Two days ahead of a scheduled media event for Tuesday, T-Mobile USA has unveiled its new UNcarrier plans, which attempts to do away with contracts and phone subsidies that have been a staple of the U.S. wireless market for years. The carrier had argued in the past that such a move will give customers more flexibility as there is no contract, will reduce costs for its shareholders, and the carrier will be able to offer more for less to its loyal subscribers.
Now, customers can choose an UNcarrier plan, and rather than get a discounted phone price in exchange for signing a two-year contract, customers will be able to put down a deposit and pay for the device in installments as part of an Equipment Installment Plan. Over time, the customer would pay out of pocket for the full price of the handset.
So for example, once the iPhone launches on T-Mobile, customers can expect to pay at least $649 for the iPhone through the Equipment Installment Plan, rather than the starting $200 price on rival carriers like that of AT&T Mobility, Sprint Nextel, and Verizon Wireless.
As reported on TmoNews, the upside is that T-Mobile will be offering more to customers at a more affordable price point. Plans start at $50 and includes unlimited talk, text, and 500 MB for data. Every additional 2 GB of data will cost $10. Hotspot features cost $10 for 2 GB of hotspot service and $20 for 4 GB. As per T-Mobile’s historic data policies, there will be no overages, but customers exceeding their monthly data allotment will be slowed down to 2G speeds for the remainder of the month.
Customers who want unlimited talk, text, and web can pay $70 per month, but the plan does not come inclusive with the ability to tether.
T-Mobile is definitely taking a different approach that could end up saving customers more money in the long run, especially for customers who do not want to or feel the need to upgrade equipment every two years.
And T-Mobile’s rivals are taking note. T-Mobile’s three larger rivals are all saying they are watching how the market takes to T-mobile’s offerings before considering something similar.
With the UNcarrier plans already unveiled, the big New York City media event could be used to announce T-Mobile’s latest LTE offerings, comment on news about what it intends to do with the spectrum that’s part of the MetroPCS acquisition, and perhaps even announce plans for Apple’s flagship iPhone smartphone.