T-Mobile cuts 300-minute pay-as-you-go plan in favor of $10/day option: T-Mobile formerly offered 300 minutes for $50 or about $8.33 per hour with a 15-minute minimum usage per session. Minutes supposedly expired 120 minutes after purchase, though many people told me minutes never actually expired in their experience. (I know something about MobileStar-cum-T-Mobile's hot spot billing system, so this makes sense.)
The new option is $9.99 for "24 continuous hours"; it expires 24 hours from purchase or 120 days from purchase, depending on the kind of purchase, I guess. You can still pay $6.00 for one hour and 10 cents per minute thereafter, which is hardly a deal.
I was told back in April that a day plan from T-Mobile was imminent but was asked to not discuss it. The price I'd heard was substantially less: in fact, the $6.00/60 minutes option would have disappeared.
Does this make T-Mobile more competitive? Or are they trying hard to convert occasional users into $20 to $40 per month subscribers? More likely, they push Clay Shirky (see below) from Starbucks to free locations or cheaper per-minute options nearby.
Surf and Sip and FatPort remain the only hot spot networks with wide coverage where, if you buy directly from them, you can pay on all kinds of per-unit plans. Boingo, Wayport, T-Mobile, AT&T Wireless, and Cometa only offer per-large-unit (typically per day) plans, with Wayport's $4.99 for two hours in SF McDonald's being the only major exception.