Well I finally ditched my TDMA dinosaur from AT&T, in part because of this article, but also because the phone itself (a trusty Nokia 5165) was getting a little worn.

I really hate long term contracts and monthly billing, so I’ve chosen to go the prepaid route! If monthly billing options dropped down to $10 or so I might consider doing that, but I’m a really light user and pre-paid works out to be cheaper.

So I started looking around at what my options were. I had been using AT&T’s Free2Go Wireless plan, and not only was that costing me about $0.35/min, but the minutes expired after 45 days if you didn’t use them all or add more minutes to your balance. It was pricey by monthly billing standards, sure, but it worked out to $16 a month and gave me 71 minutes which was more than I ever needed.

In the end I narrowed it down to Virgin Mobile and Boost Mobile. Virgin’s rates are $0.25 for the first 10 minutes used each day, then $0.10 for every minute thereafter. Not too shabby, but it’s rare that I use the phone more than 10 minutes a day. Plus, Virgin only lets you choose one of three insanely boring phones.

The winner was Boost Mobile at $0.25/min – their minutes don’t expire for 90 days. Boost Mobile is actually the pre-paid arm of Nextel, and it uses the Nextel network. That means that I can use their walkie talkie direct connect to other Boost or Nextel users for a $1/day flat rate! Suhweet.

So last night I went to the Nextel store by my house and picked up a Boost starter kit which included a Motorola i730. They were out of USB data cables though, so it’ll be a while before I can add ringtones of me singing songs.

Goodbye TDMA, hello iDen!

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