First off, sorry for my prolonged absence. I am now posting from a dual T3 university connection piped (among other places) to my dorm room at Colorado School of Mines. Things start cooking this afternoon as far as orientations and such go, which leaves me a few hours of somewhat downtime to post and do other such things. I'm sure glad I moved in yesterday :)
Anyhow, while doing work for PrepaidWireless (I'm doing a lot of that lately) I found out about Picante Mobile...right when they launched their service, which was about a week ago.
They're from the same company as ReadyMobile, Mojo Mobile, MovilListo, etc. except with a different tack on things...one that I actually thought about intro'ing if I had enough money to start an MVNO...you pay X cents a minute for anytime minutes, then buy unlimited night\weekend cards as you need them.
Granted, Picante Mobile, available at www.mipicante.com, doesn't have hot rates or anything; 12.5 cents a minute for anytime minutes. But hear me out:
Regular refills start at $5 (cool!) and all last 30 days with 12.5 cent minutes. Nice and simple.
The night\weekend cards start out at expensive per day ($5...cool again...for 3 days of unlimited night calling) and as you get more expensive get less expensive per day ($10 gets a week of unlimited nights and weekends, and $20 gets 4 weeks of unlimited nights and weekends). If these nights and weekends start at a reasonable hour (as opposed to ReadyMobile\Mojo Mobile's 10 p.m. nights\weekends) then all is cool. If not then...hmph...
There's also...get this...a one-year service extension card for a mere $20. Granted, it doesn't include minutes or anything but still, that makes Picante a nice "glove-box" carrier if Sprint's home network is enough for you in emergency situations.
The nights and weekends had better start at a decent time, and the rates are a little higher than a typical "hybrid" carrier's, and the phone selection is rather limited (Sanyo MVP, LG 5225, Sanyo 4900...okay phone but still rather limited) but I really like the idea behind this carrier's rate structure, hence my posting here.