Let me start out this thread by saying that in the complex world of different carriers, different plans, grandfathered plans that are no longer available to a new subscriber, plan discounts, and now the many ways you can purchase or lease your device, it is impossible to paint a "one picture fits all" approach to deciding which options people should go with when choosing their carrier and plan. It really is up to each person to carefully do their homework and decide which route is best for them. With that being said, here is my situation. What is yours? I'm about to make a big change. For 7 years, I've been holding onto my grandfathered $30 Unlimited Data Plan (UDP) with AT&T. I don't use enormous amounts of data (yet) and usually come in around 2-5 GBs a month. I also have a family plan and my wife has her own data package from AT&T, which is only 250mb a month for $15. You read that right: 250 mega-bytes. She is on wifi most of the time and does not use cell data that often, so she limps by with a meager allotment in an effort to save money. I've been fed-up with AT&T for years. Throttling threats, poor customer service, increasing fees to upgrade every year, you name it. I don't like cell phone companies and AT&T usually aggravates me more then they make me happy. But, I thought I was going to do my best to take my $30 UDP to the grave with me. You've heard it before: I might really need that plan one day! (I've been saying that for years.) Well, with the advent of Apple Music, my data needs will increase. I will also be switching from a 5S to a 6S Plus and I'm sure I'll have the propensity to use the phone even more with the bigger screen, and therefore use more data. Just yesterday, I had a revelation when watching John Legere's latest T-Mobile videos. He resonates with me (as I'm sure he does with many others) about the greed and poor customer service that's so rampant in the U.S. cell phone industry. I decided to dig deeper and see if it was time for a change. Here are the facts for my particular situation: AT&T: $116.50 a month before taxes/fees. Two iPhones (5s) on 2-yr subsidized contract UDP for one phone w/ 1,000 text messages 250 mb for other phone w/ 200 text messages 700 mins, never talk that much No tethering $45 "upgrade fee" for each phone every 2 yrs when getting the subsidized price T-Mobile: $100 a month for 2 phones 10 GB LTE data for each phone Unlimited voice, text, and 2G data for both Can tether as much of my LTE data as I want Data Stash rolls unused data over My streaming music will never count against my allotment Can use my LTE data, voice and text in Canada or Mexico with no fees Unlimited text and 2G data in 120 other countries (no need for a SIM card and unlocked phone) Coverage in the U.S. has vastly improved over the last year and looks to be good in my region Lifetime coverage guarantee. If I'm not happy, they unlock my phone and I walk away at any time As you can see, T-Mobile offers drastically more than AT&T, and without the attitude. And when you measure out the savings of $16.50 a month, it adds up to a savings of $396 over the span of two years. (Which is what I would sign up for if I stayed with AT&T.) Ok, assuming reception is good and it should be, T-Mobile is the clear-cut winner in the monthly services department. But what about buying the phone itself? This comparison looks at the cost of a new device for myself. For brevity, I'll only examine the cost of my new phone and not the cost of my wife's new phone. However, I've run the figures for the model she will be getting and will include that figure in the final analysis at the bottom. AT&T: 128 GB 6s Plus $499 + $45 upgrade fee = $544. Sell it after 2 years for $175 (estimated) and that brings the two-year cost down to $369, or $184.50 per year T-Mobile JOD w/ Introductory Pricing: 128 GB 6s Plus $199 + 12 mos at $22 = $463 if I turn it in and get a new phone at 12 mos 128 GB 6s Plus $199 + 18*22 + $164 = $759 if I pay off everything at 12 mos. Then sell the phone for $475 (estimated) and upgrade to the next iPhone. Out of pocket cost: $284. 128 GB 6s Plus $199 + 18*22 + $164 = $759 if I pay off everything at 18 mos and then wait until the 2-yr point and get the iPhone 7s. Then sell the phone for $175 (estimated) and upgrade to the next iPhone. Out of pocket cost is $584 over two years, or an equivalent of $266 a year. So in the cost of the phone analysis, AT&T comes out ahead, but it requires holding on to the phone for two years. If you want to upgrade after one year with T-Mobile, it is far more advantageous to pay of the phone at the 12 month point, sell the phone, and then upgrade. Turning it back in to T-Mobile, as one would reasonably expect, is a losing proposition if you don't mind selling your phone yourself. So when it comes down to the final analysis, here is what I get if I go with T-Mobile for the next 2 years: Way more tangible benefits. Way, way, more data for my wife. $396 in monthly plan savings versus AT&T. $100 lost on my phone for upgrading at 12 mos (versus 2-yrs with AT&T), but I get to upgrade as a benefit. $115 lost on my wife's phone for upgrading at 12 mos (versus 2-yrs with AT&T). Total saved after two years: $181 The only risk is that I'm letting go of my AT&T UDP forever. But what was it really doing for me anyway? 10 GB a month should be plenty for me and if I ever needed more, T-Mobile's Unlimited LTE is only a few bucks more. And, I gain a tremendous amount of benefits with T-Mobile, to include but not limited to, upping my wife's data allotment from 250 mb to 10 GB. From what I can tell, it's T-Mobile for the win! I know this is a very long post, but hopefully it will help others think about their particular situation and what the true costs really are. I welcome feedback on my analysis and what I'm about to do (especially before midnight tonight and pre-orders begin!) and I also look forward to hearing about others and how they might be able to save money too.