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T-Mobile launches pay-per-day phone plans

The carrier has also launched a no-contract $60 monthly plan with unlimited talk, text messages, and data.

T-Mobile USA today launched several pay-per-day plans for customers who think a monthly plan is too much of a commitment.

There is a $1-a-day plan, which comes with unlimited text messages and a charge of 10 cents a minute for phone calls, a $2 plan for unlimited talk, text messages, and data at 2G speeds, and a $3 plan for unlimited talk, text, and data, though only the first 200 megabytes of data will be sent at a higher speed.

Daily plans are useful to customers who only use their phones sparingly, allowing them to avoid charges on days when the device isn't touched. The other major carriers all offer some form of daily use plans. T-Mobile is attempting to spur customer growth at a time when its most valuable contract subscribers are moving to rivals.

T-Mobile, which has an agreement to be acquired by AT&T, has been hurt by its perceived lame-duck status, as some customers have been unwilling to commit to the carrier because of the uncertainties surrounding it. It has been particularly aggressive in recent months with lower-priced smartphone plans and the option to avoid contracts. The company said it is seeing success with its no-contract plans.

But the competition for T-Mobile is getting tougher. It now stands as the only national carrier not to offer the iPhone. On the low end, regional prepaid carriers such as MetroPCS and Leap Wireless are expanding their reach and eating into T-Mobile's share.

T-Mobile also launched a no-contract monthly plan for $60 that includes unlimited phone calls and text messages. Customers get up to 2 gigabytes of data at normal speeds before T-Mobile will slow down the connection, a process called throttling.

Wal-Mart began offering today its previously announced data-centric no-contract T-Mobile plan, which includes 5 gigabytes of data at regular speeds, unlimited text messages, and 100 minutes of voice calls for $30 a month.