Competition between cell service providers is only getting more fierce by the day. As companies like Cricket, T-Mobile, and Verizon, jockey for clients, digital streaming is now making the race even more complex. While consumers want the best for their money, how are they supposed to discern the most valuable and cost-efficient plans besides trusting that AT&T’s fictional Lily has got their back? That’s where unbiased consumer advocacy firms come in.
At the beginning of September, Navi released its 2022 US Wireless Plan Report, evaluating and ranking the best available unlimited postpaid phone plans from across the wireless industry. After launching its beta version in 2021, Navi’s free service aggregates wireless phone plan data to simplify comparing plan choices for potential purchasers. Their findings? T-Mobile’s two top plans, Magenta and Magenta Max, decidedly out-scored their equivalents after adjusting for price. With the announcement that T-Mobile will include free Netflix, free Apple TV, and Paramount Plus with its Magenta plans, that competitive gap is growing potentially even larger.
With the 2022 US Wireless Plan Report, Navi located noteworthy developments in the wireless industry from March through June 2022. The resulting report elicited a side-by-side comparison of key plan attributes aligned with each plan tier from major wireless service carriers. The aim is to aid consumers in evaluating which plans offer the best value for their specific needs.
“This report illustrates the diversity in offerings from wireless carriers and how many options consumers have to sort through to find the right deal for them,” Patricio Paucar, co-founder and chief customer officer at Navi, said in a press release. “We hope that by publishing this report, consumers can more easily understand what makes each plan unique and find the best option for their needs.”
As any mobile user knows, people face myriad, often confusing options when choosing a wireless plan. 15 years after the iPhone revolutionized the industry, telecom carriers now offer a seemingly endless combination of plans, perks, and price points. There are plans based on data usage, text limits, streaming loads, and even international options. To produce an apples-to-apples comparison of plans, Navi developed its own “Plan Score” — a methodology that allowed the service to compare “19 postpaid unlimited plans from the six biggest carriers across six feature dimensions.”
T-Mobile’s two top plans, Magenta and Magenta Max, easily out-pace their equivalents at AT&T and Verizon after adjusting for price. After T-Mobile announced that it’s adding Apple Plus to Magenta plans at the end of August, the service now features four available streaming services with premium plans. New and old Magenta Max subscribers will be able to stream Apple TV Plus. Magenta Plan users will get six months of the service, according to the mobile carrier.
With Apple TV Plus on board, T-Mobile now offers four streaming services for its priciest cellular plan. T-Mobile Netflix has long been a standard part of the Magenta and Magenta Max plans. In addition to Paramount Plus, T-Mobile also now offers a free year of Vix Plus, the Spanish-language streaming service created by TelevisaUnivision.
This news is just one of many moves by wireless carriers upgrading bundled streaming services to attract users to upgrade to pricier cell phone plans. Verizon features the Disney bundle — a combo of Disney Plus, ESPN Plus, and Hulu — as well as the option for a free subscription to Apple Arcade or Google Play Pass with more expensive unlimited plans. AT&T previously offered HBO Max, but pulled the option in June. CNET reports that negotiations are in the works to bring it back, but when that might be is a matter not yet resolved.
To compare cell phone plans for yourself, Navi’s Marketplace is now available for free for shoppers to compare the best deals on phones and/or associated phone plans.
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