Cell Phone Plans: AT&T’s No-Contract AnnouncementBy: Mike Tuttle - December 6, 2013
“Mobile Share Value,” the new no-service-contract cell phone plan from AT&T, was unveiled this morning and promises to give customers ease in data sharing while saving money and enjoying the nation’s fastest and most reliable 4G LTE network.
The company says that customers can save $15 a month and have the option of getting a new smartphone every year. This is different than the traditional contract which makes customers hold on to their device for two years. Next plans, which give customers the ability to swap phones after 18 months, will also be available.
However, according the Wall Street Journal, the only customers eligible are those who:
* get their smartphones with no down payment through the Next plan
* bring their own smartphone
* purchase one at full retail price
* have smartphones that are no longer under contract will be eligible for this new plan
T-Mobile (applauded by the 12th annual cell service and phone ratings report as having the most honest pricing), is currently the lowest priced carrier. AT&T and Verizon are the costliest.
“Our customers told us loud and clear that they want more value and no contract,” AT&T spokesperson, Mark Siegel, said.
Customers on a Mobile Share Value plan will be able to get shared data plus unlimited talk and text on their phones and connect up to 10 devices, including tablets and other wireless devices.
David Christopher, chief marketing officer for AT&T Mobility, said, “With our new Mobile Share Value Plans, customers don’t have to compromise. Our new no contract option lets customers add a smartphone to the nation’s fastest and most reliable 4G LTE network at a lower monthly cost. Customers want great value and a premium network – and now they can save more and get unlimited talk, text and data to share.”
The new lower rates, starting December 8, amount to a savings of approximately 10% to 15%. Put into realistic terms by Yahoo News, this means that a couple who uses 400 voice minutes, sends 200 text messages, and consumes 500MB of data with one smart phone and one voice flip phone will pay $90 a month. This is $25 down from the current two-year contract plan. T-mobile’s similar plan is $80 a month.
A family of four that uses 1,800 minutes of talk time, 7,600 text messages, and 4GB of data per month with two smart phones and two slider phones will now pay $160 a month, down $50 from $210. T-mobile’s bargain plan is $110 per month. However, Sprint’s comparable plan is $200 and Verizons is $210.
AT&T will still offer two-year contract plans as an option, although those now look like bad deals compared to the new value plans.
Although there is no contract for service with the new plans, the installment payment agreement is still a contract which must be paid off, even if a customer decides to leave AT&T.
image via: Wikimedia Commons