T-Mobile to offer unlimited, no-contract plans -- and the iPhone

The struggling carrier's LTE 4G network is also beginning to come online

T-Mobile USA hopes to rock the wireless industry today with detailed plans to sell the iPhone and other phones on an unsubsidized basis with no-contract, unlimited data plans.

The iPhone doesn't yet appear on T-Mobile's website, but a new Samsung Galaxy S II in white pops up as its first offering, selling for $414. The Galaxy S can be purchased for a $30 down payment and $16 per month for 24 months. The installment plan doesn't incur any interest.

[ InfoWorld's Galen Gruman explains the new T-Mobile pricing plans and compares them to AT&T, Sprint and Vefizon. | Stay ahead of advances in mobile technology with InfoWorld's Mobile Edge blog and Mobilize newsletter. ]

Phone choices on the T-Mobile site include Android, BlackBerry, and Windows Phone devices, but not an Apple iPhone -- yet. That devcice will go on sale on April 12.

In January, T-Mobile also announced an unlimited voice, text, and data plan for $70 a month with no annual contract. That announcement didn't seem to resonate among phone users and the carrier posting the same press release from January on its site on Monday.

The T-Mobile website now lists details for two other plans for unlimited talk and text, but with high-speed data limited to either 500MB for $50 a month or an added 2GB for $60 a month. There is no contract and no early termination fee.

The data plans support T-Mobile's HSPA+ 3G network, which can average 20Mbps. For the $50 and $60 a month plans, the data works at speeds up to 500MB and 2.5GB, respectively, and then are slowed to 2G speeds, which can often be only 300 Kbps, although T-Mobile doesn't specify that speed.

T-Mobile also noted that it has begun its nationwide LTE 4G deployment. LTE service in Las Vegas and Kansas City became available last week, and availability in Houston, Baltimore, Phoenix, San Jose, Calif., and Washington, D.C. is imminent.

Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen, or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed. His email address is mhamblen@computerworld.com.

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This story, "T-Mobile to offer unlimited, no-contract plans -- and the iPhone" was originally published by Computerworld.

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