Last year T-Mobile rocked the boat big time. They introduced things foreign to the American cellular market like plans without a cellphone subsidy, phone upgrade plans, and free international roaming. While the other carriers quickly launched their take on the phone upgrade plans, to this point T-Mobile’s lead has failed to compel any cost savings on to off-contract customers. Well, today AT&T is the first to step out and follow suit with their new Mobile Share Value plans.
To be fair, this isn’t a direct copy, as T-Mobile and AT&T have different plan structures. T-Mobile still uses traditional individual plans while AT&T followed Verizon to shared data plans back in October. That doesn’t mean there isn’t savings to be had. Under the new plans, going with a no-contract plan will save you $15 a month off your smartphone access fee dropping the fee from $40/mo to $25. You also have to pay the data allotment, but those start at $20 for 300MB and go all the way up to $150 for 20GB. There is some savings at the lower plans compared to Verizon or US Cellular. The lowest data tier is $20 cheaper than the competition with the 1GB and 2GB tiers bringing in a $5 savings. The prices can be had with phones bought full for retail price, brought in unlocked or from other carriers, or once a on-contract phone completes its 24-month contract. The later sounds automatic, with your simply dropping $15/line with no customer request.
There’s another option for the Value Share plans: AT&T’s Next upgrade plan. I separated it for a couple of reasons. First up, is the integration with the Value Share Plans. Depending on how you view it, Next is being now offered as an alternative to 2-year contracts instead of something on top of them. This makes Next much more desirable. While you’ll probably end up spending more per month than than the $15 you save off a contract plan, you also don’t have to pay anything up front and if you so wish, you can upgrade every year with trade in. Second for Next is the new 18 month option. The payments would be spread over 26 months for even lower monthly payments.
In my mind, AT&T got a lot more compelling than they were yesterday. Hopefully it gives Sprint and Verizon reason to follow suit for their out of contract customers. So, what do you think? Does this change your view on the carrier? Does it make current customers want to stay? Leave your comments below or on our social media pages.