Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Cell Phone Price Plans [US Market]

When deciding on a new phone the cost of the monthly plan should be a significant factor. Because there are many permutations of different plans, I'm going to assume some things. The newbie bullets:
  • You want the newest-baddest-smartphone, this leaves us with the big four carriers again (Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, T-mobile).  This also means you'll be getting a 4G phone.
  • This is an individual plan.
  • You can make it on 450 anytime minutes a month. *
  • You'll need at least 1000 texts a month. *
  • You'll need at least 1 GB of data a month. *
So with that in mind, here's a list of the plans you'll be getting from each carrier and the associated monthly fee based on today's prices:
  1. T-mobile, $80, 1500 anytime minutes, unlimited text, unlimited web.
  2. Sprint, $80, 450 anytime minutes, unlimited text, unlimited web.
  3. AT&T, $85, 450 anytime minutes, 1000 texts, 2 GB of web.
  4. Verizon, $90, 450 anytime minutes, 5000 texts, unlimited web.
If you did different permutations, you'll find that T-mobile tends to be the cheapest and that AT&T and Verizon are the most expensive. So if the customer service and monthly plan prices are better with T-mobile, why aren't people flocking to them? I suspect that the internet signal strength and available phones on T-mobile has something to do with it.


*This is based on an extensive study my phone usage, a "normal" smartphone user. I typically use about 300 anytime minutes, 700 texts, and 600 MB a month.

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