Monday, December 26, 2011

Ready To Roam?

Our Wireless Roaming Web Pages were built primarily to share PRL's, SID's & MNC's for the various carriers so users could either control or predict the behavior of their cellular phone while roaming around the US. With so much consolidation in the wireless industry, there is far less roaming necessary and as a result, less need to consult our roaming databases. So our Roaming site has taken on a new focus: International Roaming.

We added a bunch of new pages and information about using your current phone outside the US, how to talk & text on the cheap, and what pitfalls to avoid. Our most popular pages were for Roaming in Mexico, but as the holidays were approaching, it looks like travelers were headed to other locations around the globe and on Cruise Ships. We also added a specific section for Canada.

Another popular feature is our Recommendations. The AT&T GoPhone and Cricket lead the pack for cheap short-term use in Canada & Mexico, with AT&T being the top roaming phone service for use around the globe, but definitely not the cheapest. Bon Voyage!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

T-Mobile Love-Hate

-AT&T wanted to love T-Mobile, but hates that it can't.
-T-Mobile customers will love the new roaming capabilities that are coming.
-T-Mobile's owners love the $3 Billion check that AT&T will be sending them, but may still hate the network enough to look for another buyer.
-Consumers will love the fact that carriers will still have more competition, carriers may hate it.

-Sprint will love that they won't be the next to be gobbled up, but will still hate those "disruptive" plans that T-Mobile comes up with.
-Thousands of T-Mobile employees will love that their jobs are not in immediate jeopardy, especially the girl in the pink dress.
-We love the dozen or so web pages and articles dedicated to T-Mobile that we won't need to delete.

-There's a bunch of lawyers who hate the idea they won't be getting any more of the millions that AT&T was spending to fight for the merger.
-Dish Network, and maybe a few other suitors, love the idea that there now may be a wireless network for them to snuggle up with.
-As we noted a month ago, we think you'll love what's coming next! We would hate to miss it.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Beware: Roaming Data

Recently we were updating the Roaming Zone pages to include rates and capabilities for US phones to roam in Canada. It also gave us the chance to update our International and Mexico roaming pages. We noted the usual roaming rates, international plans and foreign roaming capabilities. One surprise: data roaming rates can be unbelievably high. Often there were no 'packages' for data roaming. T-Mobile charges as much as $15 per MB for foreign data. And even if you find a good rate, rounding up increases your effective cost for small quantities of usage.

Some users who don't take advantage as sites like ours have been known to receive roaming charges in the thousands of dollars, and one unlucky T-Mobile customer got a roaming bill for over $200,000!

Domestic data roaming charges have also been a problem but the FCC is keeping those fees more reasonable. Outside the US...the sky's the limit! Unless you know your rates in advance, or you have a roaming data package, consider turning off your phone's Data capabilities before leaving the US. At least check the International Roaming Considerations and keep that nasty surprise from your vacation nothing more than a sunburn.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Get an Employee Discount

We are constantly working on strategies to help wireless users get cheaper cellular service. We discovered one of the most overlooked money-savers is getting a discount based on where you work, go to school, or any organization to which you might belong. To help you find out of you're eligible, we created the Back Door Employee Discounts Page. You can find out if you can get a discount based on any associations you might have. Savings can be as high as 25%. Programs include some combination of phones, service and plans. Often you don't need to change your carrier or your plan and some include other members of your family.

These programs are mainly offered by the largest wireless carriers but there are also some opportunities among smaller carriers including the LifeLine program. In some cases these savings are dramatic if you qualify, but more often you'll find several good ideas on our Cheaper Wireless Service Page which was recently updated with 13 simple ideas on how to save on wireless either with your current carrier, or by changing. Stop overpaying for wireless, especially if it's a simple as changing your plan. A majority of wireless users are reported to be on the wrong plan...but nobody in this group, right?

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Unlimited Gets Cheaper

Page Plus is one of our favorite pay-as-you-go wireless services partly because they have competitively-priced plans. Their plans are about to get even better as they drop the price of their Unlimited Talk & Text plan to $40 per month. Starting December 7th, you can get the new refill rate including with an auto-pay service which eliminates the most-hated headache of prepaid: remembering to refill at the end of each interval.

Not only do we like Page Plus's prices, we also like the idea that they offer an excellent alternative to switch your CDMA phone to pay-as-you-go with your existing Alltel or Verizon Wireless or US Cellular phone. Page Plus also throws in 20 Mb of data access at that price. This price matches those available from Unlimited leaders, Metro PCS, SIMple Mobile and even Cricket, and Page Plus offers a superior network.

Our own Wireless Network also offers Discount Page Plus Phones and a long list of Page Plus Refills. They achieved Mountain Wireless's "The Best" List and solidify that position among Unlimited offerings with the new price. We hope other carriers will take note. We don't like the term, "Price War," how 'bout just some plain ol' "competition."