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T-Mobile's new prepaid plans start at $40 per month

The Simply Prepaid plan puts T-Mobile in direct competition with its own prepaid arm, MetroPCS, which may actually still provide a better value for some.

The company is adding more prepaid options. T-Mobile

T-Mobile is rejiggering its prepaid plans.

Starting January 25, T-Mobile will launch Simply Prepaid, which starts at $40 per month for unlimited data, talk and text. T-Mobile is also offering $50 and $60 plans.

The difference among the plans is the amount of 4G LTE data that comes with each. The $40-per-month option offers 1GB of monthly 4G LTE data. The $50 and $60 plans come with 3GB and 5GB of 4G LTE, respectively.

After you hit your allotment of high-speed data, your connection drops down to a slower 2G level, or 129 Kbps for the rest of the month. So while T-Mobile advertising "unlimited data" plans, it doesn't specify the speed at which that data gets delivered.

T-Mobile's new plan, which will co-exist alongside its other prepaid options, will compete with those from rival carriers as the prepaid market keeps growing in popularity. But T-Mobile is competing with itself as well. T-Mobile's MetroPCS brand already offers similar $40 and $50 monthly plans. However, the MetroPCS $60-per-month plan offers a better option, coming with unlimited 4G LTE data, instead of the 5GB limit on T-Mobile's side.

A T-Mobile spokesperson acknowledged the difference, saying in a statement Thursday that the Simply Prepaid launch is "really just about creating choices for our different customers." MetroPCS runs on the T-Mobile network, so there is difference in service.

With Simply Prepaid, though, T-Mobile has created another avenue to sell prepaid plans directly to consumers through its stores, taking advantage of the increasingly strong T-Mobile brand.

T-Mobile already offers prepaid plans called Simple Choice. Simple Choice starts at $50 per month for unlimited talk, text, and data, including 1GB of 4G LTE data. Unlike Simply Prepaid, Simple Choice does include an unlimited 4G LTE option for $80 per month. Two other plans go for $60 and $70 per month with 3GB and 5GB of 4G LTE data, respectively.

T-Mobile's new plans will not include tethering, and unused data cannot be rolled over to the next month.