Well, I found out something else new about Virgin Mobile, thanks to the_sweeper over at the forum: the $99.99 plan now includes mobile to mobile. Now, that plan is expensive and mobile to mobile is Virgin Mobile only but hey, it's something...
But here's the site;
This guy has AT&T and T-Mobile activations, Tracfone airtime cards, Beyond Wireless GSM refills, Jolt Mobile refills, Jolt PCS (different plan...hybrid on Sprint) refills, BeyondWireless and T-Mobile SIM cards, the Motorola c139 from Beyond Wireless and all the Page Plus services you need (activate, ESN change, phone number change). Most products are marked down from retail, and some are significantly marked down (for example, 8% on Beyond Wireless and Jolt Mobile refills). In short, looks pretty neat...
...speaking of this site and Beyond Wireless GSM and Jolt Mobile, I talked with the guy who owns the site and since he's a direct dealer for Beyond GSM he knows what's happening over there: Beyond GSM is going bye-bye. He still has some SIM cards and phones available but activations are going to dry up. The replacement? Jolt Mobile. Interestingly, their website is www.joltwireless.com.
But anyhow, Jolt Mobile now pretty much mirrors Beyond GSM ( didn't they use to be a hybrid plan or something a year or two back?) on everything, except resellers on airtime get same-value refills as buying direct, the branding of course is a bit different...and airtime varies from not as expensive to more expensive per minute than Beyond...and none of it lasts as long as on Beyond GSM, even when compared with third party sales on Beyond!
To expand, the $5 refill gives 30 minutes and 15 days of service...the same as the "retail" version on Beyond. But the $15 refill, while giving the slightly higher 114 minutes provided with Beyond's web-buy card, lasts only 30 days, making the low-expiration $5 card the least expensive card per month, with a lowst monthly cost of $10 unless you include the grossly overpriced 1-year card (available on both carriers).
The $30 card on Jolt Mobile provides a little less 20% more minutes than...um...the $25 card on Beyond Wireless, purchased via web...making the $25 card a better buy all around, because the $25 card on Beyond lasts a month more than the $30 card on Jolt...the cost per month in this
case is 2x as much!
The $50 card melds the minutes of the web card on Beyond with the lousy expiration of the store-bought card...the only card that has actually gotten better with Jolt is the $100 card, which retains a subpar 90 day expiration but gets an amazingly insignificant 14 minutes extra. So it looks like Beyond GSM wasn't cutting it with retailers because the website was undercutting them, so Beyond Wireless moved completely out of the low cost per month arena (remember the no-minimum-minutes TDMA service?) to level the retail-direct playing field. Blech. Oh, and they offer newer phones (if you can call black and pink Razrs at $20 above eBay cost an advance...or overpriced LG c1300s, Motorola c139s or Motorola v180s for that matter). But personally I wouldn't mind if everyone suddenly realized that at least the GSM-based arm of Beyond Wireless (and I'm inclined to say the CDMA wing too) has become quite uncompetitive...and left. I mean, Locus Mobile offers better rates on their plans and they were expensive compared with Beyond Wireless when both were TDMA. But that's obviously not the case now...