T-Mobile is calling and they want your cell phone business with a couple of new developments that herald the end of the contract model in wireless.
The 98-pound weakling of the Big 4 wireless world has a sub-brand called GoSmartMobile.com. They're offering a $45 a month unlimited talk/text/high-speed web (5GBs a month) plan for smartphones.
You can even bring your own phone to this service, much like you would in the rest of the world. The reality is you can get a nice unlocked Android for around $150 if you shop around.
So GoSmartMobile.com basically offers a price match of what Straight Talk does for those who don't like the Wal-Mart affiliation that the latter has.
At the same time, T-Mobile itself is moving away from traditional contract plans. They offer you a payment plan on a fancy cell phone. So instead of giving a phone to you at a subsidized price, they require a down-payment of $99 and then you pay a monthly rental fee, plus whatever you have for your calling plan.
It sounds complicated, but it's not.
All of these moves have T-Mobile very publicly gunning to take over marketshare from AT&T. We'll see if they can do it...