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T-Mobile adds One Plus plan for more tethering and HD video

The new twist covers unlimited 4G tethering, HD video and faster international speeds.

Under CEO John Legere, T-Mobile is nothing if not vivid.

In the never-ending arms race for mobile data plans, T-Mobile recently ditched the conventional approach altogether in favor of a simpler unlimited data, voice and text plan called One. But unlimited means different things to different people, and there was an immediate backlash against the new plan's limitations on device tethering and HD video playback.

Higher-speed tethering and HD video "day passes" are available for an extra a la carte cost, but T-Mobile is now adding a single One Plus plan add-on that covers unlimited 4G LTE mobile hotspot data, unlimited HD video streaming (still in the form of day passes) and speeds that are twice as fast when traveling abroad to more than 140 countries. If you opt not to add the One Plus level of service, tethering speeds under the standard One plan have been bumped up from 2G to 3G speeds.

The new plan add-on will cost an extra $25 per line per month and will launch on September 1, five days earlier than previously reported.

We'll have to see if T-Mobile's latest moves provoke more widespread changes across the carriers. Its move a couple years back to ditch phone contracts and subsidies, for instance, spurred similar changes at Verizon and AT&T. Meanwhile, T-Mobile says that within the next 12 months, it will match Verizon breadth of coverage.

And T-Mobile's done all right for itself with the aggressive changes and new services like Binge On video, which have brought it legions of new subscribers and pushed it up into the third spot among US carriers, ahead of Sprint.