It's not just the big guys following T-Mobile's lead in the way phones and plans are sold. US Cellular is announcing new no-contract plans and financed device options today. It's more or less the same deal you get at other carriers, but with some cheaper tiers.
According to a report from The Information, Google held a series of talks with Verizon Wireless in January covering a range of issues. A source familiar with the talks says one item on the agenda was Google's interest in becoming a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) in markets where it offers Google Fiber. This isn't the first time a Google phone carrier has been rumored, but this might be the first time Android is strong enough to withstand the inevitable blowback from established carriers.
It's hard to put into words the frustration of a junky cell phone signal. On one hand, the fact we are able to communicate to any degree with devices that fit in our pockets is cool, but getting reliable data is also a big deal these days. Maybe Glove can help. It claims to have the ability to tell you which network is best for your usage after just three days of analysis.
The big US carriers are currently falling all over themselves to tweak their plan offerings to be more competitive with each other. After changing the upgrade window of its Edge plans last month, Verizon is now preparing to offer more data on some plans, reduced prices for Edge customers, and more.
The More Everything campaign starts tomorrow, and we've got the promotional material sent out to representatives. The 500MB, 1GB, and 2GB Share Everything plans are getting boosted to 1GB, 2GB and 3GB caps.
AT&T will be offering a new type of family plan starting tomorrow (February 2nd) that could save you a bit of cash. The Mobile Share Value Plan includes 10GB of shared data with unlimited talk/text and starts at $130 for 2 lines, and each line you add only bumps the price up $15. Just about anyone can switch to this plan, but AT&T does have an ulterior motive – these new plans are probably designed to get customers off the phone subsidy gravy train.
So AT&T's Next plans, with their $0 down and phone trade-in/upgrade after a year, are nifty for customers who always want the latest and greatest. They're also a valuable tool for enticing new customers away from the likes of Verizon and the ever-advancing T-Mobile. But what about AT&T customers who are stuck in a contract? Ma Bell hasn't forgotten about you: starting today, at least some AT&T contract customers can switch to a Next plan with no penalty.
T-Mobile seems to be making waves in the industry as of late. Not even two weeks after the magenta carrier announced it would be paying customers' ETFs, Verizon is experimenting with a 30 day upgrade cycle on its Edge plan. However, it's not a free lunch – there is some fine print to contend with.
Verizon Edge is similar to all the early upgrade programs introduced in the last year like Jump (Tmo) and Next (AT&T).
In between pointed jabs at the other national carriers, T-Mobile CEO John Legere announced the carrier's newest "Un-carrier" plan. As the rumors indicated, T-Mobile is going to pay the early termination fees (ETF) when customers switch to T-Mobile from Sprint, AT&T, or Verizon. Sounds great, but there are a few caveats.
What do you get when you combine friends and family? You get a new Sprint marketing slogan known as "Framily." The Now Network is launching the new Framily Plans on January 10th and encouraging people – related or not – to get together on a single account. The mechanics of the Framily Plans are more than a little different than traditional family plans, though.
The cost of each line changes based on how many people are on the account.
One of the problems with the pricing structure of American carriers is that people who buy their phones outright don't get any kind of break on the service plans themselves, giving people fewer incentives to get away from subsidies. T-Mobile has addressed this (by essentially throwing out subsidies all together), but today AT&T fires back with the new Mobile Share Value Plan. Basically it's a $15 discount if you buy a phone unsubsidized, including the new AT&T Next plans, or if you've already paid off your on-contract device.