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Summary:

I often complain about the control wireless carriers have here in the U.S., but things are slowly getting better. Competition between the big four is at an all-time high in my opinion, thanks to a few developments. Google Android is helping to open people’s eyes to […]

palm-pre-nfl-mobileI often complain about the control wireless carriers have here in the U.S., but things are slowly getting better. Competition between the big four is at an all-time high in my opinion, thanks to a few developments. Google Android is helping to open people’s eyes to T-Mobile and their network. Verizon Wireless and Sprint are working with Research in Motion and Palm on hot handsets to compete with AT&T and their iPhone cash cow. And calling plans are opening up to offer unlimited calls outside of the carrier’s network.

T-Mobile started it with My Faves and eventually, Verizon followed suit. AT&T starts up their own version of such a plan at the end of this week with their “A-List” program. Sprint just added unlimited mobile-to-mobile minutes to their Sprint Everything Data plans, calling it “Any Mobile, Anytime.” As I said, it’s taking a while to get there, but competition is slowly opening up the market for consumers. As soon as I heard about the unlimited mobile-to-mobile offering by Sprint, I immediately modified the plan for my Palm Pre.

When I bought the Pre, I opted for the $99.99 Simply Everything plan because it covered everything — text messages, web, data, NASCAR and NFL Mobile, navigation, minutes, and more are all unlimited. But you can use one of two lesser priced Everything Data plans with the Pre as well. The only difference between the two cheaper plans and the one I originally had is that the voice minutes are metered. For $69.99, you get 450 minutes or for $89.99 you get 900 minutes. All other services are completely unlimited, just like the $99.99 plan.

So why did I leave the $99,99 plan for the $69.99 plan? Two reasons. I really don’t call anyone on a landline these days, so the new “Any Mobile, Anytime” deal will cover most, if not all, of my outgoing calls from the Pre. As long as my incoming calls are held to under 450 minutes,  I won’t have any overages and I’ll save $30 a month. The best part — I don’t lose the “unlimited” tag for web, data, messages, navigation or anything else. And Sprint allows you to change to a lesser or greater plan at anytime with no contract extension and no fees.

The other reason I can make this change is because I have a second phone. Barb and I each have an iPhone 3GS with AT&T and of course, we’ll be using the new “A-List” program with the numbers that we call the most. If it looks like I’m nearing my 450 minutes with Sprint, I’ll simply rely more on my iPhone for incoming calls. That’s easy to manage, courtesy of Google Voice. Using GV, it’s a snap to have incoming calls go to my iPhone instead of (or in addition to) my Palm Pre.

We’re still not at a point where we have the flexibility to move phones to different carriers easily. And our data plan choices need a total revamp since the cheaper, $40 a month plans usually offer 250MB of so. That leads most people to the only other choice available — $60 a month for a 5GB plan. But competition is helping on the voice side and I’m going to take advantage of it while I can.

Have you lowered you monthly plan recently due to these types of deals?

  1. Now that you’ve had the Palm Pre for a while, would you care to speak on Palm Pre vs. iPhone 3GS? Many reviewers talk about it but almost none own both phones to make a decent, fair comparison.

    Me personally, I had the original iPhone, but find the Pre to be superior overall. (Especially when taking carriers into consideration… AT&T sucks!)

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  2. My man, Any mobile Anytime is dialing OR receiving, you don’t have to worry about keeping your received calls under 450 minutes as long as they’re coming from a mobile. The 450 is for landlines ONLY!

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    1. Hmm…. I’d like to think you’re right, but the official press release says:

      “With the new Any Mobile, Anytime, Sprint customers get unlimited mobile-to-mobile calling from the Sprint Network to ANY wireless phone on any U.S. wireless carrier network at any time.”

      This appears to be for outgoing calls, not for received calls as I read it.

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  3. When I got the pre I opted for the 450 unlimited data plan. For the last two months I have been nearing my limit each month so i was considering increasing the plan, then I saw a Sprint ad advertising unlimited mobile to mobile. I went to my online account and sure enough I now have unlimited mobile to mobile, so now I have no need to increase my minutes.

    My only concern now is how this will effect Sprint’s revenue. I am sure many people will make the same switch you did, but will enough people switch to Sprint to make up for those loses?

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  4. I’ve got four people sharing time, which is expensive since they all have to have (but also want to have) data. Even with four people, one teen, one who has been a teen until recently, and particularly with a long-winded papa, we’ve never come close to 450 minutes since they had been making Sprint to Sprint free.

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  5. I think the goal was for Sprint to attract new customers, not get existing customers to give them less money each month. ;)

    I’ll tell you what, though… the Tevenav GPS service (plus all the other data features) and unlimited cell-to-cell calling for $70 is a real bargain. It’s got me contemplating a switch, for sure.

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  6. This is a little off topic but here’s an article you might find interesting that contradicts the iPhone as cash cow claims: http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2009/sep/06/telecoms-iphone

    FTA: “We have not found one operator which has created shareholder value with iPhone,” Strand [Consult] argues. “A lot of competitors are actually doing better.”

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  7. What if you have left your 99.99 unlimited everything plan on Sprint with the Pre and use GV to forward all your calls to it? Will that be better than using your iPhone with GV?

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    1. I do use GV with both handsets already, but there’s no need for me to pay the extra $30 for the $99 plan now. I can forward GV calls to either specific handset, but I often FW to both and pick up on the one of my choosing. Makes it easier for me to manage any minute limitations that way. ;)

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  8. Kevin Tofel have you tried to add Pick 3 to your account? Your favorite 3 callers free incoming and outgoing? Call retentions!!

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  9. Hi Kevin,

    about the competition between the four carriers: British and German media report that T-Mobile is interested in buying Sprint Nextel.
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/mediatechnologyandtelecoms/6180195/T-Mobile-owner-eyes-multi-billion-dollar-bid-for-Sprint.html
    I wonder how this will affect the market…

    Lennart

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  10. I talked with sprint at the store n on phone…as a backup…the anymobile is to and from any mobile not just calls going out of your fone..thought you should know…check it out on *r or sprint store…bye

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