With the Apple iPhone 4s announcement Sprint was added as the 3rd carrier in the US for the iPhone. If you have read my previous post you know I have had major issues with AT&T and their service in the Atlanta area. I am still under a contract until the end of the year but I decided to check out the current plans from AT&T, Sprint and Verizon to see how they compare for the iPhone 4s with 2 of the devices on a family plan or shared plan.
At first glance it would appear that AT&T and Verizon are the best deal as they have the lowest starting point on price. (these are for family/shared plans with 2 iphone devices). I will run down each provider on what they provide for the price.
$69.99 base price for 700 Minutes and $30 to add unlimited text messaging and any to any mobile minutes. They now have a limit on data so I selected the 2 GB data package as we average a little under 1 GB per month currently as we use wifi a lot. For the 2 GB package it is another $25 for the first phone and $25 more for the 2nd phone. AT&T doesn’t charge a $9.99 fee for the 2nd phone now on the family plan and with the 9% tax it comes to $163.49 per month.
$80.00 base price and 700 Minutes and $9.99 to add unlimited text messaging but no any to any mobile minutes. They also have a limit on data so I selected the 2 GB data package as we average a little under 1 GB per month currently as we use wifi a lot. For the 2 GB package it is another $30 for the first phone and $30 more for the 2nd phone. Verizon also charges a $9.99 fee for the 2nd phone now on the family plan and with the 9% tax it comes to $174.38 per month the highest of the 3 carriers.
$129.99 base price for 1500 Minutes but no charge to add unlimited text messaging and any to any mobile minutes. They do not have a data limit and I would probably not have to worry about switching to wifi so often if I wasn’t worried about going over a limit. For the unlimited data on a smart phone the charge is $10 for the first device and $10 for the second. Sprint doesn’t charge an additional fee for the 2nd phone and with the 9% tax it comes to $163.49 per month tieing AT&T on pricing.
I used 9% to represent all of the additional taxes and government fees as that is approximately what I pay each month now. If anyone has an actual formula to use to generate these fees please let me know.
Corporate and Student discounts
Where this now gets more interesting is the corporate and student discounts. What I have found is that AT&T and Verizon typically offer 10%-15% off the monthly price which isn’t bad. Sprint I have found discounts from 15%-26% depending on your employer or school.
AT&T has the Business Direct website that you can check to see if your company or school is eligible and what the discount is.
Verizon has a Verizon Wireless Discount Program website to check your comapny or school.
I have not found a Sprint site but I would recommend calling customer service or your company’s HR/Benefits department or your School on wireless discounts.
Adding a 25% discount to the sprint plan can be a big cost savings as well as additional minutes and data. Coverage is the next area of concern but that is a person by person decision on where you use your device to know what is the best for you. I think I may be giving Sprint a try as the service can’t get worse for me and I will get a lot more for the money.