If it seems like carrier data plans change every few months, that’s because they do. As customers rely more and more on wireless data, carriers appear to be getting competitive with their data plans. Some are good deals. Others are not.
This week, T-Mobile raised the price of its unlimited plan, but offered some new benefits to others. AT&T lowered the price of its 2 GB data plan.
Here’s what’s changing.
$50 per month gets you 1 GB of high speed data plus unlimited calls and texting. The plan used to give you 500 MB of data. So this could be a good deal for light data users. $US60 now gets you 3 GB of data. It used to be 2.5 GB. That’s also a better deal.
But the highest tier, the one that offers unlimited calls, texts, and high-speed data, is now more expensive. It costs $US80 per month instead of $US70. However, you do get 5 GB of tethering, meaning you can use your phone as a WiFi hotspot to access the Internet on your computer or other device. The top plan used to only give you 2.5 GB of tethering.
If you’re already a T-Mobile customer, those new data tiers will kick in automatically. However, if you have the highest tier, you won’t see a price increase. So don’t worry. T-Mobile will “grandfather” you into the plan you originally signed up for.
AT&T dropped the price of its 2 GB data plan. It now costs $US65 per month, which is $US15 cheaper than it was before. You get 2 GB of data per month, plus unlimited calls and texts. It costs another $US25 per month if you want to share that 2 GB data bucket with another smartphone on your plan.
So which is the better deal? As we’ve said before, there is no right answer to that question. Smartphone plans are complicated. The best carrier for you is the one that can provide you the best coverage in your town plus give you the amount of data you use at the most reasonable price. Unfortunately, that means you have to do a lot of research.