T-Mobile announces new phone replacement schedule

T-Mobile is truly turning the cell phone market on its head.  Earlier this year they announced no more two-year contracts and today they unveiled a new plan allowing subscribers to replace their phone every six months.  The new program is called JUMP! and costs an extra $10 a month, which includes premium cell phone insurance.  Just the insurance alone would cost you $8 a month by itself.

If you’re unfamiliar with how T-Mobile works, you can either buy a phone outright and then choose a monthly service plan, or you can pay a minimum amount on the phone and then pay around $20 a month for the next two years to pay off the phone.  This is similar to how AT&T and Verizon work, but you’re not locked in for two years, the phone may be paid off at any time and there is no penalty for leaving T-Mobile before the two years are up.  With JUMP! you can still pay the minimum amount required for a phone, and then you’ll pay $30 a month with the option to upgrade in six months.  The kicker is you’re not responsible for paying off the remainder owed on your phone when you upgrade.

So what’s the catch?  For me, it’s the fact T-Mobile still does not have adequate coverage where I live.  At best I could receive 2G data and have “acceptable” voice signal where I live.  That’s what I call unacceptable.  If i lived in a more heavily populated area like LA, NYC or Atlanta, I’d be signing up tomorrow.  For now Verizon still seems to be the best deal for me because of their data/voice coverage and the discount available to me through my employer.