In addition to T-Mobile Prepaid, T-Mobile offers additional prepaid phone plans that begin as low as $10 monthly under the brand Connect by T-Mobile.
I’ve checked out Connect by T-Mobile to see what’s included with its prepaid phone plans and how they compare to other available plans. Below, you’ll find more information on Connect by T-Mobile including what you’ll get with the prepaid phone plans, how much you can expect to pay and how to switch.
What To Know Before Signing Up for Connect by T-Mobile
Connect by T-Mobile offers cell phone plans beginning as low as $10 per month for one line on T-Mobile’s network. While there are no unlimited plans, you can get up to 12GB of data for $35.
Most of Connect by T-Mobile’s plans include unlimited talk and text, but the $10 plan is limited to 1,000 minutes and 1,000 texts per month. All of the plans have a limited amount of data, and once you’ve reached your data allotment, you’ll have to wait until the next billing period for more.
Still, you’ll find cheaper prices than T-Mobile’s postpaid plans as well as many other prepaid options. If you don’t need unlimited data, mobile hotspot or international features, Connect by T-Mobile could be a great way to save big on your monthly phone bill while still having access to one of the best networks available.
I checked out the details of Connect by T-Mobile’s plans, coverage, phone deals and more. I’ve also compared these prepaid options to other available phone plans and carriers to help you decide whether you should make the switch.
Table of Contents:
1. Plans and Pricing
Connect by T-Mobile offers four different monthly cell phone plans that include talk, text and data. However, none of the plans include unlimited data. Prices range from $10-$35 per month for one line.
In the table below, you can see each of Connect by T-Mobile’s monthly cell phone plans including the price, high-speed data allotment, mobile hotspot data allotment and multiline discounts.
|Monthly Price||Talk||Text||High-Speed Data|
|$10||1,000 minutes||1,000 texts||1GB|
In addition to 5G access on enabled devices, each of these prepaid plans also includes Scam Shield protection and free caller ID.
These plans do not include mobile hotspots nor do they offer international service. If you’re looking for an unlimited mobile data experience, check out our list of the best unlimited plans here.
It’s also important to know that, once you’ve used your monthly allotment of data, you’ll have to wait until the next billing cycle to use more data.
To learn more about Connect by T-Mobile cell phone plans, you can check out the side-by-side comparison online.
2. Network Coverage
As you would expect, Connect by T-Mobile provides access to T-Mobile’s 5G and 4G/LTE networks. If T-Mobile offers coverage in your area, you’ll likely have reliable access to service with Connect by T-Mobile.
Below, you can see the Connect by T-Mobile coverage map:
To see if you’ll have coverage with connect by T-Mobile, visit the company’s website and enter your ZIP code on the coverage map.
3. Activation Process
There are two ways to activate service with Connect by T-Mobile: You can order a SIM card online or buy one from an authorized retailer. However you choose to activate it, Connect by T-Mobile doesn’t charge an activation fee. However, a SIM card costs $10.
You can make the switch online by visiting Connect by T-Mobile’s website, choosing a phone plan and adding it to your online shopping cart.
In your shopping cart, you’ll see the options to either shop for a new device or bring your own phone. If you choose to bring your own phone, you’ll be redirected to check your device’s compatibility. To do this, you’ll need your phone’s IMEI number and you’ll need to verify that it’s unlocked. If your device is compatible, you’ll be able to add a T-Mobile SIM card to your shopping cart for $10.
Alternatively, you can visit an authorized retailer to activate your service in person. Connect by T-Mobile is available in T-Mobile retail locations, select multi-carrier locations.You can use the online store locator to find a nearby retailer where you can purchase Connect by T-Mobile plans and SIM cards.
4. Phone Selection
Most people who are switching to Connect by T-Mobile will want to keep their own phones for the most savings. You’ll just need to make sure your phone is unlocked and compatible with T-Mobile’s network before you get started. You can check your phone’s compatibility online.
If you do want to purchase a new phone through Connect by T-Mobile, you’ll find several devices to choose from.
At the time of writing (August 2023), Connect by T-Mobile was offering 53 different cell phones including popular smartphones. The cheapest phone I saw was a TCL Flip Go for $96. The selection included prices up to $1,799.99 for a Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5 and the Google Pixel Fold.
Many of the phones are available at lower prices with the purchase of a $40+ T-Mobile Prepaid Plan. However, Connect by T-Mobile’s most expensive plan is only $35 and will not get you the device discount. To get the device discount, consider a T-Mobile Prepaid (Review) plan instead.
Whether you choose to bring your own phone or buy a new phone through Connect by T-Mobile, you’ll also need a T-Mobile SIM card. The SIM card costs $10.
5. Data Speeds
One of the biggest concerns when switching to a prepaid carrier is that your data will be significantly slower. If you’re currently paying for an unlimited data plan from one of the major three cell phone service providers, you may be wondering if Connect by T-Mobile will be able to meet your data needs.
Connect T-Mobile does not offer unlimited high-speed data with any phone plan. Instead, its plans include a set amount of high-speed data for the month. Once you reach your monthly data limit. (1GB to 12GB depending on your plan), you’ll have to wait until the beginning of your next billing cycle to use more data.
While actual data speeds vary based on a variety of factors, T-Mobile is very transparent about expected download and upload speeds on various networks:
- Download Speed: Typically between 75-335 Mbps
- Upload Speed: Typically between 8-35 Mbps
- Latency: Typically between 21-35 ms
4G LTE Network
- Download Speed: Typically between 19-76 Mbps
- Upload Speed: Typically between 4-20 Mbps
- Latency: Typically between 24-40 ms
Of course, actual data speeds vary based on a number of factors including your location and coverage in your area, the device you’re using, network traffic and more.
For more information on Connect by T-Mobile’s data speeds, check out T-Mobile’s Open Internet Policy online.
6. Customer Service
Any T-Mobile customer service representative can help you with Connect by T-Mobile plans and purchases. You can reach a customer representative for T-Mobile online, over the phone or in person at a T-Mobile store.
To reach customer service over the phone, call 1-877-464-8646.
You can also chat with a live agent online by visiting T-Mobile’s website and clicking the chat icon in the bottom-right corner of the screen.
Live representatives are available over the phone and via online chat every day from 7 a.m. to 3 a.m. ET.
If you need in-person assistance, you can use the online store locator to find a T-Mobile store nearby. Simply enter your ZIP code or city/state and then browse the list of nearby T-Mobile stores. You’ll see the store’s location on the map as well as its address, distance from the location entered and today’s hours. You can click on any store for additional information including the store’s phone number.
For more information on how to contact Connect by T-Mobile, visit the company’s website.
Connect by T-Mobile offers the cheapest prepaid plans available from a major provider.
T-Mobile Prepaid (Review) offers plans beginning at $40 per month for 10GB of high-speed data on one line. AT&T Prepaid (Review) offers monthly plans beginning at $30 for 5GB of high-speed data, and Verizon Prepaid (Review) begins at $35 per month for 15GB of high-speed data. If you’re truly looking for the cheapest plan available, Connect by T-Mobile’s $10 monthly plan is hard to beat.
Of course, the $10 plan does include a limited number of minutes, texts and only 1GB of data. For $5 more per month, you can get unlimited talk and text plus a bit more data from Connect. In fact, money expert Clark Howard recommends the $15 Connect by T-Mobile plan for anyone who has Wi-Fi constantly available. If you’re at a place where you’ve got free Wi-Fi most of the time, you could easily drop your cell phone bill to $15 per month plus tax.
However, if you are looking for more high-speed data (at a better price!), you should check out other prepaid carriers on T-Mobile’s network.
For example, Tello Mobile (Review) offers 10GB of high-speed data for $24 per month and an unlimited plan (25GB high-speed data) for $29 per month. Mint Mobile (Review) typically offers 15GB of high-speed data for $20 per month and an unlimited plan (40GB high-speed data) for $30 per month, but for a limited time, you can get any Mint Mobile plan for $15/month.
No matter which service provider you decide to switch to, be sure to check out our guide to help you step-by-step through the process. If you’re still looking for the best fit, you can find more options on the best cell phone plans and deals available now.