Saturday, February 09, 2008

Verizon Wireless SLashes Prepaid Roaming Costs

For those few who talk enough, or have enough absolutely disposable income, to be on Verizon's INPulse prepaid wireless program, roaming just got a LOT cheaper.It is down from 69 cents per minute to a quite-low 20 cents per minute, less than what you'd get on Page Plus Celluler even if you got an $80 card at a slight discount.

Hopefully what this means is that, for customers off of Verizon's own INPulse plans, roaming rates will likewise decrease, or carriers like Tracfone will be more amicable to working with Verizon. The running theory is that Tracfone has lousy CDMA phones because they don't get a good deal from Verizon on the minutes that those phones use, whereas AT&T gives them a good deal, leading to decently feature-rich phones. If this is the case, and Verion passes these savings along to Tracfone, maybe this means we'll start getting halfway-decent Tracfones into stores and onto Tracfone's website again. A man can dream...

Also, hopefully this means lower roaming prices for Page Plus Cellular customers. If Page Plus dropped roaming to even 30 or 40 cents per minute (in their "fake money" system) that would be enough to make Page Plus Cellular a perfectly reliable, erfectly economical service to use no matter where you might roam, so you only have to carry one prepaid phone even if you travel. If Page Plus comes out with cheaper roaming, I might just grab an INPulse phone, PagePlus-ify it, and keep it around for those times where neither my digital-only HTC Mogul on Sprint, nor my T-Mobile-To-Go-powered iPhone will get a signal. Speaking of the iPhone, there is now a 16GB version, for $100 more. Also, all iPhones can now be unlocked for free so long as you know what you're doing. See hackthatphone for more info there.

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