The iPhone 5 is just days away, and time when you could get unlimited data from the top two US carriers is gone. Though, and until earlier this week, iPhone owners could only turn to Sprint for all-you-can-eat data. Then T-Mobile announced that it’ll be offering unlimited data – so which company is offering the best iPhone 5 data deal?
Sprint iPhone 5 unlimited data plan doesn’t look so sweet anymore
T-Mobile’s unlimited data – genuinely unlimited – means that it can really compete with Sprint. Sprint, after Verizon and AT&T introduced data sharing, was the only carrier offering unlimited. If T-Mobile gets the iPhone 5 upon release then they’ll be able to go head-to-head with Sprint and have an advantage over the other major networks. And even if they don’t, buying one off-contract will still lead back to eventual savings in the long run thanks to their plan pricing.
T-Mobile’s unlimited data plans will go alongside its value and classic offers – people on a classic plan can add unlimited for $89 a month. If you only need 500 minutes a month, this’ll cost $79.99. On a value plan, unlimited data costs $74.99 a month, and 500 minutes is $64.99.
For $74.99 with Sprint, you’ll get texts, unlimited data and 450 minutes of talk time. For 900 minutes you’ll pay $99.99, and unlimited talk time is $109. T-Mobile wins out here as their plans are generous and cheaper.
Right now T-Mobile users get 4G over HSPA+, and around 200 million people in 230 markets are subscribing. T-Mobile is already testing its 1900MHz spectrum which means that the iPhone will very shortly be running on 3G speeds (currently stuck on EDGE). They will also have their LTE network running by the end of 2013. Sprint offers WiMAX, which has fast speeds but doesn’t work on the latest phones like the iPhone. They have 71 markets servicing 130 million users in the US. It has LTE in 16 markets, putting it ahead of T-Mobile but not in a big way (Verizon for instance covers 370 markets).
If you want a data plan that is unlimited then T-Mobile offers a better deal than Sprint even though you will first need to fork out the extra dough to buy an unlocked iPhone 5. But as we’ve always said in the past, if you can avoid contracts make sure you do, the savings are enormous in the long run.