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T-Mobile makes Project Dark phone rates official

updated 12:05 pm EDT, Sun October 25, 2009

Even More Plus plans beat AT&T by $30

T-Mobile on Sunday quietly launched its Even More Plus plans in a bid to undermine rival US carriers. The plans provide a simpler and potentially less costly approach to phone service and scale linearly in voice minutes and data features: users pick from 500, 1,000 or unlimited US voice minutes and can add either unlimited messaging alone or messaging plus data. Prices as a result range from as little as $30 for voice only to $80 for an all-unlimited plan.

Device pricing has also been inverted compared to the typical American approach: subscribers aren't asked to sign a contract by default and only have to do so if they prefer a subsidized price. Although not fully confirmed by the product pages, it's believed T-Mobile will let customers pay the full price of a phone over as many as four instalments.

The strategy is aggressive and contrasts sharply with other high-end plans from other carriers, particularly T-Mobile's only GSM-based rival, AT&T. A starter smartphone-class plan at T-Mobile with 500 minutes and unlimited data costs $60 per month versus AT&T's minimum $70, which unlike T-Mobile's also excludes any messaging; adding unlimited messaging brings AT&T's plan up to $90 for similar features. Sprint comes closest with a $70 plan that brings 450 minutes and similar features, but Verizon asks $100 for 450 minutes and the combined unlimited data and messaging features.

T-Mobile's approach is combined with a new push into Android smartphones like the Motorola Cliq and Samsung Behold II and is counting on lowering the actual, long-term cost of owning a desirable smartphone to lure away competitors and move past its fourth-place standing among US providers. The $30 difference in plans would amount to $720 saved over the span of two years, or more than enough to offset the full price of most smartphones.



By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. JeffHarris

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 1999

    +4

    A la Carte Plans Make Sense!

    I'm a T-Mobile subscriber and would have jumped to AT&T to get an iPhone in a New York Minute if I could have had a voice-only plan. I don't text message and there're enough Starbucks around with free wi-fi, that I really don't care about a data plan. My iPod touch is serving me well in that regard right now.

    Next we need cable TV companies to sell HD ONLY subscriptions. Why should I pay more than $70 a month for standard-def TV if I don't watch it? Okay, I watch The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, but that's all in SDTV and I can watch it online.

    I called Time Warner to see if they could.
    They said the can't.
    I said they could if they wanted to.

    Hopefully T-Mobile is setting a trend here!

  1. SergioRS

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2004

    +2

    Phone Selection iffy - prices high

    Their only "high end" 3G WinMo phone - the HTC TouchPro2 is $549 on the new calling plans with no contract. They charge $50 for the same phone on a 1yr contract through the Windows Mobile developer program (that anyone can bluff their way into qualifying for) So you still get an effectively lower rate by signing up for a year. Since T-Mo uses a goofy incompatible 3G band, you pretty much HAVE to buy one of their very limited selection of 3G phones to use 3G on their network so I'm not really seeing a whole lot of savings here compared to their old a la carte pricing schemes. It might be a better deal only family plans with multiple phones (especially if you have a house full of chatty text happy tweenagers)

  1. Fast iBook

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2003

    +2

    About the same...

    This is about the same as att before taxes. I have a 550 minute family plan with two iPhone data plans & unlimited messaging, and don't forget vz does NOT have roll over minutes, which i have about 6400 of. It adds up to about 4.8 days of talk time, and it only counts against my minutes when i call outside of att, not often... I think the most minutes i have ever used in a month is 400. It's all most the same as unlimited for my uses.

    - A

  1. GarthT

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jun 2009

    +1

    Not really that great

    I you were hoping for great savings with these plans you will be disappointed, I think. They give the option of going without a contract, which is great, but still charge too much.

    My current plan, Straight Talk, is a LOT cheaper and on a better network IMHO. I only pay $45 for unlimited everything. No comparison...

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