Yesterday I saw TV ads with the Sprint CEO promoting Sprint's new calling plan, which includes free calls to any mobile phone. I was tempted. I just checked the Sprint web site. This plan starts at $70! What the heck? That's because it requires the data plan with only 450 minutes to non-mobile phones. In other words, the same type of plan that I could get from ATT or Verizon. Since they have most of the mobile phones, it's not much of a plan.
It also appears to cover only outgoing calls, not incoming.
My trusty three and half year old Palm Treo 700P died. The jack for the headset stopped working, preventing the mic from working. Who would have thought that? I tried using my old Motorola blue tooth head set (never liked its performance), figuring it would bypass the mic, but that thing would not come to life after not being used for years even though I kept the battery charged ... I thought.
I considered my wireless options: iPhone on ATT, Palm Pre on Sprint, G1 google phone on T-Mobile. I really wanted to stay with the Verizon Wireless network hoping that it would approve a cool device soon enough to reward my patience. Supposedly the Palm Pre will be on the Verizon Wireless network early in 2010.
I dusted off my previous phone, an LG, and switched my Verizon Wireless account back to it. It works fine! I still have the car charger, which also works. I set up my old Palm TX to sync with MS Outlook on my PC. Bingo, back to the future. This is what I used four years ago before I bought the Palm Treo 700P for $400. Now, however, I have the Verizon Wireless MiFi modem, which works well with the Palm TX via WiFi, connecting it to the web. The only uncool thing is the need to carry three items: LG phone, Palm TX, MiFi modem.
I will probably get whichever of the three smart phones becomes available on Verizon Wireless: iPhone, Palm Pre, (G1 or some other running the Android OS). Unless Verizon Wireless does something unexpected and introduces a device that the other service providers do not already have. It would require a significant change in corporate culture and is very unlikely. Verizon Wireless could also consider some creativity in its billing plans. ATT has rollover minutes. Verizon Wireless has a favorites option but it would require me to increase my monthly cost from $40 (plus tax and tip over 25%) to $60; it would increase my allowed minutes from 450 to 900.
When will a U.S. wireless service provider charge only for outgoing calls and not for incoming calls? I think that's how it is done in Europe. Here, both the caller and called are charged minutes.