I’m glad we have smaller carriers in the United States like T-Mobile and Sprint, ones that are willing to offer crazy things that bigger carriers like Verizon and AT&T have already removed from their min-maxed line of thinking. While T-Mobile was always a bit cheaper on a monthly basis, they’re now offering to become your ‘uncarrier’, allowing you to have cheaper monthly rates without a contract, which seems fantastic if you’re either trying to save dollars or regularly swapping out SIMs. There’s a catch to that, though. An expensive one.
Y’see, monthly rates for other carriers are generally higher because of phone subsidies. You pay the subsidy for a contracted period of time (and then, well, more than that) to get a reduced price on your phone to start. These monthly rates, $50 for 500MB to start, then $10 more for 2GB and $20 more for an Unlimited, un-throttled amount of data, are already available, but you’ll pay a mind toward the phone prices afterward. Even the budget-minded Nexus 4 still retails for $450 and newer phones will no doubt be even pricier, up to $700-$800. The word is that T-Mobile will remove all contracts across the board, but as currently available, you can pay an optional subsidy to get the cheaper phone. Details are supposed to arrive tomorrow at T-Mobile’s big Uncarrier event where the service will launch with a $199.99 LG phone.
It seems like a valid option as traditionally, with cheaper monthly rates, you’ll save far more in the long run, but if you’re like most of us, we want the biggest, best thing right when we want it and don’t usually have a small roll of Benjamins lying around to acquire them. Further, T-Mobile’s late-to-the-game LTE deployment means that speeds and coverage will still be behind the rest of ’em.