Tuesday, January 6, 2009

America's New Unlimited Network

A sharp-eyed reader pointed out that the new extended Unlimited coverage offered by Cricket Wireless and Metro PCS includes more than just their own two networks. A close inspection shows they feature coverage from several smaller carriers, some really small. This has enabled these companies to offer their flavor of Unlimited voice and text services across a wide area of the country without paying hefty roaming fees to the likes of Verizon or Sprint.

These smaller carriers provide free Unlimited roaming when you subscribe to a plan with a certain minimum, as low as $50, and maybe lower. This brings to mind the days when we hoped those new networks being built by Voicestream (now T-Mobile) or Sprint PCS would come to our town with those lower prices. Now it's cheaper Unlimited we hope marches across the country.

For a time it looked like Cricket and Metro PCS would merge and offer some "national" competition to the large carriers on their own. Now they may have done one better with roaming agreements that allow operation in even more markets. Some also provide a real national roaming option, just not Unlimited. Let's hope this ball keeps rolling and doesn't get stopped by the loss of some of these networks...like Alltel? Too late.

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