US Cellular is pulling out all the stops to keep up with major national rivals Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint when it comes to unlimited data costs, even though USC technically remains a regional carrier.

Just a couple of weeks after discounting its unlimited prepaid plan “for a limited time” (the $55 monthly price is still available), America’s fifth-largest wireless network operator goes one step further in its efforts to be taken seriously by also reducing Total Plan fees.

US Cellular Total Plans include “all the data you need” without any sort of hidden fees like monthly connection, data overage or activation charges, starting at only $45 a month for a single line of unlimited everything.

That goes up to a total of $85 for two lines, $115 for three, and a very reasonable $140 for a family of four Netflix binge-watching USC customers. The carrier is quick to point out on its website that, no matter how many lines you’re looking to switch for a “limited time only”, you’ll get a lower monthly bill than if you subscribe to Verizon, AT&T or T-Mobile.

That may be so, but just like the industry’s “big four” players, US Cellular attaches plenty of strings to this otherwise sweet new deal. Streaming is throttled at speeds of “up to 1.5Mbps” at all times, exceeding 22GB monthly data consumption on any single line will automatically downgrade you to 2G service, and both Autopay and Paperless Billing enrollment are required. You’ll also have to purchase a “qualified” smartphone, and port in a number from the competition.

Adrian has had an insatiable passion for writing since he was in school and found himself writing philosophical essays about the meaning of life and the differences between light and dark beer. Later, he realized this was pretty much his only marketable skill, so he first created a personal blog (in Romanian) and then discovered his true calling, which is writing about all things tech (in English).

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