May 19, 2010

No Contract Cell Phones Rise In Popularity: Sprint Enters the Pre-Paid Market

Sagem cell phone,
Wikimedia Commons, public domain
Four years ago, I wrote about the advantages of a pre-paid cell phone over entering into a long-term contract with a phone company.  As the economy has declined, it appears that the market for these pay-as-you-go plans has skyrocketed.

This month, Sprint has entered the marketplace with a package that offers seven (7) cents a minute and seven (7) cents per text message.  The gimmick to get you to pick Sprint?  Their phone minutes round down, and not up.  Talk for 1'34" and you'll get billed for 1', while other providers will charge you for 2'. 

As for the phones themselves, there's not any contract, of course.  Cheapest version is right at $20.00, and Sprint is offering a range of phones with the highest gizmo costing around 100 bucks.  Not exactly an IPhone, but it'll getter done.

Marketing under the name "Common Cents," Sprint Nextel has partnered with WalMart as it rolls out this new entry into the telephone service provider marketplace.  You'll only be able to buy the Common Cents products and services at a WalMart store (or presumably, as well as the CommonCentsMobile site. 

Related posts of interest:

Skype - Is It 4 U?
CellPhone Spies: Five Sinister Uses for Your Cellphone
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