Monday, March 25, 2013

Stop Over-Paying for Your Phone

It was exactly 3 months ago we advised you that if you don't get a new wireless phone at least every 2 years, you're paying more for that phone than you expected.  Today, T-Mobile is now selling phones at a predictable price, and plans that don't include a monthly payment for the phone.  At first glance you might shudder at the thought of paying as much as $600 for your next wireless phone, but it could be less than what you were paying before, especially if you don't regularly upgrade your phone.  This means the contract is going away, too!  T-Mobile will help you spread the payments for your phone over a couple years.  We're hoping other carriers will follow.

For now, this means a reduction in plan prices, but we're hoping for more.  You may be among our more savvy readers who already buys a Prepaid phone for full price, then get service from a re-seller like Straight Talk at a much lower cost than you pay the carriers directly.  So this method of phone payment isn't new, it's just being done by carriers for whatever plan you want and not be limited to their selection of prepaid plans and potentially the associated limited coverage.  Will will be able to retire our Getting Out of Your Cellular Contract Page?

The FCC said that if AT&T was permitted to acquire T-Mobile, the wireless market would lose a major "disrupter".  Well, T-Mobile, disrupt away.

Monday, March 11, 2013

SouthernLINC Finds A Roaming Solution

Just last week we downgraded SouthernLINC, and iDEN carrier on the US Gulf Coast to a much lower Rating to reflect the loss of nationwide roaming on its only possible roaming partner, Nextel.  Sprint will be shutting down the Nextel network in June leaving SouthernLINC customers with no where to use their phone but in their own 4-state region.  That was indeed unfortunate because SouthernLINC is a pretty good wireless carrier backed up by an awesome electric utility company.

SouthernLINC has signed up with a roaming partner to allow their customers to roam on various GSM networks, potentially AT&T, T-Mobile and others, when away from SouthernLINC's home territory.  The only catch is that you'll need a new 'dual SIM' phone that they will be offering soon, and an additional prepaid roaming plan.  If you ever travel out of their home area, this is a good compromise.

We believe this improves SouthernLINC's usability.  We upped their Mountain Wireless Network Rating, and when they begin offering the GSM roaming we'll probably up it another notch or two.  This is good news from a very good carrier.