T-Mobile enters the fray with a plan offering more data transfer. But picking the best plan among the big carriers is still like comparing apples and oranges.
T-Mobile’s latest pricing plan structure shows the mobile industry is adapting to user habits. Services like unlimited national talk and text are almost standard issue today.
Now, how much you use your smartphone to do everything but talk and text will determine how much you’ll spend per month.
Plan structures based on data use are the norm now among the major U.S. carriers, T-Mobile, Verizon and AT&T. So the real competition among carriers these days is in data transfer.
That’s when you use your smartphone to search the Web or use apps. If you work from a laptop most of the time, for example, and use your phone only for the occasional voice call, you may not need to budget for a lot of data transfer in your plan. But if you use your phone regularly to run apps and search the Web throughout the day while on the go, more data transfer may be exactly what you need.
For example, T-Mobile’s new plans start at $50, according to a report from The Verge . That includes 1 GB of high-speed data transfer, on its 4G LTE network. And like the other carriers, the price per month goes up based on your data consumption.
Newly released plans from AT&T start at $65 per month with 2 GB of data included, reports the LA Times .
But other carriers like Verizon offer other options, too. With its new pre-paid data plans for smartphones, called Allset , you can buy extra data transfer packages that can be tacked onto your existing plan. This additional data can be rolled into the next month or two (depending how much extra you buy) when your new month of service starts.
There are more and more opportunities to customize your smartphone service depending how much data transfer you use. To help you estimate how much data you’ll use in a month AT&T and Verizon have created online calculator  apps to give you an idea.
Apples Oranges  Photo via Shutterstock