Saturday, December 20, 2008

Smart PCS: Unlimited In Georgia

On the heels of CricKet's acquisition of Georgia telco Hargray's wireless assets, there's a new unlimited player on the field in the form of Smart PCS. Currently, coverage is limited to a small area around Dalton and Chatsworth, however expansion to the Cleveland area will happen soon enough.

The phone selection ranges from a $29.99 Nokia 6015i (great reception for people who just use their phone for talking and a little bit of texting) to the Razr v3c ($160), Krzr k1m ($180) and the Rokr z6m ($280). Prices are after mail-in or instant rebates, by the way.

But wait...Smart PCS is also currently selling a smartphone: the HTC 6800 aka Titan aka Sprint Mogul, the same phone that I'm using on my current Sprint contract (I need unlimited data, and I need it cross-country, hence my choice of cellular service). The price: $345, not bad for a non-contract PDA phone (contract pricing from other carriers run around $300). Granted, the 6800 is now a generation behind the curve, with the new HTC Touch Pro now available on Sprint, Verizon and Alltel. but still, quite impressive for an unlimited carrier, seeing as how on most similar providers you have to hack and mod your way to a smartphone on their networks.

The plan structure is similar to that of Pocket or MetroPCS:
$25 - Local calling and caller ID (long distance $5/month extra, text messaging at an extra cost)
$35 - $25 plus long distance, texting, web, voicemail, all plan upgrades available ($25 has limited upgrade potential)
$45 - $35 plus picture messaging/MMS, call waiting, 3-way calling, text messaging to Mexico
$55 - $45 plus unlimited directory assistance (otherwise $1.25 per call), call forwarding, extended coverage area (?)

Family plans are even better: $30 per line for two or three lines, $25 per line for four lines. The family plan includes unlimited local, long distance and text messaging, plus a free month of service if you sign up before the end of the year. Sounds a lot like MetroPCS's offering, except better.

Phone insurance is $5.99 per month, on the high end of things but still reasonable.

Overall, coverage is limited right now, but it's great to see another unlimited provider popping up in the U.S. Plus, their website is easy to navigate and their phone selection is solid and varied. Seems like a win to me.

If you have had any experience with this company, post in the comments. Inquiring minds want to know...

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