Starting on July 24, T-Mobile customers can take advantage of new plans that the carrier says offer a potential savings of $800 per year over service from rival carriers. The new Value plans offer both single and family line options with varying options for the amount of voice minutes, messages and mobile broadband data at 4G speeds. Customers, both new and existing, can opt to use the Value plans with a new handset with a down-payment for the purchase, followed by interest-free, monthly hardware payments.
Families may be the biggest benefactors of T-Mobile’s new plans, based on this example. Two smartphone users with unlimited voice and messages, combined with 2 GB of mobile broadband per month and a $15 per handset payment plan would save between $70 to $80 per month over similar service from AT&T, Verizon, or Sprint (s) under the new plans.
Without the monthly payment for the two smartphones, the Value plan is reduced to $99 per month. Given that both of my kids dropped iPhones for a pair of Sidekick 4G smartphones (what can I say; they like the keyboards!), I’ll be stopping by my local T-Mobile store to make this switch from their current individual plans. And the 2 GB of monthly data is more than enough for their meager needs. Of course, if they blow past that amount of data in a month, T-Mobile will slow their speeds from HSPA+ levels to a lowly EDGE connection.
Hopefully, once AT&T consumes T-Mobile, the carrier doesn’t forget to offer the low-priced plans that many equate with T-Mobile. AT&T has said that T-Mobile customers on contract prior to the merger will be able to keep their existing plans, the details of what happens after those contracts expire isn’t clear. I expect consumers in that situation will be able to continue on as month-t0-month users. When it’s time for a new smartphone, however, ex-T-Mobile customers could be looking at higher rates. As Om said when the deal was announced, everyone loses.