T-Mobile announced today a new lineup of unlimited phone plans as well as new pricing structures for devices. As part of their "uncarrier" attitude, T-Mobile has done away with the standard phone contracts we know and
love hate and has instead gone with new pricing for their data plans and devices.
If T-Mobile is your carrier of choice, you no longer have to worry about getting sucked into a lengthy contract for any of your devices. With the new format, customers are presented with a dead simple choice when purchasing a new device or plan.
It's a great move by T-Mobile that gives customers plenty of options going forward, but what it all means can be a bit confusing. We'll help break it down so you know just what it all means.
With their new Simple Choice plans, you just need to decide how many devices you'll be using on your plan and how much data you need. The plans start on the low end where one device will run you $50/month for unlimited talk, text and web with 500mb of high-speed data. Since most of us use way more than 500mb of data however, we suggest stepping up to an unlimited data plan that will run you $70/month. (You can add 2GB of data for $10 however if that's your thing)
You can add a second line for another $30/month with additional lines for $10 each. Every line will of course need it's own data plan as well.
Here's a breakdown of what the unlimited talk, text and data plans look like per month:
One device: $70
Two devices: $120
Three devices: $150
Four devices: $180
Five devices: $210
When purchasing devices, T-Mobile now cuts down the up-front cost and instead spans out the payments over the time you own the phone until it's paid off. So with the BlackBerry Z10 for example, you will need to pay $99 up-front as a down payment and then $18/month for 24 months to cover the full cost of the device. The additional payments for the device are added to your bill until it's paid off.
Since you're no longer on a contact, you can upgrade your device at any time as well, however you'll still be required to pay in full for your current device if it's not yet paid off. You can also choose to simply pay full price for the device up front - in the case of the Z10 $531.99. This options carriers a much larger purchase cost, but keeps your monthly bills to a minimum.
If you have your own device that can operate on T-Mobile you can bring that along with a new Simple Choice plan as well. In this case you knock down your up-front cost as well as your monthly bill since you won't have the device payments and will just need to cover the data plan cost each month.
A Simple Choice
In simple form here's what you get:
Cheaper devices up front
Pay over time for your device
Upgrade whenever you want (still have to pay off your device)
If you're a current T-Mobile customer this is all good news - not having to lock in to a contract is a welcome relief, and being able to pay for devices over time certainly makes things easier. Once you have the device paid off (after what would be the course of a typical two-year contact) then you're bill drops and you simply pay for your data plan each month. As we said earlier, you can upgrade your device at any time (but you're stuck paying off the old one if you haven't already) and can switch plans or add lines as you see fit.
Read more on T-Mobile's Simple Choice plans