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Free Netflix From T-Mobile: What You Need to Know

AT&T may have DirecTV, but now T-Mobile has Netflix. The nation's No. 3 carrier announced a deal today to give away Netflix plans to many of its subscribers.

The new plan was announced on a conference call with T-Mobile CEO John Legere going off on his usual profanity-laced tirade against his competitors. But what really matters are the details of the plan.

What is T-Mobile giving away?

T-Mobile is giving credit for one $10/month Netflix Standard streaming plan to each eligible account. That includes two simultaneous streams in HD. If you want to upgrade to the Premium plan with four streams, 4K and HDR, that will cost you $2/month.

When does it start? How do I get it?

Sign up on Sept. 12 by going into the T-Mobile phone app and connecting your Netflix account.

What T-Mobile plan do you need to have?

You need to have a recent T-Mobile One or One Plus family plan for two paid lines or more, with taxes and fees included. If you're on an older plan, the $100 per two-line promotional plan, or the 55+ senior plan, you need to switch up to the One or One Plus plans. You can associate one Netflix account with each plan, not each line.

What if I'm already a Netflix subscriber?

It works for existing and new subscribers; T-Mobile will transfer your Netflix details.

What's the catch?

The Netflix plan supports HD video, but not over T-Mobile's cellular network unless you have the One Plus plan. On the standard One plan, you'll get 480p video on cellular, and HD video on Wi-Fi and other internet connections.

How about HDR?

If you have a TV or phone (like the Samsung Galaxy Note 8) which supports HDR, and you pay the $2/month Premium upcharge, you'll get HDR video for HDR movies and shows no matter what the bit rate, so even if you're down at 480p.

How long will this last?

Related

T-Mobile doesn't have contracts any more, so neither you nor T-Mobile are locked into anything. This isn't a special promotion, but it can stop at any time.

How does this compare to other carriers?

AT&T offers free HBO with its $90/month Unlimited Plus plan, as well as a $25/month credit for its cable and satellite services; the cable packages become sharply more expensive after 12 months of use, though. Sprint doesn't bundle in any subscription video services, but gives you six months of the Tidal lossless audio service.

Should I take T-Mobile up on this offer?

If you're an existing subscriber on the right plan, yes! Absolutely. If you're on an older plan, or considering switching to T-Mobile, just think of this as a $10 bill credit. Whether it's a boon for you depends on whether a T-Mobile One plan, minus $10, is a savings against what you're paying now. If you're over age 55 and want two lines on unlimited, T-Mobile's 55+ plan, at $60/month for two lines, is still unbeatable.

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