Friday, March 17, 2006

New MVNO: Coming Soon To CPC!

I called CheapPhoneCards today because I needed to order another $10 STi card and the reward points mechanism wasn't working correctly. Well I got my card and this info about a super carrier that is coming out next week on CheapPhoneCards...

Movil Mobile (aka Movil Lista, see below)

13.3 cents a minute flat
No Expiration
Includes a Toll-Free Number (heh heh my phone is always local now), I'm guessing 1-866-xxx-xxxx
Text Coming Soon
Cingular Network (prepaid of course, but that's still big)
Phone *may* be free with a rebate (see below for a little more; the guy at CPC didn't know everything either)
Phone comes with 50 minutes (10 + 40 minute card)
Phone is nice and small, if basic (Siemens A56 is the first offering)
Free international calling to some countries (as in no extra cost above airtime)
Call Waiting, Caller ID, Voicemail, 3Way Calling, Domestic Long Distance (of course)

All in all the offering is pretty darn good. You get a number that's always local, no expiration date, and a large service footprint. It's voice only for the moment, so it's not a full-fledged STi replacement (no camera phones, no web access, no text yet) but for voice only you get a good deal. As far as the rebate goes here's what the guy sent me (probably a direct quote from Movil Mobile but he was somewhat usure about it in general):

"Movil Mobile offers a $39.95 rebate. You simply submit $40 worth of purchased Movil refill pins along with your rebate. You can purchase them upfront or over time. You have six months to submit your rebate."

In other words if the A56 turns out to be $40 then with the rebate will make it free. Not quite like a free LG 5225, or one with $4.05 back, but there's no active service period either so the rebate gets to you fast. I'm thinking from the wording that you buy $40 in airtime before six months are up, then write down the PINs on the rebate form as sort of proofs of purchase. You can of course add the airtime to the phone. Then you mail in the rebate (before six months are up) and get back the $40 you paid for the airtime, or around that amount. So I suppose you could think of the rebate more as $40 worth of free airtime than making a free phone, but you can think of it both ways and be happy either way...

I was also told that this and ReadyMobile ( are the same company, just that this wing is newer and aimed at the Latin sector (don't worry; it and Movida and Tuyo Mobile, some other such carriers, speak English just fine). I was told that ReadyMobile is doing an overhaul right now supposedly to match its rate scheme with this one, which is nice because currently that wing's rates are pretty bad. This is good because Movil will probably get the somewhat nicer phones of Ready and Ready will probably get the same rates as Movil. The slight downside is that Movil may share the usage requirement of Ready:

30 days of inactivity (no calls AND no refills) - $3.95 fee
60 days of inactivity (same) - termination

But it's not that bad really, putting the carrier's policies in that arena with U Prepaid, whcih has a similar 30-day requirement (except no refill part; you have to call). It's not quite as good as Beyond Wireless TDMA or STi Mobile were, but they're both gone now (the former to technology going obsolescent, the latter due to ?greed?) and $1.60 a year isn't that bad.

In short, we've got pretty much of a winner here, recreiving the baton of unlimited expiration from a now-miserly STi Mobile or a now-aged Beyond Wireless TDMA. I'm getting it.

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