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Are T-Mobile customers better off with AT&T GoPhone?

The pending merger between AT&T and T-Mobile has the latter’s customers in limbo. What will become of them if the acquisition passes regulatory muster? We know that AT&T will fold the T-Mobile brand and reap the customers, but will they be accommodating to T-Mobile customer plans? According an AT&T executive, T-Mobile will keep its current pricing structure. We don’t know for how long, and we don’t know if non-contract customers will be afforded such a luxury. But it does bring up an important question: are T-Mobile prepaid customers better off with AT&T GoPhone?

Unlimited Plan

Both T-Mobile and AT&T have prepaid unlimited plans. AT&T has three options: $2/day on days you use the phone, a flat $60 per month, or the inclusion of 200MB of data for $75 per month. T-Mobile has a $50 plan that contains 100MB of data, and a $70 plan that includes 2GB of data. Both are better values than their AT&T counterparts. It’s amazing, really, that T-Mobile’s $70 plan contains 10 times the data of AT&T’s plan that is $5 more expensive.

Other Monthly Plans

AT&T has dropped its other monthly plans and only has pay-as-you-go. T-Mobile has quite a great plan: any combination of 1,500 messages or minutes, plus 30MB of data, for $30 per month. They also have an unlimited monthly text plan, with minutes costing 10 cents each, for $15 per month.

Pay-as-you-go rate

This is where AT&T has T-Mobile. Their pay-as-you-go rate is 10 cents per minute. There used to be a $1 daily fee associated with this rate, but that is gone. With T-Mobile you have to buy $100 worth of minutes before you get that 10 cents per minute rate. The $10 card, for instance, provides only 30 minutes, or 33 cents per minute.

Text Messaging and Other Extras

If you don’t have a text messaging plan, AT&T charges an astounding 20 cents per message sent and received. T-Mobile charges a much more reasonable 10 cents per sent message and 5 cents per received message. Both charge 25 cents for multimedia messages.

AT&T charges 1 cent per KB for data, and has a 1MB data plan for $4.99 per month and a 100MB plan for $19.99 per month. T-Mobile doesn’t have a la carte data, but instead charges $1.49 for 24 hours of mobile web access.

T-Mobile also has two unlimited international plans that include unlimited calls to landlines in 50 countries and unlimited texting and discounted calling to over 220 countries. The plan with 100MB of data costs $60 per month and the plan with 2GB of data costs $80 per month. AT&T charges 25 cents per sent international text message, and 20 cents per received message. Calling is a much more expensive proposition, though there is a standard roaming plan for Mexico.

In Sum

T-Mobile prepaid customers had better hope that AT&T’s statement about customers keeping their rate plans holds true for prepaid, because T-Mobile prepaid has many advantages over its AT&T counterpart.