1. TwinsX2Dad's Avatar
    Since there seems to be some disagreement as to what each carrier makes you agree to or not agree to, I thought I'd do a little comparison here in the ways and prices of the different carriers.

    In the following posts, I will illustrate the four major carrier's terms of service, as well as pricing for a basic 450min plan (or least expensive mainstream BlackBerry offering) with BlackBerry data and unlimited messaging.

    I will put them in alphabetical order, so there is no thought of personal preference.

    Let the black & white begin...
    05-17-09 02:09 AM
  2. TwinsX2Dad's Avatar


    AT&T Plan Terms

    Of note in the AT&T Plan Terms is the following:

    Furthermore, plans(unless specifically designated for tethering usage) cannot be used for any applications that tether the device (through use of, including without limitation, connection kits, other phone/PDA-to computer accessories, Bluetooth or any other wireless technology) to Personal Computers (including without limitation, laptops), or other equipment for any purpose.

    AT&T 450 Minute Plan
    $39.99 - includes 5000 night & weekend minutes
    $30.00 - BlackBerry Data
    $20.00 - Unlimited Messaging
    $89.99 - Total, not including taxes & fees.

    AT&T was kind enough to note this, as well:
    DataConnect is not an unlimited plan. Learn more about data usage

    Special note: AT&T offers Rollover Minutes, where unused minutes don't necessarily expire at the end of the month.
    05-17-09 02:10 AM
  3. TwinsX2Dad's Avatar


    Sprint Terms & Conditions

    Of note in the Sprint Terms & Conditions is the following:

    In addition to the rules for using all of our other Services, unless we identify the Service or Device you have selected as specifically intended for that purpose (for example, wireless routers, Data Link, etc.), you can't use our data Services: (1) with server devices or host computer applications, or other systems that drive continuous heavy traffic or data sessions; and (2) as a substitute or backup for private lines or frame relay connections. We reserve the right to limit, suspend or constrain any heavy, continuous data usage that adversely impacts our network performance or hinders access to our network. If your Services include web or data access, you also can't use your Device as a modem for computers or other equipment, unless we identify the Service or Device you have selected as specifically intended for that purpose (for example, with "phone as modem" plans, Sprint Mobile Broadband card plans, wireless router plans, etc.).

    Sprint 450 Minute Plan
    $69.99 - includes unlimited night & weekend minutes
    Included Data
    Included Messaging
    $69.99 - Total, not including taxes & fees.

    Special Note: Sprint night & weekends start at 7PM with a $5 option to move that to 6PM.
    05-17-09 02:10 AM
  4. TwinsX2Dad's Avatar


    T-Mobile Terms & Conditions

    Of note in the T-Mobile Terms & Conditions is the following:

    Your Data Plan is intended for Web browsing, messaging, and similar activities on your device and not on any other equipment. Unless explicitly permitted by your Data Plan, other uses, including for example, tethering your device to a personal computer or other hardware, are not permitted.

    T-Mobile 300 Minute My Faves Plan
    $39.99 - includes 5 designated free numbers & unlimited nights & weekends.
    $34.99 - BlackBerry Data
    Included Messaging
    $74.98 - Total, not including taxes & fees.

    Special Note: There are no mobile to mobile minutes on the 300 minute plan. T-Mobile offers M2M on their next plan rate @ 49.99 for 600 minutes.
    05-17-09 02:11 AM
  5. TwinsX2Dad's Avatar


    Verizon Wireless Terms & Conditions

    Of note under the VZW Terms & Conditions for PDAs/Smartphones (available with the device or on any Verizon Wireless smartphone plan page) is the following:

    Data Plans and Features (such as NationalAccess, BroadbandAccess, GlobalAccess, Push to Talk, and certain VZEmail services) may ONLY be used with wireless devices for the following purposes: (i) Internet browsing; (ii) email; and (iii) intranet access (including access to corporate intranets, email, and individual productivity applications like customer relationship management, sales force, and field service automation). The Data Plans and Features MAY NOT be used for any other purpose. Examples of prohibited uses include, without limitation, the following: (i) continuous uploading, downloading or streaming of audio or video programming or games; (ii) server devices or host computer applications, including, but not limited to, Web camera posts or broadcasts, automatic data feeds, automated machine-to-machine connections or peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing; or (iii) as a substitute or backup for private lines or dedicated data connections. This means, by way of example only, that checking email, surfing the Internet, downloading legally acquired songs, and/or visiting corporate intranets is permitted, but downloading movies using P2P file sharing services and/or redirecting television signals for viewing on laptops is prohibited.

    Verizon Wireless 450 Minute Basic Plan
    $39.99 - includes unlimited night & weekend minutes
    $29.99 - BlackBerry Data
    $20.00 - Unlimited Messaging
    $89.98 - Total, not including taxes & fees.

    Special Note: Plans above this price point include a selectable numbers component, known as Friends & Family, where customers can designate up to 10 numbers to talk to, incoming or outgoing, free of charge.
    05-17-09 02:12 AM
  6. TwinsX2Dad's Avatar
    Based on the above, Sprint is the clear winner in price. T-Mobile is arguably in second place, but depending on your usage, could be the most expensive, lacking M2M minutes. Also, T-mobile is mostly 2G service. AT&T and Verizon Wireless come in at a dead heat, within a penny, actually. But AT&T's Rollover Minutes or Verizon's larger footprint & better odds of having M2M friends could sway you either way.

    Taxes, surcharges, fees vary among carriers. T-Mobile & Sprint are known for activation fees and even upgrade fees. AT&T and VZW typically have activation fees for new accounts, but these are often waived through promotions or through certain channels.

    As for data limits, all four carriers have a 5GB limit hidden within their agreements. All four also prohibit tethering without a specific tethering plan attached.

    Individual Plan Pricing Recap:
    Sprint: $69.99
    T-Mobile: $74.98
    Verizon Wireless: $89.98
    AT&T: $89.99

    Each carrier offers family plans, at discount. Data/messaging plans are not discounted for family offers.

    NOTE: Prices/details in effect at the time of this posting. Terms & pricing subject to change.

    Feel free to point any detractor here when they say AT&T or VZW is twice the price of Sprint/T-Mobile or that VZW is the most expensive.

    There is no difference in the basic details of the data plans from any of the carriers - the only difference is in the integrity levels of the customers & what they try to get away with.
    05-17-09 02:15 AM
  7. gvillager's Avatar
    Good job T. But I would have been really impressed if you had used your BB to post. Your slipping....
    05-17-09 08:48 AM
  8. bearkat38's Avatar
    Nice post! Very informative.
    05-17-09 08:59 AM
  9. dgburns's Avatar
    Somebody sticky this and quick! But it needs to be "higher" or "linked" from the other carrier forums so that its not just hidden here under Verizon.
    There was some web site I had found one time that does a real good job of comparing visually and let's you compare at higher minutes levels but I forget the URL this morning. I'm sure a Google search for "cell phone price comparison" would turn it up though.


    Posted from my CrackBerry 9530 at wapforums.crackberry.com
    Last edited by dgburns; 05-17-09 at 09:15 AM.
    05-17-09 09:10 AM
  10. adam4281980's Avatar
    Great job breaking it down. Big Red and AT&T are always around the same price point ... glad you showed that! Again...NICE job!
    05-17-09 09:17 AM
  11. oberhaus's Avatar
    What about AllTel prices? I know Verizon purchased them, but my sister just renewed her contract and got a Curve. She said her plan is only 69$ and that's including Data. But doesn't include unlimited messaging. Is she BSing me?

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    05-17-09 09:36 AM
  12. Fried Rice Mofo's Avatar
    Was going to add Alltel on there for Twins but their website is down and out right now.. Oops!
    05-17-09 10:56 AM
  13. kcg5060's Avatar
    Try smartbills.com or type that into google. It works, but says that Tmo is the best in price..... Hmmmm.
    But VERY nice comparison Twin!

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    05-17-09 12:09 PM
  14. ERDude's Avatar
    Great comparison if a person is going off of price alone, which a lot of people do.

    For those of us smarter than the average bear it comes down to who has the best coverage and reliable network in the areas you frequent. I was searching to see who has the most reliable network, was interesting to read how the carriers support their claim. Verizon supports its claim using their own in-house network team. Sprint hires an independent company to test their network. AT&T won't release the information and T-Mo wasn't mentioned. I'll see if I can find it again.
    05-17-09 01:58 PM
  15. ERDude's Avatar
    If it were not done in house, the continuous testing would balloon into a not so small fortune in a very short time. I cant speak for the other carriers but Verizon spends more on network upgrades in a year than some states spend on their budget.
    Didn't say it was a good or bad thing, just said it was interesting how they support their claims.

    For me it's really who gets the best coverage in my area, followed by price, then equipment selection, not how reliable they are nationwide. Check out Signal Map - Find the best cell phone coverage in your area, or add your own cell phone signal to the map. if you want to see what others are experiencing as far as signal strength.
    05-17-09 03:18 PM
  16. DesertDogs's Avatar
    Signal Map is very subjective & very incomplete. I just tried several addresses in my area and they came up wrong. At my address, it says Sprint is strong, AT&T is poor, while Verizon is non-existent. At my mother's address it shows Verizon as poor, AT&T is non-existent and Sprint is strong. At Dad's house, it shows AT&T and Sprint is strong while Verizon is average. I find that odd because Dad's house is where he has repeatedly said there is no Sprint signal at all. I get full coverage where I live and at my mother's house. They rely solely on the information submitted by users which means it is subject to heavy slanting. What is to stop someone from entering false information and doing it repeatedly? And what is to assure that signal or service strength isn't tied to a defective or damaged handset?

    Thanks but I think I will stick with the experts on this one and stay away from the submissions of biased users.

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    05-17-09 03:55 PM
  17. blopez24's Avatar
    Didn't say it was a good or bad thing, just said it was interesting how they support their claims.

    For me it's really who gets the best coverage in my area, followed by price, then equipment selection, not how reliable they are nationwide. Check out Signal Map - Find the best cell phone coverage in your area, or add your own cell phone signal to the map. if you want to see what others are experiencing as far as signal strength.
    the site doesnt seem to work with me. I tried but it wants to save a file or open it with another software.
    05-17-09 04:15 PM
  18. randabis's Avatar
    It's not hard to get the activation fee waived on Sprint. If you sign up online, it's automatically waived. I got mine waived in the store by just telling them I wasn't able to complete it online because they could only send my phone to my card's billing address which is an old address I no longer live at. I'm sure if you ask they'll gladly waive it.
    05-17-09 04:21 PM
  19. ERDude's Avatar
    They rely solely on the information submitted by users which means it is subject to heavy slanting. What is to stop someone from entering false information and doing it repeatedly? And what is to assure that signal or service strength isn't tied to a defective or damaged handset?

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    You are correct it is subject to user input. They ask you to input your device when you're entering information.

    I will say for my area the information is pretty on the money. Sprint and Verizon beat out AT&T and TMO.

    Its another tool to help people make a more educated decision. There's not a site out there that isn't biased. Take the FCC for instance before they required cell providers to release their outages you could get the information on land line service. Now that cell carriers are required to report their outages that information suddenly becomes secret due to national security. Really, national security? It's more due to preventing the company with the lowest outages from being able to say we have the most dependable network according the FCC.
    05-17-09 04:25 PM
  20. ERDude's Avatar
    the site doesnt seem to work with me. I tried but it wants to save a file or open it with another software.
    I can't help you there, as I didn't have that problem. Maybe one of the techies can help you out.
    05-17-09 04:27 PM
  21. TwinsX2Dad's Avatar
    I did not start this to be yet another subjective discussion on coverage areas, reliability or phone features - hence the reason I mentioned none of that.

    It is to illustrate, prove & disprove many of the misconceptions regarding price and terms. Too many are content to claim VZW is morr expensive or even twice as expensive as other carriers - and they don't bother to check the carrier sites for the truth. Other slaim that VZW is evil because they have a 5GB cap or that they don't allow tethering without a tethering plan attachment. My intent was to not only show they are flat-out wrong, but to illustrate that ALL of the major carriers do the same thing.

    I posted the objective data from each carrier site - there is no room for the subjective here.

    Take the the subjective quality and preference discussions to the appropriate thread. They don't belong here.

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    05-17-09 04:38 PM
  22. dtubbs06's Avatar
    WOW very nice that you would care enough about your fellow cb'rs to sift through all of the "Big 4" carrier's website's (or wherever you found all that info) and let us all know their basic rates, and data, etc.

    Thanks again Twins!
    05-17-09 04:54 PM
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