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Why your cell phone bill is going up this year

AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile call truce
Posted: 1:27 PM, Feb 28, 2018
Updated: 2018-02-28 19:27:26Z

Remember a few years ago when major carriers were advertising monthly plans for less than $50 a month?

Carriers like Sprint and T-Mobile would advertise their low-priced unlimited data plans, trying to get customers to leave the "big guys," AT&T and Verizon.

The Wall Street Journal  says the price wars are over.

End of battling for budget customers

The report says T-Mobile and Sprint, after their failed merger, are phasing out their low-cost phone and data plans that brought in millions of budget-minded customers.

Unfortunately, that means prices for everyone may be heading up.

The Wall Street Journal says Sprint and T-Mobile have decided to stop battling for deep discount customers, and instead will now compete with AT&T and Verizon for (more profitable) customers willing to pay more.

With less pressure to stay competitive, bills can start creeping up again.

But that's not the only reason your bill is likely to go up.

Fewer free phones

Cell carriers are also ending perks like free or heavily discounted iPhones. iPhones are now considered premium products. If you want an almost-free phone with your plan, you will have to opt for a cheap Android model.

The Wall Street Journal says the new iPhone 8 and 10 are much more expensive than the old 4s and 5s.

So if you want one, be prepared to pay $700 or more, which most people typically roll into their monthly bill, sending that bill even higher.

Cheaper Options

NerdWallet.com did a comparison and said AT&T offers the best deal for a family  if you want to stick with a traditional network.

It also says if a standard plan is too high for you, consider discounters like Boost, Metro PCS and Republic Wireless.

And if you don't mind pre-paying, NerdWallet says Cricket wireless is the best deal for families on a tight budget.

That can help keep that bill down, and so you don't waste your money.

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