Recently I took a hard look at my wireless bill. For two iPhones, that shared 4 GB of data and a basic phone that all had unlimited talk and text, I was paying close to $170 before taxes. This was on the Verizon Wireless network. Did I mention that this was just for 3G data as well, and a 20% discount for working for a big company that had an affiliation with Verizon? In sharp comparison that’s a lot.
Let’s take a moment to compare rates with big name companies:
- Verizon: $170
- ATT: $170
- T-Mobile: $150 (this plan included 3 smartphones with unlimited Data)
- Sprint: $180
As you can see all the major carriers out there have relatively good pricing, with the exception of one. T-Mobile offers EXCELLENT pricing. This is strictly because you get more for your money. Unlimited for 3 lines for only $150 a month? You couldn’t even get that close with the other carriers if you added unlimited on all 3 lines. The next question of course is, how can T-Mobile offer this at such a lower rate, of at least $50 a month cheaper than anyone else?
It’s easy, in the recent months, T-Mobile has gotten rid of their annual contracts, and now sell the phones at full price. Have you looked at the price of a top of the line Smartphone these days? You’re going to pay $400 plus. Granted, T-Mobile makes it easy to pay over the course of a few months, with just a down payment of what you would regularly pay for the phone. In short, the phones are no longer subsidized so you end up paying the same or more in the long run. But hey, once that phones paid off, if you don’t want to upgrade again, you’ll be coming out on top.
What if there’s a cheaper way yet. Pre-paid is getting more and more popular, but spotty service that piggy backs off of other networks discourages people who know what they are really getting into. Maybe though there are some of these services that are worth looking into a little more.
Take Metro PCS for example. Recently T-Mobile has bought them, so they are now officially an affiliate of T-Mobile, and use their nationwide network. I’ve used the service now for 2 months, and have noticed little to no problems. For $90 a month you get unlimited everything on 3 lines with them (just so we can be comparable with the prices above). Now of course, there is a catch. Of that unlimited Data, only 500MB of it is 4G, after that you get throttled back to 3G speeds. Of course this could be fixed by paying an extra $10 per line to up it to 2.5GB of 4G before being throttled. Now that’s per line, and 2.5GB it’s quite a bit for people, as long as you are hooking up to Wi-Fi whenever possible.
I do have a warning, I have noticed that the 4G speeds are just a tad slower than the actual T-Mobile counterparts, but the 3G service is just as good as it was when I was on Verizon. Phones are decently priced as long as you aren’t looking for a high end phone. You can look to spend anywhere from $490-$200. If you want a high end phone, you can get a Samsung Galaxy in the $400’s. They also let you bring your own GSM device, and will even give you a $50 mail in rebate most of the times, when they are offering it of course. When I signed up they also offered me a $50 mail in rebate for porting my numbers over. Suffice to say, they want people to take a look at them, and why not? They have a lot to offer for a much cheaper price. No hidden fees, no monthly bill for the price of the phone. Most of all, this is only one example of a no contract service that seems to be decent quality for a good price. If more people switched to these types of carriers, maybe we would see price drops on service on other lines. At the very least, we could save a couple bucks in the end, and who couldn’t use that.
Photo credits: Michele Ficara Manganelli on Flickr