Today’s Tech

The age of the cell phone contract may be ending

The dreaded two-year cell phone contract.

It limits our ability to upgrade when the next greatest phone is released. It also keeps us tied down under the looming threat of an early-termination fee. But soon, these contracts may become a relic of the past.

T-Mobile, the struggling cell phone provider that pales in comparison to the giants of AT&T, Verizon and Sprint, announced it is abandoning two-year contracts. Instead, it will shift toward selling phones on installment plans, with the cost of the phone added monthly to a plan.

This would mean once you’re finished with paying off your phone, your monthly payment would decrease (much in the way the current system allows you to upgrade with a new contract).

Verizon then announced it will also consider making the switch if enough of its customers demand such. In its system, consumers would pay a larger up-front fee for their devices versus spreading the cost out over several months.

While the debate over how much savings are actually there, the lack of a lock-down contract will increase competition between the providers. This concept, in theory, would be of greater benefit to consumers in the long term.