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Cell Phone Carrier Showdown: The best unlimited cellular plans

Published
The high-def war may be over, but thanks to Verizon Wireless, a new war is just on the horizon — one that consumers can actually benefit from. Last week, Verizon Wireless announced its plans to offer a $99.99/month unlimited calling plan with no long distance or roaming fees. Verizon's new plan jolted AT&T and T-Mobile into immediate action, with both companies announcing unlimited plans of their own just hours after Verizon's news. And just today, Sprint unveiled its offering for unlimited calling. But which carrier's plan is the best deal? We put them side-by-side to find out.

Unlimited Calling
Unlimited Txt/Pictures
Unlimited Web
Other Features
Price
AT&T
Talk Unlimited
Yes
No
No
None
$99.99
AT&T
Talk & Text Unlimited
Yes
Yes
No
None
$119.99
AT&T
Talk, Text, & Web Unlimited
Yes
Yes
Yes
MEdia Mall, AT&T Mobile Music, Cellular Video
$134.99
Sprint
Simply Everything
Yes
Yes
Yes
Sprint TV, Sprint Music, GPS Navigation
$99.99
T-Mobile
Yes
Yes
No
None
$99.99
Verizon
Basic Plan
Yes
No
No
None
$99.99
Verizon
Select Plan
Yes
Yes
No
None
$119.99
Verizon
Premium Plan
Yes
Yes
Yes
V CAST VPak, VZ Navigator
$139.99

Without a doubt, Sprint's "Simply Everything" plan offers the best deal. Not only is its $99.99 plan all-inclusive, but existing Sprint customers can switch over to the new plan without fears of breaching their current contract. (New Sprint members will have to sign up for a 2-year agreement.) It's worth noting that AT&T charges an additional $10 per month if you opt for its "Talk, Text, & Web Unlimited" plan and own a BlackBerry or PDA. Furthermore, iPhone owners who don't use over 900 air time minutes each month are better off staying with AT&T's current Talk, Text, & Web 900 plan, which goes for $94.99/month. Well, that's until Apple announces a 3G iPhone that can really take advantage of unlimited Web access.

Please note that, although prices sometimes fluctuate or expire unexpectedly, all products and deals mentioned in this feature were available at the lowest total price we could find at the time of publication (unless otherwise specified).
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