I’ve been with Verizon for several years, and have been basically happy with their service. Recently, I’ve even been pretty happy with their pricing – it’s come down, overall, for what we use. Service at my house is a little sketchy, but that’s partially because my house is a virtual Faraday cage. Getting any kind of signal inside is hard (I’m looking into an outdoor antenna and indoor femtocell). I’ve even enjoyed Verizon’s deal with the NFL, giving me an option to stream games (over my crappy CenturyLink DSL line) now that I’ve cut the TV cord.
But damn, T-Mobile has been putting together a pretty compelling option.
- No contract. Everyone’s basically ditching contracts, though, and I like it.
- BingeOn. The ability to stream Netflix and Hulu without counting against my data cap? Um, yes. And yes, I know it’s 480p quality, and when I’m watching on my phone – essentially an animated postcard – that’s fine. Oh, also, I’m getting a microwave antenna on the roof next week to replace my craptastic CenturyLink DSL. So streaming at home will be in HD over that new connection, anyway. I just want to be able to catch up on Daredevil while I’m on the treadmill, and BingeOn should make that a lot cheaper.
- Unlimited data option for phones. Tablets don’t get this, and T-Mo is pretty clear about what “unlimited” means. After 23GB of use per device, that device gets speed throttled for the rest of the period. That’s fine with me – it’s more than double the data allowance I have with Verizon anyway.
- Tethering. On the unlimited plan, a separate 15GB bucket is available for tethering your laptop. Again, that alone is more than my total data cap with Verizon.
- No sharing. This is actually a bit of a downside, as I’m ending up buying more data total across two phones and two tablets than I will probably ever use. But that’s only costing me about $10/mo extra, so it’s not a big deal. But I had gotten used to the Giant Shared Bucket. Of course, I’m going from a flat 12GB bucket to a 58GB bucket split across four devices, so… OK.
- Canada and Mexico. T-Mo lets me use my LTE data and texting throughout North America for no extra fee. No roaming. This is big for me, as I get to Mexico a good bit, and am used to dropping another $50 per trip to use data there.
- No international roaming for data or texts, and $.20/min voice calls from overseas. OMG this is huge for me. Huge. Sure, in some countries (yay, Finland!) it’s cheap and easy to get a prepaid SIM for a week or two; in other countries (boo, France!) it’s all but impossible for visitors due to anti-terrorism laws. Being able to use my data – even if it’s just at 3G speeds – overseas is massive for me.
- Rollover data. As if all that data weren’t enough, unused data on my tablet plans (which are 6GB/mo, the lowest plan offering rollover) rolls over for up to a year. If I do this, I’ll start the tablets here. I’m honestly not sure I need 6GB a month anyway – I may end up knocking the tablets to the lowest 2GB plan, which doesn’t offer all the same international and rollover benefits, so we’ll see. It’d be a $120/year savings per tablet (times two tablets), so it’s significant enough that I’ll be paying close attention.
So I’m kind buying the whole “un-carrier” hype. We’ll see; T-Mo used to have pretty awful coverage in Vegas, and they’ve invested hugely. They just bought naming rights for our new stadium, too, which should incentivize them to providing pretty solid coverage here. I’ll keep ya posted.