T-Mobile is often credited with revamping the wireless service industry. The company eliminated two-year service agreements and brought unlimited data plans back. For quite some time, "Team Magenta," as T-Mobile is often referred to as, has led wireless service providers in innovation. Such popular moves have brought the company's subscriber count up quarter after quarter. You won't see T-Mobile being accused of hurting consumers or overcharging them. However, another company offers many of these same benefits. Metro runs off T-Mobile's nationwide network but offers service plans with lower prices. You might wonder how a company can outdo T-Mobile, but the answer is simple: T-Mobile owns Metro (formerly MetroPCS). Currently, Metro by T-Mobile operates as a prepaid service provider with multiple plan options. Subscribers will find plans that match all budgets and needs. Compare T-Mobile vs. Metro plans below, and then read on for an in-depth comparison of the two carriers.
Based on recent research, T-Mobile's network ranks favorably among the Big Four carriers. Both OpenSignal and Ookla found the company's network to provide better speeds than companies like Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint. In some reports, T-Mobile ranks at second or third in terms of data speeds and 4G LTE availability. All of the data shows that T-Mobile is near the top in terms of network performance and availability.
Metro relies on the T-Mobile network, so performance is comparable in most areas. In simple terms, customers of either service won't have trouble getting coverage. 4G LTE speeds are available across most of the country, even in some rural areas. T-Mobile often provides LTE speeds over 20 Mbps in full-coverage areas. Through basic testing, Metro has been determined to provide similar speeds more often than not.
T-Mobile comes with a major advantage over Metro in terms of network usage, though. Despite running on the same network, T-Mobile prioritizes its own customers over Metro customers. This means Metro customers sometimes experience slower data speeds, especially during periods of network congestion. Deprioritization strikes Metro customers without warning, although this occurrence is somewhat rare.
Power users that consume data like a monster and want the fastest speeds often complain about deprioritization. To the average person, they probably won't notice when their service becomes deprioritized. Deprioritization doesn't mean a lessened experience because data speeds often remain fast enough to provide a fluid browsing experience. You might not want deprioritization, but it's often not the end of the world.
For the fastest data speeds at all times without compromise, T-Mobile wins the coverage battle due to the occasional deprioritization of Metro subscribers.
Postpaid T-Mobile customers receive one plan option in the form of T-Mobile ONE. For $70 per month, customers receive unlimited talk, text, and 4G LTE data. Video streaming is limited to 480p resolution. A $10 per month upgrade provides HD video streaming and a variety of other benefits. Otherwise, the $25 per month upgrade adds unlimited international calling and even more features not found in lower-tiered ONE plans.
Unlimited 55+ from T-Mobile gives seniors two unlimited lines for $60 per month, if you're over 55 years of age.
T-Mobile also provides prepaid plan options under its own name. They range from $45 per month for 4GB of LTE data to 10GB of 4G LTE data for $50 per month. For a higher price, T-Mobile ONE Unlimited clocks in at $75 per month. The current lineup of T-Mobile prepaid plans are somewhat costly in comparison to postpaid T-Mobile One. None of these plans compare to the more affordable options offered by Metro.
Metro by T-Mobile gives subscribers multiple options with its prepaid plans. Plans from the company range from $30 to $60 per line with discounts for multiple lines. At $30 per month, subscribers receive unlimited talk and text with 2GB of 4G LTE data. A $40 monthly commitment comes with 5GB of 4G LTE data. The $50 and $60 plans from Metro offer unlimited everything, but the latter plan includes mobile hotspot capabilities.
For individuals, Metro by T-Mobile makes the most sense from a price standpoint. Not everyone needs unlimited data, so Metro offers cheaper limited data plans. The savings start to matter while looking at both companies' unlimited data plans. Through MetroPCS, a customer stands to save $20 per month with few downsides. Budget conscious consumers will want to choose Metro, if only one person needs a wireless service plan.
Family plans share a similar story between the two companies. Four lines of unlimited data cost $140 on Metro and $160 on T-Mobile. In this case, the difference is somewhat limited. Families that want unlimited data with no deprioritization should consider T-Mobile the better family plan option. Then again, Metro once again provides the most cost-effective solution on a dollar-by-dollar basis.
Each company handles its own customer service affairs. Therefore, you won't receive the same customer service experience at these companies. T-Mobile provides more solutions for its customers, and MetroPCS unfortunately offers limited solutions. There's a clear winner when it comes to customer service here. Still, it's necessary to look at what each company offers, and not everyone needs to contact customer service that often.
T-Mobile customers can get help from the company around the clock in countless ways. The company responds to customer inquiries by phone, online chat, and even social media platforms. Plus, T-Mobile's website contains useful help articles, and reaching a human being for help is never too difficult. Various publications have ranked T-Mobile within the top three for customer service among wireless service providers.
On the other hand, Metro tends to fall somewhere in the middle for customer service. The company doesn't offer an online chat option for its customers. Social media responses often come at a slow rate. Likewise, website help articles are rather lacking, and phone assistance comes with long wait times. You shouldn't choose Metro by T-Mobile if you want a top-notch customer service experience, so think carefully here.
Unsurprisingly, T-Mobile offers the latest and greatest smartphones. Customers will find brand new devices that cost hundreds of dollars. They can finance a phone and make monthly installment payments, or they can pay for devices upfront. Either way, T-Mobile gives customers an unbeatable selection of the latest devices. Customers can find various discounts on popular devices, and budget options are available, too.
If price is your biggest concern, however, Metro by T-Mobile specializes in budget device. The overwhelming majority of its inventory costs less than $200. For a low price, you'll be able to snag a decent smartphone that meets your particular needs. Metro doesn't stock many of the newest smartphones, and monthly installment plans aren't available. You won't find cheaper devices through T-Mobile or other major carriers, though.
Extras and Perks
You might be surprised to find that both T-Mobile and Metro give subscribers perks. Each company takes a different approach to extras and perks. With T-Mobile, customers often pay a premium to access perks that improve their experience. Metro customers often want to reduce their expenses and save as much money as possible. It's evident with these extras that both companies cater to different subscriber bases.
The T-Mobile Tuesdays program gives Magenta subscribers a handful of freebies each week. Typically, these extras range from discounted movie tickets to free food and contests. Families on an unlimited plan can receive an account credit for not using too much data each month. One T-Mobile number can be used on multiple devices through the Digits Program, and subscribers with two lines receive a free Netflix subscription.
At Metro by T-Mobile, perks focus on saving data rather than adding luxury. Data Maximizer streams video at low resolutions on limited data plans. This saves data and helps customers avoid overage charges. For customers on certain plans, free music streaming through select apps is provided as an added benefit. Metro charges affordable rates for international plans, but T-Mobile provides far better coverage and service.
The Bottom Line
T-Mobile is the better option for consumers who want a top-tier experience. They'll receive unlimited everything with no deprioritization. Also, extra perks like T-Mobile Tuesdays and a half-dozen other benefits are available. If you want the latest smartphone with the best unlimited plan available, then T-Mobile is the no-brainer option. Metro doesn't provide the same premium experience as a prepaid service.
Despite that fact, Metro is the best option for saving money and minimizing your commitment. You can choose limited data plans or an unlimited plan, and you pay month to month. Prepaid wireless services comes at a noticeable discount to what's offered by T-Mobile, and you're free to move on whenever you want. On top of that, you can buy a budget smartphone without breaking the bank and save hundreds of dollars per year.
Choosing between T-Mobile and Metro isn't always a simple decision. In reality, every consumer finds themselves in a different situation. Perhaps you want unlimited data and like the extra perks that come with a T-Mobile subscription; perhaps you want the best smartphone available but don't need an unlimited data plan. Without a doubt, plenty of potential customers find themselves in a gray area when choosing a provider.
One customer might buy a flagship smartphone upfront and bring it to Metro. Doing so saves money in the long run compared to financing a device and choosing a T-Mobile plan. Otherwise, a different consumer might sacrifice a few dollars in order take advantage of the perks associated with T-Mobile service. You might have to make a sacrifice in one area or another when picking either T-Mobile or Metro.
A pure cost standpoint makes Metro the best option for saving money. In the end, you should still think about the other optics involved in this decision. Prioritizing cost means you might miss out on extra perks or overall customer service experience. Some of those things might matter to you, or you might want to save money more than anything else. Luckily, both companies offer a positive experience for subscribers.
You'll save money choosing T-Mobile over the remaining Big Four carriers; you'll save money choosing Metro by T-Mobile compared to other prepaid service providers. When you're deciding between these two companies, it's often a win-win situation either way. It's always possible to switch from one company to the other and vice versa as well.
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