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T-Mobile USA

Sunday, October 31, 2004; Page F08

Phone: 800-866-2453; Web: www.t-mobile.com; Type: Digital (GSM)

SERVICE PLANS:

_____Headlines_____
When Cell Phones Go Bad
How to Make the Right Call on Service
_____Service Details_____
Cingular Wireless
Nextel
Sprint PCS
T-Mobile
Verizon Wireless
_____Direct Comparisons_____
'Real World' Costs
Fine Print
Messaging and Web Options
Reviewer's Notes
_____About This Guide_____
For explanations of what plans we list, how the coverage maps were created, and what the "real world cost" categories mean, click here.
_____Local Tech News_____
Independence Numbers Fall (The Washington Post, Dec 7, 2004)
DirecTV to Sell Half of Hughes Network Systems to SkyTerra (The Washington Post, Dec 7, 2004)
Recruiter Puts Its Money Where Its Workers Are (The Washington Post, Dec 6, 2004)
More Headlines
Tech Events Calendar

"Regional Rate"
$49.99: 3,000 anytime minutes, then 35 cents/minute.

No long-distance or roaming charges in Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and Washington; elsewhere, roaming adds 49 cents/minute and long-distance adds 20 cents/minute.

"National Get More America"
$19.99: 60 anytime minutes, 500 weekend minutes, then 45 cents/minute.
$29.99: 300 anytime minutes, unlimited weekend minutes, then 40 cents/minute.
$39.99: 600 anytime minutes, unlimited night/weekend minutes, then 40 cents/minute.
$39.99: 1,000 minutes, then 40 cents/minute.
$59.99: 1,000 anytime minutes, unlimited night/weekend minutes, then 40 cents/minute.
No roaming or long-distance charges.

"Family Time"
$49.99: 400 anytime minutes, unlimited night/weekend minutes, then 40 cents/minute.
$69.99: 800 anytime minutes, unlimited night/weekend minutes, then 35 cents/minute.
Plans cover two phones; additional phones, up to five total, add $10 each. No roaming or long-distance charges. Free calls to other T-Mobile phones.

Messaging/Web/etc.
Text messages 5 cents each, or $2.99 for 300 messages, $6.99 for 1,000 messages. Web access costs $4.99 and requires GPRS phone; download speeds up to 54 kbps.

Fine print
One-year contract required, but can change plans without penalty. 14-day trial. "Weekend" means 12:01 a.m. Sat.-11:59 p.m. Sun.; "night" means 9:01 p.m.-6:59 a.m. Prepaid "T-Mobile to Go" service available, starting at $10 for 30 minutes or 30 days and $25 for 90 minutes or 90 days.

Smartphones offered
BlackBerry 6230, 6710, 7100t, 7230 and 7730; HP iPaq h6315; Nokia N-Gage QD; PalmOne Treo 600; Sidekick II; T-Mobile Pocket PC 2003 Phone Edition

Real-world cost estimates
1: Light use (30 minutes): $19.99

2: Moderate use (three hours): $29.99

3: Heavy use (eight hours): $39.99

4: Land-line replacement (20 hours): $59.99

5: Chatty couple (six hours, two phones): $49.99

REVIEWER'S NOTES:
T-Mobile, last year's weakest performer, closed the gap a bit this year. We did find areas where the signal was dramatically weaker than other carriers, but fewer than a year ago; this is real progress. If your own calls don't extend to rural areas and you find that T-Mobile's plans meet your use better than those of competitors, you might find that occasional static or dropouts are acceptable tradeoffs.

-- John Breeden II


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