Monday, October 31, 2005

STi Services...Finally!

With less than two hours to go before their opening, I'm finally detailing what I've learned about what new services STi will release tomorrow. Sorry to say that the details are a bit sketchy on a lot of things here, but it was the best I could do with twenty-odd minutes on the phone with different STi reps over the past week :)

Text Messaging
Here is the one thing I know for a solid fact: they will start charging for this service tomorrow (November 1st) at 5 cents a message, both sent and received. I would have liked free receiving messages, even if it meant an increase in the cost of a sent message (10 cents to send even) but I guess I'll just scale back on my usage, which was until Saturday about 1\4 Yahoo alerts and 3\4 AIM over SMS. Tonight is the last night I will use the latter; I disabled the former Saturday. It would be nice if STi came out with a daily-billed or even monthly-billed unlimited text option but I don't think that will happen.

Picture Messaging
This is only available for the two camera phones due out soon to very soon, the LG 225 and the Audiovox 8912. I have heard conflicting reports about this but am sure that it will be relesed tomorrow, and I'm almost 100% sure that it will be, as text messaging has been, free for enogh time for STi to figure out how to bill it. I have heard that it would be either charged monthly as a package with web access and that it would be charged seperately, but both reports leaned toward a monthly billing system, which I wouldn't mind over much as I would probably be liberated to use it a lot when I get the LG 225 (when my 5225 rebate comes in and the 225 rebate becomes available).

Web Browsing
I have heard conflicting stories about this also, one saying that unlimited access would be for $1 (probably per day) or that it would be charged by the month. The former was from HowardForums, the latter directly from an STi rep. It too should be free for the first few days. I'll report on the speed and such of it tomorrow, as the LG 5225 is web-capable.

Ready Link
I'm very unsure about this, but one of the phones STi is going to release, the Sanyo 2300, has it so logically Ready Link service is in the pipeline. I don't know when, and I don't know how or for how much it will be billed, but it I'm pretty sure it is coming. If it is cheap when it comes, and if the Sanyo 2300 is cheap when it comes, I may jump for this and get my family and friends to get this phone also so we could all talk a little cheaper. :)

Calling Features
Right now STi only has Caller ID, but that should change soon. I do not think that Call Forwarding is in the works, but I know that Call Waiting and 3-Way Calling should both be out sometime soon. I'm pretty sure that they will be billed just like everybody else bills them. ;)

So there you have it, what is in store for tomorrow and maybe the day after. Discuss this and the upcoming phones in the STi Forum