·Verizon Online DSL
reply to Rob_
Re: [Mobile] Pricing plans for sprint and tmobile City/county/state sales tax (well, sales tax like you would pay on a candy bar at the gas station) doesn't really play into the cost of wireless service. There are different taxes and fees that very by state and tend to be significantly higher than sales tax (e.g. in Texas the rate is about 20% though sales tax is 8.25% on average).
T-Mobile will be cheaper...depending on the phone you get. $70 per month gets you unlimited everything (voice, texting, data) but you either have to buy your phone outright or pay for some of it now and some of it over the next 20 months. A smartphone costs $10-$20 per month this way, depending on how high-end of a phone you get.
Even with a high-end smartphone, T-Mobile is cheaper for unlimited everything than Sprint. HOWEVER 450 minutes plus Any Mobile plus nights and weekends starting at 7pm tends to be enough for most folks on an individual plan with Sprint. So at that point you're comparing $80 per month to $70 per month plus phone payments, which could put T-Mobile at the same level, or more expensive than, Sprint.
Note that tethering is an additional expense on either carrier. With T-Mobile, $10 above their unlimited plan gets you 5GB of tethering, but that data is shared with your on-phone activities. Add another $20 to increase the shared allotment (phone + tethering) to 10GB. By contrast, Sprint's tethering packages ($20 for 2GB, $50 for 6GB) don't mess with the unlimited status of your phone, and can be added/removed as needed (prorated by the day; I do this all the time).
Another factor to think about is phone selection. Specifically with regard to network performance. T-Mobile will be launching LTE in the next six months or so, but as of right now none of their phones support the technology. So their current speeds, while plenty fast (on downloads anyway), are as fast as you'll ever go on that phone without getting a new one.
By contrast, Sprint's high end phones have LTE, which on a good day beats T-Mobile HSPA+ on download speeds (in half the spectrum) and trounces T-Mobile's upload speeds any day of the week (in half the spectrum). The trade-off right now is that you'll be stuck in 3G for the next few months while Sprint builds out your area, but they /have/ started the buildout.
Personally, now is a bad time to sign a contract with T-Mobile in order to get a subsidized phone. If you want to get a phone on T-Mobile, pay full price for the Nexus 4 and then sell it when TMo comes out with LTE.
Mary Esther, FL
What's the bottom line and does sprint have any plans that offer the unlimited data with out the unlimited plans? Honestly, 300 to 500 minutes would be enough for me. I can call after 7PM and it's mostly to different cell phones.
(and what do they charge for taxes and fees)
·Verizon Online DSL
The cheapest plan Sprint proper offers (without going to Virgin Mobile or Boost) for smartphones with unlimited data is $80 per month plus taxes and fees.
Taxes and fees vary by state but will be comparable no matter which of the Big Four you choose. I don't know what the fee percentage is in Florida, but I'd guess between 10 and 20 percent.