Now that the iPhone 4S will be available on three different US carriers, it's time to revisit data and voice plans available with each company. Aside from differences in their networks, AT&T, Verizon and now Sprint have a variety of pricing structures available to meet your mobile needs. Overall, with AT&T and Verizon offering the iPhone for some time now the two competitors have similar pricing, although Verizon offers more tiers for data and messaging.
Sprint enters the game with higher prices for single and family voice calling, however their data option is cheap and simple. A flat ten bucks every month gets you unlimited data and messaging. AT&T and Verizon charge extra for text or MMS message packages and stopped offering unlimited data plans on the iPhone long ago. It remains to be seen if Sprint's unbeatable data plan pricing can attract iPhone 4S customers looking for unlimited data.
Sprint also claims they will not slow down anyone's connection for taking advantage of their $10 unlimited data plan. AT&T and to a lesser extent Verizon subscribers know the pain that iPhone data usage can inflict on a wireless network. Sprint may get more than it bargained for when users start hitting their network hard.
Here are comparisons of monthly charges for calling, data and messaging plans for each carrier. Prices do not include taxes, fees or other extra charges:
|AT&T Mobility||Verizon Wireless||Sprint Nextel|
|Single Voice Plans|
|Family Voice Plans ($10 extra per line, Sprint $20 extra per line)|
|550 minutes (3 line max)||$60||-||-|
|Unlimited ($50 extra per line, Sprint $90 extra per line)||$120||$120||$190|
|Data Plans (1 GB extra $10)|
|200 MB (200 MB extra $15)||$15||-||-|
|Personal Hotspot (2GB extra included, Sprint unlimited)||$20||$20||$30|
|Per message (SMS / MMS)||$0.20 / $0.30||$0.20 / $0.25||-|
|250 messages ($0.10 per extra message)||-||$5||-|
|500 messages ($0.10 per extra message)||-||$10||-|
|Unlimited||$20||$20||Included w/data plan|