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Last Update: 03/02/2014 02:17 PM

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11/17/2013:
- Updated prepaid comparison charts to show that Truphone allows call forwarding (thanks @XIPRELAY).
- Sprint launches Myway Student Promo on 11/15 "which gives students up to 12 months of free talk, text and 1GB data on the Unlimited, My Way plan with the purchase of a smartphone at Best Buy".
- Sprint giveth (above) and Sprint taketh away. Starting 11/15 Sprint is banning recent smartphones (Samsung GS4, HTC One, etc) on Sprint MVNOs. Check out this HoFo thread for details and discussion.

11/09/2013:
- T-Mobile's free 200MB data for life for tablets is in full swing from 11/1.  Pretty much anyone can get it but (1) devices are limited to this list and (2) data can only be used on the device it was activated on.  This keeps people from starting several 200MB free data plans and swapping SIMs! I am using it on my AT&T iPad3. I am able to get HSPA being in one of Tmo's refarmed areas.

11/09/2013:
- Truphone drops the 100KB/session minimum. Billing is now done at a minimum of 1/10 of a cent (about 6-7KB).  Details here. Updated prepaid data and comparison charts.

11/08/2013:
- Restarting the news!

11/08/2013:
- Updated my stuff. Note II, Note 3, Nexus 5.

07/28/2013 (upd 8/1):
- AT&T lowers MVNO data rates although with a gotcha! According to Prepaid PhoneNews, Airvoice (AT&T MVNO) is now offering data on all plans at 6c/MB. That is a new low! H2O data is reduced from 30c to 10c as of 8/1.H2O also restores 90 day expiration on $10 and $20 refills! The gotcha is that speeds are capped around 1000kbps down.  PAYG and prepaid data charts updated.

07/27/2013:
- Removed Talk For Good from PAYG Chart Looks like they are out of business (phone disconnected, plan page under construction for weeks)

06/07/2013:
- AT&T is removing data packs from most of its remaining GoPhone plans.  They are doing this to "better align with what customers are choosing and telling us they want". Translation: Pay $65 or more a month or else. Prepaid Phone News does a nice write-up here. Updated prepaid data chart as well.

- Lycamobile is a great entry in the PAYG world and most of the bugs have now been worked out.  I have added it to the PAYG Chart. Seemingly no airtime expiration and simply use it every 90 days (have not tested this yet obviously) to keep it alive. 2c/minute, 4c/text, 6c/MB of data. T-Mobile USA network only. Incoming text is free, it will roam internationally (not cheaply tho), data session minimum of 200kb.


- PTel Review:

My new account set up quickly upon receipt of SIM. Voice and text worked instantly.    

There was no instruction for setting up data either via printed info or on the website.  The following APN settings should have been provided with the welcome info.
APN: wholesale
MMSC: http://wholesale.mmsmvno.com/mms/wapenc

Data and MMS/receive worked as soon as the APN settings were made.  MMS/send took a few hours to be allowed to be sent. That seems typical with a port or new number.

Online account management is great. Call records are posted pretty quickly (usually in a few minutes for voice and text, longer for data).  

Chat works well. Agents are knowledgeable and I did not stump them with any of my questions.  

Porting:   I ported my Ptel/Sprint number to Ptel/Tmo. It took about 20 min for the SIM to be updated with number. Then it took an additional hour to be able to make calls and send text.  About 2-3 hours later I was able to receive calls and receive texts.  I got the email telling me the port would be complete a couple hours after it was.   

The website mentions the 50c monthly surcharge.  A chat session identified that only applied to the Sprint network. That should be made clearer.  



- Talk for Good Review:

Overall this is a good service.  There are some growing pains.   My point of view of the review is for Pay as you Go (the $6 plan)

I got email welcoming me to TalkForGood.  The e-mail talked about account into and logging in with phone number and password.  It was not mentioned that the password would come in a text message after activation. 

Activated using *22890. That went fine.  Text message received after activation giving me the account password.  

My account was deducted $8 (for the $6 plan and $2 for 10 MMS). I did not want the MMS package but that is fine. I am here to test.

Tried to logon using phone number and password.  Did not work.  Contacted customer support.  They could not figure it out and had to escalate. Got text the next day stating they fixed it and gave me the new password.  I logged in ok and changed my password.  

Voice and SMS worked fine with no issue.  

MMS did not work. It took several days to resolve MMS. Ultimately this was an issue on the TalkForGood side.  The rep had me pull the battery and do a factory reset. Neither worked.  When  it was fixed my account was deducted a second $2 for the MMS package.   Whatever CS did caused me to lose access to my online account. The next day I got a new login and password. That worked (although it is annoying to have to enter a phone number from CA to log into my account).  

I asked CS to remove the MMS package and fix my log in account ID back to my phone number so that I did not have to cut/paste a strange number in each time I logged in.  I also asked to have one of the $2 charges removed (since I was charged twice for the MMS package). Both were completed in a few days.

Voice roaming on US Cellular and Sprint worked. There was no roaming charge. There is no data roaming.

Call forwarding worked, as did three way calling and call waiting.  

The website says you are charged for non answered or busy calls.  That is not true as I tested it several different ways.

It is not clear on the website what taxes or fees are added. It appears you are charged sales tax on the monthly charge. My account was charged VT sales tax on the monthly $6 because of the way it was set up. It is hard to say what will happen in other states. 

The smart card is a far better method to fund the $6 plan than add-ons.  The add-ons expire after 30 days but the smart card is good for 360 days.   The whole smart card concept is not well described.  How do you even buy one?  Why would anyone want to buy the add-ons when it is more economical to use the smartcard concept?  

MMS is 20c each without the MMS package.  It makes no sense to purchase the $2 / 10 MMS package as it expires each month.

April 2013

04/21/2013:
- Corrected Talk For Good Airtime rate on PAYG (5c). Updated the Prepaid Chart. [thanks Laurel]
- Will be adding Lycamobile to the PAYG chart if I ever receive the SIM!

04/08/2013:
- Removed Virgin Mobile from the Prepaid Chart since they have discontinued it for new accounts.
- Updated My Stuff for providers and devices.

February 2013

02/10/2013:
- Updated My Stuff for providers and devices.
- Updated Prepaid Chart. Deleted Boost iDEN. Corrected Spot text rates.
- Be careful with TMobile refills. They have cut their discounts to resellers 2/1/13 so you may end up paying more than face value for them.
- Corrected phone limitations for Boost and Virgin.

02/03/2013:
- Updated Prepaid Chart with some corrections and the two services mentioned above.
- Updated Prepaid Data chart.
- Updated Bands for providers and bands
- Updated Seniors page

January 2013

01/19/2013:
- Reviews of Ptel (T-Mobile mvno) and Talk for Good (Verizon Wireless mvno) coming soon!  I am testing out both services right now. Feel free to ask questions about either service.

2012

11/25/2012: Updated Prepaid Data chart; added Spot Mobile. Lots of new data plans look promising in the future but I am not adding them until they actually occur (e.g. alleged Ultra Mobile 4.9c/MB).

11/20/2012: Mingo Wireless has just sent an e-mail to existing customers today informing them that the service is being discontinued. They have re-enabled service until the end of the year to allow existing customers to port to other providers. One would expect this notice to be placed on their home page soon.

11/20/2012: New PlatinumTel T-Mobile based PAYG and Ultra Mobile PAYG plans are coming.  When details are actually published I will add them to the chart assuming they are worthy.

11/20/2012: PlatinumTel, one of the low cost PAYG data providers has announced they are moving from the Sprint platform to the T-Mobile platform. This is a disappointment for those waiting to get cheap Sprint data with a decent Smart Phone on the rumored Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) plans coming soon. PlatimumTel has indicated they will not shut down their Sprint service until the second half of 2013 (based on one of their Facebook posts).

11/20/2012: Sprint MVNOs have been saying they are getting BYOD, but, as indicated by the PlatinumTel switch from Sprint to T-Mobile, apparently it is only going to be for high cost monthly plans. Sprint has been strategically disallowing smart phones on its MVNOs PAYG plans. This is likely to prevent Sprint's own prepays (Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile) from losing a boatload of customers to the much cheaper PAYG, where customers can utilize Wi-Fi most of the time and only use a little data, thus saving a possible $20+ a month. This may backfire on Sprint, as have many of their strategies over the past several years. Hopefully they will see the light sooner, rather than later.

11/14/2012: Mingo Wireless service has been shut down unexpectedly on 11/6. If you recall the apparent family operation was unable to successfully operate as a Verizon MVNO and switched to Sprint. Guess that did not work either. The owners simply walked away, deleted their facebook page and updated their Linked in pages to disassociate themselves from the now failed operations. Of course thanks to Google cache it is not very hard to figure it all out. The Mingo web site still operates like nothing is wrong. I would avoid their other businesses such as Babblebug. [Update 11/20: customers report service being restored].

09/29/2012: PagePlus has eliminated it's stand alone texting plan, instead pushing customers to the $30+ a month plan. Not a good time to be PAYG.

9/29/2012: Boost Mobile is raising PAYG costs for those still on the 10c iDEN plan.  Starting 11/7 those customer will be paying 25c a minute and per text. The iDEN system is expected to be shut down by June 2013 and this is one way to push users over to CDMA.

9/13/2012 9/29: Spot Mobile to announce new prepaid plans on 9/15 10/3. New SIM cards will be required. Will still be T-Mobile based. Data will be available. The existing PAYG plan will remain (with option for data). There will also be unlimited plans starting around 10/1 10/3. Probable plans are hinted at here. [Update 11/20: Data is available to purchase although there is currently no way to track usage and expiration - coming soon I was told by a customer service representative. I added data and it worked (proper APN settings required]

8/20/2012: Q2Y2012. It's hard to get the subscriber numbers these days but Fierce Wireless did a nice job. Check it out here.

Also updated my Android home screen on this page. I am using LauncherPro to get the 6x6 icons. Not much wasted real estate!

07/29/2012: Added Airvoice back to the Prepaid PAYG chart (they are actively marketing it again).  Also added Airvoice to the prepaid data chart. Plus, if you have AT&T PAYG you may be able to call and switch to the $1 mobile to mobile plan which has rollover data!  Voice rates suck but you can add text and data packages. YE HA!

05/28/2012: Corrected Alltel Prepaid Coverage on the Coverage Map page [thanks Zster]

05/12/2012: Updated Prepaid PAYG chart; added h2o, Boost CDMA

05/11/2012: Rumors that T-Mobile may buy Metro PCS. Rumors that AT&T may buy LeapAmerican Movil does purchase Simple Talk.

05/11/2012: Added prepaid data chart.

05/11/2012: Q1Y2012 provider add update (total connections) [Providers no longer publish the information making comparison difficult]

04/7/2011: AT&T is discontinuing data for its PAYG GoPhone (starting 4/18/12). With that loss goes the best data value IN PAYG (without having to pay the voice tax). With the number of people getting tablets GoPhone was a good choice to combat the $20+ per month to run the data on the devices. People are not going to pay $20+ a month per device going forward. It is just too damn much money. With the provider forcing tiered plans people are going to demand that they use it however they want.  DSL service used to require voice service just like data plans require voice service. They had to abandon that with competition from cable.  Hopefully we will see the same thing happen with PAYG data with someone (like Tmo) taking the high road and offering it. Right now people are hacking their devices to get access to tethering and Hotspots that the providers are so desperately trying to lock down so as to not become the dumb data pipe.  They are doing this to protect their revenue rather than looking ahead to be innovative (and taking away affordable data access & charging data access through apps is NOT innovative). Let's hope they do not act like landline providers and simply lose business rather than compete in the market ($60+ landline vs $10-$20 VOIP). Many people have abandoned landlines for this reason (and avoiding the high cost of communications). I am working on a data chart as we speak.

03/17/2011: Added "Lookup Number", will not only list provider (Correct in most cases, but not as good as mobile) but also the Caller ID info associated with it. Corrected/updated links page [thanks Linda]

03/06/2011: Corrected Page Plus info on the Hybrid Comparison chart (needs overhaul). [thanks Tom]

03/02/2012: Deleted Airvoice & h2o from the PAYG chart as they just raised the minimum monthly cost from $3.33 to $10. [thanks Jan]

03/02/2012: Q4Q2011 provider add update (total connections)
Verizon:   108,700,000 total;    1,000,000 net adds
AT&T:     103,247,000 total;    2,500,000 net adds
Sprint:      55,021,000 total;    1,600,000 net adds
T-Mobile:  33,185,000 total      -526,000 (net loss)
MetroPCS:  9,347,000 total;       197,000 net adds
U.S.C:       5,891,000 tota l;       -41,000 (net loss)
Leap:         5,930,000 total;       175,000 net adds

Tracfone:  19,762,000 total;       493,000 net adds  
(listing Tracfone separately since their numbers are built into the provider numbers above) 

01/22/2012: Spot Mobile reported to no longer work on the AT&T network. Updated the Prepaid Comparison chart.

01/15/2012: Corrected Spot Mobile minimum monthly cost. Updated the Prepaid Comparison chart.  [thanks Penelope]

01/08/2012: I need to redesign the website soon!

Added Spot Mobile to the Prepaid Comparison chart. There have been some noise about their parent having financial problems but at $1.25/month it's to cheap to leave off.

November 2011

11/25/2011: Corrected T-Mobile PAYG text rates while roaming in CA/MX. Updated Prepaid Comparison chart. [thanks Edward]

11/15/2011: Corrected T-Mobile PAYG data info (none now that web daypass is gone). Updated Prepaid Comparison chart. [thanks rwshopping]

11/11/11: 3Q2011 update (total connections)
Verizon:   107,700,000 total;    1,300,000 net adds
AT&T:      100,700,000 total;   2,100,000 net adds
Sprint:      53,399,000 total;    1,300,000 net adds
T-Mobile:  33,711,000 total         126,000 net adds
MetroPCS:  9,149,000 total;        69,000 net adds
U.S.C:       5,932,000 total;       -36,000 (net loss)
Leap:        5,755,000 total;        10,000 net adds

Tracfone:  19,269,000 total;       515,000 net adds
(listing Tracfone separately since their numbers are built into the provider numbers above)

October 2011

10/7/2011: Boost Mobile increased PAYG text and voice rates from 10c to 20c. Existing customers grandfathered until they make a change.  Dumbphone data increases from 30c to 50c a day. Updated Prepaid Comparison chart.

September 2011

9/9/2011: Corrected TracFone minimum monthly cost to $5.99. Updated Prepaid Comparison chart. [thanks Shari]

August 2011

9/9/2011: AT&T PAYG now roams in Canada. Rates are 39c/minute, 25c text and $20/MB data (ouch).  Beats no service though. Updated Prepaid Comparison chart. [thanks Ivy]

8/8/2011: 2Q2011 update (total connections)
Verizon:   106,300,000 total;    2,300,000 net adds
AT&T:       98,600,000 total;    1,100,000 net adds
Sprint:      52,123,000 total;    1,100,000 net adds
T-Mobile:  33,600,000 total        -50,000 (net loss)
MetroPCS:  9,080,000 total;       200,000 net adds
U.S.C:       5,968,000 total;        -70,000 (net loss) Leap:        5,746,000 total;       -103,000 (net loss) 
Tracfone:  18,754,000 total;        225,000 net adds
(listing Tracfone separately since their numbers are built into the provider numbers above)  [thanks Ed]

8/1/2011: PagePlus lowers PAYG text to 5c and data to 99c/MB. Updated Prepaid Comparison chart.

July 2011

7/10/2011: T-Mobile 2 Go PAYG raises incoming text rate from 5c to 10c starting 8/13. Updated Prepaid Comparison chart.

May 2011

5/6/2011: 1Q2011 update (total connections)
Verizon:   104,000,000 total;    1,800,000 net adds
AT&T:       97,500,000 total;    2,000,000 net adds
Sprint:      51,031,000 total;    1,100,000 net adds
T-Mobile:  33,600,000 total        -99,000 (net loss)
MetroPCS:  8,881,000 total;       726,000 net adds
U.S.C:       6,033,000 total;        -39,000 (net loss)
Leap:        5,849,000 total;        331,000 net adds

Tracfone:  18,529,000 total;        780,000 net adds

April 2011

4/16/2011: AT&T improves GoPhone PAYG data starting 4/17. $5/10MB, $15/100MB, $25/500MB. Data rolls over if you renew a package before it expires (no change from the way it was).  Updated Prepaid Comparison chart.

4/1/2011: AT&T prepay now charging for international texting. Updated Prepaid Comparison chart.

March 2011

3/30/2011: Updated Tru info. Updated Prepaid Comparison chart. [thanks bbr]

3/21/2010: The biggest wireless news in a long time happened yesterday when AT&T announced it was purchasing T-Mobile USA for approx $39B.

3/4/2011: Updated pagePlus info. Updated Unlimited Prepaid Comparison chart. [thanks Tom]

February 2011

2/25/2011: 4Q2010 update (total connections)
To correct the way numbers are calculated, starting this period the numbers are based on total connections (which means Verizon Wireless numbers have been underreported until now)

Verizon:   102,200,000 total;    1,100,000 net adds
AT&T:       95,500,000 total;    2,800,000 net adds
Sprint:     49,910,000 total;     1,100,000 net adds
T-Mobile:  33,730,000 total;       -23,000 (net loss)
MetroPCS:  8,155,000 total;      298,000 net adds
U.S.C:       6,072,000 total;       -31,000 (net loss)
                       preliminary; USC official results 2/24
Leap:        5,530,000 total;      435,000 net adds
Leap numbers include 320K from Pocket Communications acquisition

Tracfone:   17,700,000 total;     1,100,000 net adds
(listing Tracfone separately since their numbers are built into the provider numbers above)
[corrected USC losses]

2/5/2011: Added Tru to the Prepaid Comparison chart. Rates are now pretty good including 17c/MB data on the T-Mobile USA network. Although there is no domestic USA roaming the SIM will work throughout the world.

January 2011

01/03/2011: Updated PlatinumTel info. Updated Prepaid Comparison chart. [thanks Efraim]

December 2010

12/27/2010: 4Q2010 update
AT&T:      results 1/27/2011

12/25/2010: Updated pagePlus info. Updated Prepaid Comparison chart. [thanks Class 1]

12/24/2010: Updated PlatinulTel, AT&T, Tmo info. Updated Prepaid Comparison chart. [thanks boomerang & robert]

12/12/2010: PagePlus $80 refill now good for one year. Also clarified PlatinumTel airtime rolling over for a max of one year. Updated  Prepaid Comparison chart.

November 2010

11/04/2010: 3Q2010 update
Verizon:    93,200,000 total;      997,000 net adds
AT&T:      92,800,000 total;    2,600,000 net adds
Sprint:     48,813,000 total;       644,000 net adds
MetroPCS:  7,900,000 total;      223,000 net adds
T-Mobile:  33,800,000 total;      137,000 net adds
U.S.C:       6,103,000 total;     -41,000 (net loss)
Leap:        5,088,000 total;    -200,000 (net loss)

Tracfone  - 16,700,000 total;      745,000 net adds
(listing Tracfone separately since their numbers are built into the provider numbers above)

October 2010

10/17/2010: New T-Mobile prepay plans are live. Updated  Prepaid Comparison chart.

10/16/2010: Looking to put an Android on cheap prepaid data (or NO data at all - many people are probably within WiFi range much of the time)? That is the sweet spot!  In addition, the Google Voice app on Android is very usable so you can get away with no text plan fairly easily (no MMS though). And with the hacked version of Skype you can use VOIP without using any voice minutes (not quite ready for prime time but getting close)! I will look at the cheapest data you can get away with. There are plenty of higher cost options !!!
T-Mobile Prepaid:  Any T-Mobile USA or unlocked 850/1700/1900 GSM/UMTS phone. $1.49/day data (only on days of use) (throttled after 30MB). 5c/10c text, 10c+ voice. T-Mobile USA coverage plus some roaming. NO DATA PLAN REQUIRED.
AT&T Prepaid
: Any AT&T or unlocked 850/1900 GSM/UMTS phone. Data is $5/1MB, $20/100MB. Data rolls over. Text is $5/200, $10/1000 or $20/unlimited.  Voice is 10c. AT&T network only plus minimal roaming in the midwest.  NO DATA PLAN REQUIRED.
Boost Mobile: Motorola i1. $349.99. 5c/day data, 10c text, 10c voice. Sprint iDEN network only.  NO DATA PLAN REQUIRED.
Virgin Mobile: Samsung Intercept. $249.99. $25/mo for unlimited text/data and 300 minutes. Sprint PCS network only. Can't put this one on PAYG unfortunately.

10/9/2010: New T-Mobile prepay plans coming 10/18. Web day pass as $1.49/day(any device including smart phones). $1/day plan goes away. $30/1500 talk/text combo/30MB, $50 unlimited talk/text/100MB and $70/unlimited talk/text/2GB [updated].

10/03/2010: New AT&T Gophone options officially start today. Basic PAYG goes from 25c/min to 10c/min to better compete with the rest of the prepaid industry. Package options stay the same.  The unlimited text/data is reduced from $3 to $2 a day that you text/voice.  New $75/mo unlimited text/data/200MB data. Updated the Prepaid Comparison chart

10/03/2010: U.S. Cellular kicks off it's Belief Project. Single line plans start at $50 a month. The plan reduces costs for those that have all smart phones on a family plan but increases monthly costs for many of those on individual lines or on "mixed" dumb/smart phone family plans. The plan also adds a point system that can be used for various things such upgrades and forgiveness for missing a payment due date. The points can't easily be converted to a cash equivalent which makes it difficult to directly compare to other providers or even older USC plans. [revised]

September  2010

09/22/2010: Corrected PlatimumTel info on the Prepaid Comparison chart. [thanks Thar]

09/22/2010: Updated NH coverage area. AT&T 3G updated. [Thanks Larry]

09/11/2010: Updated NH coverage area. Updated ME coverage area.

09/11/28/2010: Updated My Stuff.

09/07/2010: Updated Roadrunner page
(Coverage report Andover ME). U.S. Cellular's GSM 850 roaming network is live (not much detail right now, but network is 310-730).

09/07/2010: Corrected Pageplus info on Pageplus page. [thanks Ed]

August  2010

08/11/2010: 2Q2010 update
Verizon   - 92,100,000 total;   1,400,000 net adds
AT&T      - 90,100,000 total;   1,600,000 net adds
Sprint     - 48,200,000 total;       111,000 net adds
T-Mobile  - 33,600,000 total;     -93,000 (net loss)
Tracfone  - 15,900,000 total;      460,000 net adds
MetroPCS -  7,600,000 total;      303,000 net adds
U.S.C.     -  6,144,000 total;       -3,000 (net loss)
Leap        -  5,288,000 total;    -112,000 (net loss)

July  2010

07/27/2010: Pulled Airvoice CDMA from the prepaid comparison chart as the Verizon-based service is going away by end of year (to be replaced with Sprint MVNO perhaps). [thanks Big Blue 023]

07/22/2010: Corrected T-Mobile rates on Prepaid Comparison chart. [thanks Bob]

07/15/2010: Updated ME Coverage Area chart - added Sprint coverage to Augusta and Bangor [thanks Jerry]

07/13/2010: Corrected PagePlus plans on Hybrid Comparison chart. [thanks Bob]

May 2010

05/31/20: Updated NH Coverage Area Chart.  Quite a bit of new 3G coverage for U.S. Cellular, AT&T, and T-Mobile. Sprint stands out for having done basically nothing for years in what seems to be a "third world country" in their book.

05/31/20: Working on a new data plan table.  There are so many unlimited and hybrids to keep track of and voice rates are so low as to be a commodity now.  Seems that getting deals on text and data are where the holes are right now so that is where I am going to concentrate. See newbie page for some updated info.

05/31/2010: PlatimumTel has come out with a new PAYG plan (5c voice, 2c text, 10c MMS and 10c data). The only catch is you have to use their phones and there are no HTML/Smartphone capable handsets in the bunch to take advantage of the low data rate. There are also hybrid and unlimited available. Sprint network only (no roaming).

05/16/2010: New T-Mobile prepay plans in effect. $15/month for unlimited text/mms and 10c voice.  $50 unlimited voice/text.  The downside is data. The new data plan is pay by the hour. 99c. [update 5/31 - only a few select dumb phones can use the 99c/hour data. No smartphones]  

05/12/2010: 1Q2010 update
Verizon   - 92,800,000 total;   1,500,000 net adds
AT&T     -  87,000,000 total;   1,900,000 net adds
Sprint     - 48,100,000 total;      -75,000 (net loss)
T-Mobile  - 33,700,000 total;     -77,000 (net loss)
Tracfone  - 15,500,000 total;   1,000,000 net adds MetroPCS -   7,300,000 total;     692,000 net adds
U.S.C.     -   6,147,000 total;        6,000 net adds
Leap        -   5,400,000 total;     446,000 net adds  [thanks Ed & danny.boi]

05/04/2010: New Virgin Mobile plans revealed to take effect at the end of May. Biggest news is Blackberry BIS add on for $10/month and three new phones (Blackberry Curve $300, LG Rumor Touch $150 and Kyocera Loft $70). Downside of course is no roaming.

April 2010

04/30/2010: PagePlus Canada roaming confirmed at 60c/min. Updated Prepaid Comparison chart and Hybrid Comparison chart.

 4/20/2010: PagePlus unlimited plan price increase from $39.95 to $44.95 effective May 18.

March 2010

3/28/2010: Updated My Stuff (VZW shut down Unicel GSM in this area so that they could run CDMA/EV-DO on it).  Also pics of my the a855.

03/26/2010: Updated NH Coverage Area chart - corrected MetroPCS roaming partner [thanks Mike]

03/24/2010: Cricket has one-upped MetroPCS in a big way.  Where as MetroPCS has free roaming on U.S. Cellular nationwde, Cricket now has free roaming on Sprint nationwide.  That's big.  You still have to reside in a Cricket service area to start Cricket service.

03/24/2010: One of the Page Plus owners responds here and that gives you the flavor of how the company is run.  As of right now Page Plus is still a great deal for PAYG. Their unlimited is not exactly unlimited, if you hit their undocumented thresholds you get the boot off of unlimited with no warning. If you talk hundreds of minutes a day, call forward often, or have long data sessions, then I would avoid the unlimited plan and go with another provider. You can not activate several smartphone brands or phones that are sold for Verizon prepay. Other than that things seem to be stable. [upd 3/26]

03/19/2010: Page Plus appears to be going down the tubes, new drama on a daily basis. I can no longer recommend them. If they do not come clean on what is going on by early next week they are off the prepaid charts. Don't port your postpaid or landline right now.

February 2010

02/25/2010: 4Q09 update
Verizon   - 91,200,000 total;   2,200,000 net adds
AT&T     -  85,100,000 total;   2,700,000 net adds
Sprint     - 48,100,000 total;    -200,000 (net loss)
T-Mobile  - 33,800,000 total;     371,000 net adds    
Tracfone  - 14,400,000 total;   1,200,000 net adds
U.S.C.     -   6,141,000 total;       10,000 net adds
MetroPCS -   6,640,000 total;     317,000 net adds
Leap        -   4,950,000 total;     298,000 net adds 
[thanks for the tip Ed]

2/20/2010: Updated Coverage Report page
(Coverage report Andover ME from last fall! )

2/19/2009: AT&T updated their coverage maps a couple days ago. Nothing much changed in the northeast.

02/06/2009: Updated VT coverage area with AT&T 3g areas [thanks Travis]. Also updated NH coverage area. Corrected USC coverage map link.

02/05/2010: PagePlus is making several unannounced changes (such as denying smartphone activations). They are not stable right now, not sure what is going on. Be careful!

02/03/2010: PagePlus lowered roaming rates from 59c down to 29c. Unsure if this includes Canada. Updated Prepaid Comparison chart and Hybrid Comparison chart.

January 2010

01/31/2010: Updated My Stuff (VZW activated EV/DO on PCS band F in my area - probably spells the end of Unicel GSM which was just there to hold the license anyways). Updated various devices.

01/27/2010: Apple's big announcement today is the iPAD which is basically a large screen iPhone without the phone that runs WiFi or AT&T 3g.

01/25/2010: Fixed the year of the last couple of updates [thanks Paul]. Also corrected PagePlus rates on the Prepaid Comparison chart [thanks JW]

01/20/2010: Pageplus lowered its basic airtime rates making it even a better deal. Airtime good for 120 days. $10/100 min; $25/400 (6c/min); $50/1000 (5c/min); $80/2000 (4c/min).

01/20/2010: Tracfone specials:
(A) Free ground shipping on phone orders of $19.99+ (B) Get free accessory kit with the purchase of a Tracfone. Promo code 88160. Add phone to cart and add promo code at checkout.
(C) Get $3 off on any phone or accessory $19.99 or more with coupon code 23444. You can add both codes (one at a time).  [Thanks Sean]
(D) New LG 290c (CDMA) available for $49.99 that includes double minutes. You will have to use a zipcode that has CDMA phones such as
04655.
(E) New LG 600g (GSM) available for $19.99 that includes double minutes. (Limited markets)
(F) 200 bonus minutes on the one year airtime card with bonus code online (total 650 min/reg phone; 1000 min/double min phones - for $99.99)
(G) 250 bonus minutes on the one year double minute card with bonus code online (total 1050 minutes for $125.99)

December 2009

12/20/2009: AT&T is turning on 3G throughout VT the next two weeks. Naturally the maps have not been updated to reflect it. Word on the street is that Bennington, Brattleboro, Killington, White River Junction have been on about a week with Burlington to go live any day now [thanks Sweeper]

12/11/2009: Revised prepaid chart. Deleted Alltel U; Updated PagePlus max per minute rate from 12c to 10c. [fixed thanks sabojo]

November 2009

11/05/2009: 3Q09 update
Verizon   - 89,000,000 total;   1,200,000 net adds
AT&T     - 81,600,000 total;   2,000,000 net adds
Sprint     - 48,300,000 total;    -500,000 (net loss)
T-Mobile  - 33,400,000 total;     -77,000 (net loss)
Tracfone  - 13,200,000 total;    712,000 net adds
MetroPCS -   6,322,000 total;     66,000 net adds
U.S.C.     -   6,131,000 total;    -24,000 (net loss)
Virgin       -    N/A - purchased by Sprint
Leap        -   4,656,000 total;    116,000 net adds 

October 2009

10/26/2009: Looking for a Boost i776? It's available for sale.

10/24/2009: Need a Net10 LG 600G phone with 130 minutes remaining? It's available for sale.

10/24/2009: Help create an SMS shortcode white list for Google Voice.

10/22/2009: Corrected PagePlus unlimited plan cost [thanks wp74]

10/19/2009: Reviews of the upcoming Motorola Droid indicate we may really see something big here. Is that why Verizon is thumbing their nose at the iPhone lately? We'll have to wait and see. [thanks for the boygeniusreport link jason]

10/19/2009: Sprint agrees to purchase iPCS. No surprise there. Did anyone really think that Sprint would divest iDEN and WiMax in just one regional market?

10/19/2009: Updated Boost to include call waiting as an available feature. Prepaid Comparison Chart and Unlimited Comparison Chart updated. Got a Boost text today saying its now available (has been broken for years for many of us). [thanks jac1599]

10/18/2009: Continued developing the Unlimited Comparison Chart. Added Virgin, Boost, Metro, Cricket, PlatinumTel and AT&T. Feedback appreciated.

10/17/2009: Started Unlimited Comparison Chart. Starting with Unlimited Talk 'n Text and Straight Talk. Feedback appreciated.

10/17/2009: 3Q09 update.  AT&T to announce 10/22

10/8/2009: Page Plus Cellular once again sets the standard for great plans.  The Talk n Text 1200 plan starts tomorrow (10/9). For $30 a month you get 1200 minutes, 1200 texts and 50MB of data to use while on the Verizon Wireless network.  If you roam on other networks then minutes cost 59c, SMS is still included, but data will not work (including MMS).

10/1/2009: U.S Cellular finally has a decent coverage viewer tool! Had to update coverage chart for NH and ME. A lot of coverage is still 1x.

September 2009

9/27/2009: Updated NH, ME and VT coverage charts (USC has EVDO deployed across most of NH and ME. Maps are not updated. I finally modified my e815 PRL to pick up USC 3G.

9/18/2009: Updated NH coverage charts (Tmo turned on a great deal more 3G, various updates)

9/13/2009: Rumors are that T-Mobile USA's corporate parent, Deutsche Telekom, is working on a bid for Sprint Nextel.

9/13/2009: Sprint Nextel comes out with a M2M for all networks

9/13/2009: Annual trip to Andover ME reveals that Verizon has full EV/DO throughout the area, and that GSM is degraded (basically from poor to unusable). I have yet to load a USC PRL to check their EV/DO coverage. Leave your iPhones at home.

August 2009

08/10/2009: 2Q09 update
Verizon   - 87,700,000 total;   1,100,000 net adds |
AT&T     - 79,600,000 total;   1,400,000 net adds
Sprint     - 48,800,000 total;    -427,000 (net loss)
T-Mobile  - 33,500,000 total;     325,000 net adds
Tracfone  - 12,500,000 total;    730,000 net adds
U.S.C.     -   6,155,000 total;     -88,000 (net loss)
Virgin       -  4,978,000 total;   -269,000 (net loss)
MetroPCS -   6,256,000 total;    193,000 net adds
Leap        -   4,540,000 total;    203,000 net adds 
(corrected USC 11/5/2009)

08/07/2009: PagePlus today releases the best unlimited prepay in the industry. $40 for unlimited text, unlimited voice and 20MB of data. Downside is that MMS costs 10c/each+data. Data overages are 60c/MB. I will add an unlimited chart at some point but it changes almost daily!

July 2009

7/29/2009: Sprint announces it will acquire Virgin Moble USA. It looks like Sprint is trying to compete in the prepaid world in order to gain new subscribers.

7/27/2009: Updated NH coverage charts (Claremont NH now has native T-Mobile coverage - thanks Sweeper)

7/26/2009: I have started a prepaid text and data plan page. Please provide feedback.

7/26/2009: USCC has started turning on EV/DO in the New England market starting 7/15. Official rollout expected in August. Some areas people have confirmed: ME: Augusta, Bangor, Bar Harbor, Brownfield, Ellsworth, Norway, Oxford, Presque Isle, Yarmouth  NH: Ossipee.  Will confirm southern NH when I manage to load up a compatible PRL.

7/25/2009: Updated ME and NH coverage charts

7/5/2009: Tracfone specials:
(A) Get $3 off on any phone or accessory $19.99 or more with coupon code 23444
(B) Free ground shipping on phone orders of $19.99+
(C) Various airtime deals

7/5: Revised prepaid chart. Other chart updates in progress

June 2009

6/14/2009: Updated NY and NH coverage charts

6/7/2009:
- Changed CellGuru Sales to CellGuru Auctions which links to my eBay items for sale. I have a few phones I will be putting up soon
- Also replaced the RCR Wireless Button with Wireless Week.  My Stuff updated with i465 and s1300
- Updated Maine coverage chart
 

May 2009

5/17/09: Several Updates

AT&T GoPhone now has a $3/day plan for unlimited voice calling only on the days where a voice call is billed.

New native T-Mobile coverage
in Plattsburgh and Malone NY; WRJ/Lebanon, NH; Burlington VT Int'l Airport [thanks i0wnj00].

Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile have released an unlimited prepay voice plan for $50.

Rumors and photos of the upcoming Blackberry Storm 2 are out

iPhone version 3 is rumored to be released soon

Today at 8AM all Unicel GSM customers in NH/MA/ME are transitioned over to the Verizon Wireless CDMA/EVDO network. The GSM network is now a roamer-only system.

5/11/09: 1Q09 update
Verizon   - 86,600,000 total;   1,300,000 net adds
AT&T     - 78,200,000 total;   1,200,000 net adds
Sprint    -  49,100,000 total;    -182,000 (net loss)
T-Mobile  - 33,200,000 total;     415,000 net adds
Tracfone  - 11,759,000 total;     567,000 net adds
U.S.C.     -   6,243,000 total;       47,000 net adds
Virgin       -  5,247,000 total;    -133,000 (net loss)
MetroPCS -   6,050,000 total;     384,000 net adds
Leap        -   4,337,000 total;     493,000 net adds

5/7/09: Updated My Stuff
MetroPCS came and went.

March 2009

3/29/09: Will be updating the charts with o2 and possibly some other providers. Looking to start an unlimited chart as well.

3/8/09: Updated My Stuff
Added Nokia e71, BB Storm 9530 and Moto i776 pics

3/1/09: PagePlus officially announces WAP/Web/Data access for $1.20/MB. Brew applications are expected shortly. http://www.pagepluscellular.com

3/1/09: 4Q08 update
AT&T     - 77,000,000 total;   2,100,000 net adds
Verizon   - 72,100,000 total;   1,200,000 net adds
Sprint    -  49,300,000 total; -1,100,000 (net loss)
T-Mobile  - 32,800,000 total;      621,000 net adds
Alltel       - 
Tracfone  - 11,200,000 total;      743,000 net adds
U.S.C.     -   6,200,000 total;       20,000 net adds 
Virgin       -  5,380,000 total;      216,000 net adds
MetroPCS -  5,367,000 total;      520,000 net adds  
Boost       -
Leap        -  3,840,000 total;      385,000 net adds

February 2009

2/20/09: T-Mobile is test marketing a $50 unlimited voice plan in San Francisco.

2/15/09: Updated Prepaid Comparison Chart
Virgin Mobile text rates jump to 15c. The T&C have been changed so those people that had 5c or 10c rates are no longer grandfathered. Everyone pays 15c unless you sign up for a text package.

2/14/09: For upcoming items check out the Guru Sales Page.

2/14/09: Tracfone specials:
(A) Refurb Moto v170 phone with 60 minute card and 60 minute bonus $19.99
(B) Moto w375 bluetooth camera phone with double minutes for life $29.99
(C) 200 bonus minutes on the one year airtime card (total 600 minutes for $99.99)
(D) 200 bonus minutes on the one year double minute card (total 1000 minutes for $139.99)
(E) Get $3 off on any phone or accessory $19.99 or more with coupon code 23444
(F) Free ground shipping on phone orders of $19.99+

2/14/09: Updated the Coverage Area charts.

2/14/09: PagePlus specials: “Buy one get one” and a “Buy one get two” offer online at http://www.pagepluscellular.com

2/12/09: Verizon Wireless announces Friends & Family starting 2/15.  Unlimited calling to five numbers on single lines that have 900+ minutes and ten numbers on family plans that have 1400+ minutes.

2/10/09: USC has shut down TDMA and AMPS network-wide. That's the last of it here in New England and likely for most of the country.

2/10/09: Nokia to sell the e63 unlocked phone for $279 at retail centers. It's basically a watered down e71 (no GPS, 3G is UMTS only, plastic & thicker, no side buttons). However it should start a price war for full-retail phones.

2/10/09: Verizon is expected to [bg link] revamp their prepay plans tomorrow. The MVNO's don't have too much to worry about however. New PAYG matches AT&T (25c voice/20c text). Messaging bundles $10/250&M2M, $20/unlimited. Hybrids revamped. [thanks offthegrid] [turns out true]

2/7/09: MetroPCS launched service in NYC and the Boston metro (Worcester, Providence, and Manchester) on 2/4. Service is provided on the new AWS band (1700 MHz). If I find one of their AWS phones with field test I'll be testing [thanks offthegrid]

2/1/09: Updated Prepaid Comparison Chart

January 2009

1/26/09: News from VT
New Verizon Wireless towers on the top of Stratton and Magic Mountains in SVT yielding a better signal throughout Bondville, Winhall, Londonderry and the surrounding towns [thanks Rob]
A drive through VT this past weekend shows that AT&T prepaid phones now display AT&T and work! The MNC is still 310-890.  AT&T wasted no time cutting TDMA and AMPS. They were working a few weeks ago before AT&T took over but no longer.

1/26/09: USC Customers were notified that TDMA/AMPS would be shut off at the end of February. [thanks Fred]

1/26/09: Sprint to cut 8000 jobs and announce 4Q08 stats on 2/19, a week earlier than planned.

1/20/09: Corrected links page [thanks sarah]

1/17/09: May 17 is the date that Verizon is pulling the plug on its GSM customers in NH/ME/MA. Anyone that has not transitioned to CDMA by that time will lose service. Customers are offered a free phone (but I don't know the model). The GSM network will remain active for roamers.

1/16: Boost Mobile is releasing a new unlimited calling plan for $49.99 starting 1/22 with no extra taxes or fees. Unlimited voice, text, web and walkie-talkie. [thanks offthegrid]

1/9/09: AT&T has added it's new Unicel coverage areas to it's phones. GoPhone users now have coverage on the Unicel networks in VT, NY and WA.

1/8/09: Verizon has completed it's acquisition of Alltel.

1/5/09: Updated Prepaid Comparison Chart
Corrected PagePlus info [thanks John]

1/3/09: Upgraded the forum software, please use the new link to the left. You might have to request your password. You can now self-register.

 

December 2008

12/24/08: Tracfone specials: now has free ground shipping on ALL orders

12/24/08: AT&T took over the Unicel GSM network in VT and NY on Monday. Current Unicel customers are grandfathered for up to one year. AT&T plans and phones to be available in January and store rebranding to be done by the end of February. 75 new positions to be filled in VT more than doubling the current staff at the 10 retail locations in the state.

12/24/08: Updated Prepaid Comparison Chart
Further corrections to SpeakOut (monthly fee of $2.14 charged every month regardless of use [thanks Analogman]

12/17/08: Updated Prepaid Comparison Chart
and Hybrid Comparison Chart.
Corrected PagePlus and Verizon Inpulse info [thanks Bob]
Updated SpeakOut monthly fee to $2.14 [thanks Analogman]

12/14/08: Just returned from 2.5 days without power thanks to the biggest ice storm power outage in the history of NH (420K). It was a great opportunity to see how the various providers dealt with the outage. This is a snapshot of one location so don't look to much into this. The two longstanding providers here, Verizon and U.S. Cellular remained on the air through the entire time. USC's TDMA and analog systems remained up as well! AT&T was hit and miss. Hard to tell if any towers were out. T-Mobile still has no power at my nearest tower. I had no signal for a few hours but they managed to get some towers back up. The nearest two Sprint towers were dark. I did eventually get a weak signal and I got a usable signal back in 1.5 days. Nextel was completely dead for a day then was back to normal.

12/14: Tracfone specials: now has free ground shipping on phone orders of $19.99+
[thanks Eric]

 

November 2008

11/30: Tracfone specials:
(A) Refurb Moto w370 phone with double minutes for life $19.99
(B) 250 bonus minutes on the one year airtime card (total 650 minutes for $99.99)
(c) 250 bonus minutes on the one year double minute card (total 1050 minutes for $139.99)
(D) Get $3 off on any phone or accessory $19.99 or more with coupon code 23444
(E) Free ground shipping on phone orders of $35+

11/30: Updated Prepaid Comparison Chart
Corrected PagePlus rates [thanks Tom].
Corrected AT&T prepaid text/data rates.
STI Mobile activation fee is back.

11/28: Updated Prepaid Comparison Chart
T-Mobile prepay text rates did not change after all.  The T-Mobile website was corrected

11/23: Updated Hybrid Comparison Chart
Deleted Lucky Wireless. Too unreliable.

11/23: Updated Prepaid Comparison Chart
STI Mobile no longer has activation feee for new plans. [thanks Lawrence]

11/18: Updated Hybrid Comparison Chart
U.S. Cellular axes the useless $25/100 minute plan [thanks Brent]

11/18: Updated Prepaid Comparison Chart
T-Mobile prepay text rates changed. Sending, receiving and MMS are all 20c. Current users are grandfathered for the time being.  [thanks Eric and James]

11/11: 3Q08 update
AT&T     -  74,900,000 total;   2,000,000 net adds
Verizon   -  70,800,000 total;   2,100,000 net adds
(includes 630K customers from acquisition of Unicel)
Sprint    -   50,500,000 total; -1,300,000 (net loss)
T-Mobile  - 32,100,000 total;      293,000 net adds
Alltel       - 13,825,000 total;      335,000 net adds
Tracfone  - 10,400,000 total;      341,000 net adds
U.S.C.     -  6,200,000 total;      -18,000 (net loss)     
Virgin       -  5,200,000 total;       -3,000 (net loss)
MetroPCS -  4,850,000 total;      249,000 net adds
Leap        -  3,460,000 total;      156,000 net adds

(Ed - thanks for the tip on Trac and Virgin)

11/07: AT&T to purchase Centennial Wireless which is expected to close 2Q09. Centennial serves portions of the Midwest, the Southeast, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands

 

October 2008

10/25: Tracfone specials:
(A) Moto w376g phone with double minutes for life reduced to $29.99 (no airtime card)
(B) CellGuru special: Get $3 off on any phone or accessory $19.99 or more with coupon code 23444 (good through 10/31/2008)
(C) Free ground shipping still in effect

10/25: The Verizon version of the iPhone killer is the Blackberry Storm which is due to be released 11/10.

10/25: The HTC Touch Pro is slated to come out 11/2 for Sprint.

10/9: Starting 11/1 Verizon Wireless will start charging content providers (e.g. Google, sports scores, news, stocks) 3c for every SMS they send to a Verizon Wireless customer. This will likely shut down these alerts until the content providers can switch to premium texting or find some other way to pass on the cost to customers. After the expected huge backlash from content providers Verizon is back peddling saying the 3c fee is not final and was not meant to be released to the public. [no longer going to happen]

10/9: AT&T GoPhone "downgrades" effective 11/12. PAYG and PYP lose the unlimited text and data $20 bundles. In addition, pay-per-use text will increase to 20c each.

10/8: Updated Prepaid Comparison Chart
 Boost Mobile lowers basic prepay rate to 10c anytime [thanks Erica]

September 2008

9/28: Tracfone specials:
(A) CellGuru special: Get $3 off on any phone or accessory $19.99 or more with coupon code 23444 (good through 10/31/2008)
(B) Free ground shipping still in effect
(C) Reconditioned Moto w370 phone with double minutes for life $19.99 (no airtime card)

9/24: Tracfone specials:
Free 3-day ground shipping on any order of $35+.
(A) Double minute one year card includes 1000 minutes (thru 9/30 but likely extended)
 (B) One year card includes 600 minutes (thru 9/30)
(C) Moto w376g, camera phone, double minutes, $49.99
(D) LG 225, camera phone, double minutes, and 450 minutes good for one year, $99.99

9/24: T-Mobile has announced the details of the Google Android G1 Phone which will be released in October. You can pre-order today (if eligible for an upgrade) for $189 with two year contract. It will require a $25 data/200 text plan or a $35 data/unlimited text plan. You will not be using your $5.99 T-Zones plan for this phone. T-Mobile announced a 1GB/month soft cap but with the backlash from power users they have quietly removed the limit in their wording.

9/17: Tracfone specials:
(A) Double minute one year card includes 1000 minutes (thru 9/23 but likely extended)
 (B) One year card includes 600 minutes (thru 9/23)
(C) Moto w376g, camera phone, double minutes, $49.99
(D) LG 225, camera phone, double minutes, and 450 minutes good for one year, $99.99

9/17: AT&T Push to Talk reduced to $5/month, which matches Verizon's price. Sprint remains at $10.

9/5: Updated Newbie U page
(Don't get too excited, baby steps!)

9/5: Updated Unicel page and associated Northeast map (with divesture area)

9/1: Updated Roadrunner page
(Coverage report Andover ME)

August 2008

8/28: Tracfone specials:
(A) Double minute one year card includes 1000 minutes
 (B) One year card includes 550 minutes
(C) Moto w376g, camera phone, double minutes, $49.99
(D) LG 225, camera phone, double minutes, and 450 minutes good for one year, $99.99

8/28: Updated Prepaid Comparison Chart
Updated TracFone info [thanks BillD]

8/20: 2Q08 update
AT&T     -  72,900,000 total;   1,300,000 net adds
Verizon   -  68,700,000 total;   1,500,000 net adds 
Sprint    -   51,900,000 total;    -901,000 (net loss)
T-Mobile  - 31,500,000 total;      668,000 net adds
Alltel       - 13,490,000 total;      320,000 net adds
U.S.C.     -  6,200,000 total;        16,000 net adds
MetroPCS -  4,600,000 total;      184,000 net adds
Leap       -   3,300,000 total;      171,000 net adds
Unicel       -    791,000 total;          1,000 net adds

8/15: T-Mobile to offer first Android smartphone, with launch in the 4Q08 timeframe.

8/14: i425 giveaway! Congratulations to Chris Norton who has won the Cellguru i425 give away with the following suggestion:
I'd like to see Newbie U updated and maybe a Tech/Update/Mod/Tip of the week section added with hints and tips to get the most out of whatever phone is chosen for the week
Chris, the i425 will go out early next week. Thanks for all that participated (some suggestions were similar) and thanks to my panel (L.Za and M.Mogul) who were unanimous with the decision. Now I have to figure out how to actually implement this!

8/12: T-Mobile to change text rates starting 8/29/2008: It will be 20c to send or receive. Text packages are not affected unless you exceed your package maximum. [thanks Bill]

8/11: i425 giveaway! The deadline of 8/10 has passed and the entries are being evaluated. It's not that easy, there are several great ideas! I have a few other folks helping with this. Thanks for all that offered the suggestions.  The winner will be announced in the next few days.

8/11: Tracfone specials:
(A) Double minute one year card includes 1000 minutes through 8/19/2008 (has been extended a few times already)
 (B) One year card includes 550 minutes through 8/19/2008
(C) Moto w376g, camera phone, double minutes, $49.99
(D) LG 225, camera phone, double minutes, and 450 minutes good for one year, $99.99

8/7: Verizon Wireless completes the purchase of RCC/Unicel.

8/6: Cleaned up coverage area charts. Correct Sprint 3G areas [thanks Jason]

8/6: Removed 7-11 SpeakOut Wireless link as there is no website or information page any longer [thanks Gordon]

8/5: Corrected Boost text rates on prepaid charts [thanks Eric]

8/1: Verizon purchase of Unicel has been approved by the FCC so it should happen quickly.

July 2008

7/22: Tracfone specials:
(A) Double minute one year card includes 1000 minutes through 7/22/2008 (has been extended several times)
 (B) One year card includes 600 minutes through 8/5/2008
(C) Moto w376g, bluetooth, camera phone, double minutes, $49.99

7/22: Virgin Mobile rolls out unlimited voice plan for $79.99/month. No contract. Does NOT include text or data. Limited to Sprint PCS network only.

7/22: Net10 rolls out unlimited voice plan for $79.98/month. No contract. Includes unlimited text. It's not clear whether roaming partners are included but it appears so.

7/20: OK, here is a CellGuru first. Brought to you by the good people that support the site by purchasing from my links and ads. I am giving away a Boost Mobile i425t. It was my Boost test phone for a few months and is in good shape. There are some light scratches on the display from being bounced around with my other test phones. Buy hey, free is free :)  Anyways here is the deal. The phone goes to whoever gives me the best suggestion for improving this website. The decision is mine although I will consult my team of gurus. The deadline for the suggestion is August 1st, the day the FCC rules on the Verizon Wireless/Unicel deal. The winner will be announced within a few days after that. SUBMIT HERE
(a couple rules: winner must reside in the US with a US shipping address, package will contain phone, SIM starter kit and charger, and will be sent via the ground shipping method of my choosing. If you want the entire packaging or a specific shipping method then the winner will pay any additional cost)

7/18: The FCC will finally vote on the VZW buyout of Unicel on 8/1.

7/18: Cleaned up coverage area charts.

7/17: Updated coverage report page.
NNY and Central Adirondack reports

7/10: Updated Prepaid Comparison Chart
Updated PagePlus info

7/9: I just ordered the Boost i335 so there will be a i425 available soon.

7/9: PagePlus has activated MMS, but at the staggering cost of 40c *PLUS* data ($1.20/MB). For the max size 500KB attachment the cost would be $1.  WAP is still being worked out but it will cost $1.20/MB. Along with this the $80 refill appears to be dropped and there are rumors of reduced value on the larger refills. Very disappointing.

7/8: Updated Hybrid Comparison Chart
Updated Verizon Inpulse: $100 card good for a year; daily charge only when voice call made or received [thanks Al]

June 2008

6/22: Tracfone specials:
(A) Double minute one year card includes 1000 minutes through 7/8/2008
 (B) One year card includes 600 minutes through 6/30/2008
(C) Moto w376g, camera phone, double minutes, $49.99

6/22: Updated Prepaid Comparison Chart
Updated Boost info [thanks Berthold]

6/16: Apple announced the 3G iPhone last week but it will not ship until 7/11. Phone price is reduced by $200 but the data plan increases by $10/month (for a net cost increase of $40 over the two year mandatory contract). Many new features, but still no MMS for some reason.

6/16: Sprint revamps plans. Many of the new family plan options are cheaper than comparable offerings from AT&T and Verizon. Free Incoming plans were quietly deleted. At the low end you are still better off with prepaid.

6/16: PagePlus now has on-line account management (refills, features, call logs).  Still no MMS or data however.

6/16: Updated links page
[Added www.prepaid-wireless-guide.com]

6/5: It's official and has been a pretty well kept secret until yesterday. Verizon Wireless will purchase Alltel for a projected aggregate value of $28.1B, subject to FCC and DOJ approval of course.

6/4: Verizon Wireless in negotiations to buy Alltel for $27B

6/4: T-Mobile one ups the competition in the unlimited voice and text plan with "Family Time Unlimited". $150 for two lines and up to 3 more lines for $50 each

6/4: Updated Prepaid Comparison Chart
Reworded Tmobile airtime expiration terms. [thanks Sanford]

6/1: Boost Mobile will start charging 10c to receive texts starting 7/23.


May 2008

5/21: Tracfone specials:
(A) Moto v170 $30 including 120 minutes and 90 days of service
 (B) Free shipping on phone & phone bundles of $35 and above through 6/30/2008.

5/21: Net10 specials:
(A) Refurb Moto v171 $19.99 including 300 minutes and 60 days of service
(B) Refurb Nokia 1600 $30 including 60 minutes and 120 days of service
(C) Free shipping on phone & phone bundles of $35 and above through 6/30/2008.
[thanks mharris127]

5/16: Tracfone specials:
(A) 1 yr 600 min $100 promo code 50376 exp 5/19 [expired]
(B) 1 yr 950 min $140 double min promo code 57349 exp 5/19 [expired]
(C) W370, access., double minutes, $50

5/15: 1Q08 update
AT&T    -  71,400,000 total; 1,300,000 net adds
Verizon  - 67,200,000 total; 1,500,000 net adds 
Sprint   -  52,800,000 total; -1,000,000 (net loss)
T-Mobile - 30,800,000 total;  2,100,000 net adds
  (total includes 1.1M from Suncom)
Alltel      - 13,170,000 total;     385,000 net adds
U.S.C.    -    6,200,000 total;     80,000 net adds
Unicel     -      790,000 total;      -1,000 (net loss)

5/8: Virgin Mobile and Helio are in merger talks according to several sources.

5/5: T-Mobile unleashes 3G in NYC.

5/5: Various rumors about Sprint PCS (1) spinning off Nextel and (2) about Deutsche Telekom making a bid (or hostile takeover)

5/5: Updated Prepaid Comparison Chart
Updated Hybrid Comparison Chart
Corrected various GoPhone data [thanks raderator]

5/4: Updated Prepaid Comparison Chart
Tracfone 70 minute card has expiration of only 60 days, causing the chart to change.

5/3: Tracfone specials updated. Mother's Day Bundle: LG 225, accessory pack, double minutes, free shipping, $49.99.

5/2: AT&T GoPhone Pay As You Go adds the $20/month unlimited data add-on (still unadvertised)

April 2008

4/27: Updated Hybrid Comparison Chart
T-Mobile released a new hybrid plan. $1/day (on days you make or receive a voice call), 10c airtime, unlimited m2m, unlimited nights (7pm-7am). [corrected 4/29 thanks Steve].

4/27: May add info on Oxygen and T-Mobile FlexPay in the future

4/22: Updated Prepaid Comparison Chart
Updated Hybrid Comparison Chart
AlltelU has some free roaming on USC [thanks hatman].

4/21: AMPS/TDMA Watch:
AMPS can be retired as of 2/19/2008
VZW AMPS: Shut down 2/22
most (if not all) systems are shut down
AT&T TDMA/AMPS: Shut down 3/5
most (if not all) systems are shut down
USC AMPS/TDMA: shutdown in October 2008 according to one report
Alltel AMPS: shutdown in 3 phases 4/16/08 (south), 6/30 (11 states), 9/31 (remaining 14 states)
Unicel AMPS:
Shutdown starts 5/20/08

4/21: Updated Prepaid Comparison Chart
Tracfone info updated [thanks raderator].
Boost min/month updated [thanks Don]

4/5: Updated My Stuff
Revised phone info

4/5: Updated Prepaid Comparison Chart
Corrected Tmo2Go Int'l rates [HoFo]

4/3: Tracfone specials updated. Nothing eventful.

4/3: Updated Prepaid Comparison Chart
Updated Airvoice CDMA min cost [thanks Bob]

4/2: Updated 3/28: 4Q07 update
AT&T   -  70,100,000 total; 2,700,000 net adds
  (total includes 1.7M from Dobson)
Verizon -  65,700,000 total; 2,000,000 net adds
Sprint   -  53,800,000 total;   -107,000 net loss
T-Mobile - 28,700,000 total;    951,000 net adds
Alltel      - 12,785,000 total;    338,000 net adds
U.S.C.    -   6,100,000 total;     55,000 net adds
Unicel     -     791,000 total;             0 net adds

March 2008

3/28: Updated Virgin Mobile rates [thanks Gon4Frin2 and others]

3/28: Tracfone specials updated. One year card $10 off until 3/31. Free 3-day ship on phone orders of $35 and up

3/4: Corrected Tmo2Go page
[thanks Ed]

3/1: Updated T-Mo prepaid maps [thanks Tom]


February 2008

2/28: Sprint announces Simply Everything plan for $100, voice, data, NAV, TV, music, etc. No tethering and no discounts on this plan. There are a couple other changes as well, but no $30 add-on lines that people have been waiting for.

2/28: Tracfone specials updated. Loss of a couple deals

2/28: Updated PagePlus page [thanks Paul]

2/28: Virgin Mobile updates its plans.  The traditional prepay minute rate increases from 18 to 20c/minute. Some monthly packages are improved. Will update the charts when I have some time [thanks Eric]

2/26: Updated Prepaid Comparison Chart
GoPhone PAYG Int'l text sending is now 25c. Note I am currently being charged 15c for some reason.

2/22: Updated Hybrid Comparison Chart
Corrected PagePlus 24/7 pricing (now $75) [thanks Aleksandr]

2/20: U.S. Cellular joins the $99.99 unlimited bandwagon. Alltel? Sprint? Rumor is that Sprint is mulling going even lower. Don't know what they are waiting for.

2/20: Tracfone specials updated. $50 gets you a W370 and double minutes for life.

2/19: The price war is on!  Unlimited voice calling for $99.99 on Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile. Sprint was testing this option but is now caught playing catch up after the surprise Verizon Wireless move. This is more a perception issue as the number of people to take advantage of it is probably small.  However I bet some take the opportunity to figure out how a way to resell the airtime. What people really want is the unlimited family plan for $100 and that is not happening today.

2/17: Engadget thinks they have the scoop on the unlimited Verizon plans starting 2/19! [thanks Jason]

2/16: Petition to deny the Verizon buyout of Unicel entered on 2/11 as expected. The petition wants to go above and beyond the law and force divesture of any GSM850 MHz coverage area in VT where Verizon has any current service.  If they can't have that, they demand Verizon to be forced to keep GSM going for at least six years.

2/16: Rumors galore about something happening at VZW on 2/19. Speculation from new phones to changes in employee compensation to an unlimited calling plan. Ad on USA TODAY shows unlimited calling for $99.99.

2/16: Tracfone specials updated.

2/11: Blackberry 8330 Curve (CDMA) revealed [thanks Jason]

2/11: Not a good day for T-Mobile USA.
Microsoft to acquire Danger, putting into question the future of the Sidekick and likely ending exclusivity. Also, Starbucks WiFi agreement being moved from T-Mo to AT&T.

2/10: Updated non-camera phone page

2/10: Updated email to cell page
Added Virgin Mobile USA SMS address

2/9 Started phone review pages. Feel free to comment in the forum.

2/9: Updated My Stuff
M1000 (WildCard obtained)

2/9: Updated Hybrid Comparison Chart
Added SpeakOut $40 night/weekend plan
Updated Inpulse Rates [thanks Ian]

2/9: Updated Prepaid Comparison Chart
Corrected Tmo2Go activation ($10 SIM kit) [thanks Steven]
Added disclaimer on $5 SpeakOut refill.

2/8: Tracfone specials updated.
$140 double minute one-year card now includes 1000 min

2/8: Updated Prepaid Comparison Chart
Corrected SpeakOut rates again [thanks analogman]
Corrected Tmo roaming rate (rate almost doubled at 99c/min in CA) [thanks Ed]

2/2: Tracfone specials updated.
$20 gets you a NEW phone plus two 60 minute cards. Free shipping until 2/14 too!  Great deal!


2/2: Updated Prepaid Comparison Chart
Corrected SpeakOut rates [thanks remusrm]


2/2: Updated Hybrid Comparison Chart
Added pagePlus plans [thanks Sasha]

January 2008

1/25: Updated Hybrid Comparison Chart
Renamed Venture Mobile to Lucky Wireless [thanks Victor]

1/22: Updated city charts with 3G info (EV/DO & HSDPA) [ NH | VT | ME | MA | RI | CT | NY ]

1/22: Verizon Wireless To Purchase SureWest Communications’ Wireless Assets In Northern California

1/20: [unconfirmed] Verizon purchases the 850 MHz Cellular A-Band in Litchfield Co CT from Alltel, expected to close 2/29/2008.

1/20: Tracfone specials updated.
Just a couple adjustments for the next week.


1/19: Updated
NH coverage chart [thanks necellularsites]

1/18: Sprint stock loses 25% of value on news of horrible 4Q07 (full results expected 2/28)

1/16: AT&T will raise the price of texting to 20c/SMS starting 3/30. That is just highway robbery, but they are following Verizon who followed Sprint.

1/15: AT&T increases night & weekend minutes on the PYP $50 plan from 1000 to 3000. Updated Hybrid Comparison Chart
[thanks Gon4Frin2, nice catch]

1/14: Native Verizon service detected in Arlington VT (at least some of the Route 7 towers are on) [thanks Jim]. Updated
coverage report page.

1/11: Tracfone specials updated.
Just a couple price adjustments for the next week.

1/11:
TheStreet is reporting buzz that Sprint PCS is going to report a record loss of 500,000 customers in 4Q07. Other estimates include AT&T adding 2-4-2.7M new subscribers and Verizon adding 1.9M.

1/7:
AT&T revamping data plans 1/20. Soft limit on tether of 5GB/month. One warning then data will be cancelled with ETF. Lots of people must be trying to use this as a cable/DSL replacement. Sounds like there will be more checking on correct data plans based on your current device.

1/7: Verizon preparing to launch 1900 MHz service in the
Bennington VT area. This will provide continuous native service on Rt. 7 from Rutland to the MA line [thanks Eric].

1/5: Verizon will raise the price of texting to 20c/SMS starting 3/2. That is just highway robbery, but they are following Sprint PCS who recently led the way back on 10/1/2007.

1/5: Verizon's Keene system on-line 1/1/2008 and is running EV/DO [thanks Mark]. Updated
coverage report page.

1/3: Verizon has finally turned on its 1900 MHz system in the Keene area. New native coverage along Rt 9 from Brattleboro VT to Keene NH. Not sure about the Keene to Peterborough section. [thanks Chris]


December 2007

12/27: I am switching my host server so you may have intermittent access to the site over the next day or two. I may have to switch to different forum software with the host server switch [delayed indefinitely]

12/27: Updated Prepaid Comparison Chart
Updated providers that did not make the chart.

12/25: Tracfone specials fixed.
I had the promo codes mixed up [thanks and sorry Jules]

12/22: Sprint PCS in the process of building out North Conway, NH. This resort area is getting native coverage from all providers (except AT&T). [thanks offthegrid]

12/22: Tracfone specials updated.
Constant changes! Free ship until 1/2 (min $19.99), 1YR svc/600min $99.99. 

12/20: Cheap prepay phones at retail stores:
Boost i425 ($17.99 Best Buy)
TracFone c139 w/ double minutes ($12.88 WalMart)

12/20: 7-Eleven is expanding its SpeakOut program, offering a new, unlimited nights and weekends plan. 
http://www.csnews.com/csn/news/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1003686491[thanks Jeff]

12/20: Updated
PagePlus info [thanks Steve].

12/15:
Net10 has a refurb Nokia 1600 available with 300 bonus minutes and 60 days (in addition to the $30 bonus airtime all Net10 phones come with). CDMA phones are now available on Net10. Free ground shipping until 1/2/2008 (min $19.99 order). Most phone prices have dropped $10 recently [thanks Eric]

12/15: Tracfone specials updated. Free ground shipping until 1/2/2008 (min $19.99 order), one year of service and 550 minutes for $99.99. 

12/14: Updated My Stuff with a photo of my Moto phones lined up, maxx v3, e815, v3xx, v635

12/14: Sprint EV/DO turned on in Keene [thanks Alex]. Now that I have a 3G GSM phone I can look for AT&T updates. Sad to say there is nothing new to report. The map is pretty accurate (3G stops just past exit 32N on Rt 3 in MA)

12/10: Updated PagePlus info. New Unlimited Plan to be released ($3/day, no bonus minutes though) [thanks Chris]

12/8: T-Mobile is now selling prepaid starter kits on the prepaid section of their website for $9.99. It only comes with 10 starter minutes but it saves you from having to go to eBay [thanks Doug]

12/8: Updated Prepaid Comparison Chart
Updated T-Mobile To GO info [thanks Tim].

12/8: The special Sprint SERO plans are still going strong. Great deal at $30 for 500 minutes, nights and weekends starting at 7PM, unlimited text and unlimited data (Blackberry data not included). Use the e-mail address enternamehere@sprintemi.com to look at the plans. You probably should get a real employee e-mail to sign up. Good for the holidays! [thanks Christopher].

12/04: Verizon and AT&T agree to swap some markets (the former Dobson and pending Unicel markets). What this means for New England is as follows:  AT&T gets the following Unicel markets: Northeastern NY (Plattsburgh and eastern Adirondacks) and Northern VT (Burlington and Rutland). It was a well known fact that Verizon had to divest those areas anyways. This should help push the Unicel sale through.


November 2007

11/28: Updated Prepaid Comparison Chart
Corrected TracFone's minimum monthly cost [thanks rrando].

11/25:
PagePlus info updated as you can now purchase $80 card on PP site (with 6% tax tho) [thanks Joseph]

11/21: Tracfone specials updated. The refurb phone plus two 60-minute cards for $20 is back for the holidays!

11/15: AT&T completes acquisition of Dobson Communications. Dobson markets will have AT&T plans and AT&T signage in place by 12/9, with complete transition by 6/30/2008. Dobson customers will be grandfathered on their existing plans.

11/13: Updated Hybrid Comparison Chart 
Verizon quietly drops the EasyPay hybrid plan.

11/11: 3Q07 update
AT&T    -  65,700,000 total; 2,000,000 net adds
Verizon  - 63,700,000 total; 1,600,000 net adds 
Sprint    - 54,000,000 total;    -60,000 net loss
T-Mobile - 27,734,000 total;   857,000 net adds
Alltel      - 12,447,000 total;   205,000 net adds
U.S.C.    -   6,067,000 total;    57,000 net adds
Dobson   -   1,768,000 total;    49,000 net adds
Unicel     -     791,000 total;    12,000 net adds

11/8: Following Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile, Sprint is moving to pro-rated early termination fees sometime in 2008.

11/8: Thanks for your suggestions so far, I will be working on them, some before others [thanks Arnold,  dtraubert and Edward]

11/7: Following Verizon and AT&T, T-Mobile is moving to pro-rated early termination fees sometime in 2008. No details are available at this time.

11/4: Two phones in review for my review page (not quite there yet).  Mini review:
Virgin Mobile Super Slice: Smallest phone I own (2.5 oz), sound quality and volume ok on earpiece and speakerphone in quiet room. Good features. RF the worst of any phone I own. Field test disabled.
Boost i425i. Good features. Small (3.0 oz). Ok sound/volume on earpiece and speakerphone. Can't use your own wallpaper. RF not as good as the i95 (down 5 dBm)

11/3: CellGuru website redesign is underway. Please send any suggestions my way.

11/1: MetroPCS abandons bid for Leap. The two companies were too far apart in their valuations.


October 2007

10/28: Here's the reason Apple is cracking down on unlocking and why they don't plan to break their exclusive agreement with AT&T. It seems Apple receives an average of $18/month from each iPhone! [thanks Ed]

10/27: Apple is limiting iPhone sales for the holidays - two iPhones per person and no cash. Apple says this is to prevent unlocking and use on other networks, which looks to be over 25% of current sales! [thanks Ed]

10/27: Sprint to allow customers to unlock their phones when moving to other providers and allow non-Sprint phones on their network. I'll believe it when I see it. Currently, data might not work properly across providers. This move should help in the long term.

10/24: As I alluded to a couple weeks ago, Virgin Mobile has raised texting to 10c starting today. The good news is that existing customers are grandfathered at the 5c until they change their plan or let the plan expire.

10/17: Verizon Wireless is changing some of their plans (one of the worst kept secrets out there right now).  First change. National Plans. Starting 11/1, all data usage will be charged at the rate of $2/MB. There will be no more minutes of use (MOU) where data use was charged in minutes.  This effectively closes the loophole where you could use free WAP and tether during nights and weekends. Old plans are grandfathered, but any account change will require a switch to the new plan (no contract extension, but you will have to change plans. One exception - you can add a line of service on an existing family share plan and stay on MOU). Mobile web will no longer be charged a monthly fee, but your data use for mobile web will be charged. Data will also be charged for browsing GIN, downloading music or playing online games. What this does is make you pay $15 for VCAST, where data is unlimited, just as it is now. Not sure if/when they will close the VCAST tether loophole.
Second change. Inpulse prepaid has two new plans (probably will take the place of the original one). Daily charge will now only be charged on days of use (voice mail and text count). However, you get less for your daily charge than you did.
99c/day gets you unlimited M2M, 10c airtime and 10c text. NO NIGHTS, NO WEEKENDS.
$1.99/day gets you unlimited M2M, nights (9PM), 5c airtime and 5c text. NO WEEKENDS.
$2.99/day gets you unlimited M2M, nights (9PM), 2c airtime and 2c text. NO WEEKENDS.

10/17:
PagePlus started a new night/weekend plan 10/8. $10 to activate the new (optional) plan. NEW RATES: You will be charged a $0.99 fee everyday (used or not) for unlimited nights and weekends You will be charged $0.05 per minute for calls with Page Plus customers You will be charged $0.12 per minute for calls with non-Page Plus customers You will be charged $0.15 per SMS sent or received You must keep at least $0.99 in order to keep the unlimited nights and weekends then all calls will be billed at $0.12/min except Mobile to Mobile at $0.05. You will not be able to use the "Unlimited Nights and weekends" while roaming or for any other purpose other than Domestic local minutes.

10/17: Following in Verizon's footsteps, AT&T is moving to pro-rated early termination fees.

10/15: Nokia will start making CDMA phones again. They miss the 60% CDMA penetration in the US. Duh. The last straw may be that Kyocera is buying Sanyo (whose phones Nokia was going to rebrand).

10/15: Tracfone specials updated.

10/09: Looks like the new Virgin Wild Card (VX-9900 clone) hit the streets this week. More at HoFo

10/09: New Verizon Inpulse plans. Daily charge now only on days used. Rates higher, but better overall if you don't use the phone everyday. You can see more at HoFo.

10/09: Rumor: Virgin Mobile raising text to 10c. No date available at this time.

10/01: Updated Prepaid Comparison Chart
Updated SpeakOut CDMA info. Also clarified Airvoice GSM daily fee is only charged on days the phone is used [thanks analogman].

10/01: Updated Hybrid Comparison Chart
[Updated GoPhone PYP plans - thanks Gon4Frin2]


September 2007

9/30: Updated Prepaid Comparison Chart
Speakout GSM reduced their airtime rate from 20c down to 15c as of 9/26 [thanks Eric].

9/30: AT&T just turned up a cell site in Winthrop, Maine. They are on the same tower as USC, Verizon and Unicel [thanks Fred].

9/28: Apple bricks hacked/unlocked iPhones with its latest software update (will this backfire on Apple?)  [RCR Wireless News].

9/27: Another MVNO down the tubes, Disney Mobile announced they are shutting down as of 12/31/2007 [RCR Wireless News].

9/26: Verizon EV/DO coverage in VT expanded. EV/DO now in Rutland, Killington and Montpelier. Also detected intermittently along Rt. 7 (Brandon)  [HoFo]

9/21: It looks like the world may converge on one wireless standard for 4G. Verizon Wireless stated that it may consider an upgrade to Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology for 4G. [corrected 11/16]

9/21: The Sprint PCS coverage map has not had the ability to show just native coverage. However you can now see it on the Virgin Mobile map. Too bad it does not show EV/DO.

9/20: Updated Hybrid Comparison Chart
[Corrected USC Prepaid info - thanks Lance]

9/17: T-Mobile to purchase SunCom for $2.4B.
[Thanks Ed and several others]

9/17: Leap Wireless rejects MetroPCS merger offer, says its too low
[Thanks Ed and several others]

9/15: Cingular PAYG text prices to increase from 5c to 15c as of 10/30/2007. This matches current PYP and plan rates. [thanks Jairzinho]. Updated appropriate references [That leaves Virgin as the low cost per-use text leader at 5c]

9/13: Updated Prepaid Comparison Chart
[Deleted BeyondGSM - no longer available, seems their new name is Jolt - thanks AG8000]

9/9: Updated links page
[Verified active links]
[Added  signalmap.com - thanks Matt]

9/9: Tracfone specials updated. Of note: Moto w370 (poor man's RAZR) now available.

9/9: Updated email to cell page with some MVNO info [thanks Richard]

9/9: AT&T adds 11 new cell sites in NH in 2007 - thanks Mark]

9/9: Updated Prepaid Comparison Chart [added AirVoice CDMA to chart - thanks Robert]
[revised TracFone info - no card less than $20 now - thanks Ed]
[revised PagePlus info - thanks Richard]

9/4: Updated Roadrunner page
(Coverage report Andover ME and Rt 2 WME)

9/4: MetroPCS proposes $5.1B merger with Leap


August 2007

8/29: Updated Prepaid Comparison Chart and Hybrid Comparison Chart
[Can't port numbers into Alltel U (also in the FAQ) - thanks Bob]

8/28: Verizon EV/DO coverage in NH expanded. EV/DO extends west on Rt 101 from Nashua to Peterborough. EV/DO covers entire stretch of I-89 in NH (Concord to Lebanon). [thanks to Mike at NEcellularsites]

8/27: The suite of Locus plans has improved with lower per minute pricing on their plans. There are still various fees and short expirations, but it is worth a look to see if it might be a good deal for you. Not sure if/when I will put them in the chart [thanks Ian]

8/23: Sprint raises text rates to 20c to send and receive. In the notice to customers it says they can't consider this a material change to get out of contract. Another fumble for Sprint. You'd think that providers would not be trying to push the envelope because ultimately this will get them regulated.

8/22: Updated Prepaid Comparison Chart and Hybrid Comparison Chart
[PagePlus Int'l texting is 20c. PP rep said it was either 12c or 20c, but user confirmed 20c - thanks Efraim]
[Updated AT&T and Tmo2Go info - thanks Jairzinho]
[Started text change from Cingular to AT&T - a lot more changes that I realized]

8/20: Cabot VT  is finally getting cell service for the first time!  Unicel will place cells on a local Silo. Verizon has tried to build a tower for years but has been shut down by the NIMBYs (the Thistle Hill Neighborhood Alliance ran Verizon out of town ten years ago - this time it's in another part of town and VT is backing Unicel's effort). Now that they are purchasing Unicel, Verizon must divest this system due to competition - it's rather humorous [thanks FC-magnet]

8/20: Verizon adds a new tower at Stowe VT this summer (about time!) - thanks Bruce

8/20: Updated Prepaid Comparison Chart and Hybrid Comparison Chart
[deleted Amp'd]
[adjusted Airvoice expirations - thanks nophone]
[added note about funny money to PagePlus and Tmo2Go - thanks Jeff]
[added that AlltelU deducts airtime for using the web - thanks Phillip]

8/20: Tracfone and Net10 users have indicated that GSM Canadian Roaming no longer works. The phone gets no signal. Unsure about CDMA phones at this time. [Thanks Ed]

8/13.  Target, at least in the Boston metro, has all of the $50 prepaid refill cards on sale for $40 this week (Tmo, Trac, etc) [thanks Ed].

8/13: 2Q07 update
AT&T    -  63,700,000 total; 1,500,000 net adds
Verizon  -  62,100,000 total; 1,300,000 net adds
[Total 1.6M but taking a 300K writeoff on Amp'd]
Sprint    -  54,000,000 total;   373,000 net adds
T-Mobile - 26,900,000 total;   857,000 net adds 
Alltel      - 12,200,000 total;   181,000 net adds
U.S.C.    -   6,010,000 total;    37,000 net adds
Unicel     -     779,000 total;    63,000 net adds


July 2007

7/31: Prexar Mobile will be taking over the Amp'd Customer base, if they want to continue with their phones and number (other than the Hollywood/e816, which will no longer be allowed on the Verizon network due to bugs). Amp'd customers have until tomorrow to sign up for new service. They offer only hybrid plans and it's voice and text only. Any previous Amp'd prepaid balance or monthly minutes are terminated tomorrow. There will be no ETF, but Amp'd customers will have to pay their bills or face a collections agency. I will add them to the chart if it looks like a good reliable service. The company is owned by USA Telephone, the same company behind Teleblend, who is taking over Sunrocket customers. Hmmm.

7/30: Updated Prepaid Comparison Chart [AirVoice GSM raises fees and lowers rates. There is now a 20c daily usage fee for any use (text or voice). The $1 e911 fee remains. The $1 service charge is eliminated. Airtime is lowered to 10c. You'll have to figure out if this is good or bad for you. - thanks Felix]

7/30: Verizon to purchase RCC/Unicel for $2.75B. This gives Verizon virtually 100% 850 coverage in New England (minus a couple areas such as Litchfield Co CT). All Unicel customers will be moved over to CDMA, although GSM roaming will remain [thanks Ed & many others]

7/29: Virgin Mobile has a couple of new things: a M2M minute plan (10c M2M, 20c other), and now free M2M on their $100 monthly plan [thanks Sasha.

7/27: T-Mobile unofficially released the hybrid FlexPay Plan. The advantage of this plan is that the value is close to regular plans. It seems to be in pre-launch, but you can actually get the plan by calling T-Mobile. Read more about it on HoFo [thanks Gon4Frin2]

7/27: Updated Prepaid Comparison Chart  [updated PagePlus no longer waiving the 50c monthly fee - thanks Tony]

7/25: Verizon EV/DO has expanded north up I-89 to at least exit 13 (Grantham NH). Maps not updated yet [thanks Eric].

7/24: Verizon tower turned on in Claremont NH [thanks Eric]

7/24: Amp'd Update: Amp'd gets another extension - through 7/31. Like we would ever get all these extensions with our mortgage. I guess the part about Amp'd customer shutting down is not true (even though it says that on their own site).

7/22: We have lost another great regional (Atlanta) web site as Stanley "roamer1" Cline passed away at age 31.

7/22: Amp'd Update: Amp'd has now posted an update for subscribers warning them that service will be suspended on July 24 and that customer service will be available until close of business Monday to help the port their number without an Early Termination Fee [phonescoop] [thanks Glinkinator]

7/22: New cell tower approved for Mt Snow VT to include at least VZW and USC [thanks Bruce]

7/21: Amp'd is now notifying its customers (e-mail to be sent over the next two days) of [probable] shutdown on 7/24. Amp'd Customer Service will not be available after 7/23. At least that is better than Sunrocket, the VOIP company, that just closed down without any notification on 7/16 (yes I am caught in the middle of that one). The good news is that there are no more ETF fees!  In summary, Amp'd was one of the best values in prepay, on the Verizon network, with roaming at no charge, the best data rates on prepay, best deals on phones, and the only unlimited plan on the Verizon network. I always thought it was a little too good to be true. Combine that with an unmanageable billing system, and you have a recipe for disaster.

7/20: Looks like the end is near for Amp'd. It did not get the financing it needed to keep going under Chapter 11, and Verizon again asked the courts to let it pull the plug on the bleeding. Amp'd is now asking the court to let it auction off its assets, expected by 8/1.

7/20: Updated My Stuff with my local signals. New T-Mo tower just turned on this week

7/15: Verizon EV/DO has expanded up I-93 to at least the New Hampton NH area, and Rt 104E (at least to Pemigewasset Lake). Maps not updated yet.

7/13: Updated Hybrid Comparison Chart 
[updated Xtreme details, added Virgin plans]

7/10: Updated Prepaid Comparison Chart  [corrected Tmo and Net10 info - thanks Darrell]
[updated AlltelU info - thanks Phillip]

7/8: Updated AT&T text/sms email addresses on the email to cell page [thanks Ed]

7/8: I can confirm Rogers/Kingston ON has totally shut down TDMA & AMPS service. Bell is still running AMPS, at least in the Kingston area.

7/8: I can confirm TMo2Go roaming on Rogers ON for 69c/minute for calls to CA and the US.

7/8: The T-Mobile system at Killington VT seems to have been taken over by AT&T. Anyone able to give more details? - thanks AG
[upd 7/13: Tmo map is fixed, so maybe just a fluke, but not sure where the AT&T signal came from]

7/8: Updated Prepaid Comparison Chart  [updated Tmo - $10 card now has 90 day expiration making the lowest monthly cost $3.33, thanks Gon4Frin2 and many others]

7/8: Sprint has sent termination letters to about 1000-1200 of their least valuable customers. From what I have heard, these are people on the low cost SERO plans, and have multiple retention specials, roam a great deal, or call customer service an average of more than once per day. Sprint admits that they made a mistake dropping members of the military and they will reverse that for them. A couple of the people that got dropped have gone to the press.


June 2007

6/28: Removed Simple Freedom from the charts (its been merged into Alltel U)

6/27: Updated Prepaid Comparison Chart  [updated AlltelU - Pay-Per-Minute now has expiration dates, thanks Lori]

6/25: Corrected Coverage Map page (GoPhone links).

6/25: Unicel continues turning off GSM 1900 in VT: Williston is now 850-only [thanks ].

6/24: Amp'd has got an extension to 6/25 to keep operating. Verizon is no longer trying to boot them off the network ... for now.

6/24: Updated Prepaid Comparison Chart  [updated STI info, thanks Wei]
[updated Alltel U info, thanks Vern]

6/19: Updated My Stuff to include the VX-9900 (env) and RAZR maxx Ve (both have disappointing signal performance, most likely due to the internal antenna)

6/19: Amp'd has until 6/25 when judge rules whether Verizon can pull the plug [Forbes]

6/19: A bunch of new rural Verizon sites in the north country.  Springfield VT, Windsor VT, Rumford ME.

6/12: Amp'd CEO out. Rumors that Verizon will pull the plug on 6/14 are running wild (but I'm not sure Verizon can legally do that - they could take over I suppose)

6/10: Alltel's Simple Freedom being discontinued, customers to be transferred to Alltel U over the next few weeks [thanks mframe]

6/9: Corrected rate info on GoPhone page [thanks Joseph]

6/6: Net10 offers auto-refill program (Easy Minutes) which deducts $15/month (the minimum monthly cost) [thanks Nate]

6/4: PagePlus roaming rates (when off the Verizon network) have been reduced from 99c to 59c [thanks sillyphone]. Rumor says PagePlus is going to add some sort of data access this summer. That will be one tough prepaid deal to beat!

6/3: Tracfone offering free shipping on orders of $19.99 and up [good at least thru Father's day]

6/3: Amp'd files Chapter 11 bankruptcy [MocoNews].


May 2007

5/30: PagePlus new rates effective today:
$10 = 83 Minutes (12c/min)
$25 = 300 Minutes (8.3c/min)
$50 = 700 Minutes (7c/min)
$80 = 1400 Minutes (5.7c/min)
50c monthly fee to resume in July. No plans to "pull a STI".

5/30: PagePlus rate drop effective 5/31 (details tomorrow). Unsure if a monthly charge starts up.

5/28: Tracfone specials updated. Double minute care for life with 800 minutes good for one year is a decent deal at $139.99 (beats the $49.99 card with no minutes or airtime extension).

5/28 Updated Tmo text rates as of 5/1 [thanks Doug]

5/21 Updated links page with A/C lookup [thanks Gowri]

5/21 Two investor groups to purchase Alltel

5/14: Tracfone specials updated. Moto C139 now comes with 140 minutes/270 days for $20. v170 and 250 minutes for $50.

5/13: George gives a great summary of Tmo2GO T-Zones.

5/10: 1Q07 update
AT&T    -  62,200,000 total; 1,200,000 net adds
Verizon  -  60,700,000 total; 1,700,000 net adds
Sprint    -  53,600,000 total;    600,000 net adds
T-Mobile -  26,000,000 total;   980,000 net adds
Alltel      -  12,000,000 total;   237,000 net adds 
U.S.C.    -
Unicel     -     715,632 total;       9,974 net adds
[thanks Edward]

5/8: Updated Prepaid Comparison Chart  [updated STI info, thanks Andrew]

5/1: Amp'd giving out $20 prepaid starter airtime with its phones (e816/Hollywood free after rebates - which are sometimes difficult to get) [Thanks Marc].

5/1: Updated Roadrunner page
(New Verizon coverage in VT/NH - thanks Eric)



April 2007

4/27:  You can follow the AT&T TDMA network shutdown here [thanks agent debit]

4/27: Tracfone specials updated. Free shipping on orders of $19.99 and up.

4/22: Updated SpeakOut page as well as updated the Prepaid Comparison Chart  [thanks vey9]

4/21: Updated the Virgin Mobile page with info about Sugar Mama and the frequent airtime sales at Target [thanks Wayne]

4/21: Updated the Prepaid Comparison Chart.  Added Beyond Wireless one year card(50c/min) and also updated the Beyond Wireless Page [Thanks Nate]

4/16: Cingular responds to Verizon's Select AC plan by releasing an unlimited text of their own starting 4/20. $20 gets you unlimited text, $40 gets you unlimited data and text [HoFo

4/15: With the worst kept secret in the industry,  Verizon Wireless released their AC Select Plans. Basically, unlimited text is $20 on individual plans and $30 on family plans.  

4/12: PagePlus map updated. [thanks Chris/PagePlus]

4/10: Rumor: Several people have said Verizon Wireless will release their AC Select Plans on 4/17 [perhaps 4/15]. Basically, unlimited text is $20 on individual plans and $30 on family plans.  

4/7: Updated the Prepaid Comparison Chart.  Effective 4/20, Alltel U will raise texting rates from 5c to 10c a message [Thanks Vernon]

4/6: Rumor: Verizon Wireless to release their AC Select Plans on 4/17.  for $20 (http://testman.verizonwireless.com use zip 99999) [HoFo] [update: leak closed]

4/3: Updated My Stuff

4/3: PagePlus page updated (fixed rates) [thanks Chris]

4/3: T-Mobile raising SMS rates to 15c starting on June 1st [thanks Doug]


March 2007

3/25: Net10 has refurb 1100's ($20) and 1600's ($30) making Net10 a better deal! See the specials page.

3/25: I will be splitting this site into two: postpaid and prepaid. If you have any suggestions please send them to me (see feedback link to the left)

3/23: Updated My Stuff. Added a pic of my 8703e

3/19: Updated the Prepaid Comparison Chart.  Effective 3/17, PagePlus $50 card now comes with 500 minutes. 50c monthly service fee waived through June.

3/17: Thanks to all of you that have purchased through my links and clicked on some ads, I am now able to to expand my information to cover data. I am starting out at the top, with a Verizon Blackberry 8703e. It is going to take me some time to learn all about data services, but I hope to have a Data/PDA/Blackberry page up sometime this spring. If you have any questions before then feel free to ask!

3/15: Today, two weeks early, Locus shut down my CallPlus TDMA prepay service. It's like losing an old friend (I had it going on five years - The CallPlus FAQ is what prompted me to start this website!)

3/15: The 500 minute one-year Tracfone airtime card is back (see the Specials page).

3/6: With it's new 90 day expirations, TracFone  effectively lowers the minimum monthly cost from $8.33 to $6.67 (the $20 card becomes the one to get). Prepaid Comparison Chart updated. [Thanks Nate]

3/6: Net10 drops the $150 card, effectively raising the minimum monthly cost from $12.50 to $15.00. Prepaid Comparison Chart updated.

3/6: Yes, Alltel *IS* For Sale: Alltel has already approached AT&T, Verizon and Sprint [Reuters]

3/5: Previously rumored TracFone changes took place today. Existing 60 day airtime cards are now 90 days, as are all new cards except the $10 card (45 days) and 1-year cards. Airtime stacking is now unlimited. New Double minute card is a bad deal, go with Net10 if you are going to use more than 100 minutes a month).
[the announced change of all CDMA phones to onerate was a screwup on the TracFone site. Its not true]

3/3: PagePlus has reduced the number of minutes provided in the starter kit from 100 down to 71 minutes starting March 1 2007. Expiration is still 120 days though.


February 2007
2/26: RUMOR: TracFone Airtime expiration to be extended from 60 to 90 minutes starting 3/1 [It's 3/2 so the rumor turns out to be false so far ...].

2/27: Beyond Wireless adds one-year airtime expiration for an extra $30 on their not-so-great phones. Its not great, but its a step in the right direction [thanks a42887]
This was a mistake according to BW

2/27: Updated the Prepaid Comparison Chart.  Rearranged some of the rows [Thanks Jon]

2/26: Sprint is offering unlimited plans as a test in San Francisco.  $120 plan includes unlimited voice, messaging and mobile Web. $150 plan adds unlimited tethering [RCR Wireless]

2/26: Updated the Prepaid Comparison Chart.  Added STi Mobile to the chart. I have had more questions about them than anyone else over the past few months.

2/23: Looks like usa1RATE prepaid service has shut its doors. Although an email to customers say the service is still alive, with no way to order refills on-line, and customer service not available by phone, it makes it pretty hard to run the business!

2/23: There is a
New Verizon Wireless  Map Tool on the horizon. Hopefully a better map will be released along with it.

2/23: Updated the T-Mobile To Go page & maps (prepaid map finally shows roaming on Unicel New England!)

2/23: Updated the Cingular GoPhone page & maps

2/21: RUMOR: Alltel may be up for sale [Wireless Week]

2/19: Updated the Prepaid Comparison Chart.  Updated notes about voice mail deposits [Thanks Gerald]

2/18: AllFreeCalls and FreeCallsTo (free int'l long distance calling) are shut down, as AT&T's refusal to pay effectively cuts off the loophole (the new numbers don't work either).

2/17:Although Beyond Wireless has discontinued their SIM starter kits on their website, you can still order them over the phone or on eBay. [Thanks Denis]
 

2/14: Updated the Prepaid Comparison Chart.  Corrected Page Plus and Airvoice GSM monthly fee notes

2/13: Quite a bit of new Sprint PCS coverage in ME along I-95 and I-295 just north of Portland [Thanks Larry]

2/13: AllFreeCalls (is one of the other very few free International calling numbers [Thanks Robert]. Added to linksIt's not going to last long, here's why.

2/11: FreeCallsTo free International calling (landline calls to selected countries) and why its free for you. Enjoy while it lasts. Added to links

2/11: RUMOR: Sprint to terminate customers that roam more than 50% [Thanks GSMtreoUser]. Original article

2/9: Updated the Prepaid Comparison Chart.  Updated Amp'd Info [Thanks mframe]

2/8: Verizon Wireless gets exclusive on Mobile ESPN content. V-CAST subscribers will soon have access to real-time scores via ESPN. Finally, a real reason to sign up for V-CAST?

2/8: Updated the Prepaid Comparison Chart.  Corrected Page Plus footnotes [Thanks Arnold]

2/8:Beyond Wireless has discontinued their SIM starter kits. In order to obtain service you now have to purchase one of their phones. [Thanks Bob]
Update 2/9: BW CS said you can still order a SIM over the phone  

2/1: Updated the Prepaid Comparison Chart.  Corrected Alltel U info [Thanks Mike]
 

January 2007

1/31: Cingular comes out with Pay-As-You-Go PTT at 15c/minute

1/29: 4Q06 update
Cingular -  61,000,000 total; 2,400,000 net adds
Verizon  -  59,100,000 total; 2,300,000 net adds
Sprint    -  51,600,000 total;   300,000 net LOSS
T-Mobile - 25,000,000 total;   900,000 net adds
Alltel      -
U.S.C.    -
Unicel     -
[Thanks Ed]
Note that there is a discrepancy between prepaid and postpaid numbers, and I will figure out how to deal with that in the near future.

1/28: Updated the Prepaid Comparison Chart.  Various corrections and clarifications

1/28: Tracfone specials updated. 

1/27: PagePlus may discontinue the 50c monthly fee (no fee was charged in Jan 07)

1/24: TracFone Referrals seem to be totally dead. With the great Cingular numbers last quarter, the referral program may be gone for good. One rumor of the program being brought back in February have not been confirmed.

1/18: Updated the Prepaid Comparison Chart.  GoPhone plans incorrect in footnote [Thanks Walter].

1/16: Updated the Prepaid Comparison Chart.  Deleted old Virgin Mobile footnote [Thanks Arnold]. Updated AirVoice does not change for voicemail deposits and access from a landline [Thanks tropicalwahoo].

1/15: Updated the Prepaid Comparison Chart.  Corrected Tracfone stacking out to 180 days [Thanks Ed]. Renamed WAP [thanks Chris] and noted that AirVoice may have a $2/month fee - if true it will be deleted from the chart (36c a minute is a poor deal).

1/14: Updated the Prepaid Comparison Chart.  Corrected T-Mo hyperlinks [Thanks Spencer]

1/10: Verizon jacks up text rates to match Cingular and Sprint starting 3/1 (15c to send and receive)

1/10: Updated the Prepaid Comparison Chart.  Updated AirVoice info

1/4: TracFone Referrals are up and running again, get 'em while you can!

1/4: Updated links page. Great cell search site (must have forgotten to add it when I found it many months ago) [Thanks GSMtreoUser]
http://www.antennasearch.com/

1/3: Expanded Verizon coverage in Northern NH.  Verizon 1900Mhz coverage has been extended up to Littleton NH. Franconia, Sugar Hill, Bethlehem, and Littleton now have native Verizon service (and coverage is expanding into the Twin Mtn area) [Source http://www.necellularsites.net/News.php

1/3: Unicel re-released its press release of the 30 new cell sites in the NH lakes region (mostly GSM1900) [Thanks Mike@necellularsites]

1/3: Updated the Coverage Area charts. Lake Placid just got Sprint coverage according to their map. [Thanks Yankees368]


December 2006

12/22: Updated the VT Coverage Area chart. [Thanks Snowjimbo72]

12/22: Updated the Prepaid Comparison Chart.  Corrected Virgin rates ($90 service preserver) [Thanks Ben]

12/12: Verizon EV/DO expansion in New England: Verizon Wireless rolled out  BroadbandAccess and V CAST services in several New Hampshire cities: Auburn, Bedford, Brentwood, Chester, Concord, Derry, Goffstown, Hampstead, Hooksett, Hudson, Kingston, Litchfield, Londonderry, Manchester, Merrimack, Nashua, Pelham, Plaistow, Salem, Suncook and Windham (actually its been on for several months in some areas). Verizon also launched high-speed services in parts of southern and central Massachusetts, Cape Cod, Southeastern Maine and Rhode Island  [Thanks Mike@necellularsites].

12/12: Sprint's Employee Referral Plans are available to anyone through 12/18. 2 year contract required, single lines only (no family plans). $30 for 500 minutes, $50 for 1,250 minutes, and $100 for 2,500 minutes. Includes M2M, 7PM nights. It appears to include Vision on the Sprint side and National DC on the Nextel side. Go to http://www.sprint.com/sero and use the e-mail address savings@sprint.com for Sprint plans and specialoffer@sprint.com for Nextel plans.

12/10: Updated the Coverage Area charts. Some were way out of date. Let me know if there are still problems [Thanks Yankees368]

12/6: Updated the Prepaid Comparison Chart.  Corrected Boost web charges [Thanks Brian]

12/2: Cingular announces text price increase on plan and PYP hybrid plans starting 1/21/2007. Sending and receiving text messages will cost 15c unless you sign up for a texting plan.


November 2006

11/25: Updated the Prepaid Comparison Chart.  Added Airvoice Wireless ($3.33/mo - lowest Cingular-based MVNO monthly cost)

11/26: Updated the Hybrid Prepaid Comparison Chart.   Various updates.

11/25: Updated the Prepaid Comparison Chart.  Updated Speakout Info [Thanks Terry]

11/24: Updated the Prepaid Comparison Chart.  Corrected Amp'd airtime expiration [Thanks Bob]

11/23: Tmo2Go Roaming On Unicel Is *ON*. Tmo2Go must have finally hit the switch, because *TODAY*, for the first time, I am able to roam on Unicel New England. EDGE is on. Calls are deducted at the same on-network rate. Incoming and outgoing calls work, #999# works. WAP roaming works. Dialing 611 sends me to Cingular GoPhone PYP customer service, LOL.

11/23: 3Q06 update
Cingular -  58,700,000 total; 1,400,000 net adds
Verizon  -  56,700,000 total; 1,900,000 net adds
Sprint    -  51,900,000 total;   233,000 net adds
T-Mobile - 24,100,000 total;   802,000 net adds
Alltel      - 11,200,000 total;   101,000 net adds
U.S.C. [delayed - may get delisted from AMEX]
Unicel     -     694,577 total;      4,151 net adds

11/22: Tracfone specials updated. Free Shipping! The *RED* Moto c261 camera phone is now lowered to $99.99 (1-yr of service, 620 minutes, double minutes) !!!

11/22: Airvoice Wireless has changed the expiration dates on all GSM and CDMA cards to 90 days. That is a first! However, before you get too excited, the website will only let you buy airtime. Good luck signing up for service. Let me know if you do.  They tell me you have to find a dealer. Also, all their plans incur a $1/month e911 charge in all 50 states (direct from customer service).

11/22: The Big Dig Tunnels in Boston will soon get CDMA and GSM Service. The Boston Globe reported that Cingular, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon have agreed to split the cost of providing coverage. Let's hope that similar cooperation is planned around the country! [RCR Wireless News]

11/20: Updated the Prepaid Comparison Chart.  Clarified Cingular Prepaid expiration times [Thanks Bob]

11/19: Added Alltel U Pay-Per-Day to the Hybrid Prepaid Comparison Chart.

11/17: Tracfone airtime cards can now be stacked to 180 days (used to be 120 days). [Thanks Ed].

11/17: Tracfone specials updated  Best deals are the refurb v170 and 2600 with 470 minutes and 1 year of airtime for $99.99 (thru 11/30)

11/17: Updated coverage maps page. Can't they leave the URLs alone?

11/17: Updated the Prepaid Comparison Chart.  Text rates updated/corrected. Updated T-Mobile To Go page as well.

11/16: Updated the Prepaid Comparison ChartVirgin Mobile announces international text pricing at premium rates (20c send, 10c receive) [via VM e-mail]. Also updated Virgin maps.

11/16: Updated Roadrunner page
(Coverage report Ormond Beach FL)

11/1: Tracfone specials updated  The refurb v170 is back with 470 minutes and 1 year of airtime for $99.99 (thru 11/30)

10/27: It appears that Cingular Free2Go and all Cingular TDMA MVNOs will discontinue service 4/1/2007.


October 2006

10/20: Tracfone specials updated  The hot deal now includes the Moto c261 color phone!

10/20: 3Q06 numbers have started coming in. Cingular reports 1.4M net adds.

10/17: As of October 5th, STI Mobile has lowered their Prepaid Plan I to 10c/minute. The 10c/day fee is still in effect.

10/15: Nextel turns on new tower in Arlington, VT (thanks Jim S)

10/11: Added a coverage map page - it links directly to providers maps!

10/11: Added a list of non-camera phones for those people that are not allowed to carry cell phones with camera with them. That includes may places of business.

10/11: Amp'd Mobile introduces hot family plans ranging from $60 for 1,000 anytime minutes to 6,000 anytime minutes for $200 for two people. Subscribers can add up to three additional lines for $10 per line. (RCR Wireless News).

10/11: [revised] Verizon had turned on several new sites in ME including 4 sites in Bangor (thanks AgentHibby)

10/9: On 9/28 BenQ-Siemens, the mobile joint venture based off of Siemens applied for bankruptcy protection.

10/9: Sprint raised their SMS rate to 15c/message and data usage to 3c/KB starting 10/1. Basically you need a package if you plan to use the feature (RCR Wireless News).

10/8 [revised]: Tracfone specials updated. CDMA phones have special deals for the first time! $20 gets you a refurb Nokia 2126 and (2) 60 minutes cards. $99 gets you a refurb Moto c353 and 1 year of service. Use my link on the specials page. Note: change the URL from "GSM4" to "CO" in order to view CDMA phones in any zipcode. (Thanks Bud)

10/5: Updated the Prepaid Comparison Chart. Pageplus allows refills over the phone using a credit card (thanks tropicalwahoo)

10/5: Added info on free Tracfone Int'l long distance to several countries (thanks Matt)

10/3: T-Mobile joins Alltel in offering "My Favs", an unlimited calling plan to five specific numbers.

10/2: T-Mobile To Go updates: Two people have confirmed that you can now roam in Canada on Rogers. Gold Rewards holders appear to be able to access external sites on prepaid T-Zones (HoFo).

10/2: Tracfone specials updated. $20 gets you a refurb Nokia 1100 and two 60 minute airtime cards (total 140 minutes) (Thanks Eric)
 

September 2006

9/29 Tracfone has suspended their Refer A Friend program effective today. No further information is available at this time.

9/28: ESPN Mobile announced they are going out of business effective 12/31.

9/24: Updated the Prepaid Comparison Chart. Alltel U prepaid link updated (thanks GlassVial)

9/24: Updated the Prepaid Comparison Chart. USA1rate has dropped their daily fee to 10c/day ($3.00/month). They must have figured out that nobody was going to pay 15c/day! Page Plus is still a far better deal.

9/23: Updated the Prepaid Comparison Chart. Boost charges you a $1/day DC fee if someone alerts you, even if your phone is turned off (thanks to my declining balance with phone turned off - new "feature" as of 9/2006)

9/23: Updated the Prepaid Comparison Chart. Alltel U data corrected (thanks tropicalwahoo)

9/22: Cleaned up the forum user list again. If you want to join, email me or put something meaningful in your profile. Otherwise, if all you have is an advertisement in your web address, you will be denied member status. I am getting killed by spammers.

9/22: Due to popular demand I have added Alltel U Prepaid to the Prepaid Comparison Chart. Also corrected Simple Freedom info.

9/13: For a limited time, TúYo Mobile is offering a free SIM (even free shipping) with $10 credit if you call them at 877-438-8896. Their new rate plan is 10c/minute with a 10c connection charge. Not the greatest rates but free is free :)  Initial airtime is good for 90 days (source: drprepaid).

9/12: Added Amp'd to the Hybrid Prepaid Comparison Chart. Please help me fill in the chart (for instance, can you roam? You can on the plans, not sure on PAYG and hybrids)

9/6: Boost Mobile lobotomizes premium plan, NO MORE FREE NIGHTS/WEEKENDS TEXT OR WEB!!! There are now three hybrid plans, none of which are much of a deal: $30 gets you DC and 10c airtime, $50 gets 400 minutes and DC. $70 gets you 600 minutes, DC and N/WE). Unlimited text and web is another $10 a month for the three plans. Hybrid Prepaid Comparison Chart updated as well.

9/5: Updated the Prepaid Comparison Chart. Tracfone data corrected (thanks Darrell)

9/4: Updated Roadrunner page
(Coverage report Andover ME)

9/4: Updated the NH coverage page (thanks Eric)
 

August 2006

8/27: Updated the Prepaid Comparison Chart
(Updated Simple Freedom rates - I may remove it since its only available in Alltel coverage areas)

8/27: Updated Roadrunner page
(Coverage report around Whitefield NH)

8/21: Verizon EV/DO went live in Buffalo on Monday and in Albany today.

8/21: If you need 60-minute Tracfone airtime cards, I have some available on my Guru Sales Page.

8/21: Tracfone specials updated  The hot deal now includes the Moto c155.

8/20: Boost rates will increase on September 11. Web/data to increase from 20c to 35c/day. DC will be $1/day regardless of whether you originate the conversation (looks like they are closing the 6-second loophole)

8/20: T-Mo prepaid has not started charging for incoming text. Not sure if they changed their mind or delayed it again [T-Mo started charging for incoming text somewhere around 9/15]

8/18: Updated My Stuff

8/18: Updated the Prepaid Comparison Chart. USA1rate has increased their daily fee to 15c/day ($4.50/month (thanks steve369)

8/15: Updated logos (thanks drprepaid)

8/15: Updated new T-Mo prepaid text rates that went into effect today (thanks Sashinator00)

8/14: Updated 2Q06 Stats:
Verizon: 54.8M customers; 1.8M net adds
Cingular: 57.3M customers; 1.5M net adds
Sprint: 51.7M customers; 708,000 net adds
T-Mobile: 23.3M customers; 613,000 net adds
U.S Cellular: 48,000 net adds
Suncom: 24,000 net adds
RCC (Unicel): 7,385 net LOSS

8/9: Corrected GoPhone info
(Thanks Remus)

8/4: Tracfone specials updated again. $20 gets you a refurb Nokia 2600 and 260 minutes!  Using my link on the specials page, free shipping on orders of $19.95 and up, from 8/4 to 9/30. The c261 camera phone and v276 are finally available!

8/3: Updated 2Q06 Stats:
Cingular: 57.3M customers; 1.5M net adds
Verizon: 54.8M customers; 1.8M net adds
Sprint: 51.7M customers; 708,000 net adds

8/1: Updated the Prepaid Comparison Chart
(Fixed PagePlus Link - thanks Steve)

8/1: Cingular makes moves to increase profits, but they forgot to do a customer pulsing survey first, and must have not predicted their front-line employees would revolt and leak the whole thing to the public!
1. New agent web tool determines if customer is a "valued" customer. If not then they can't get phone upgrades. This was met by such negative customer and agent feedback that they had to rescind it. It such a stupid move that hopefully the brainchild of this bonehead idea gets fired. It's probably too late, they are probably promoted already!
2. TDMA/analog customers start paying a $5/month "penalty" fee to make them move to GSM. My guess is more of them will walk than switch.
3. If you roam more than 40% off-network for three months in a row, you are booted from Cingular. Cingular made this move without first reprogramming all their phones so that you can tell when you are roaming.

8/1: Tracfone specials updated


July 2006

7/27: Unicel has launched prepaid service. I'm sorry to report that its a horrible deal. You are better off with Tracfone roaming on Unicel.

All three of the new prepay selections have a 33c/day FEE. And we thought STI and usa1RATE were bad at 10c/day!

Minimum monthly cost is $20/month ($10 of that is the monthly fee). They advertise 10c airtime, but with the fee it ends up being DOUBLE their advertised rates.

There is a $30 activation fee.

You must purchase a phone.

There are no extra roaming costs but 50% of your monthly usage must be in your Home Unicel market.

Only U.S. Cellular, with their brand new "worst hybrid deal of the century" $25/100 minute prepay (25c) with 50c overages, and 69c roaming is a worse deal!

7/24: 2Q06 Stats:
Cingular: 57.3M customers; 1.5M net adds
Verizon: 54.8M customers; 1.8M net adds

7/24: Updated T-Mobile To Go info on the site to indicate there is some (but not much) free roaming.

7/24: Updated Tracfone page with a link to the Tracfone_Users Group. Lots of good info like current bonus codes.

7/23: U.S. Cellular released new plans today (not on the website yet). Most plans are more in line with Verizon. In general, minutes reduced at all levels, $50 and up plans now have N&W included. N&W and free incoming no longer limited to USC network on National plans. Local Plans are now network plans. Talktracker is now a just a plan wanna be (nothing useful below $45). Updated USC hybrid and Hybrid Conmparison  Chart.

7/22: DealKing is offering $30 cash-back for TMo2Go and $30 Cash-back from GoPhone. That is basically a free phone plus initial airtime for each (actually you get a bonus $25 from TMo2Go). It's worth checking out!

7/22: Tracfone has changed their preferred CDMA provider in Southern NH from U.S. Cellular to Verizon. That changes local coverage FROM SVT/NH (except Rockingham/Strafford Co) (SIDS 445,1484,5010) TO Southern NH, MA, RI and CT (SIDS 28,119).

7/14: Cingular is trying to boot TDMA customers from its network by imposing a $4.99/month TDMA/Analog network charge starting in August.

7/14: Verizon turned on EV/DO in the Nashua / Manchester / Concord area TODAY!!!

7/13: I forgot to mention earlier that on 8/15/2006 T-Mobile To Go will start charging 5c for incoming SMS and 25c for incoming MMS. Outgoing rates remain at 10c for SMS and 25c for MMS (thanks Ed).

7/12: Updated the Prepaid Comparison Chart
(GoPhone PAYG charging a 50c/month e911 fee in FL - thanks Dave)

7/10: Updated the Prepaid Comparison Chart
(updated usa1RATE info)

7/10: Updated My Stuff

7/10: Verizon is testing EV/DO in the Nashua area (EV/DO light toggling for 3 seconds every 70 seconds).

7/10: Tracfone specials updated

7/10: Updated Roadrunner page
(Unicel completes Rt 9 GSM coverage in VT; Coverage Report for Southern New York/Catskills Region)


June 2006

6/30: Updated Sprint Maps
(thanks Matt)

6/28: Verizon Wireless will start prorating ETFs, allow phone upgrades every 12 month to individual plans of $50 and up, and will replace a phone out of warranty for no more than $50 (only warranty-type issues). Details here.

6/27: Updated Sprint National Map
(thanks JR 20 Speed)

6/25: Cingular offers new text plan:
Messaging Extreme $20, 3000 sms/mms, 3c over

6/24: SpeakOut Wireless giving out $5 airtime bonus if you refill your account this weekend (ending 6/25)

6/23: Tracfone specials updated

6/23: usa1RATE raises their daily fee to 10c/day making it a very poor value (thanks Steve).

6/21: Updated the Hybrid Comparison Chart
(Easypay n&we now limited to 3000 - thanks Matt)

6/16: Page Plus $80 cards discontinued on the PP web. CSR said it was due to too many fraudulent credit card transactions and the fact the $80 was not very popular)

6/15: Updated the Prepaid Comparison Chart
(Boost correction - thanks Isaiah)
(updated Virgin Mobile info)

6/14: Virgin Mobile changes took place today. SMS rates now 5c to receive and 5c to send. Minute2Minute rate dropped from 25c down to 18c anytime (you have to sign up for it). SugarMama features where you can earn free airtime is now live.

6/13: T-Mobile 2 Go downgrades confirmed.
Starting 7/1:  SMS 10c to send, MMS 25c to send, 5c to receive.  $10 refill 30 min (35 min gold rewards) (thanks Vincent)

6/12: Rumor: T-Mobile 2 Go Prepaid, one of the last providers offering free incoming SMS, will start charging 5c to receive text (and outgoing will stay 10c), making them one of the more expensive in the prepaid world. The start date is approx 7/1. Its interesting that this is just a couple of weeks after Virgin Mobile starts charging for incoming text.

6/12: Rumor Confirmed: Virgin Mobile minute rate to drop from 25c down to 18c. 10c rate after 10 minutes to be discontinued. SMS rates change to 5c to receive and 5c to send starting 6/18. The rumor for the new airtime rates is 6/14, but 6/18 is more logical.

6/11: I removed entries from the links page if they are no longer accessible or not regularly updated. Let me know if you have a suggestion for a link (no commercial links unless it is very very good, please!)

6/10: T-Mo has an interesting $20 plan called Kid Connect. 1 year contract, only 50 peak minutes but has M2M and weekends. M2M still works after peak minutes are depleted. (thanks Ed)

6/10: Disney Mobile has started selling service. Plans start at $40/400 minutes. One phone is available, the Pantech DM-P100, $60 after rebate with 2-year contract. Roaming off the Sprint network is 40c/minute.

6/10: I finally got a new battery for my Moto DPC550 AMPS phone and activated it on Page Plus.

6/10: Updated Page Plus info (thanks tropicalwahoo)

6/7: New Cingular Coverage Map Tool:
http://63.241.153.180/coverageviewer/B2B.html

6/6: Rumor: Virgin Mobile minute rate to drop from 25c down to 18c. 10c rate after 10 minutes to be discontinued.

6/6: Updated Inpulse coverage map (thanks JR20Speed)

6/5: Updated the Prepaid Comparison Chart
(PagePlus updates - thanks Victor)
(corrected Amp'd info - thankd Heydeno)

6/3: Tracfone incoming SMS no longer free on new GSM models (now costs 0.3 units).

6/2: Amp'd Mobile prepay details:
10c airtime, 60 day airtime expiration
have to use their phones (not bad)
18-25% surcharge on data usage

6/2: Tracfone specials updated


May 2006

5/31: Amp'd Mobile prepay debuts with 10c/minute, 60 day airtime, $10/mo minimum, 10c text, 40c/MB after fees (thats right MB - compare that with Cingular PAYG at $10/MB).  That is the best Verizon prepay MVNO to date so it hits the charts NOW!

5/30: Amp'd Mobile now offering unlimited anytime minutes for $114 (plus tax and fees). I sure hope there is a catch or else Verizon customers are going to be quite unhappy when the network clogs up.

5/30: Amp'd Mobile will launch a prepay service starting tomorrow. No details available yet.

5/30: Virgin Mobile will start offering minutes for viewing and participating in advertising starting 6/14.

5/28: Boost Mobile minimum monthly cost drops to $5/month using on-line credit/debit card

(Auto re-boost feature is a scam though as your balance will drop to zero at 90 days and only then does the re-boost happen)


5/27: Updated the coverage charts. Let me know if there are other changes needed.

5/26: 2005 Total Churn
(% of subscribers leaving per month)
Verizon           1.14%
Cingular          2.18%
Sprint Nextel   2.26%
T-Mobile         2.85%
(source RCR)

5/21: Updated the Prepaid Comparison Chart
(Net10 expiration improvements - 1 yr card is $12.50/mo.  Corrected Cingular $100 refill expiration - thanks Steve)

5/19: Tracfone specials updated

5/18: T-Mobile To Go Prepaid now has limited roaming. No roaming available in New England at this time. Click here for more details.

5/14: Updated Roadrunner page
(Verizon PCS live in Franklin Co MA; Cingular Blue prepaid users now have local coverage on Orange throughout MA, RI, CT and Upstate NY)

5/4: Tracfone specials updated

5/1: Boost Mobile rumor is true. Starting today Boost Premium plan gets 300 minutes and 7PM nights.


April 2006

4/30: Updated the Prepaid Comparison Chart

4/30: RUMOR CENTRAL: Starting 5/1 Boost Mobile will be enhancing the $50 Boost Premium plan by bumping the anytime minutes to 300 and changing N&WE to start at 7PM.

4/29: Updated My Stuff

4/29: Updated the Prepaid Comparison Chart
(Updated SpeakOut info)

4/28: Sprint PCS Fair & Flexible plans now offer 7PM nights (family plans excluded).

4/23: Tracfone special updated - Reconditioned Nokia v170 and 470 minutes good for one year [100 minute bonus code 52483 thru 4/30/2006]

4/22: Updated My Stuff as I started up usa1RATE again.

4/21: What is it with this "Free Boost Direct Connect (DC) Walkie-talkie thing" being sold on eBay from between $1 and $25? Well I will tell you, it's called S C A M. The theory is that you enter codes and then get free DC.  The code to enter is:
   #*<menu><left arrow>
   <scroll down>
   view err log (may be phone dependant)
   clear counters (may be phone dependant)
   <scroll up>
   turn on err/channel codes
Then you are not supposed to be charged for DC, although if you turn off the phone you have to start over again. Several of us have proven that this does not work.

4/18: Updated Nextel maps

4/17: Tracfone special updated - Reconditioned Nokia v170 and 470 minutes good for one year [thru 4/21/2006]

4/15: Updated Roadrunner page
(310-380 running again on at least two towers)

4/14: Updated T-Mobile maps

4/13: Updated the Hybrid Comparison Chart
(Corrected Verizon SMS rates)

4/12: Unicel turns on GSM-1900 *TODAY* in the Nashua/Manchester metro. Unicel TDMA-1900 has been shut down, but I am probably the only one that noticed, LOL. Updated associated pages.

4/9: Tracfone special updated - Reconditioned Nokia 1100 and 470 minutes good for one year [extended to 4/21/2006]

4/9: Updated the Prepaid Comparison Chart
(Corrected PagePlus footnotes)

4/8: Cingular will make it's on-line coverage mapping tool available to the public "soon". It's about time!

4/4: Movil Mobile is not quite ready for prime time. It's confirmed that it's a T-Mo MVNO.

4/2: Added Boost Premium and revised the Prepaid Hybrid Comparison Chart

4/1: Waiting to find out more about Movil Mobile, which is being advertised on the Cheap Phone Card site. Currently you have to purchase a Siemens a56, but you get a toll-free number, airtime never expires, and they have hinted at Cingular coverage [Nope - it's T-Mo]

4/1: Added Venture Mobile to the Prepaid Hybrid Comparison Chart


March 2006

3/25: Updated the Prepaid Comparison Chart
(Dropped Oxygen&Viva & added Locus to the plans that "didn't make it")

3/24: T-Mobile counters Cingular's new $39.99 plan with a $39.99/1500 minute plan (no nights, weekends or M2M). M2M can be added for $6.99.

3/22: Updated the Prepaid Comparison Chart
(Added prepays that did not make the chart at the bottom of the page - Airvoice, cool.Prepaid, STI and usa1RATE for starters)

3/21: T-Mobile2Go appears to be on the verge of enabling International roaming. There is currently confusion within T-Mo customer service. The data so far suggests that no roaming is active at this time.

3/15: Updated the Prepaid Comparison Chart
(Added "Double Dialing when Roaming")
(Corrected Tracfone airtime rates)

3/15: Cingular releases a $39.99/1000 minute plan in some markets (Boston included) to compete with T-Mobile. However there are no rollover, night/weekend or M2M minutes included. M2M can be added for $10.

3/15: Tracfone one year card has 100 bonus minutes (total 350 minutes). Use Promo Code 59879 [extended to 3/31/2006]

3/14: Updated Roadrunner page
(new Unicel GSM 850 coverage in Troy and Walpole, NH - Thanks Mark)

3/12: My T-Mobile now available to T-Mobile2Go customers. There is not much you can do there that you can't do some other way. Download phone numbers to the phone could be useful once they get that working.

3/12: Corrected outdated Tracfone special deals.

3/11: Beyond Wireless remains the King of the Cingular MVNOs. There was a rumor of Airvoice GSM having longer expirations (but I did not believe it, and should never have posted it, but such is life). The rumor was false. Cingular holds a tight reign on the short airtime expirations. [update 11/06 the longer expiration times is true]

3/10: Updated Simple Freedom info for those that live in a Verizon coverage area

3/10: Net10 now includes 300 minutes/60 days with their phones, making it a super deal in prepaid.

3/9: Updated My Stuff with the v635.

3/5:AT&T will acquire BellSouth in $67B deal to be announced tomorrow. The Cingular brand name will be retired, with wireless being sold under the name AT&T.

3/4: Virgin Mobile text rates will change on 6/18 so that its 5c to send or 5c to receive a message. There will be monthly buckets of text available. Confirmed via Virgin Mobile text message to my phone.

3/1: Boost Mobile lowers the Walkie Talkie daily fee from $1.50/day down to $1.00/day
.


February 2006

2/28: General clean-up of several pages. It's been a very slow past week!

2/22: 4Q2005 Net Adds (updated):
Verizon - 2 million
Sprint Nextel - 2 million
Cingular - 1.8 million
T-Mobile - 1.4 million

2/21: Dobson Cellular One's rolls out their Stop Counting Minutes Nationwide plan (unlimited calls throughout the USA with no roaming or LD charges). The price was not announced.

2/21: Updated Prepaid Comparison Chart
(Dropped STI Mobile, enough is enough with the changing fees)

2/21: STI Mobile reinstitutes the 10c daily fee AGAIN starting 3/19.

2/18: T-Mobile To Go web account access is not live yet (planned for today).

2/18: Corrected Prepaid Comparison Chart
(You can port in to Beyond GSM - Thanks Alex)

2/18: Updated Roadrunner page
(new Nextel tower near Waterville, ME - Thanks Fred)
(new Unicel tower in Dedham, ME, Expanded T-Mobile coverage in Ellsworth, ME - Thanks Drew)

2/17: STI Mobile rescinds the 10c daily fee on the 10c/12c plan.

2/16: Corrected Prepaid Comparison Chart
(STI no longer has usage requirement - Thanks Terri)
(Added more detail about SpeakOut fees)

2/15: Corrected Prepaid Comparison Chart
(Beyond Wireless text is 8c to send and 6c to receive - Thanks Jason)

2/15: Nokia and Sanyo form CDMA joint venture. This gives Nokia inroads to Sprint and it gives Sanyo inroads to Verizon, Alltel and USC.

2/14: Tracfone one year card has 100 bonus minutes (total 350 minutes). Use Promo Code 59879 [expires 2/20/2006]

2/14: T-Mobile To Go to add web account access on 2/18 [turns out to be false, at least through 3/1].

2/10: Tracfone has new rates on the one year card ($99.99 for 250 minutes).  The refurb v170 with 250 minutes (370 minutes good for 120 days after activation and referral) is $50, a great deal, click here for more details.

2/10: Corrected Prepaid Comparison Chart (Page Plus and STI account info, Page Plus activation fee - Thanks Howard)

2/9: RUMOR CENTRAL: Boost Mobile will be bringing back $1/day walkie-talkie on 3/1 [rumor ends up being true].

2/8: RUMOR CENTRAL: Virgin Mobile will be introducing new text rates in May. As previously mentioned, rates will change so that its 5c to send or 5c to receive a message. There will be monthly buckets of text available as well. Preliminary info:
$1.99 for 50 messages,
$4.99 for 200 messages,
$9.99 for 750 messages.

2/7: Some people are reporting that Cingular GoPhone is subtracting monthly fees.

2/5: Corrected Prepaid Comparison Chart (PagePlus refill amounts - Thanks Lena)
(Speakout WAP is 3c/KB - was told 1c/KB, but tested it myself...nope!)

2/5: RUMOR CENTRAL: T-Mobile To Go to increase the minutes on $25 (166 minutes) and $50 (500 minutes) gold reward refills (I can't confirm it), increase the free WAP deck, allow roaming, and add web account access, all without increasing costs. I have a difficult time believing it, but if true, the prepaid price war is on! Source (typically reliable) HoFo [Rumor has turned out to be false, at least through 3/1]

2/4: Revised various provider info that was outdated or just wrong. If you find incorrect info, please use the blue buttons to the left to let me know.

2/4: Removed TDMA plans from the Prepaid Comparison Chart since new service is no longer available. Added Beyond Wireless GSM page.

2/3: Updated Roadrunner page 
New Nextel tower in Bangor (Fred Staples)

2/2: Beyond Wireless GSM prices are the best of all Cingular GSM MVNOs. No fees that I can see either! NO ROAMING THOUGH :(
   $5, 36 minutes, 15 days, min $10/mo
   $15, 114 minutes, 60 days, min $7.50/mo 
   $25, 204 minutes, 75 days, min $10/mo 
   $50, 450 minutes, 90 days
   $100, 1000 minutes, 90 days
$10 starter kit includes SIM and 36 minutes.

2/1: STI Mobile now charging a monthly fee.
Existing customers were not notified of the new change but are now charged the fee.
Plan 1: $3/month fee. Same rates of $0.12/minute day, $0.10/minutes N&W
Plan 2: $11.70/month fee. $0.079/minute 24/7
Specials: 49c per day for unlimited push-to-talk.

2/1: Beyond Wireless launches a new GSM website

2/1: Virgin Mobile changes some plans starting today.
Inner Circle:  $21/month.  You get to call three number with free nights & weekends & all other airtime is 10c/minute.
Month2Month: Increased airtime at the higher levels.
Minute2Minute: no change :(


January 2006

1/31: Updated GoPhone maps

1/31: After a 6 month hiatus, Tracfone is back with its 350 minute 1 year card for $90.  Use Promo Code 59647 [expired 2/8/2006]

1/30: Revised the Prepaid Comparison Chart by adjusting Speak Out SMS and WAP rates (they were out of date, and they actually mirror GoPhone rates).

1/28: Added email to cell page that gives you what email address to use for different providers phones.

1/28: Alltel U Prepaid looks promising. It has a couple of different forms, one a traditional prepaiy (15c/min) and the others are hybrid plans. Coverage includes the Alltel and Verizon network. You can only obtain service in an Alltel coverage area, so the big question is whether you can get away with having service in a Verizon-only market. Time will tell.

1/28: Revised the Prepaid Comparison Chart by adding Locus-based VIVA CDMA and Oxygen GSM plans. Will be removing TDMA plans soon as they will no longer be offered

1/26: Beyond Wireless expected to stop selling TDMA service on 1/31. GSM Prepaid Service expected start date is 2/1. The GSM expiration dates are HORRIBLE! [note: they have adjusted the rates down since then] This is NOT an emergency phone service by any means. The minute rates are not horrible, but Page Plus, Net 10, T-Mo all have better rates, with much better expiration times.
Expected rates :
$5 / 30 minutes / expire 15 days
$15 / 105 minutes / expire 30 days
$25 / 180 minutes / expire 45 days
$50 / 390 minutes / expire 90 days
$100 834 minutes / expires 90 days

1/26: 4Q2005 Net Adds:
Verizon - 2 million
Cingular - 1.8 million
T-Mobile - 1.4 million
Sprint - reports in February

1/25: Simple Freedom to stop selling service in Verizon-only markets on 2/1.  SF customers in Verizon markets will lose their numbers on 5/31.

1/24: Added Verizon EasyPay to the Prepaid Hybrid Comparison Chart.

1/23: Another new MVNO: BeyondMobile (no relation to Beyond Wireless). They are going to run on Sprint, will offer the LG 225 to start, and the service is aimed at current Cbeyond business customers.

1/23: Rumor: Verizon drops the NE2 (New Every 2) credit from $100 down to $50 starting in February

1/23: Updated Roadrunner page 
Unicel GSM-850 is ON in Wilmington VT (Scott Shannon)
Great VT GSM report from Steve Iinuma

1/23: Locus is no longer activating TDMA phones
(CallPlus, Locus, Oxygen). I will revise the prepaid chart once Beyond Wireless stops selling TDMA)

Virgin Mobile SMS charges change in May 2006
(free incoming to go away, it will be 5c to send and receive)

U. S. Cellular Improves National Plans
$40/500 w/ free incoming (no nights/weekends)
Portland gets $30/250 and $40/800


December 2005

Updated Prepaid Comparison Chart
Deleted U.S. Cellular Prepaid as they dumped their traditional prepaid plan
Fixed Simple Freedom minimum monthly cost to $8.33
Beyond no longer has free phones

Updated Roadrunner page 

Updated Sprint PCS maps 

Tracfone increases minutes on some refill cards
($20/60 min; $30/120 min; $50/250 min)

Updated Prepaid Comparison Chart
Updated promotions
Updated STI info
revised Simple Freedom airtime
(special Sam's Club refills no longer exist)

Updated Roadrunner page 

Cingular Blue TDMA-based prepaid plans will be discontinued on 1/1/2006
... the best deal in prepaid goes down
(Inculdes Beyond Wireless, CallPlus, Locus Wireless, etc.)
(you can continue current service, but can't sign up for new service)

Cingular rolls out PTT

Cingular rolls out UMTS / HSPDA 3G data
(data cards only - GSM phones are not compatible with 3G)


November 2005
Moved Net10 from the Hybrid Prepay Chart to the Regular Prepay Chart
(airtime now as low as $15/month)

Updated Hybrid Prepaid Comparison Chart
Verizon Inpulse adds MMS (15c) and WAP (99c/day if used)
USC;s plans downgraded ($2 increase on n/we, no more text option)

Updated Prepaid Comparison Chart
(USC's Talk Tracker Prepaid Plan is gone as of 11/1 - no great loss)
(STI Mobile texting is now charged as 5c to send and receive)
(added Call Waiting feature - as Boost & STI does not support it)
(added Call Forwarding Feature)

Unicel
seriously degrades plans
Off-peak minutes cut back and LD only good in-network!
The party is over in Northern New England!

Moved Xtreme Mobile to the Hybrid Prepay Plans as the 60c/day fee is now mandatory

Added Cellular Abroad (International Prepaid SIMs) to the Links Page


Added info on Tracfone Canadian LD

CPS Wireless activation airtime less than expected 90 days
(active only 62 days - not recommended, there is no advantage over PagePlus)

October 2005
Viva Wireless drops 25c connection fee
(still not that attractive - 30 day airtime expiration)

I finally caved and added STI Mobile (l should never have caved)
(they finally updated their site and local numbers are more available now)

Boost
reduces M2M rate to 10c/minute 24/7

Updated Sprint PCS maps
(EV-DO coverage for Boston & NYC)

Sprint PCS adds new plans:
Fair & Flexible $30/200 anytime minute plan
Free Incoming plans
(Free incoming plans now available from Sprint PCS, Nextel, US Cellular)

Added Xtreme Mobile to prepaid comparison chart
(Sprint PCS MVNO that allows roaming)
(low cost leader at $20/month for nights & weekends)

 Boston/New England Coverage Map (including EV-DO coverage)

Updated Sprint PCS Boston/New England Coverage Map (including EV-DO coverage)

Updated Cingular GSM National Map

Cingular
GSM Network Integration complete in NH Suncom System
(network now running 310-410)

Boost $50 Premium Plan goes nationwide

September 2005
Updated Roadrunner page 
Coverage Report in Twin Mountain, NH

Updated Prepaid Comparison Chart
revised promotions

Updated Simple Freedom coverage map

Updated Simple Freedom prepaid phones

Updated Prepaid Comparison Chart
Page Plus voicemail deposits sometimes do use airtime
(added minimum usage requirement - let me know if you have data for the chart)

New Sprint PCS and Nextel plans start 9/1
(better plans in most cases)

Updated Roadrunner page 
New Nextel coverage in Ellsworth and Bar Harbor ME (thanks to Fred Staples for the report)

Updated My Stuff with new RF findings

August 2005
Updated the 850 vs 1900 page

Added the Motorola e815 to My Stuff
 (Also added Page Plus Wireless and CPS Wireless)

Updated Prepaid Comparison Chart
revised Tracfone promotions

Updated Roadrunner page 
 
Updated Links Page 
Updated Reno area URL
Added Cellreception the super cell tower mapper and user reception site

Many reports of degraded TDMA operation
AT&T MVNO local coverage area shrinking - Cincinnati Bell & Carolinas now roaming
Some U.S. Cellular & Unicel New England sites dropped TDMA (now AMPS-only)

 It looks like 850 MHz is replacing 800 MHz for most cellular discussions (except Nextel),
so I have done a global replace. Let me know of any mistakes!

The FCC and DOJ have approved the Sprint/Nextel merger

Verizon Wireless releases EasyPay prepaid plan on 8/1
*** not yet on the website, you have to call customer service ***
($50 350 anytime/free n&we/free IN)
($70 700 anytime/free n&we/free IN)
roaming off-network 99c/min, SMS 10c send/receive
you can buy phones at the 1-yr price!

Virgin Mobile starts WAP ($1.00 for 500KB or 1 day, whichever comes first) on 8/3
This is much cheaper than Cingular, but much more expensive than Boost
WAP only works on VXL phones (K10, Flasher V7)
Access to VXL menus costs you 10c/day (not needed for general WAP tho!)

July 2005
Updated Prepaid Comparison Chart
Added Tracfone special - Refurb phone with 60 minutes of airtime for $19.95
Added Tracfone special - 200 bonus minutes with purchase of 1-yr card
Updated Simple Freedom refill options ($100/1 yr)
Updated phone specials
Added "Port Your Number?" to the chart

Beyond Wireless
finally has a list of available local numbers on-line!

Cingular TDMA Blue and Orange system integration has started
(Over 11,000 TDMA cells will be decommissioned - only one network will remain by EOY05)
The Boston systems have NOT been integrated as of 7/22/2005

Added Page Plus Cellular page

Verizon Wireless downgrades are here (or are on the way):
Entry level Family share plan increased to $69.99 ($10 increase) on 7/18
Many equipment transactions are now subject to a $15 fee (started 7/18)
Incoming text messages will cost 10c starting 8/1
Holidays no longer considered off-peak starting 9/1
Updated T-Mobile coverage maps

Updated Nextel and Boost Mobile coverage maps

Added "what will I give up without GSM-850?" to the 850 vs 1900 page

Sprint PCS
drops Free&Clear plans, its now all Fair&Flexible
Also 6PM nights & weekends is now available for $10/month
They will purchase affiliate U.S. Unwired

Updated Roadrunner page 

Virgin Mobile
adds two new prepaid plans
Day2Day (35c daily fee, 10c airtime)
Month2Month ($30/mo, 150 peak, 150 n/we, no rollover)

Boost Mobile drops airtime rates to 20c/10c starting 7/1


June 2005
Added Monthly Fees to the  Prepaid Comparison Chart 
 
(hopefully this is not a new trend in prepaid)

Added PagePlus to the  Prepaid Comparison Chart 

SpeakOut Wireless, who started charging a 99c monthly fee last month, just jacked the rate to $1.25

Updated Links page

Amazing: Virgin Mobile now charging for calls to customer service and for balance inquiries
(use 611 instead of *86, first two balance inquiries are free then they are 2c/each)

Cingular rates climb on 6/1, Regional plans deleted, $30 and $50 plan deleted, familyshare add-on $15


May 2005
Updated Links page
Updated Sprint PCS
coverage maps
Updated Cingular
and GoPhone coverage maps
Updated Prepaid
and Hybrid comparison charts
Cingular GoPhone reduces MediaNet (WAP) from 3c/KB to 1c/KB
Updated the Roadrunner page for a recent trip along I-89 in northern VT (acd483)
(Confirmed: T-Mobile and Cingular roam just fine on Unicel GSM-850)
Updated Vermont Coverage page
Rumor: Cingular rates to climb on 6/1, Regional $30 deleted, familyshare add-on $15
Updated New Hampshire Coverage page
Updated the Roadrunner page for a recent trip through southern VT/Western NH
(Unicel GSM-1900 has been turned OFF in many locations)
SpeakOut Wireless *HAS* started a 99c/month fee
Updated CallPlus FAQ
Verizon Wireless jacks up 411 & International long distance rates on 7/1
(rates were not that great to start with! - use a prepaid long distance card)
Boost Mobile
launches hybrid prepay plan in some markets at $50/month
(150 anytime minutes, 15c after that, unlimited DC, WAP, text)

April 2005
Updated Prepaid Comparison Chart
Unicel now has 6PM nights for $5 extra
SpeakOut
Wireless can now be refilled over the phone with a credit card
Updated Nextel and Boost Mobile coverage maps
AT&T-based e-mail (@mobile.att.net) must be changed to @mmode.com ASAP
Virgin Mobile
offers new top-up options
Cingular
jacks up prepay rates in April
(data now 3c/kb, $10,$20,$30 refill card deleted, added $15,$25)
Deleted Free2Go as it is no longer available to new customers
New U.S. Cellular Plans on 4/3, big disappointment
SpeakOut Wireless may start 99c/month fee & usage requirement
Major Cingular GSM outage across the Northeast (4-6 hrs)
Boost Mobile
to launch in the NY/VT Partners market by summer
(Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Utica, Albany, Burlington & Montpelier VT)
Added Tracfone's Net10 to the Hybrid Prepaid Chart


March 2005
Updated the Roadrunner page for a recent trip in the Greenfield MA area
Cingular Prepaid changes coming in April - looks like higher rates
Updated the Roadrunner page for a ME/NH Nextel coverage update (Frank Toner)
Updated Sprint PCS and Virgin national maps
Updated Nextel and Boost national maps
T-Mobile improves prepaid plan on 3/7
(better rates, lower gold rewards level incl 1-yr airtime expiration)
Updated Prepaid Comparison Chart
(new chart for
hybrid prepay plans)

Unicel
troubled with their recently deployed GSM-850 system
(1. some towers still not running GSM (Springfield VT))
(2. some areas lost TDMA capacity, forcing customers onto AMPS without notification (Hanover, NH)
(reports say this has improved somewhat)
(3. problems with T-Mobile and Cingular being able to roam on Unicel (Bennington VT))


February 2005
Unicel brings up GSM in Morrisville, VT
Updated the
Roadrunner page for a NH-93 to VT-91 Verizon report (petebostn)
Unicel deploys COWs at Sugarbush (Warren & Fayston VT)
Updated the
Roadrunner page for my recent trip along I-89/I-91/9/101
Verizon
AC2 plans launched 2/21, with no roaming charges
(some previous roaming areas may have been dropped)
Verizon replaces prepaid with Inpulse, a GoPhone-like plan with $30/month minimum
T-Mobile to add more minutes on family plan
Cingular plan pricing/minutes revised to be more in line with Verizon
Verizon deploys PCS coverage in NH: Lebanon/Hanover, Plymouth and Dover/Rochester
Cingular
GoPhone prepaid plan replaces Cingular Take Charge and AT&T GoPhone
Updated Prepaid Comparison Chart
Updated the
Roadrunner page for a Unicel SWNH / I-91 report (Mark Mervine)
Added Speak Out Wireless to My Stuff
Added the Nokia 6230b to My Stuff
Boost Mobile launches in several new markets on 2/1 including MA/NH/ME

January 2005
Unicel has officially launched GSM
Verizon prepaid close to launch (like GoPhone)
Updated Prepaid Comparison Chart
Updated Beyond Wireless and  CallPlus maps
Added Unicel SmartPay to the Prepaid Comparison Chart
Added Unicel to the prepaid plans
Boost
to launch in new markets (including Boston) on 2/1
Rumor has it that Unicel will soft launch GSM-850 across VT/NH/ME on 1/23

(Bennington GSM-1900 reported off-line, is it related to the soft launch?).
New Verizon plans released 1/17/2005:
(50 extra minutes for $40AC; $50AC deleted; higher priced plans enhanced)
Updated the Roadrunner/service check page for updates in NH & VT
Verizon
deploys Broadband in Boston (and downtown Manchester NH)
Added Beyond Wireless page
Pharos Int'l drops the price of CallPlus starter kit ($11/60 min), $10 refill (25c/min) and $20 refill (22c/min)
New Nextel service in Brattleboro, Manchester, and Windsor VT (thanks Mike & Willy)
Revised Prepaid Comparison Chart (added refill options)
Updated the Roadrunner/service check page for a recent trip from Manchester to Keene (Mark Mervine)
Revamped Prepaid Comparison Chart
Updated USC network map


December 2004
:
Updated Prepaid Comparison Chart
Sprint and Nextel announce merger (expected to close 3Q05)
Verizon to release a GoPhone-like plan (40 and $75/mo)
Restored Free2Go plan as new sign-ups still being taken
Removed AT&T & Free2Go plans as they are no longer offered for sale
Updated the Roadrunner/service check page for a recent trip to Maine (
Gram Schweikert)

November 2004
:
Updated the Roadrunner/service check page for a recent trip (Southern VT/NH)
Updated the Roadrunner/service check page for a recent trip (Bridgeport CT to Pawlet VT - Jeff D)
Updated Coverage Maps for Verizon
Updated City Listings
Updated Ratings Page
Updated Prepaid Comparison Chart
Thanks to Island_Boy for his generous donation
Cingular completes the purchase of AT&T Wireless.
(little change in coverage; both companies have been allowing full roaming between them for months)

October 2004
:
Updated the Roadrunner/service check page for a recent trip to Montreal (edwardp)
Updated several coverage by city charts
New Coverage Maps for Nextel
New Coverage Maps for T-Mobile
New Coverage Maps for AT&T
Boost Mobile lowers off-peak airtime to $0.15/minute starting 10/1/2004

September 2004
:
Updated Prepaid Comparison Chart
U.S. Cellular adds CDMA coverage in York Co ME (Kittery, York areas)
Nextel
adds coverage in Pittsfield and North Adams MA
Updated the Roadrunner/service check page for a recent trip along Rt 2 in NH/ME

August 2004:
Updated the Roadrunner/service check page for a recent trip along I-93 in NH
Cingular KIC now working on AT&T's SNH system
Updated Prepaid Comparison Chart
U.S. Cellular offering service in Portland ME on 8/25
T-Mobile Easyspeak rebranded as "T-Mobile To Go" on 8/11
Updated the Roadrunner/service check page for a recent trip along I-89, ME, Adirondacks
GoPhone free nights/weekends on $40 plan; mMode back to KB charge
Boost Mobile fully supported on Telus (send/receive/data)

July 2004:
Free WAP on T-Mobile removed
Updated Prepaid Comparison Chart
Cingular GSM KIC (prepaid) has launched Nationwide
Cingular drops rollover minutes on Regional plans
Updated the Roadrunner/service check page for a recent trip across southern VT/NH

June 2004
:
AT&T GoPhone plans of $50 and $70 get free NIGHTS and weekends; mMode by the minute
U.S. Cellular goes live in Portland ME (soft launch)
Updated the Roadrunner/service check page for a recent trip to Saranac NY
Locus & CallPlus drop free roaming, now costs 4x the minute rate to roam
Verizon launches Prepay 25 cent connect/10 cents per minute on 6/10

May 2004
:
Verizon turns on York County, ME coverage
Updated Prepaid Comparison Chart
Locus
& CallPlus prepaid rate drop at Pharos International
U.S. Cellular has 1900 MHz CDMA system up and running in Rutland, VT
Verizon announces Litchfield County CT coverage
Verizon's NH system merged with Boston system, local coverage area expanded
Sprint PCS releases new Fair & Flexible plan
AT&T GoPhone now roams for free on Cingular

April 2004:
Updated Prepaid Comparison Chart
Updated the Roadrunner/service check page for a recent Bangor ME trip
AT&T rolls out "GSM America" local & national plans on 4/18. (Pricing & Coverage very similar to Cingular)
Verizon to charge $0.25 for International SMS starting 5/10
Verizon will send SMS for Voicemail indication starting 5/25
Cingular closes on its purchase of NextWave spectrum; NextWave towers in NH go dark
AT&T GoPhone 15-20% COST INCREASE (now you pay taxes)
T-Mobile Easyspeak users get free WAP
T-Mobile Easyspeak airtime has one year expiration with $25 refill (thru 6/30/04)

March 2004
:
My recent trips to check out how is the VT/NH GSM Roadrunner Project is going
AT&T GoPhone gives you one free month of service
U.S. Cellular's local plan now covers ALL of VT and ME
T-Mobile has restored the ability to receive an e-mail message on Easyspeak
Boost Mobile "soft launches" service in select cities across the USA
Boost Mobile raises cost of Direct Connect to $1.50/day (all markets)
AT&T GoPhone drops the free night minutes
Cingular buys AT&T Wireless
Phillyprepaid
discontinues prepaid refill cards (due to fraud they say)
T-Mobile Easyspeak only $0.10/minute on weekends (thru 3/31/2004)
Cingular revamps plans: increased cost and reduced coverage  (see maps)
Pharos Int'l
is now offering Locus Mobile (incl $10 recharge cards)
U.S. Cellular to offer service in Portland ME later this year

February 2004
:
Cingular revamps plans and coverage: increased cost and reduced coverage (see maps)
T-Mobile has removed the ability to receive an e-mail message on Easyspeak

January 2004:
Pharos Int'l is now offering Locus Mobile (incl $10 recharge cards)
Cingular GSM (PCS) detected in Lebanon NH and along I-89 
Unicel GSM (PCS) detected in Lebanon NH, Keene NH, Burlington VT, Bennington VT

Check out my NH/VT GSM build out progress here
U.S. Cellular to offer service in Portland ME later this year
Cingular makes a bid for AT&T Wireless
T-Mobile has removed the ability to receive an e-mail message on Easyspeak
Phillyprepaid
is now offering Locus Mobile $10 recharge cards (less than $3/mo with starter kit)

1/5/2004: Locus Telecommunications launches Oxygen (O2) Wireless: 
Looks to be the same deal as CallPlus Wireless except all airtime is 19 cents a minute.  No LD or roaming charges throughout the USA via the AT&T TDMA network.  Click here for the details. Service is launched in six cities, not sure if you can get local numbers in other places right now.  Current markets are Los Angeles, New York, Portland OR, Sacramento,  and Shreveport LA  [update 1/9/2004: launch notice is premature - service launch is still pending]

December 2003
:
    Cingular GSM (1900 MHz) detected in Lebanon NH
    Unicel GSM (1900 MHz) detected in Lebanon NH, Keene NH,  Burlington VT & Bennington VT

11/17/2003: Locus Telecommunications lowers prepaid rates:  One of the best prepaid plan values just got better.  Not only can you get a prepaid wireless plan for $3.33/month, but airtime can be as inexpensive as $0.15/minute, with no long distance or roaming fees, and free international calling to over 50 countries.   Click here for more info.

11/17/2003: Sprint PCS rolls out it's ReadyLINK walkie-talkie service: 
Just in time for WLNP, Sprint has released it's walkie-talkie service and two brand new phones to go with the service, the Sanyo RL2000 (ruggedized version of the 4900) and the Sanyo RL2500 (a flip phone). The service costs about $20/month including Vision.

11/1/2003: AT&T Changes their TDMA SID in Southern NH again: 
Looks like it was meant to be this time (see 7/19/2003).   Rockingham County retains SID 4201, while Hillsborough and Merrimack Counties switch to SID 1631. This change was probably done to support different roaming agreements.

11/1/2003: U.S. Cellular offers free incoming minutes on some plans: 
Local & regional plans of $40 and above now have free incoming minutes while on the USC network. This replaces the free night and weekend minute promotion which can still be added at an additional cost. 

10/31/2003: Verizon PRL now allows digital roaming on U.S. Cellular's CDMA system: Verizon customers now have full digital coverage throughout northern New England, and it's covered in-plan on the Americas Choice plan.  Digital means longer battery life and secure communications.  Of course you can still roam in analog unless you have one of the all-digital phones.

10/26/2003: Tracfone is rolling out a GSM-only plan in select cities: Tracfone users in NYC, LA and portions of the Carolinas can now sign up for a GSM-only plan using a Nokia 3390.  You can check out the coverage map here

10/17/2003: Cingular GSM to cover Northern VT by the end of 2003:
According to the Cingular web, GSM service will be extended to cover a large portion of northern VT (Burlington/Plattsburgh will have the majority of the new coverage), and I-89 into NH along with minor coverage along I-93.  Check out the latest Cingular GSM map for details.

10/13/2003: AT&T GSM Coverage Update:  According to the AT&T web maps (which can't be saved), Syracuse & Albany NY and portions of Watertown & Utica NY now have native AT&T GSM service.  Service has also been reported in North Conway, NH

10/13/2003: T-Mobile Coverage Update in NH:  Glen NH (and probably south to North Conway)  is now covered.  Gunstock Mountain NH is also covered - a recent trip up I-93 to 3 to 11 to 11A had almost continuous coverage. You'd never know there was coverage on their website maps.  T-Mobile is the first PCS carrier to those areas.

10/01/2003: U.S. Cellular rolls out CDMA in New England:  The USC website has replaced handsets with CDMA models. I've heard that only current TDMA handsets are allowed on the USC system. Any new handsets must be CDMA handsets, and they must have been sold by USC.

09/21/2003: Calm before the storm:  Things have been pretty boring the past month.  I expect some good deals coming in the next month or two.  The best deals always happen at the end of the year.  As the date for number portability gets closer, I expect to see the best retention deals we've ever seen.  That assumes that LNP actually takes place on schedule. 

08/18/2003: Verizon offering push-to-talk service:  As has been expected, Verizon started offering a push-to-talk plan that works like the Nextel walkie talkie phones. Follow this link for more information.

08/17/2003: Partial retraction of Verizon buildout of I-89:  I was up in the Lebanon area to get more info regarding the new buildout and there was NOTHING.  Either the system was being tested last week and is now off or the weather was causing some exceptional reception (doubtful).  Too bad I was not paying better attention last week.

08/09/2003: Verizon completes buildout of I-89:  A recent trip along I-89 shows that Verizon now has the entire route covered. The gaping hole was a lack of licenses in Grafton and Sullivan Counties NH. Verizon recently obtained licenses for those areas.  The new towers use SID 428.

08/09/2003: Cingular purchases PCS licenses from NextWave, will offer GSM service in Manchester NH and Portland ME:
  PCS licenses for Manchester and Portland were part of a larger purchase from NextWave.  Check out the details here.  [update 11/2003: shareholders approve sale, now awaiting regulatory approval]

07/25/2003: Verizon buildout in Keene, NH:  Now that Verizon has licenses for all of NH, I'd expect Keene and the Seacoast to be priorities for new service areas.  A Verizon CDMA signal (SID 428) was detected around the Keene Home Depot today, so the system is being put in place as we speak. Although they may not officially offer service there for some time, this will substantially reduce the roaming costs for Verizon.

07/24/2003: AT&T restores changed SID in Southern NH (oops):  AT&T has restored SID 4201 in the Manchester/Nashua NH area. Somebody goofed (perhaps they installed a piece of equipment and forgot to set the SID).

07/20/2003: U.S. Cellular is broadcasting a CDMA digital signal in Southern NH:  USC's coversion to CDMA appears to be going on as planned. They recently started broadcasting a CDMA signal, although you can't currently lock onto the signal. CDMA service to start 10/1/2003.

07/19/2003: AT&T changes SID in Southern NH, messes up Cingular users:  AT&T has just changed it's TDMA SID in Nashua/Manchester NH (perhaps a much larger area) from 4201 to 1631 (IIRC that SID is licensed somewhere in PA). Not sure if AT&T
is now using wide-area SIDS or this is a big mistake. Cingular uses U.S. Cellular as its roaming partner in southern NH. This change by AT&T forces Cingular phones to lock onto the AT&T signal, and they are not able to make calls (must be no roaming agreement in place). Hopefully Cingular is aware of this and sends out an updated IRDB ASAP.

07/04/2003: Cingular adds night/weekend and rollover minutes to Nation Plan:  Cingular is getting aggressive in offering it's no-roaming all-inclusive national plan (they did this once before in March 2002). The catch?  You have to sign up for two years and MUST select the Nokia 6340i GAIT phone. This is a very interesting strategy, and should help them push people over to GSM (without sacrificing coverage). This is a wise move that should not be taken lightly by AT&T. 

06/26/2003: RCC/Unicel to make the plunge to GSM/GPRS: It was inevitable. Cingular and AT&T  badly need 850 MHz GSM coverage in northern New England to have any chance of leaving TDMA behind. It is interesting that the first press release comes from Cingular and not RCC.  Here is the relevant info from the press release.  "Under the arrangement, RCC will provide GSM/GPRS service in Maine, New Hampshire, Upstate New York and Vermont. The four-year agreement is effective immediately. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed."

06/15/2003: Cingular allows Hillsborough and Merrimack NH Residents to sign up for the Super Home Plan:  Cingular is now allowing people outside of their footprint to sign up for service and not be charged for roaming.  This became possible when Cingular launched their Super Home plan several weeks ago.  The Super Home plan is the first one that includes U.S. Cellular's 445 system that covers Nashua, Manchester, Concord and extends into the lakes region to North Conway.  The only place where Cingular currently provides service in NH is in Rockingham County.  Cingular does appear to have small pockets of coverage in this new area according to their maps (update 8/9/2003: Cingular obviously knew they would be getting NextWave licenses soon)

06/12/2003: T-Mobile offers unlimited GPRS data: T-Mobile introduces Unlimited GPRS for $29.99 (or $19.99 as an add-on to an existing voice plan of $29.99 or above). GPRS offers "dial-up speed" of about 56K, which is about half the speed of Verizon's and Sprint's 1x data network (but at less than half the cost).  The service is available anywhere on the T-Mobile network (no roaming access).

06/07/2003: T-Mobile coverage update in Southern VT/NH: Good west along Rt 101 from Nashua, coverage ends around Wilton (not sure, I had eight phones going at the time). Coverage picks up for a small area around Keene, and then there is no coverage until close to Troy NY.

06/07/2003: AT&T GSM  coverage update in Southern VT/NH: Going west along Rt 101 from Nashua, coverage ends between Milford and Wilton NH.  GSM coverage has been expanded at least one tower beyond their TDMA system.  From there, there is no coverage until Rochester, NY.

06/07/2003: AT&T TDMA  coverage update in Southern VT/NH: Going west along Rt 101 from Nashua, coverage ends approx at Rt 13 in Milford. I'm not sure where it picks up again.

06/07/2003: Nextel coverage update in Southern VT/NH: Going west along Rt 101 from Nashua, coverage ends around Peterborough.  From there, no coverage until Bennington VT. Then there is solid coverage to the NY border.

06/07/2003: Sprint PCS coverage update in Southern VT/NH: Going west along Rt 101 from Nashua, pretty good signal until just west of Dublin.  Then spotty coverage until Keene (still waiting for the tower in Marlboro).  Good signal from Keene to the VT border. Brattleboro has very poor coverage (-106dBm west of Rt 91), and Sprint finally took it off their covered city listing. No further coverage until Bennington VT, which now has a solid signal.  The signal is then ok (a little weak around the VT/NY border), but a usable signal the rest of the way to Troy.

06/02/2003: Verizon "tweaks" some pricing plans and improves coverage maps: The $40/400 minute AC plan is now permanent.  Some markets have dropped the $35 AC plan.  Some local coverage plans now include more minutes.  Coverage maps updated and improved.  Some markets (eg: LA) now have a "degraded" voice mail system that only holds three messages (unless you pay $2/month for enhanced voicemail).

05/01/2003: AT&T launches GoPhone, a hybrid pre-paid plan for their GSM network: GoPhone pre-charges a monthly fee to your credit card, but is otherwise very similar to a traditional wireless plan. 
PROS: No credit check, no activation fee, no termination fee, free nights & weekends, data usage, minutes roll-over
CONS: Limited GSM coverage area; Monthly fee, charged to go over the minute allowance. 
Click here for more info

05/01/2003: Cellular One is rebadged as Unicel:  In a further move to bring the two New England Rural Cellular Corporation (RCC) systems together, the Cellular One name gives way to Unicel.  Cellular One operates in VT/NH/NY/MA.  The expanded Unicel covers most of northern New England.  Click here for more info

04/13/2003: Sprint PCS launches new plan, revises others:  The new "Free & Clear America" plan includes roaming (up to 50% of total monthly usage) across the USA.  Plans start at $45.  Click here for the plan preview. (thanks to Steve Crow in alt.cellular.sprintpcs).  Vision plans under $100 increase by $5/month, but now include a Vision Pack.

04/05/2003: T-Mobile plans change on 4/7: T-Mobile made some adjustments to their rate plans as follows (thanks to cheerioboy26 in alt.cellular.gsm.voicestream):

19.99 Basic - 75 anytime/500 weekend (no change)
29.99 Basic Plus - 300 anytime/unlimited wkend (text SMS and T-Zones REMOVED)
39.99 Get More - 600 anytime/unlimted wkend (no change)
59.99 Get More Plus - 1000 anytime/unlimited wkend (was 800 anytime)
79.99 **NEW** Get More Ultra - 1500 anytime/unlimited wkend
99.99 Get More Max - 2500 anytime/unlimited wkend (was 1400 anytime)
129.99 **NEW** Get More Supra - 5000 anytime/unlimited wkend

No changes to Family Time or 3000 Regional Plans, Smart Access, 
Sidekick, or Business plans.

03/12/2003: Sprint PCS tacks on fees:  Besides raising rates, Sprint PCS has followed AT&T in tacking on additional monthly fees. In February the additional fees added 1.5% to my monthly cost.  Starting in April Sprint PCS will increase the USF fee as well.

02/16/2003: Verizon to roll out new plans 4/1:  Expect plan cutbacks as AT&T and Sprint PCS have recently done. More info as it becomes available. [turns out to be a false rumor]

02/16/2003: Sprint PCS raises rates, effective 2/16:  Most rates go up by $5.  The free three month Vision promotion is reduced to two months.  The lowest cost plan goes from $30 to $35, loses MTM minutes, and night/weekend minutes are reduced to 1000.

02/10/2003: AT&T drops Regional Plan, cuts minutes and raises rates, effective 2/9:  The AT&T regional plans are gone. The only way to cover all of New England without roaming & long distance is the One Rate plan starting at $60. The bonus minutes on the $30 plans are also gone.  Additionally, AT&T has effectively raised the monthly rates on all their plans by the addition of a sneeky  "$1.75 Regulatory Programs Fee".  The company appears to be clueless about good basic cellular service in New England.

02/02/2003: Northern New England will see GSM coverage in 2003: AT&T and Cingular have teamed up to share their networks in several new areas to provide service to travelers. The following new GSM coverage will be turned on in 2003:
NH: Cingular will add towers along Rt 93, 89, 101, 9
VT: Cingular will add towers along Rt. 89, 4, 9, 7
ME: AT&T will add towers along Rt 95
NY: AT&T will add towers along Rt 87, 90, 81 and 390.
This information comes from the AT&T Wireless 2003 Analyst Meeting. Thanks to Chad (alt.cellular.attws) for posting the URL a couple of weeks ago. Very interesting charts and figures, and they say it will happen in 2003. However, that is marketing and I wouldn't hold my breath :) You can download the PDF presentation here:
http://www.attws.com/wirelessir/downloads/oeIo4rsr45rrMAI_GS.pdf

01/25/2003: Sprint PCS coverage update in Keene:  Sprint turned up a new site in Keene on Dec 31. Site is just southeast of Keene off Rt 101 and Rt 12. Real world results seem to be filling in some holes in coverage along 12 & 101, as well as parts of Keene itself. Also better coverage in Swanzey, NH Still not complete coverage through Marlboro, although the town has approved a site which should fill in that gap completely.  I confirmed the new coverage this week.

01/16/2003: AT&T revamps their website, nicks local multi-band plan:  The only multi-band plan remaining is the one-rate;. So the business travelers are covered. As for everyone else, moving to GSM means giving up a huge chunk of coverage. I guess this will work for now since they are leaving the TDMA plans alone. They may pick up some new customers on GSM. But they aren't going to wean a huge chunk of their existing DA/RA customers off of TDMA with their current plans. I guess they are in a holding pattern for the time being.

12/20/2002: Tracfone extends local calling areas:  Most Tracfone local calling areas have been increased.  In particular, customers that reside in Cingular's East Coast network have the entire East Coast Cingular network as their local calling area.

12/06/2002: Website changes: 
I have added a links page

12/01/2002: Sprint PCS coverage update in NH & VT:  Minimal improvements along Route101/Route 9 since spring. SPCS coverage in Keene and Bennington is very poor. SPCS has been detected in downtown Manchester. 

11/23/2002: T-Mobile now covering Watertown, NY:  T-Mobile coverage now extends from Syracuse to the Canadian border via Rt. 81. Looks like there is not much coverage in Watertown except near the highway.

11/15/2002: Verizon drops the price of several phones:
You can now get Verizon's best phone, the Motorola V60i, for $50 (after rebate, two year contract required). [special has been discontinued as of 12/2]

11/14/2002: Free phones with AT&T activation: You can get any AT&T TDMA phone for free (after rebates) by signing up for new AT&T service at Amazon.com. That includes the Motorola V60i and the Nokia 8265, two of the most popular and best performing phones.  You can get the Siemens S46 multi-band phone for free from AT&T (after $100 rebate).

11/14/2002: I've signed up for Callplus prepaid: Check out my FAQ. It's the best deal for low usage situations (as low as $3.33/month).

11/1/2002: Tracfone offering several incentives:  Tracfone must be feeling the pressure as competition heats up in the prepaid business. Some of the incentives include getting a free (refurbished) phone, minutes good for 12 months, and new monthly plans (credit card billing). The incentives are only good within a narrow range of usage, so you'll really have to analyze whether it works for you.

10/30/2002: New AT&T plans revised:  Unlimited Night/Weekend minutes are added on the $30 plans.

10/30/2002: New Verizon plans revised:   Night/Weekend minutes are restored on the $35 plans. Bonus minutes and Unlimited night/weekend minutes for $4.99.

10/20/2002: New AT&T Wireless plans released:   TDMA $30 plans get 100 bonus anytime minutes, but loose night/weekend minutes, so this is still not competitive. Higher cost plans get 200 bonus minutes and keep the night/weekend minutes.  As far as I can tell there are no changes to the GSM plans. 

10/18/2002: New Sprint PCS plans released:   The $30/300 plan is back, first time in three years! Roaming is now a flat $0.50 plus $0.25/minute. Various other plans as well.  Free Vision for high end plans, it's $10/month on the low end plans after a three month free trial.

10/15/2002: New Verizon plans released:   Not much has changed, except Night & Weekend minutes are now an additional $5/month in most markets.

10/1/2002: T-Mobile reduces regional coverage areas:  Regional areas have been substantially reduced. The Boston regional area is limited to NH, MA, ME and RI.

10/1/2002: Cingular expands rollover minutes to Nation Preferred Plans:  Cingular rollover minutes are now part of the Nation Preferred plans.  Exceptions are Tulsa, Austin, Houston, West Texas, Upstate New York, Kauai, Hawaii and Puerto Rico.  These areas will be added later this year.

9/19/2002: T-Mobile expands into Keene NH:  I was checking out cellular plans on amazon.com today and found a map showing Keene covered. The T-Mobile website lists Keene but does not show it on the map.  You'd think they would try and make the public aware of this!

9/5/2002: AT&T GSM Network is on-line in Boston: 
AT&T rolled out their GSM network in Boston.  There are some charter packages, but coverage is far less than the more mature CDMA and TDMA networks.  I recommend waiting until GSM matures.

9/3/2002: Voicestream rebadged as T-Mobile: The Voicestream name is no more, it's been replaced by T-Mobile, which is the name used internationally.

8/18/2002: Cingular introduces rollover minutes on Local Plan:  Any minutes not used each month will automatically rollover to the next month (max rollover of 12 months). This is probably to reduce the sting of the National Plan cut.

8/18/2002: Cingular cuts National Plan:  The Cingular National Plan has been cut back radically. Night and Weekend minutes are gone and anytime minutes are substantially reduced. A new network plan is available to compete with America's Choice. The new network plan includes most of New England, with the notable exception being Southern NH (Nashua, Manchester, Concord) 

7/15/2002: New AT&T plans in effect:  In general, plans have been downgraded once again. $30 plans lose night minutes. Some markets get bonus anytime minutes on $40 plans but New England markets get only local mobile-to-mobile minutes. AT&T is working hard to have the worst wireless plan under $40.

7/5/2002: Sprint PCS Coverage Update: Route 93 NH coverage extends north to about Exit 23 (same as Verizon so perhaps they are sharing towers).  Sprint PCS signal detected in Lake Placid and Saranac Lake NY. Lake George NY coverage limited to the village due to limited antenna.

6/15/2002: Nextel service detected in Burlington and Montpelier VT: Nextel appears to be testing service in VT (source alt.cellular)

6/15/2002: Voicestream expanded coverage in Western NY: Voicestream service detected that extends from Syracuse to Buffalo (with a few holes), and service was detected in Erie PA as well (source alt.cellular.gsm.carriers.voicestream)

6/10/2002: AT&T regional plans lose minutes: AT&T's regional plan, the worst value in the industry, gets even worse! $30/100 minutes; $40/175 minutes.

6/6/2002: NextWave now "covering" the Nashua area: NextWave is now operating on PCS Band C (CDMA, SID 5288). Like Unicel, I believe they are only doing this so that the FCC does not revoke their license.

5/25/2002: U.S. Cellular enhances Regional & National plans:  USC has added off-peak minutes to the regional and national plans.  These minutes are only good in the local service area (you probably have to be on the USC network).

5/10/2002: Unicel (dba New Hampshire Wireless) now "covering" the Nashua area: Unicel is now operating on PCS Band F (TDMA, SID 5964). I believe they are only doing this so that the FCC does not revoke their license.

5/1/2002: AT&T has started testing GSM in the Boston area.

4/26/2002: Sprint PCS Coverage Update: Hoosick NY is ON. Detail: Rt 7/Rt 9 from Troy NY to (almost) Bennington VT is ON (poor coverage along most of the route). Some have said that Bennington VT is on, but it wasn't when I went through.

4/21/2002: AT&T rolls out it's National Network plans: Plans start at $35/300 peak minutes (and 3000+ night/weekend minutes 9PM-6AM). This is competitive with Sprint PCS as the coverage areas are similar (major metro areas). 

4/13/2002: Verizon America's Choice New England Coverage Update: The AC plan now includes all of New England! (VT, NH, ME, MA, RI, CT).  That is great news for Northern New England!

4/1/2002: Voicestream  Coverage Update: Lewiston ME is ON, Augusta ME is ON

3/26/2002: Sprint PCS Coverage Update: Labanon NH is ON, Burlington VT is ON, Rutland VT is ON, Plattsburgh, NY is ON.  Detail: Rt. 89 from Concord NH to the VT border is ON (some dead zones); Rt 4 from Pico Mtn VT to Rutland VT is ON.

3/4/2002: Cingular: New National One Rate plan announced today is the best in the business!   $30 will get 250 peak and 3500 night/weekend minutes with no roaming or long distance anywhere in the US!  [has been since discontinued]

3/1/2002: U.S. Cellular announces new plans:  There are now three price plans, Local (USC areas only), Regional (9-state) and National (Entire US). There are no off-peak minutes available with the Regional or National plans.

3/1/2002: Sprint PCS: Price increase on the 200 peak minute plan, it's now $35.

2/1/2002: Verizon: America's Choice (AC) plan replaces all Regional plans. Coverage includes the Verizon network and selected Alltel and Sprint PCS networks.  Otherwise roaming is $0.65/minute including Canada. The Single Rate National (SRN) plan is still available but the bonus weekend minutes are gone.

1/27/2002: AT&T: New plans started. The only competitive plan below $50 is the $40/300 Regional plan (but 2 year contract is required).

12/19/2001: U.S Cellular: Announced their conversion to CDMA. This will give NH complete CDMA coverage. This will jeopardize AT&T's roaming network in northern New England.

12/?/2001: Cingular: Announced their conversion to GSM.

11/1/2001: Sprint PCS: Recent expansion along Route 101 from Milford to Dublin. Expanded coverage on Rt 89 and Rt 93. Expanded coverage in the Nashua and Seacoast areas.

10/1/2001: AT&T: Announced their conversion to GSM.

10/1/2001: The start of the New England Cellular Pages



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