Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Saving Money On Cell Phone Services - T-Mobile Changes Service Plans (No More Contracts)

I’m always astounded how some news can so timely. On the heels of my last posting regarding saving on cell phone plans, yesterday it was reported (ahead of an expected press conference today) that cell phone carrier T-Mobile was preparing to be the first cell phone company to rewrite the old cell phone company model of 2-year contracts for various phone plans.

Seeking to regain a significant market share of the multi-billion dollar cell phone market it once dominated, T-Mobile became the first major cell phone company to end the often costly 2-year contract-based cell phone plan in favor installment plans based around the no-contract model (T-Mobile by all accounts languishes in 4th place among the major carriers). The reason for this revision of the company’s service model is due to the siphoning of their customer base by bigger competitors such as Verizon and Wireless and AT&T Mobile. Another reason why the company had been losing so many of its formerly loyal customers is that it had not been selling the best-selling cell phone model—Apple’s I-phone—along with its service. So in addition to scrapping contract-based plans, T-Mobile has also agreed to start offering the high-end but costly I-phone among its available cell phones.
Customers benefits from the change in marketing policy in the form of cheaper phone plans that no longer tie the customer into 2-year obligations. In addition, customers save money on those punitive cancellation charges that cell phone companies enact as a way of discouraging customers breaking their contracts. As before, T-Mobile's prices generally undercut those of the bigger phone companies. The chief downside is that its data network coverage is poorer in rural areas (as I can attest to harkening back to my days as a truck driver; in many areas such as out mountainous West, the coverage was awful). Another downside is that purchasing phones outright is still more costly (in the short term) as opposed to purchasing the phones over the course of a contract via service payments. The company will begin offering a monthly surcharge on high-end phones purchased with the new no-contract plans, but these surcharges can be avoided if you buy the phone outright. According to published reports,

Based on its new options, you will be able to get these phones alongside a monthly $50 unlimited talk and text plan (and 500MB of data thrown in for good measure). If you want unlimited data, you'll need to pay $20 more, totaling up to a reasonable $70 per month (T-Mobile News).

According to published reports, T-Mobile's service plan has a tier structure. That is, the potential monthly cost can increase should the customer opt to add an additional 2 gigabytes of mobile internet speed for every $10 added to the basic $50 monthly cost. In essence, T-Mobile will charge $60 a month for 2GB, with additional internet speeds increasing the potential monthly bill all the way up to T-Mobile's 12GB plan for a $110 per month.
Finally, along with its innovative singular no-contract service model and the I-Phone, T-Mobile plans to offer several new high-end, high-tech smart phones for the new customers it hopes to steal away from the larger carriers. They are:

Samsung Galaxy S4...
...expected in Q2 for T-Mobile.  The device will also pack a vividly bright 5-inch full HD Super AMOLED screen, either a 1.9GHz quad-core Snapdragon 600 processor or a 1.6GHz octo-core Exynos 5 Octa CPU (though chances are the U.S. model will get the former), and a 13-megapixel camera.

HTC One...
...which should be in stores now.  Not only is the One contain an all-aluminum-cased handset, it also has room under the hood for some impressive specs. It was one of the very first phones to be announced with a (1.7GHz) quad-core Snapdragon 600 processor, it has a 4-megapixel "Ultrapixel" camera that can record 1080p full HD video, and its 4.7-inch LCD screen boasts a whopping 468ppi.

BlackBerry Z10...
(pre-registration available now for T-Mobile).  In addition to running the novel and heavily gesture-based BB10 OS, the handset also sports an HDMI port, an 8-megapixel camera, and a dual-core 1.5GHz Snapdragon S4 Plus processor. All packaged in a handsome, sturdy construction.  I'm waiting for this little ditty myself!

With the announcement of T-Mobile's new service plan(s) model, the cell phone market just got a little more competitive...and a little more tolerable for those of us looking to save money on our mobile toys...I mean phones!


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