Beginning with the proposal from AT&T to buy T-Mobile, both companies have eperienced many ups and downs, and not without affect on the customers. To avoid the confusion, and the uncertain future, rather than renew contracts, get the freedom of unlocked cell phones.
When the merger was first proposed, T-Mobile halted many of its practices, some of which benefitted T-Mobile customers, like getting rid of their collections department. Of course, they’ve also stopped practices that would better service (for example, unless you have an unlocked cell phone, iPhone 4S isn’t on T-Mobile).
For AT&Ts part, the governments no vote on the merger has made them act a little crazy. The largest network, trying to shrink to a permissable size meant selling off spectrum, i.e., your phones service & roaming quality.
Furthermore, if the deal doesn’t go through, AT&T, per the deal, has to give even more spectrum to T-Mobile, as well as billions of dollars in penalties.
If you’re a customer of either company, it would be well worth while to switch to an unlocked cell phone that you can take with you if service tanks, the company sells into unfavorable terms, or something new and (probably) worse happens.
Unlocked cell phones also give you the ability to exist without a contract, meaning you can walk away easily. With the current ups and down the leading and third leading mobile companies are going through, the freedom of unlocked cell phones is doubtless worthwhile!