In a year from now, the chart that you see below you might be out-of-date. After the news broke that AT&T would be acquiring T-Mobile USA, one of the first concerns was if T-Mobile customers would be able to keep their plans. Thankfully,T-Mobile has released an FAQ that answered just that; T-Mobile will keep things as they are for about 12 months, and any agreement you enter into in the meantime will be honored once the changeover goes through.
But we wanted to see just exactly what T-Mobile customers might be giving up in terms of monthly cost. We've always admired T-Mobile's competitive pricing when compared with AT&T, and it doesn't help that AT&T removed its unlimited data option last year. We're hoping that AT&T might adopt some of T-Mobile's pricing strategies to compete against Verizon Wireless and Sprint Nextel if the takeover is indeed approved.
Here's a quick and simple comparison chart of the cheapest and most expensive bundles of the two carriers that we took from an earlier price chart, plus additional information for non-smartphones. It doesn't represent family plans, and we couldn't dig up enough information about T-Mobile's Even More Plus plans to include those here--the Even More Plus plans are for T-Mobile customers who paid full price for the phone so they can pay less over time. We did, however, find out that Even More Plus customers paid $79.99 a month for unlimited everything, which is a good $20 less than regular Even More customers.
UPDATE: A helpful reader pointed out the Even More Plus plans to us. We've included them below.
|Network||T-Mobile||T-Mobile Even More Plus||AT&T|
|Cheapest bundle without data (only for non-smartphones)||$39.99 with voice only. It's $49.99 when you add unlimited text.||$29.99 with voice only. It's $39.99 when you add unlimited text.||$39.99 with voice only. When you add 1,000 messages, it's $49.99; with unlimited messages it's $59.99.|
|Cheapest bundle with minimum text and data||$59.99 for 500 minutes, unlimited text, and 200MB data||$59.99 for 500 minutes, and unlimited text and data||$64.99 for 450 minutes, 1,000 messages, and 200MB data for smartphones. For non-smartphones, it's $64.99 for 450 minutes, 1,000 messages, and unlimited data.|
|Cheapest bundle with unlimited text and minimum data||See above||See above||$74.99 for 450 minutes, unlimited text, and 200MB data. For non-smartphones, it's $69.99 for 450 minutes, and unlimited messages and data.|
|Cheapest bundle with minimum text and unlimited data (or the highest data cap)||$79.99 for 500 minutes, and unlimited text and data||$59.99 for 500 minutes, and unlimited text and data||$74.99 for 450 minutes, 1,000 messages, and 2GB data. For non-smartphones, it's $64.99 for 450 minutes, 1,000 messages, and unlimited data.|
|Cheapest bundle with unlimited text and data||See above||See above||$84.99 for 450 minutes, unlimited text, and 2GB data. For non-smartphones, it's $69.99 for 450 minutes, and unlimited messages and data.|
|Most expensive bundle||$99.99 for unlimited everything||$79.99 for unlimited everything||$114.99 for unlimited voice, text, and 2GB data|
|Overage fees for nonunlimited data plans||200MB plan: 10 cents per MB with a maximum of $50 for data||N/A||200MB plan: $15 for each additional 200MB; 2GB plan: $10 for each additional 1GB|
|Data plan only (unlimited, no voice plan)||$49.99||N/A||N/A|
|Mobile hot spot/tethering||$14.99||$14.99||$20|
Do note that AT&T does allow for rollover minutes, and it has recently implemented an Any Mobile Number plan that allows you to make unlimited calls to any cell phone regardless of carrier.
Spot any mistakes? Have any additional thoughts on the T-Mobile-AT&T deal? Let us know in the comments.