Wednesday, June 18, 2008

CricKet Lowers EZ Pricing, Discounts Broadband Cards

First off, a combination of web discounts and a mail in rebate bring the CricKet EZ pphone down to a mere $30. Though I wouldn't get it; it had 911 issues in the past and seems to generally be a very, very low-end phone.

Second, CricKet has, through mail-in rebates and web discounts, slashed prices on their mobile broadband options. Not the plans, just the phones. The USB modem is now $59 after rebates and discounts, and the PC card (which will get phased out relatively soon due to incompatibilities with the newer parts of CricKet's network) is, after rebates, free. This is with no contract, though in order to get the rebate you have to stay with CricKet for a few months.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Boost Mobile Raises Rates

Looks like Sprint's Unlimited By Boost program is getting a rate hike. Dunno quite why, as the plan prices aren't exactly great to begin with, but in my area (Texas) the cost per month is now $50 for just talk, $60 for talk and text and a whopping $70 for talk, text and web. Compare this to Sprint's own unlimited plans ($90 for talk and messaging, $100 for everything) and factor in that on Boost you're paying up front for the phone and that your coverage is only on the Sprint network in a certain area and considering that area isn't that big (unless you pay ANOTHER $5 a month), Boost is getting to be less and less of a great deal.

Oh, and taxes are extra as well. In my area that adds about 20% to your bill. On my contract Sprint phone, the bill addition is slightly more than 20%, but I'm on a $30-a-month plan...

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

PowerLink Unlimited Not So Unlimited, FlexPay Available SIM-only

Looking for a trruly unlimited cellular experience on the Sprint network, with no contract? Don't go with PowerLink then. Reports have now surfaced that, above 4000 minutes a month, people are getting calls saying their service will be cut off if they keep on at that rate. Granted, PowerLink is selling minutes at half the price, at this rate, versus what a 4000 minute plan was just months ago, however "unlimited" should mean, well, unlimited. Not 1500, 2500 or 4000 minutes per month. Heck, AT&T explicitly says that their $40 a month plan has 5000 night and weekend minutes...

So if you want contract-less unlimited service and have to choose from the "big boys", T-Mobile's FlexPay, while on the rather expensive side, is probably the way to go.

By the way, for $6.99 plus tax you can get a FlexPay SIM card to put in the device of your choice, as long as it's GSM and can use T-Mobile service. I ordered one, and will post back here with my experience with the service.

T-Mobile Does Unlimited Family Right...$50 per line plus $50 to start...

Looks like T-Mobile has brought out the big guns on unlimited with their family plan. It's now up to competitors to see whether they'll follow.

$150 a month gets two lines of unlimited service. Additional lines are...get this...a mere $50 a month more, about the same as you'd pay for an unlimited line with the likes of CricKet. The first two lines are effectively $75 a month, cheaper than you'd pay for a 1350 minute plan on a single line.

As with T-Mobile's individual unlimited plan, the family plan includes, in addition to unlimited calling to and from anyone at any time andwhere your phone will work, unlimited messaging of any type.

What's even crazier is that you don't even have to sign a contract to get this deal. You can now get both unlimited individual and family plans with T-Mobile's FlexPay service. I'm still trying to find out whether T-Mobile offers a SIM-only kit for FlexPay though...their phone prices with no contract are rather high...

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Pocket Intros Pay-by-14-day-period service

What's better than pay-by-week cell phone service from the likes of CricKet? Pay-by-two-week service at the same price from Pocket, of course!

You can get any of Pocket's plans on the nearly-bimonthly edition of their service, albeit at $5 extra per month versus the regular plans. Actually, more than that since most months are longer than 28 days. Also, you get only 14 days free service with a new phone instead of a whole month.

On the other hand, this is a cool deal for people who don't want to pay $25 or more at a time for their phone service. They just pay $15 and, two weeks later, do it again. Sounds fair enough, and it's a whole lot better than CricKet's $18/week deal.

Calling 911 isn't so "EZ" on CricKet

Looks like CricKet's Compcal-made (Chinese junk) EZ phone doesn't do well when it comes to calling 911. However a firmware upgrade is available for the phone to fix this glaring, though so far not life-taking, flaw. You have to go to a CricKet store to get the upgrade. And yes, everyone with the phone has been notified, via both phone calls and text messages. In short, don't buy Chinese junk, but if you did do so, make sure your phone can dial 911, and the people can hear you on the other end!