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NEW YORK—In a Monday morning press release announcing an aggressively priced new wireless smartphone plan T-Mobile jokes that you might want to get a fake ID.
Not to prove you’ve come of drinking age, but rather you reached the age bracket to qualify for the T-Mobile One Unlimited 55+ plan, a monthly two-line unlimited plan for Baby Boomers that costs $60, taxes and fees included.
A single person 55 or older pays $50 for the first line. The second person—who can be “underage” in this scenario—pays just $10 more. To qualify for the lower rates, you’ll have to enroll in auto pay.
The new plan, which kicks in August 9, really is targeted at empty nesters—a third person in a household would have to pay full price.
The savings under T-Mobile’s 55+ plan can be significant. The current regular T-Mobile One offering costs $70 a month for a single line, or, under a temporary promotion, $100 a month for two lines. The regular two-line fee is $160.
T-Mobile’s outspoken CEO John Legere says that the carriers have long “patronized” this older segment of the market, the very folks he says that “invented wireless.” Rivals, he says, offer senior-oriented plans that curtail the number of voice minutes and data. The T-Mobile 55+ plan comes with unlimited, talk, text and 4G LTE data.
According to T-Mobile, nearly three-fourths of the more than 93 million Americans in the U.S. over the age of 55 have a smartphone, with Boomers spending an average of 149 minutes a day on handsets, compared to the 171 minutes consumed by Millennials.
Older smartphone consumers haven’t been completely ignored. I recently wrote about Consumer Cellular, a Portland, Ore., company that ironically leases lines from T-Mobile (as well as AT&T) under a reseller agreement known to the industry as an MVNO, shorthand for Mobile…