2009-06-09

Voice w/ Tethering Plans: AT&T: $100/mo. Verizon: $85/mo?

I commute via rail, and so I've always been interested in adding tethering to my cell phone plan. I figure it'd be a good way to spend my commute other than, um, reading literature.

And now that the iPhone has tethering capabilities, I figured its my perfect opportunity to get more by spending more. Sadly, AT&T hasn't announced its tethering plan yet, but I decided I can infer some information from their existing plans.

I did some research today on AT&T's website, looking into the tethering options for devices they sell now, such as the BlackBerry. I "made" a 450 minute voice plan and added tethering... and the total monthly fee came to $99.99 per month. Certainly more than the $69.99 plan, but clearly tethering will use lots more bandwidth. I also noted that AT&T has a 5 GB cap on their tethering plan.

As a cost comparison, I went to Verizon's online store. They didn't have a tethering option readily visible, so I just made a $450 smartphone plan, and it came to $69.98 per month. Then, I located the Broadband Connect page ... and it suggested that adding tethering to the $69.99 smartphone plan would cost an additional $15.00 per month.

So, if all my math is correct, it seems like for a 450 minute smartphone plan with 5 GB of tethering, the score is: Verizon: $85/mo. AT&T: $100/mo.

One reason why I've liked AT&T is that I knew they were a better deal for the money. Hopefully they'll address this major pricing discrepancy with their competitors. Otherwise, for $15 per month, I may as well go back to Verizon and use my jailbroken iPhone as a client ;-)

2009-06-05

Upgrading from the iPhone 3G to the new iPhone 3GS

I have been very interested in the new iPhone 3GS, and so I decided to take a look to see if it'd be possible to upgrade. I made a few phone calls and did some research.

I learned that AT&T will allow me to upgrade to the iPhone 3GS without special charges after 1 year and 8 months under contract... so, happily I don't have to wait the full 2 years to get my hands on the new iPhone. But since I somewhat recently bought my iPhone, I still have to wait another year before I can upgrade.

However, since I can't wait, I can upgrade to the new iPhone 3GS for a fee - they'll let me upgrade to the new phone if I pay a $200 premium. That means that I'd pay $399 for a phone that usually goes for $199. The $200 "surcharge" is a number that's comparable to the "contract early termination" fee.

I bought my 16 GB iPhone 3G for $299. If I sell it now, I'll have a newer battery and a newer warranty. I feel those improvements are worth $50 to me. And therefore, I feel that IF I can sell my used iPhone for $350, it'd be an easy decision.

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