Let’s say you were going to purchase a mobile phone. Let’s say that you had perhaps foolishly decided that the only phone you are interested in purchasing is a Nokia 3650. If you lived in the United States, that would mean that your two choices for carriers are AT&T Wireless and T-Mobile. Both offer nationwide plans that are roughly the same — $39.99 per month for around 600 minutes. But for the cool extras, it seems like the prices diverge radically.

If I understand T-Mobile properly, they offer their “t-zones” service on an unlimited basis for $9.99 a month. That gives you web, email, and AIM access as well as the ability to send your digital photos around without worrying about megabytes and things like that.

Looking at AT&T Wireless, it seems like “mMode” plans cost between $2.99 and $19.99, and the $19.99 plan only gives you 8MB per month. To add insult to injury, multimedia messages are an additional 40 cents per message.

Can the prices really be that different? If you have knowledge of the thicket of cellular pricing schemes, please send email. Also, if you have a T-Mobile horror story, please let me know. It seems to me that only a fool would go with AT&T Wireless given the price discrepancy.