April 1, 2011 | by Michael Heller
The T-Mobile purchase is nowhere near being final, but AT&T is already increasing prices. Of course, if the FCC ask about it, I’m sure AT&T will simply say that they had to protect themselves from the increasingly fast iterations in smartphones. But, in my view as a T-Mobile off-contract smartphone user, this does not bode well for the future.
AT&T’s new policy changes are direct shots against people like me. The changes increase the price of feature phones, but the changes for smartphones are the bigger issue. The changes break down as:
- Increase price of smartphone by $150 on 1-year contracts
- Increase price of smartphone by $50 off-contract
This is obviously a plan to disincentivize shorter and off-contract customers, and encourage adoption of 2-year contracts, something Verizon did in its pricing plans not too long ago. T-Mobile has the most aggressive off-contract options of any carrier with their no-longer-published Even More Plus plans, which are cheaper per month than anything else in the American market.
I’m not the biggest fan of the AT&T purchase of T-Mobile to begin, because I don’t like the idea that AT&T will have a monopoly on GSM in the USA (and LTE is not the global standard yet.) These changes in pricing are making me even more wary of this deal.