This is what competition is all about and why it benefits consumers.
Image © Boost Mobile
When unlimited cell phone plans came out for $100 (i.e. Sprint's "Simply Everything" plan or the unlimited AT&T "Nation" plan), competition cut the price down to $90 and then $80 (i.e. with Virgin Mobile, which is a Sprint reseller).
But now Boost Mobile, which competes with MetroPCS and Cricket Wireless, on Jan. 22, 2009 began offering a new unlimited voice and data cell phone plan for only $50 with no strings attached.
The plan also comes with unlimited text messaging, unlimited walkie-talkie use, no roaming and unlimited Internet use with no hidden fees, no contract and no credit check.
As Boost Mobile is a subsidiary of Sprint Nextel, its network is nationwide. I reported in Nov. 2008 about an unlimited plan from Cricket Wireless for only $45, but the carrier then was only offering service in 50 U.S. markets in 29 states.
Aug. 25, 2009 update: Prepaid wireless carrier PlatinumTel on Aug. 25, 2009 unveiled a similar unlimited plan for $50 a month.