At $20/month for unlimited text/data/voice, can't be beat by T-mo.

Not even close.

But this is America, where if you're a sucker with extra cash who'd rather pay $50/month more for the same services, you are free to do so.
$90 a month for phone service. Revolutionary, indeed.
...Prepaid carriers such as Boost Mobile, Cricket, MetroPCS, and Straight Talk have been around for years, but their popularity is growing among U.S. consumers. Sales of smartphones at prepaid carriers rose 23 percent in the third quarter of 2012 over the prior quarter, according to the NPD Group, a consumer research firm. Meanwhile, smartphone sales fell 12 percent at the top-tier carriers during that period...
Even Bigger Savings

If you’re not picky about the type of smartphone you use, Republic Wireless has a deal that can’t be beat: $19 per month for unlimited talk, text, and data—with a catch or two. First, Republic uses a technology it calls “hybrid calling,” which means it uses both Wi-Fi and cellular connections to make calls, send texts, or download files. Its first choice is Wi-Fi—whether at home, work, or sipping a latte at Starbucks. If your Republic Wireless phone can’t find an available Wi-Fi link, it uses Sprint’s 3G network instead...…

(Hey, I was stuck at the doctor's office yesterday with nothing else to read but Arthritis Today, Diabetes Forecast, etc.)
This was all on the news last night. Republic has a great business idea but to have to switch manually between wifi and cellular in the middle of calls and to only have 1 phone choice and that's some older android? No thanks. I'm paying a little more than $90 p/m for my iPhone, a gig of data, and unlimited talk and text from Verizon. I almost never not have service even here in Kitsappalachia. I had to dump TMobile because they just don't have enough service out this way in the boonies. I'll stay with what I have and hope that the big boys see this is the wave of the future and make some changes of their own to keep up with consumer demands. Hope not expect.
Most of the pre-paid carriers don't offer LTE. Which is a big deal if you are a data heavy user.

@Fnarf it's only $90/month if you are buying a premium phone, and need never throttled unlimited date. The plan starts at $50 for unlimited voice and text, plus 500MB of unthrottled data (throttled after you reach the threshold). It's an extra $10 for 2GB and an extra $10 for unlimited. Then if you have to finance a phone there's an extra charge.

This is actually a good deal for people who want to upgrade phones on a different schedule than the 2 years that the other carriers require.
Yeah, I use Virgin Mobile. Coverage is not great in rural areas but it's $35 a month (including taxes) for unlimited data/text and 300 min talk time (I have a landline for work reasons, so 300 min. is plenty for me). I'm not likely to start paying $90 a month (plus taxes??) any time soon.
I've been using Tmobile's prepaid plan for two years with a WP7 that I purchased up front. I love not being tied to a contract or a specific phone and I've never had issue with service quality. Can't imagine going back to a contract now.
I've been using T-Mobile for nearly 7 years now, and I have no complaints about coverage. The only place I sometimes have trouble is inside my apartment, but people who use Sprint or AT&T complain that they get zero coverage inside our building, so I'm one up on them.
Can't even get a signal at my house for T-Mobile and it isn't like I live in the sticks. Stuck with AT&T for now.
My indoor life (WiFi) and wired city (Seattle) is making it harder to justify paying for data separate from my home internet connection.

Back when I had a smart phone + data I'd often notice that I'd be sitting at my desktop computer and then I'd hear my iPhone notification for an email, and then I'd use my computer to check my new email.

Since then I've gotten a laptop and we've setup WiFi in the house. Now my Android will get a push notification over WiFi and when I hear that I'll check my email on my laptop.

That wireless Gigibt thing being put into the works is intriguing though. Sometimes I was able to use the free WiFi on the Ave, but they've ended that program since it was often the crappiest "free" options. The other free options were standing outside a bar and connecting to their WiFi.
I'm on their prepaid $30 a month plan. Works good enough for me.
T-mobile for 6 years. Service in the greater Puget Sound area has been fantastic. We use them for our company phones (except for one employee who couldn't do w/o his iphone and so paid for his own AT&T. As someone who has the guys call in to me several times a day, it was generally only the AT&T network that dropped the call.

That being said, when I've traveled around the country (especially outside of major markets) the T-mobile network hasn't been so great. However, I spend 95% of my time here, so it works for me.
I can't get a signal on anything BUT T-Mo at my house. I'll be sticking with them.
T-Mobile customer service is beyond the worst. I'm counting the minutes until I can run, screaming, away from this wreck of a company. DO NOT sign up with them.…
I just switched to a no-contract T-Mobile plan a month ago after being on AT&T for years. I am so happy with my choice to leave contracts behind and to leave AT&T
I'm on T-Mobile's prepaid plan that costs $30/mo for 100 minutes of talk and unlimited text and data. I bought my phone straight from Google, so it's unlocked and I can take it to sprint or an MVNO if I want. 100 minutes of talk per month isn't quite enough for me, so I use Talkatone to place all my calls as VOIP calls using my unlimited data instead of my meager talk allowance. And since I'm on a prepaid plan with no contract, I can stop any time I find a better deal.

T-Mo is not perfect - their coverage isn't good outside of urban areas and isn't Verizon-level even in cities, and their service isn't great. But at no other major provider can you get a $30/mo plan like I have, and most MVNOs have restrictions that I don't like, so I'm sticking with T-Mo for now.
T Mobile since 2001. Nightmarish 2010-2011 BC I had a faulty model of the Mytouch (15 phones in 2 years BC it would randomly malfunction) Once rid of that phone, happy w/ T mob again. Cool that they are doing this.
I was going to chime in, but I'd have basically written the same as @16, though in may case I'm using an unlocked iphone (ATT unlocked it for me once I was out of contract). The only thing I'd add is that the overage charges on minutes are very reasonable. So if I go over my 100 minutes (I usually don't thanks to Google Voice/talkatone) it isn't a big deal. in fact, even if I go waaaay over and talk for 450 minutes (what I had with ATT before) my total bill is $65, which is still better than ATT was.

However, these new plans from Tmobile are really good prices. Particularly for families with a lot of lines. I'm glad Tmobile is exerting some competitive pressure on the market, it is good for everyone. Thanks Obama administration for scuttling the merger between ATT and Tmobile. If that had happened we'd be getting none of the fruits of competition.
Coverage, as with all carriers, depends on where you live. In my experience, T-Mobile is as good as anyone for coverage in the Seattle area, less so as you get away from metropolitan areas. Certainly better than ATT around here.
I want to get out of my current contract when it ends in a few months, but I don't want to buy a new phone. Does anyone know if it's possible to use a (Verizon) iPhone on T-Mobile or Virgin Atlantic's pre-paid plans?

Googling suggests that post-contract Verizon will unlock your phone for use overseas, so it seems like in theory it should be possible to unlock a phone on that basis, and then put in the chip for the provider with a pre-paid plan.

If it's not possible, I'll still probably ditch Verizon and buy a new phone outright that won't tie me down to any particular provider.
i pay $40 a month for unlimited data/text and 1200 minutes from virgin mobile with no contract, so no i won't pay more than twice as much for phone service. that is a really shitty deal
Remember when we were told that T-Mobile absolutely had to be sold? If it was, I doubt we'd be getting this as an option from any of the other carriers.
Screw Tmobiles classic plans, go check out their value plans (if you are by chance still interested in Tmobile). I'm paying about $40 for 500 minutes/unlimited messaging/2 GB data (unlimited just slower speeds after the 2GB). I think Tmobile offers good coverage for Seattle, but not the best when roaming through the mid west states. Also, their phone selection/prices sorta sucks. Seems like their retail prices for phones are bumped up at least $100 more than other retailers.
This is all just incredibly depressing in comparison with prices in, say, the UK. The US has no remotely affordable contractless mobile internet options. T-Mobile UK offers 6 months for £20-… (throttled after 500 MB). Not £20 per month. £20 for all six months. US cell phone plan prices are highway robbery.
I can't get their "check your coverage" page to work - hopefully it's getting slammed.

I have Verizon, and I hate them.
No contracts on Virgin Mobile either -- a range of phones to choose from, and affordable plans.…

From iphones to androids to cells with some web capability, I've gotten pretty great coverage over the years, get 1,500 minutes for $30 a month on my little 19.99 cell.

However, I could switch to an Android and similar minutes for $49-$100 for phone, and $45 a month.
I'm amazed that no one has mentioned Ting yet.

@1, et al.: The problem I have with Republic is that, if everyone uses the cell network all the time, they'll go broke. I prefer to use a provider with a sustainable business model.

@5: Ting has LTE, even with BYOD. For the vast majority of users, they will be much cheaper than any of T-Mobile's new plans, and without any contract in sight.

@10: With Ting, the marginal cost for using 100 megabytes of data per month is $3. For people who are in Wi-Fi range 95% of the time, it's hard to imagine a better deal.
@27, yup. Since the only data I ever need is a particular giant spreadsheet, I could care less about GB of data. I'm never that far from a real computer, anyways. Ting, ting, ting. Gets even better if you're a family, because you can combine your minutes, texts, and MB with your partner's on the same bill -- we pay ~$20 for TWO phones. I would never go back -- and I was happy with T-Mo, just not with paying them close to a thousand bucks a year for something I touched twice a day (get your mind out of the gutter!)
FYI: Republic, Virgin and Ting all resell Sprint's network, they do not have their own. Also means no GSM worldphones.
If I didn't care about what kind of phone I wanted, I'd get Republic.

I've had T-Mo for a while now and one thing people don't realize is just how much spectrum (and cash) they got from that failed AT&T deal. And with fewer customers using T-Mo, they truly do have more bandwidth than AT&T. Case in point, I'm writing this from a NJ hotel room with my business partner. I'm getting approximately 19Mbps down on T-Mo's not-really-4G-HSPA-network, while he's getting 2Mbps down on AT&T's certified-real-4G-LTE network. We had similar experiences in Boston and Seattle - that so-called faster network isn't so fast when everyone and their uncle has an iPhone.

Which... is probably the one reason they're not doing so well. Their lack of an iPhone means fewer people will be willing to switch to them. But if you can get an unlocked* CDMA iPhone 5, it will work with T-Mo's current GSM network and their future 3.5G HSPA+ network. If you buy the unlocked GSM iPhone 5, it will work on their current 3.5G HSPA+ network (although only at 21Mbps) and future 4G LTE network (which will be in the same bands as AT&T). And you can save $20-40/mo over Verizon and AT&T while you do it.

*the CDMA bands won't be unlocked, but these phones also support GSM which is unlocked
I have had a pay as you go with T-mobile for about 3 years now and have not had any real problems with it. The same issues of occasional dropped calls that you get with any service provider and those typically occur when talking to someone else using a cell phone.

At $30.00 for 1500min/texts per month I'm fine. I don't need a fancy phone with gadgets to get online I can use my computer for that. Besides, if I could get online all of the time I would spend all of my time watching cat videos and I wouldn't get anything done.

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