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T-Mobile Cuts the Bull: No More Contracts and iPhone 5 Release Date!

Posted: March 28, 2013 at 4:48 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

No Contracts?

Previous Model: I pay you $199 for a $600 portable computer, and in return I promise to pay you $XXX.XX a month for the next 2 years. If I don’t like your service, I can pay the $300 ETF or just deal with it.

The New Model: I pay you $99 for a $600 portable computer, and in return I promise to pay you $20 a month for the next 2 years for the phone. If I don’t like your service, I’m free to go to another carrier whenever I want.

They’ll even buy back your phone at “fair market value” if you want to ditch everything altogether. But these T-Mo phones are also compatible with AT&T’s 3G and 4G (including LTE) radio frequencies, so switching is even easier. Most AT&T phones do not carry over to T-Mobile’s network, as AT&T only asks for their devices to work on their own networks. Sounds like a sweet deal for them: make you sign a contract for a phone that you can’t fully use anywhere else. And you can bet that they won’t discount your monthly bill for bringing your own phone along for the ride.

With T-Mobile, you’re basically buying your phone with a zero-interest installment plan. That’s the “catch” or the “gotcha” that you were looking for. But is it really that bad? Let’s dive into the new plans:

Cell phone carrier plan comparison prices

When you combine the cost of the device along with the plan, T-Mobile is still the best value. To pay $90/mon on AT&T, you’d have to cut your minutes from Unlimited to 450, drop texting completely, and settle for a 5GB limit instead of unlimited data. That’s a lot of compromising, and you still pay twice as much for the device up front. Sprint has the pleasure of being the cheapest option by $10/month.

Full disclosure: I’m a former Sprint user, now T-Mobile user.

Sprint’s coverage in St. Louis may be better, but T-Mobile’s data speeds are 10 times faster. Would you rather get 0.5-2Mbps all the time or 5-20Mbps most of the time? And 4G LTE is around 3-5 times faster than that, with better coverage than either technology. If T-Mobile brings LTE to the Lou before Sprint, I envision a mass exodus of Sprint customers hopping over to T-Mobile. LTE is Sprint’s only hope at keeping their seat at the table.

A Long Term Evolution

T-Mobile has made a bold start in trying to catch up to the others. They lit up seven markets with 4G LTE last Tuesday:

  • Kansas City, KS
  • Baltimore, MD
  • Houston, TX
  • Las Vegas, NV
  • Phoenix, AZ
  • San Jose, CA
  • Washington, D.C.

No telling when St. Louis will get the LTE love from Magenta, but Sprint still hasn’t mentioned our name in any of┬átheir press releases. My guess would be Sprint LTE arriving sometime this summer, with T-Mo bringing it after that (possibly at the end of the year but more than likely in 2014). If you’re due for a new phone and want to be ready, here’s a list of some of the more popular phones and their off-contract pricing across the Big Four carriers:

T-Mobile smart phone pricing compare

The more popular phones out right now have the best price over at T-Mobile, with only a $100 buy-in. Combined with offering true unlimited 4G data over 42Mbps HSPA+ and LTE, T-Mobile is poised to shake-up the wireless industry, even without a curse word to grab your attention. I’ll be damned.

iPhone 5 Gets a T-Mobile Release Date!

Many were excited when the next hit on Thursday that T-Mobile is finally officially getting the iPhone. Last year they promoted bringing unlocked iPhones over to their network, but the time has finally come to sell Apple’s flagship device.

T-Mobile will start selling the iPhone 5 on Friday, April 12 2013 – but is taking down contact information for future updates on when pre-orders start. Find out more information at t-mobile.com/iphone-5.

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