CHART: Historic Pricing Cuts in Cellphone World

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CHART: Historic Pricing Cuts in Cellphone World
Image Credit: Garry Knight / Flickr
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Week after week, we continue witnessing historic pricing drops in the cellphone world. I’m making it my mission to keep you up to date on the best individual plans and the best family plans.

The days of signing a contract with a wireless provider for 2 years in return for getting a subsidized phone with sky high monthly service is over. Now you can buy a phone independent of a wireless carrier and sign up for a noncontract plan.

But there’s a wrinkle that confuses a lot of people: Almost everywhere else in the world, there’s a standard network backbone for wireless called GSM. But here in the United States, we have Verizon and Sprint on a competing backbone called CDMA and T-Mobile and AT&T on GSM.  

So you have to think about what phone you want based on who you want service from. You have to put the cart before the horse.

Here’s a quick overview of the recent price cuts we’ve seen to date — along with some of my other favorite price points too!

Important note: Both T-Mobile and Sprint will pay your early termination fees if you leave any contract carrier and come to them.

Individual plans

Wireless Carrier
Price
Talk
Text
Data
T-Mobile
$80 Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited*
Sprint $60 Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
Verizon $60 Unlimited Unlimited 2GB**
Boost Mobile
$35 Unlimited Unlimited 1GB
Boost Mobile
$45 Unlimited Unlimited 5GB
Republic Wireless
$25 Unlimited Unlimited 5GB

* No overages; if you go over your data limit, your connection speed will be slowed to a crawl (aka “throttled”) until the next billing cycle.
**Overages are possible, so beware of bill shock if you are a heavy data user! Includes a subsidized phone with a 2-year agreement.


Family plans

Wireless Carrier
Price
Number of lines
Talk
Text
Data
T-Mobile
The first line is $50 per month. The second line is $30. Lines 3 through 10 are $10. Up to 10 Unlimited Unlimited 2.5GB per line
Sprint
$100* Up to 10 Unlimited Unlimited 20GB to share among all 10 lines, and an additional 2GB included per individual line.

* There’s also an additional $15 per line fee.

AT&T $160 4 Unlimited Unlimited 10GB in total
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Clark Howard About the author:
Clark Howard is a consumer expert whose goal is to help you keep more of the money you make. His national radio show and website show you ways to put more money in your pocket, with advice you can trust. More about Clark
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