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We've been waiting for change in the mobile industry for a long time. Some of us are probably still waiting for it in key areas, but for the most part we're seeing some real change. Progress, even. It was never going to happen over night, but the fact we're seeing it happen at all is good news. Especially for the future.

But some things will change a bit slower than others. It's just the way things go.

The way that people get their hands on phones has finally changed here in the U.S.. Post-paid plans have seen their biggest changes since unlimited text messaging was first introduced. (That's only kind of a joke.) The post-paid plan has always been the strongest tent-pole for the biggest wireless carriers, but it's not the only option.

For those who have always preferred to shy away from the two-year (or one-year, back in the day) contract, the pre-paid plan has been there. It used to be blatantly not as good a route as the post-paid, but over the years we've seen most pre-paid plans evolve in the right direction.

Now most of them offer unlimited text and calls, plus other perks, and the data allotment isn't terrible. The really good news, though? They keep changing, and they're heading in the right direction, too. It just takes baby steps.

A lot of them.

Earlier today, AT&T announced some changes to their pre-paid service, known as Go Phone. The changes aren't huge, but they're not small enough to completely ignore, either. An incremental bump in the amount of data some folks get, while also offering the option for mobile hotspot support. The changes give more to the consumer while keeping the prices the same. So, win-win, right? Plus, you're still avoiding that contract.

It got me thinking about that contract, though. More to the point, I couldn't help but wonder how many people out there have rid themselves of a mobile contract in the last year or so. While my fellow Editor Anna doesn't think upgrades are all that important anymore from the carriers, I just want to look at it from the contract perspective, and the other options out there.

Have any of the other ways to get a phone, be it pre-paid or sticking with a month-to-month deal without renewing a contract, swayed you from shying away from another lengthy deal? Or even an agreement with a carrier to pay a phone off in installments? Have you dropped any and all contracts when it comes to the mobile industry? Let me know!


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