Competition among US wireless carriers seems to be heating up, with companies trying new ways to attract customers. T-Mobile just unveiled a new type of WiFi calling which the company says basically puts a cellular tower in your house.

Sprint, meanwhile, has just launched a new “iPhone for Life” program that lets customers get a new iPhone 6 or 6 Plus for no money down and upgrade to a new iPhone every 2 years.

AT&T’s pre-paid subsidiary Cricket, on the other hand, has announced that it’s doubling the amount of high-speed customers get no matter how much they pay each month.

iphone 6_001

Cricket’s new plans include:

  • 1GB for $35 per month
  • 3GB for $45 per month
  • 10GB for $55 per month

To get those prices you’ll have to sign up for Cricket’s auto-pay service. Otherwise prices are $5 higher.

Those data caps apply to Cricket’s 4G LTE network. If you go over the limit you can still access the internet, but you’ll be throttled to slower speeds.

cricket data

As for Sprint’s iPhone for Life plan, the company isn’t exactly giving away iPhones.

You’ll need to pay $20 per month on top of your regular phone bill for an iPhone — but an unlimited data plan for iPhone users runs $50 per month, which is about $10 less than the company’s usual plan.

So this could be a good deal for some customers who don’t have $200 or more to pay up front for an iPhone, or who expect to upgrade every two years anyway. You’re essentially paying $480 for a phone over the course of a 2-year contract, which is less than the price of an unlocked iPhone 6 — and you’re kind of saving $240 during that same period thanks to Sprint’s low plan .

iphone for life

In other words, by the end of 24 months you’d end up paying $1680 with the iPhone for Life program in which you’re leasing a phone, or $2256 if you buy a phone and sign up for a 2-year contract.


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4 replies on “More carrier updates: Sprint offers “iPhone for Life,” Cricket offers 10GB data for $55 per month”

  1. A couple of years ago I researched different countries cell phone plans (I also live in the US), I was shocked then to see that in most of Western Europe cell phone plan prices (and at the time the availability of prepaid plans with data) were much cheaper and more fully featured than the US and Canadian plans.

    My understanding is throughput speeds are much higher in Western Europe as well (as from the future states so succinctly although 50Mbps is still surprising to me). To compare to the US, my sister has an AT&T based MVNO plan with “4G” (the best offered here), her speeds are about 7 Mbps down and 2.4Mbps up (which is slightly better than the best non-cellular (wired) home use broadband plan available in my area). However, she is limited to 3GB of data a month at that speed, after that speeds are reduced to about 128Kbps for the remainder of the month and tethering is not allowed whether speeds are reduced or not. As long as you don’t watch videos using a cell phone a 3GB is probably doable without going over but I know with my home computer and broadband connection I use about a GB a day on average just myself (I do view a fair amount of videos). She pays about $50 a month for her cell phone plan with unlimited talk/text and 3GB data. She paid for her phone upfront from a store that sells only unlocked phones (she wanted the Samsung S4 waterproof version — very nice phone BTW — which the carriers don’t sell, my understanding is that phone costs about $500 unlocked) so she is not bound to a contract (if she were the plan she is on would be about $85 a month) and the phone can be used worldwide on any GSM provider available in the area of use.

    I hope this explains what cell (and wired broadband) service is like in a rural area of the US. As far as I know no cell phone company in the US offers anything faster than 7-8Mbps down and 2-3Mbps up for cell phone internet, even in a large city. Wired broadband can be faster in large cities, service is available up to 100Mbps down/20Mbps up in places such as San Francisco or Los Angeles (but you pay $100 plus monthly for that service). Google is testing 1Gbps (1024Mbps) wired broadband service but other than a lucky few test customers that work for Google that is not available to the public, probably for at least the next five years or so at least.

  2. Those prices and limits look like something from year 2005.

    In Finland you can get 8megs 3g for 5€/month or 50megs 4g for 15€/month. Also both with unlimited amount of data transfer.

    1. Here in ‘merica, we ALWAYS pay more for less, its just how we do.

      We like to imagine that its because the amount of area to be covered is so much larger, but we all agree that theres a good chance we’re lying to ourselves.

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