12th June 2012
There is a calculator at the end of the article that lets you see how it breaks down for you. I ran a lot of numbers through it and I think I have the algorithms figured out. There are three parts to the rate:
1. A base price just to service the account = $0 if you only have basic phones, $10 if you only have tablets/jetpacks/USB (or basic phones), and a max of $50 if you have any smartphones on the account.
2. A per-device charge = $40 per smartphone, $30 per basic phone, $20 per jetpack/USB, and $10 per tablet.
3. A usage charge = $10 per 2GB of usage.
Plus taxes, of course, which is never shown in the rate, but ends up only being around $5-10.
Looking at the individual plan rates, most of those people will probably want to keep their current plans unless they have more than the minimum plan or have an iPad or jetpack — under the new plan, one smartphone + 2GB is $100, which would break even with 900 minutes (vs 450 minimum), 1000 messages and 2GB.
But for family plans, it’s different - it’s funny how similar these new rates look to the current rates for family plans … in my case, I have two iPhones on a small family plan (700 minutes + 2GB each + 1000 messages each), which is:
1. $50 to service the account.
2. per phone = $10.
3. per phone = $30 for the minimum of 2 GB data + $10 for 1000 messages.
When you break it down this way, you can see what they did = they swapped the old $10 to service the phone and $40 usage ($30 for 2GB data + $10 SMS) -to- $40 to service the phone + $10 for usage. So for people on plans like mine, this is a break-even deal, with a few perks:
1. The new plan is worse if I wasn’t using SMS at all, is the same with 1000 messages each, and is better if I wanted unlimited SMS (SMS is now unlimited in the new plan).
2. The new plan is the same for 700 minutes of voice, but would be better if I was using more than that.
3. And the new data plan is better overall - I can save money by dropping to 2GB combined (which I cannot do now), it’s the same for 4GB total, and if I need more than 4GB, it’s $10 per 2GB in the new plan vs the current rate of $30/$25/$16 per 2GB for the base amount. I’m guessing that overages are also $10 per 2GB in the new plan vs the current $10 per 1GB overage. Not sure how mobile hotspot works here - they haven’t released details on that yet.
I also have a “jetpack” (4G LTE card) with a $50 plan for the minimum 5GB plan (even though I typically use less than 2GB). In the new plan, I could add it for $20 and bump my usage up by 2GB for a total of $30 (or $20 saved).
And I could use that savings to add my iPad (I have 4G but have not turned it on yet) for just $10 + $10 for another 2GB. Overall, the plan works for me - I’ll be switching on June 28.