Not minding his corporate manners, the CEO of the nation’s fourth-largest carrier announced that his company plans to take much better care of its customers than any of its rivals.

T-Mobile has officially killed the 2-year contract that is the norm of U.S. phone buying and leaves many consumers feeling like indentured texters. “Carriers are really nice to you … once every 23 months,” said CEO John Legere, quoted by The Verge. T-Mobile will still let customers get a good deal on a new phone — the iPhone is coming in April and will cost $99 plus $20 a month for 24 months — but subscribers can walk away from the service agreement at any time.

Not only is Timo changing business models, it’s slashing prices. For $70 you will get unlimited talk, text and data, with a little bit of tethering. Compare that with $110 on Verizon for four gigabytes of shared data a month (this blogger’s plan).

T-Mobile currently doesn’t have a very robust next-generation LTE network, but thanks to the failed merger with AT&T and a possible acquisition of MetroPCS, the carrier has the spectrum it needs to cover 200 million Americans by the end of the year in LTE (that’s what it’s promising, anyway).

Aside from cost, T-Mobile deserves some credit for resisting government requests for private user data. Perhaps that’s owing to its heritage as a European-owned company. Of course such benefits have always been paired with, shall we say, not the best service.

Here’s hoping the smallest national carrier fulfills its promise to blanket the country in a top-notch, low-cost network. The future of communication and computing is smartphones. It shouldn’t cost more than $100 a month to use them.

— Posted by Peter Z. Scheer.

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