Figuring out your mobile Exchange support is actually the easy part. It gets more complicated if youre thinking about switching carriers and are trying to figure out what the cost of their data plans are.
Information isn't easy to come by, and the numerous plans and restrictions on type of phone and monthly usage are headache-inducing.
We've tried to sort it out for you and at least give you a starting point for each of the four major carriers. Figure on anywhere from $20 to $60 a month for data on top of what you normally pay for your voice plan. Most data plans do not include text messaging: this carries an additional charge typically.
And of course carriers are constantly changing plan specifics so it is hard to keep track.
AT&T has this PDF rate chart you can download here that has more than a page of fine print conditions.
If youre an existing iPhone customer, you can continue your unlimited data plan, otherwise with a new plan youll have a usage limit of 2 GB. There are two corporate data plans at $40 and $60 a month, depending on whether you want tethering. (Tethering is the ability to connect your laptop to the phone and use the phone broadband connection.)
T-Mobile's data plans can be found here. They have two price points: $40 a month without a contract, $50 with a two-year contract. That sounds backwards, until you realize that you will pay less for the phones with the contract. But it still might be cheaper -- if you have a lot of data users -- to purchase your own phones outside of a T-Mobile contract. There are separate plans for Blackberry and smartphones that include unlimited data, otherwise there are capacity limits on usage.
To get Sprint's data plans you first have to enter your zip code here. For my area, I could get a $60 a month plan that included unlimited data access on both their 3G and 4G networks.
Verizon's data plans can be found here. They have different plans depending on what device you connect and how. They support tethering for $20 a month, and if you have a voice plan you can get 5 GB of usage a month for $50.