First off, let me give yet another sour note to Cingular's tune...
Even for contract users, they are starting to deny upgrades to customers they deem "unprofitable". This isn't only with prepaid customers, who can naturally just get another cheapie phone from them anyway and pay a high per-minute rate if the actually use GoPhone. We're talking any plan cheaper than the cheapest contract plan out now, which ofers 450 minutes (average) and 5000 nights and weekends (most carriers offer unlimited). What junk! Guess Cingular doesn't want people they
a) Can't put oon their subpar, though large-footprint GSM network ($5 per month fee for TDMA plans now)
b) Can't squeeze $30+ out of per month (old plans are being terminated if they're prepaid, downgraded if contract)
c) See making too many free calls (mobile to mobile comes to mind, even GoPhone M2M)
d) See making themselves too expensive (if you are on another network, even if you can't tell that you are, for 40% or more of your calls your plan goes bye bye...most sorta-nationwide carriers do 50%, so this is another degradation)
e) Can't turn a (large) profit on
I think their laughable prepaid is just to spite the other carriers and maybe to sell off old phone stock and turn a huge profit on unused network capacity, and just maybe to give another source for people to go to postpaid from. But seriously, I think (as do many others) that Cingular received a transfusion of bad blood when it bought out AT&T. And it hasn't recovered.
So what am I going to do about this? Make myself as unprofitable as possible of course. By buying Tracfones and selling the minutes for cheap. If I was in a Cingular area (coverage-wise I am, but somehow the site thinks I'm not) I'd buy their prepaid phones for cheap and maybe unlock and sell them, maybe just put them onto T-Mobile which offers a somewhat better deal (though I still don't like the steenking incoming message charges that are starting and the Get Less for $10 practice recently instituted).
If you must, choose Cingular. If you need not, choose not.
Now on to more constructive things...