T-Mobile Goes Rogue: No More Contracts, Payment Plans for New Phones
3/25/2013 by: Anshel Sag
T-Mobile today re-launched themselves as the anti-carrier of all the carriers today. They did this by announcing their new fee structure for their new plans as well as the whole system of paying for your phone.
Essentially, what T-Mobile is doing is that they're doing away with the annual contract and presenting a much more transparent billing model for their customers. The plans are pretty straight forward, for an individual plan you simply start out at $50 for unlimited talk and text and 500MB of data, $60 for an additional 2GB, and $70 for Unlimited Data plus 500MB of Wi-Fi hotspot.
So, to put it quickly, T-Mobile's plans are unlimited talk and text with 500MB for $50 a month and 2.5GB for $60 a month and $70 gets you unlimited everything plus 500MB of Wi-Fi hotspot. All of this actually sounds quite pleasing and reasonable, especially if you already own your own devices and simply want to get them quality service on the cheap. However, the fact that T-Mobile is metering Wi-Fi hotspot is borderline unforgivable considering the fact that they, as a carrier, have to do almost nothing to enable Wi-Fi hotspot and it is simply a way for the users to utilize the data that they're already paying for with their plans. So, for that, we are still mad at T-Mobile.
Now, when it comes to devices, since there won't be any annual contracts you will essentially be paying a monthly payment to pay off your phone. These payments are usually shorter than the 24-month long contract period and will transparently tell you exactly how much of your monthly contract is actually paying off a device. A good example is the Galaxy Note II which you can either pay off completely, right away, or add a monthly payment (with or without down payment, depending on your credit) to slowly pay off the price of the phone every month.
So, based on these current models, there's no doubt that T-Mobile is trying to approach being a carrier in a somewhat more transparent manner. Their approach is a bit different, and we'll see how many people it attracts. Personally, I'm in a bit of a dilemma right now as a T-Mobile customer who is recently out of contract. I personally share many of the questions and concerns that many other consumers have, but with this new plan structure I have to say that I'm starting to lean towards staying with T-Mobile knowing that they offer unlimited everything for $70 a month. Considering that Sprint's Simply Everything Plan is $110 a month, there's very little competition between the two in my eyes. T-Mobile can now, with their network re-farming, attract lots of unhappy AT&T customers that already have phones and don't want to have to pay extra.
As Sprint and T-Mobile begin to shape up their networks, device offerings, and plans we will begin to see the competitive landscape change, hopefully, for the better.
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