Airvoice Wireless has launched a new $10 per month plan. Air Voice calls it a "Monthly" plan but your unused balance rolls over if you top up your plan every 30 days or less on this plan. To me that makes it a traditional pay as you go plan rather than a monthly plan.
Rates on this new plan are very good
MMS (Picture, Video $ Audio messaging): 10¢/each
International Messaging (text or MMS) 20¢ each
Except for the data price, these are among the lowest rates in the industry. Only PlatinumTel comes close (5¢/min, 2¢/text, 10¢/MMS, 10¢/MB). But Airvoice has the advantage on much easier BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) and the superior coverage of AT&T (PlatinumTel uses the Sprint network. Compare coverage).
You can use any AT&T phone (including iPhones) or any unlocked GSM phone that supports AT&T's 850 Mhz and 1900 Mhz frequencies. Switching phones is as simple as swapping the SIM card from onde phone to another. SIM cards are $4.99 each from the Airvoice website. You will need to change some settings manually to get data and MMS working on non AirVoice phones
One thing that is not clear is what happens if you use up your airtiime credit on the $10 plan before the 30 days is up. Can you immediately add a $10 top up to restart your month or does Airvoice charge overage rates and what are they? I've reached out to Airvoice on Twitter and Facebook and will update this post if I get a clarification.
Update: 1-Mar-2012: I got a reply from Airvoice on Facebook:
"For the new $10 plan, you may add an additional refill card to your account at anytime to receive more voice minutes or SMS. The refill card will add an additional 30 days of service to your original expiration date. There are no overage charges."
Update: 15-Mar-2012: As a couple readers pointed out in the comments the Airvoice website says:
"When adding a new refill PIN to your account, the expiration period extends from the date you are adding airtime on, and not to your current expiration date. "Which contradicts part of what the Airvoice said on Facebook. I suspect the web site is correct as very few pay as you go plans let you "stack"expiration dates.
Regardless of whether expiration dates stack, this new plan is a very good deal for anyone who averages around 250 minutes or 500 texts or 30 MB per month or more. Because of the relatively high $10 monthly minimum payment it's not the best for very light users who would be better off on something like the Page Plus ($2.50/month) or Jolt Mobile ($3.33/month) pay as you go plans or Airvoice's own pay as you go plans ($3.33/month) which are still available.
Source: Howard Forums