Carrier AT&T vs Sprint vs T-Mobile Family Plan

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by EbookReader, Feb 3, 2014.

  1. EbookReader, Feb 3, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2014

    EbookReader macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2012
    #1
    Each offer unlimited talk and unlimited text. As for data

    AT&T offers 10GB of shared 4G data, overages after the limit
    Sprint offers 1GB of 4G data for each line, overages after the limit
    T-Mobile offers 500MB of 4G data for each line, throttled to unlimited 2G data after



    These are the cheapest Family Plan (no subsidy) for these carriers. Sprint and T-Mobile Plan allow any particular line to add more data for a fee.

    2 lines on AT&T: $130
    2 lines on Sprint Framily: $100
    2 lines on T-Mobile: $80


    3 lines on AT&T: $145
    3 lines on Sprint Framily: $135
    3 lines on T-Mobile: $90


    4 lines on AT&T: $160
    4 lines on Sprint Framily: $160
    4 lines on T-Mobile: $100


    5 lines on AT&T: $175
    5 lines on Sprint Framily: $175
    5 lines on T-Mobile: $110




    10GB on AT&T SHARED data
    3GB on EACH Sprint Framily line (all line need 3GB of data)
    2.5GB on EACH T-Mobile line (all line need 2.5GB of data)



    2 lines on AT&T: $130
    2 lines on Sprint Framily: $120
    2 lines on T-Mobile: $100


    3 lines on AT&T: $145
    3 lines on Sprint Framily: $165
    3 lines on T-Mobile: $120


    4 lines on AT&T: $160
    4 lines on Sprint Framily: $200
    4 lines on T-Mobile: $140


    5 lines on AT&T: $175
    5 lines on Sprint Framily: $225
    5 lines on T-Mobile: $160



    T-Mobile and Sprint Family Plan are more flexible in which if a line doesn't need a lot of data (500MB / 1GB), it will be a $$$ saving.

    AT&T and Verizon are "Shared" Data. So if a line only need 500MB, there won't be $$$ saving. The extra data not needed will just be given/shared with other lines.
     
  2. mattopotamus macrumors G4

    mattopotamus

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2012
    #2
    I may be wrong, but sprint has been in trouble for a while now. I don't know a single person IRL who uses sprint.
     
  3. mtneer macrumors 68020

    mtneer

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2012
    #3
    How is this a fair comparison? One offers 10GB of data and the others offer 500MB? While each data plan may appeal to different users, to have a fair comparison, you ought to measure them on an equal yardstick.
     
  4. siroht macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2013
    Location:
    Dallas
    #4
    mtneer is correct....if anything this is a more fair comparison.


    [​IMG]
     
  5. barkomatic macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2008
    Location:
    Manhattan
    #5
    Interesting. According to this chart AT&T is the cheapest in almost every category here and has the better overall network (except for Verizon) when you assume 10GB of data for each plan. I wonder how John Legere is going to spin this.

    Then again, for those with a single line or who want less data it may be a different story. I guess AT&T wins the 10GB family plan option though.
     
  6. siroht macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2013
    Location:
    Dallas
    #6
    Exactly. AT&T is a force to be reckoned with at this point. Arguably Verizon has the strongest coverage, however when it comes to falling back on 2nd tier coverage HPSA 21 vs CDMA 3G, ATT win hands down.

    Carrier Quality of Service has so many variables with different results for many people across geographical areas. Example, I live in a area where all 4 carriers have a strong LTE buildout, therefore if I were to never leave my area it would come down to which carrier can offer me the lowest family plan price. In reality I travel quite frequently in the States and abroad and the key qualities I look at for my travel requirements are reliability (Coverage), technology (GSM vs CDMA with GSM being my personal preference) and costs. Now looking at the comparison chart all but 1 of my requirements are transparent, coverage. Therefore I can narrow my choices down to tmobile or ATT, based on GSM capabilities and costs. However when you go to their respective coverage maps, ATT is the clear winner (US only).

    My point is we can't make a blanket case of which carrier is BEST solely on price, data allowance, etc. It really boils down to individual needs, usage type (data vs text vs call minutes).

    In conclusion, there are people who are die hard Sprint customers, despite constantly hearing and experiencing, the fact that their network is inferior in every carrier measured category(technology not customer base).
     
  7. EbookReader thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2012
    #7
    10GB at AT&T shared data
    3GB on EACH Sprint Framily lines
    2.5GB on EACH T-Mobile lines





    2 lines on AT&T: $130
    2 lines on Sprint Framily: $120
    2 lines on T-Mobile: $100


    3 lines on AT&T: $145
    3 lines on Sprint Framily: $165
    3 lines on T-Mobile: $120


    4 lines on AT&T: $160
    4 lines on Sprint Framily: $200
    4 lines on T-Mobile: $140


    5 lines on AT&T: $175
    5 lines on Sprint Framily: $225
    5 lines on T-Mobile: $160
     
  8. CEmajr macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2012
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    #8
    Notice that it's comparing 10GB of shared data to T-Mobile/Sprint UNLIMITED data, not the 2.5GB per line which would be a more equal comparison. All of the carriers will spin it to make their plans look the cheapest. Overall, T-Mobile is still cheaper but not by as much as they used to be.

    Here's an accurate comparison of the data allotments and the cost of iPhones over 2 years on the 3 carriers.

    AT&T
    4 Lines, 10GB Shared = $160 + 4 iPhone 5S ($32.50/mo for 20 months) = $290/mo = $6440 over 2 years

    T-Mobile
    4 Lines, 10GB at 2.5GB/line = $140 + 4 iPhone 5S ($27/mo for 24 months) = $248/mo = $5952 over 2 years

    Verizon
    4 Lines, 10GB Shared = $260 per month, $800 due at signup for 4 iPhone 5S = $7,040 over 2 years

    Bottom line, AT&T's new plans mean Verizon is in trouble.

    I know a few and they all complain about dropped calls, delayed messages, and terrible data speeds.
     
  9. siroht macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2013
    Location:
    Dallas
    #9

    In all fairness you would need to spread out the iPhone plans to 24 months for all carriers if you're basing your analysis off 2yrs, although ATT next program is a different beast altogether.

    Recalculation for T Mobile vs ATT would come out to $20/month savings and $480/2yr. if you compare apples to apples.

    Since I travel quite frequently the $20 per month savings with tmobile is a mute point. Reliability of coverage is a necessity for my day to day usage. For some, saving $20 per month may be a priority.

    Point... I travel to Central Mississippi every week and when I was with Tmobile it was a total nightmare trying to obtain high speed data to tether my computer with. Ended up having to use one of my co-workers data connection to upload some documents. Depending on what side of the state I traveled to I would sometimes drop calls or simply couldn't make calls until I was near a major interstate(I-20). On a good note, when I came back home to Dallas Tmobile speeds were out of this world, far exceeding the other Big 3. Again, based on your analysis I'm willing to pay >$100 extra per month for solid coverage. As a matter of fact I have been paying in excess of $100 per month with my carrier just for the reliability factor alone. Now with my bill being cut by more than 30% is a definite win win for me.

    If phase 5 of tmobile's Un-carrier promotion was $50 a month for 4 lines, I still wouldn't switch.

    Now that speak volumes!!!!

    I'm pretty sure consumers across all carriers can and will justify why they stick with "X" carrier. In the end only you can put a dollar amount on what's best for you.
     
  10. EbookReader thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2012
    #10
    If a person travel regularly, it's easy to see why T-Mobile is not for them. Even if T-Mobile is much cheaper.

    If a person live and work in a city where T-Mobile coverage is on par with AT&T/Verizon, there will be savings by going with T-Mobile.
     
  11. hudson1 macrumors 6502

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    Jun 12, 2012
    #11
    Wouldn't this be irrelevant for travel outside the USA since all iPhones are CDMA and GSM capable anyway?
     
  12. aneftp macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2007
    #12
    It's amazing T-mobile USA has only had 3G (WCDMA) data since launch of the HTC G1, a little over 5 1/3 years ago back in October 2008. LTE barely launched less than 10-11 months ago.

    T-mobile still has a long way to go in for overall coverall. I've had aerial/voicestream/tmobile from 1996-2011.

    It all boils down to Verizon. What does Verizon do in response to ATT's lastest move. If Verizon doesn't react I will be very interested in seeing the Q1 2014 numbers when they are reported. I own both ATT and Verizon stock.
     
  13. Arran macrumors 68040

    Arran

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2008
    Location:
    Atlanta, USA
    #13
    T Mobile still looks far and away the best for me. I'd go from $220 monthly with AT&T to about $100.

    Yep, four lines on a family plan with more than enough data for the adults will cost me around $100 per month. Sure, the kids will complain about their data throttling, but at least T-Mobile won't charge me any more per month.

    Conversely AT&T will happily rack up charges when the kids overrun their data. Been there, done that.

    Bill predictability is good. Hard limits are good. I'll rethink when AT&T offers them.

    ----------

    I don't think you can do a meaningful comparison. Both companies are going after different markets with different needs. It's like comparing a Mercedes with a smart car. They both offer what a particular segment wants.
     
  14. phpmaven macrumors 68040

    phpmaven

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2009
    Location:
    San Clemente, CA USA
    #14
    Another thing to consider is that T-Mobile doesn't have any overages for anything. I just switched to T-Mobile from AT&T, and I seemed to be getting hit with overages for something almost every month. I guess it depends on the plan, but it seems to me that if T-Mobile works well for you where you live, it's a no-brainer. I also love their "Jump" option. I'll be upgrading to the iPhone 6 even though I just started with them last month. Pretty sweet!
     
  15. Apple Trees macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 28, 2013
    #15
    T-Mobile is the cheapest, Sprint a little more, then AT&T,and of course Verizon is the most expensive.

    You get what you pay for in most cases. Verizon is the most reliable, followed by AT&T, though I would put T-Mobile slightly ahead of Sprint but that's not saying much.
     
  16. EbookReader thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2012
    #16
    [​IMG]

    10GB shared data compare to UNLIMITED DATA.

    A better comparison would be

    10GB at AT&T shared data
    3GB on EACH Sprint Framily lines
    2.5GB on EACH T-Mobile lines



    2 lines on AT&T: $130
    2 lines on Sprint Framily: $120
    2 lines on T-Mobile: $100


    3 lines on AT&T: $145
    3 lines on Sprint Framily: $165
    3 lines on T-Mobile: $120


    4 lines on AT&T: $160
    4 lines on Sprint Framily: $200
    4 lines on T-Mobile: $140


    5 lines on AT&T: $175
    5 lines on Sprint Framily: $225
    5 lines on T-Mobile: $160


    Either way, this means that Sprint is in trouble. Their family pricing is not so competitive anymore.
     
  17. KillaMac Suspended

    Joined:
    May 25, 2013
    #17
    They were the cheapest. Not any more.
     
  18. Apple Trees macrumors 6502

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    May 28, 2013
    #18
    Who's cheaper? I don't think anyone would sign up for T-Mobile service if they weren't the cheapest.
     
  19. KillaMac Suspended

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    May 25, 2013
    #19
    As proven above At&t is now beating them on prices.
     
  20. bobright, Feb 5, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2014

    bobright macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2010
    #20
    How bad is the data throttling with T Mobile, does it slow things to a crawl THAT bad where say browsing a forum is unbearable? I'm assuming you couldn't use GPS if your data was being throttled?

    I am looking to save and weighing all my options. We'll be getting new iPhones through them, have heard some stuff though about TMobile iPhones not being as fast as AT&T models or unlocked models as far as the 4G/3G so that scares me away a bit any truth to this?
     
  21. EbookReader thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2012
    #21
    AT&T beating T-Mobile in price?

    Where?


    AT&T offers 10GB of shared 4G data, overages after the limit
    Sprint offers 1GB of 4G data for each line, overages after the limit
    T-Mobile offers 500MB of 4G data for each line, throttled to unlimited 2G data after


    2 lines on AT&T: $130
    2 lines on Sprint Framily: $100
    2 lines on T-Mobile: $80


    3 lines on AT&T: $145
    3 lines on Sprint Framily: $135
    3 lines on T-Mobile: $90


    4 lines on AT&T: $160
    4 lines on Sprint Framily: $160
    4 lines on T-Mobile: $100


    5 lines on AT&T: $175
    5 lines on Sprint Framily: $175
    5 lines on T-Mobile: $110




    10GB on AT&T shared data
    3GB on EACH Sprint Framily line
    2.5GB on EACH T-Mobile line



    2 lines on AT&T: $130
    2 lines on Sprint Framily: $120
    2 lines on T-Mobile: $100


    3 lines on AT&T: $145
    3 lines on Sprint Framily: $165
    3 lines on T-Mobile: $120


    4 lines on AT&T: $160
    4 lines on Sprint Framily: $200
    4 lines on T-Mobile: $140


    5 lines on AT&T: $175
    5 lines on Sprint Framily: $225
    5 lines on T-Mobile: $160
     
  22. Arran macrumors 68040

    Arran

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2008
    Location:
    Atlanta, USA
    #22
    Sorry if my post was misleading. I'm still with AT&T. Moving to T Mobile this summer.

    I predict throttling will be fine since my wife and I use very little data. I rarely approach 1GB. She's under 500MB. The kids use 2-4 GB each. They'll adapt.

    We use the TomTom app for navigation. It uses maps stored on the phone - so data isn't an issue. It works offline.

    Interesting development yesterday: After five years, I dumped my AT&T unlimited data on two lines along with the individual data plans on the other two. Should've done it sooner (like when AT&T started throttling unlimited?). Now we're all on the AT&T family share for $160 plus fees and tax. Saves me ~$50/month... until my next move. :D

    Good to see some real cell competition for once. Customers winning. Long overdue. Thanks T-Mobile.
     
  23. EbookReader thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2012
    #23
    You can get your kids the 2.5GB of data for $10 extra per line if they can't adapt.

    $50 + $30 + $10 + $10 for 4 lines

    + $10 for 2.5GB for line #3
    + $10 for 2.5GB for line #4

    The total will be $120. $40 cheaper than AT&T.
     
  24. rockitdog macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2013
    #24
    Coverage vs no coverage/ poor data network. Guess which is which. You get what you pay for folks.
     
  25. KillaMac Suspended

    Joined:
    May 25, 2013
    #25
    You are the one who posted it.

    [​IMG]

     

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