited) can be whatever the rules are about the Unlimited. TMobile also has plans with absolute limited data with no throttling. Once you use the data the data service is done.

        • And the 4G or LTE doesn’t matter. Those are area specific and phone specific frequencies. If your phone can’t get a frequency it doesn’t matter anyways. TMobiles 4G is an update. And it doesn’t matter if it says 4G or LTE. You can get LTE if you have unlimited data with no throttling up to an absolute ceiling of roughly 50GB a month without being excessive. But it doesn’t matter if the service says (3G) or (LTE) or anything like that. The fine print matters and the phone itself. And the area you live in and where the tower is.

          • Bori

            Makes sense, I know that for a fact I do get LTE where ever it is available. It just seems that the description has thrown people off.

          • The description is important in a sense but also T-Mobile will let you use all frequencies available if you have a Post Paid Unlimited Plan that is TRULY unlimited with a 50GB ceiling.

          • I don’t know what would happen if you hit the ceiling but if you aren’t causing a problem they will probably not see you as being excessive.

        • The reason it says 4G is just because the fine print was written a long time ago. Before LTE rolled out. You can still get LTE.

        • If you want to know a little more. I have 3 phones on unlimited at 20 dollars with 1 on (free) unlimited data with throttling. It says 4G. But all you need is an LTE capable phone and it will use LTE. I have my old thing that says 4G but on 4G it goes at 300KB to 1MB per second but when it is on LTE it goes like 1-3MB per second. I am using MB. Not Mb.

  • Gerardo Hipolito

    I hate stories like these. John Legere clearly stated that only the people on the newest unlimited plans will get UnRadio for free. MEANING the ones on the new $80 plan. I was bummed when he said that because I’m on the old $70 unlimited plan but it is what it is. A regular customer who didn’t see the presentation might be confused. But you guys who actually watched the conference coming out with an article like this is just plain dumb and unprofessional. At least change the bratty tone of the article.

    • Heimrik

      Do people like you whine at every opportunity that you didnt get a handout when someone else did? Do you regularly complain when you dont get your way? You weren’t ripped off or tricked in any way. You just simply didnt get a nice little perk that was offered to new customers. HOWEVER, be happy streaming media no longer uses up your limited data if you decided to downgrade to a cheaper limited data plan…. If you’re so unhappy, go to Verizon or ATT where they rape you on data overages. And they charge by the MB NOT GB. Go to ATT and Verizon where they dont even offer unlimited plans AND streaming media DOES count against your data…..

      • Gerardo Hipolito

        I just simply said that we shouldn’t complain that we weren’t offered UnRadio like the new customers did because the CEO clearly said who will get it. Clearly you didn’t read my comment. All this negativity can be avoided if comments are read carefully.

        • Heimrik

          Apologies. I guess I am guilty of assuming your comment was another complaint and more sh!ttalk because you weren’t given a freebies and handouts. I just get so frustrated that we finally have a mobile carrier that is trying to make a profit but not deceive, rope, and rape their customers. Then, people go and dump on it just because they werent offered a promo that was strictly for a new product or new customers. Which shouldnt be shocking to anyone considering its a common practice by MOST businesses in the retail industry….

  • Arturo Raygoza


  • Heimrik

    There’s a lot of complaining here…. why? Tmo just announced that streaming services will NOT count against your limited data. Something that other carriers CHARGE for because it absolutely rapes customers wallets. Secondly, Tmo has also given a small gift as a token of their appreciation for customers who have recently bought a premium package plan, . I swear, people can be so petty and greedy too…. but I am grateful to Tmo for offering FREE services that would normally COST me money and NOT taking the all too common opportunities to rape my wallet….

    • Arturo Raygoza

      They raised the price and are trying to justify it. Its like raping you and then buying you flowers afterwards.

      • Heimrik

        Raised the price? On what? On all plans? Even existing customers? I havent noticed an increase on MY bill and I just got a text from Tmo to sign up for Rhapsody… So I decided to sign up and it works very well and its actually quite cool, especially for being free.

        • Brad B

          You pay 80 dollars for unlimited on device and 5GBs of tethering. The 10 dollar subtraction is 3GB rather than 5 of tethering. Otherwise there is no difference.

      • Heimrik

        I think you’re misunderstanding…. Tmobile have started offering a unlimited data plan package that includes WiFi mobile hotspot which was always at the $80 price tag (something cheaper than most capped data plans) however, there was a cheaper unlimited data plan that older existing customers have, but dont have the WiFi spot and such, but people on this plan do not qualify for the Rhapsody promo. HOWEVER, if they want the Rhapsody promo and the WiFi hotspot YES, they will have to upgrade which does cost an additional $10. HOWEVER, they dont have to upgrade, keep their plan and current plan price AND also, those who are on capped data plan dont have to worry about streaming media gobbling up their limited monthly data… (Something other greedy carriers LOVE to use to rack up overage charges to rape their customers **COUGH** ATT&Verzion **COUGH**)

        • Brad B

          I have unlimited data on device plus tethering and unradio will cost 4 dollars because I refuse to pay 10 for 2 crappy GBs of tethering.

          • Heimrik

            I am sure that is the case, and that does suck that some people were left out, however, the unlimited/5GB wifi plan is the NEW plan that Tmo is referring to and Tmobile made it clear that new customers who signed up for the NEW unlimited data plans are who qualify for the free UnRadio promo…

          • Brad B

            It’s not 5GB WiFi. It’s 5GB Tethering. Tethering isn’t exclusive to wifi. For clarification.

          • Heimrik

            Sorry, thats what I meant. “5GB WiFi TETHERING”

  • I like T-Mobile and have been with them for years but this is a bit irritating. It’s like when they had loyalty plans and newer customers were getting much better deals that the “loyalty” customers. They should reward the older customers who got on board early too imo and include Rhapsody.Another thing is that $20 unlimited LTE for early adopters does not include as much tethering either. Not a deal breaker for my family but certainly not the best business practice,

    • Craig Knox

      Yet you are paying less for your plan…. and have an alternate offer that still comes out cheaper than a new customer….

      Starbucks gave out free coffee on election day and I did not get a cup…. maybe I should ask them monday morning if I can have it now that it’s almost july….

      • Brad B

        @craig_knox:disqus why not ask?

  • Beyond Say

    I noticed this when I went to go sign up for UnRadio. I have an unlimited data plan but it’s grandfathered, and I wondered why I would have to pay $4 for UnRadio. Now I know why.