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10/27/2009
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T-Mobile: No Contract, No Problem

The wireless carrier is offering no-contract service plans and revised pricing for voice, text, and data services.

In an attempt to poach subscribers away from rivals AT&T, Sprint Nextel, and Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile has introduced a series of new service plans that includes no-contract options, as well as monthly payment plans for the hardware.

The rollout follows weeks of reports about a "Project Dark," which is believed to be a set of initiatives by T-Mobile to help the carrier gain market share. Part of this project includes new rates for consumers and businesses, and it is expected to include a stronger push for data-hungry smartphones such as the Motorola Cliq and the myTouch 3G.

The new service options fall into two categories. The Even More plans follow the traditional U.S. cell phone business models, and the Even More Plus plans offer monthly voice, text, and data services with no long-term commitment. The no-contract plans range from $29.99 to $79.99, and the top tier offers unlimited voice, data, and texting services. By comparison, the rate is about $20 less than Sprint's unlimited offering, although Sprint's service comes with turn-by-turn navigation, Sprint TV, and other exclusive applications.

Because T-Mobile uses GSM technology for its network, these plans could appeal to consumers who already own their phones. The handsets will cost more with the no-contract plans, though, as the myTouch can be had for about $199 with a two-year contract. The Even More Plus version will cost about $400. T-Mobile will enable users to pay for the hardware in monthly interest-free installments that can be spread over four to 20 months.

An Even More plan can come with a subsidized handset, but the monthly fees would be a bit higher than the no-contract version. These plans vary from $39.99 to $59.99, and the highest one includes unlimited voice calling. Adding unlimited text messaging and data capabilities would bump the monthly rate to about the same prices as Sprint, but it would cost less than unlimited offerings from AT&T and Verizon.


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