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T-Mobile introduces prepaid BlackBerry

It’s getting harder to believe, but there were days when prepaid phones were limited to very basic and usually outdated models. That still exists, of course, but over the years we’ve seen prepaid companies upgrade their offerings. Now, instead of offering only three- and four-year-old phones, some companies are offering two-year-old phones — and some are even offering new models. Earlier this year we saw MetroPCS introduce the BlackBerry Curve 8330. Since then they and other carriers have added more advanced devices. T-Mobile jumped into the fray this week with their new deal, T-Mobile Complete.

Complete isn’t much different than T-Mobile’s normal prepaid offering. The difference is that instead of the pay-as-you-go style, they will operate in the same way as a flat-rate, unlimited carrier. Customers will be able to buy a phone from Best Buy or Wal-Mart and instantly activate it. Instead of buying refill cards, customers can select from unlimited plans starting at $50 per month. And, like the unlimited regional carriers, the first month is free with T-Mobile Complete.

What makes this offer a bit more enticing is the inclusion of the prepaid BlackBerry Curve 8520 smartphone. There’s no word on how much the device will cost, nor exactly how much the unlimited plan will cost (expect up to $65 per month). It won’t be cheap, but it’s an advanced device on a prepaid basis. T-Mobile knows that this is a significant offer, as they’re playing up their status as the first national carrier to offer a prepaid BlackBerry. I’m still wondering how much attention they will get for it.

T-Mobile is playing this up as a holiday gift, as can be expected this time of year. I’m not sure the devices will sell that well, though. The device itself will probably be around $150, and the service plan won’t be cheap. Any takers?

Update: The Curve 8520 will cost $299.99. That’s a bit steep.