Back when we first heard about T-Mobile's spiffy new Value plans, it was said that any customer buying a phone for full retail wouldn't be required to sign up for a data plan. It doesn't look like that policy will last much longer, though, as a leaked document sent to our friends at TmoNews shows that a data plan requirement could be instated on August 8th. The reasons for the change, according to the doc, are that the current policy is being misused and that T-Mobile feels that its data options are affordable enough for anyone to sign up for.
This news is kind of a bummer for those customers that were looking to save a few bucks by forgoing a data plan, although some would argue that the always-on data connection that such a plan brings is one of the things that makes a smartphone a smartphone. The good news is that if this is true, T-Mobile's got several different tiers of data, so most folks should be able to find an option that they can get on board with. Would any of you sign up for a smartphone plan without a data plan from your carrier or do you think mobile data is a necessity?
UPDATE: According to some alleged T-Mobile reps that have looked over this leak, there's a loophole in the carrier's system that allows an employee remove the required data plan before the end of a customer's contract if he or she doesn't want it. There's definitely some confusing language going back and forth here, but all should be cleared up in the next week or so when this change is supposed to take effect. Stay tuned.