Sunday, April 1, 2007

Pocket Communications Gets Roaming...Soon...

First off, Pocket Communications is like CricKet or MetroPCS, except it's smaller (100,000+ customers), has more expensive phones, aims to keep all its markets connected by swaths of coverage if the present is a good indication of future performance, and is a good bit cheaper than its competitors, to the point that CricKet had to lower its plan prices somewhat to compete, else risk losing all its San Antonio area customers.

But anyway, up until now Pocket has only worked on its own towers. Out of their coverage area, you would be outta luck, unless you had a Tracfone (I use Pocket and I use a Tracfone like this). But now, or soon anyway, Pocket is getting romaing!

It looks like they're still in the testing phase, and will thus be late on their launch of roaming, slated for today, but it should be coming quite soon. But get ready for sticker shock: roaming will very likely be 60 cents a minute! Then again, it will work practically everywhere, since Pocket's roaming agreement is with Verizon. Oh, and yes, some comanies still charge obscenely high rates for roaming on some of their plans (Sprint not excepted, on its white-haired Free & Clear Area-Wide plans) so Pocket isn't the ultimate villain. Still, CricKet offers roaming (via Sprint) for between 12.5 and 16.7 cents a minute...but if I remember correctly you pay a monthly fee extra ($5, $10 or $15) for the privelage.

But all isn't lost; Pocket (so I've been told\overheard) may well be getting a new plan, at $45 a month (the most expensive plan is $37 right now) that will include a bit of roaming airtime. I'd hate to step out and make a guess, but I'm thinking to the tune of 100 minutes. You see, CricKet is trialing a $60 plan in select markets that includes 300 minutes of roaming why couldn't Pocket be doing something similar? Which reminds me...with the roaming plan AND web access, Pocket will once again force CricKet to lower its rates, on even higher-end plans, since Pocket's all-inclusive-save-insurance plan would be $50 versus CricKet's offering without roaming airtime for the same price.

All I can say is this will be interesting, and I really hope the monthly option is good enough so Pocket gets a few more people :)

Oh, and about the other news item I was going to say, nevermind. I was basically going to announce Boost's new CDMA-powred Unlimited plan...but that's more of a description thing and it's late. So I'll do it tomorrow...

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