T-Mobile offering $15 phone plan during coronavirus pandemic

T-Mobile US Inc. is cutting the price of its lowest-cost service earlier than planned in response to the spread of the COVID-19 virus, a new step after other wireless carriers have waived late fees and extra charges for people affected by the crisis.

Starting Wednesday, T-Mobile is offering a pay-as-you-go plan with 2 gigabytes of data for $15 a month. The offer is half the price of the previous one and was scheduled to launch after the company’s takeover of Sprint Corp. is completed next month.

“Right now, having a reliable, low-cost connection is absolutely crucial for Americans, and with many facing financial strain, time is of the essence,” said John Legere, T-Mobile’s chief executive officer.

Other wireless carriers are also making adjustments in the face of the virus threat. Verizon Communications Inc. said Monday that it is automatically adding 15 gigabytes of data to its wireless subscribers’ allotments and still halting late fees and disconnections for people affected by the COVID-19 epidemic. AT&T Inc. says it won’t charge customers extra for exceeding their data or calling allotments.

The Federal Communications Commission says it has been working with phone and cable network operators to help keep customers connected. FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel has raised concerns that homebound consumers could be penalized for heavy internet use during the coronavirus crisis.

More must-read stories from Fortune:

—Inside Xerox’s audacious quest to buy much bigger rival HP
Uber’s CEO to investors: The coronavirus won’t kill our business
A new iPad—and era, perhaps—arrives via press release
—Hong Kong launches surveillance operation to track suspected coronavirus patients
—Listen to Leadership Next, a Fortune podcast examining the evolving role of CEO
—WATCH: Best earbuds in 2020: Apple AirPods Pro Vs. Sony WF-1000XM3

Catch up with Data Sheet, Fortune’s daily digest on the business of tech.

Subscribe to Well Adjusted, our newsletter full of simple strategies to work smarter and live better, from the Fortune Well team. Sign up today.

Read More

Artificial IntelligenceCryptocurrencyMetaverseCybersecurityTech Forward