Rob Pegoraro's post | Latest updates on Sulia
T-Mobile's new no-contract plans: a good deal, especially if you don't buy a phone from the carrier.
The two-year contract is dead for individual customers at T-Mobile. Prices now start at $50 a month for unlimited calling and texting and 500 MB of data, tethered allowed; you can then add data in 2 GB-for-$10 increments. (http://www.t-mobile.com/shop/plans/individual-plans.aspx)
Unlimited calling means little when voice usage keeps declining, but $60 for 2.5 GB of smartphone use easily beats the competition.
The wrinkle here is equipment costs. You can pay list price upfront, or cover the balance in monthly surcharges over, yup, the next two years. For example, a Galaxy S III has a $69.99 down payment, then adds $20 to your bill for the next 24 months. This ought to boost third-party markets--why pay T-Mo $457.99 for a 16 GB Nexus 4 when Google sells it for $349?