Venture Mobile is a Washington based cellphone service provider, offering subscribers a choice of national coverage through either the Verizon CDMA or PCS networks. This dual provision means that subscribers have many options to choose from when determining which prepaid cellphone plan is best for them with complete flexibility to change between plans from period to period and a series of add-on bundles available. One option that is not available however is a pay-as-you-go plan, as only prepaid cellphone plans are offered by Venture Mobile.
Pros of Venture Mobile
· The convenience of a wide choice of plans.
· Free nights and weekends on PCS Network.
· Inexpensive data bundles available on CDMA Network
Cons of Venture Mobile
· No pay-as-you-go option.
· No fully comprehensive unlimited option.
· Very limited selection of cellphones available.
With no pay-as-you-go options from which to choose, subscribers have to determine which of the network monthly prepaid cellphone plans provides the most appropriate service for them.
Venture Mobile CDMA Plans
The CDMA plans allow subscribers to bring an existing cellphone with them, but not its number. There is an activation charge of $10.00 to establish the account, and thereafter subscribers have a choice of how many minutes they wish to include in their monthly plans. Prices of packages are based on the amount of “anytime” minutes the subscriber feels they will use per month, with prices starting at $30.00 for 300 minutes and rising through 8 further stages to $239.99 for 5700 “anytime” minutes (approximately $0.04/minute). All the plans available include 3000 nights and weekends minutes (which commence at 7.00pm) although subscribers have to maintain a credit balance in their account to be able to use them.
“Cash Card” minute refill bundles are available online or through a network of retail agents in denominations of $5.00, $10.00, $20.00, $30.00 and $50.00 – each one equivalent to an “anytime” minutes value of $0.10/minute. Overage is charged at $0.36/minute, with off-network roaming costing $0.57/minute and a 411 Directory Assistance charge of $2.00 per call plus the airtime used. Domestic text messages can be sent or received at $0.10/message, with pictures and audio messages charged at $0.10/message plus a data transfer charge of $0.79/Mb.
Text and data bundles are available to add on to Venture Mobile CDMA prepaid cellphone plans. Text bundles start at $3.99/100 and rise through a number of stages (ie $13.99/1000) to a top priced package of $64.99 for 5000 text messages. Any overages are charged at $0.10/message or subscribers may just add another bundle. Data Bundles are also available in a series of stages, ranging from $34.99 for 60Mb to $115.99 for 500 Mb with overage rates varying between $0.39/Mb to $0.86/Mb depending on which package is chosen. Venture Mobile also offer their subscribers a mobile-to-mobile economy package, offering 1000 anytime minutes for $7.99.
Venture Mobile PCS Plans
The Venture Mobile PCS Plans differ from the CDMA plans in a number of ways. First of all there is no activation charge for this service and the periods for which subscribers can prepay for their services vary between 7 and 30 days rather than monthly. Plans may include “anytime” minutes or not, however all options include free unlimited nights and weekends minutes (from 9.00pm), for example the minimum plan costs $10.00, comes with 60 “anytime” minutes, unlimited nights and weekends and has an expiry period of 7 days. The second plan in the Venture Mobile PCS prepaid schedule costs $12.00, has no “anytime” minutes, unlimited nights and days and an expiry period of 15 days.
There are eleven different plans in total for subscribers to choose from, with the maximum prepaid plan costing $120.00, providing 1000 “anytime” minutes, unlimited nights and weekends and having an expiry period of 30 days. Where the choice of a suitable plan becomes even more complicated is in the amount of additional minutes subscribers may require to top-up their accounts during their activation period. As subscribers are required to have active “anytime” minutes in order to use the unlimited nights/weekends facility, it may be quite frequently that low usage subscribers need to refill their accounts. Additional minute bundles can be purchased in denominations of $5.00 – $50.00, however the higher value denominations have more minutes included in them and represent better value. For example, a $10.00 refill card contains 60 minutes of “anytime” minutes ($0.1666/minute), whereas a $50.00 refill card comes with 380 “anytime” minutes ($0.1315/minute).
Overage on all plans is charged at $0.15/minute, with off-network roaming costing $0.66/minute and a 411 Directory Assistance charge of $1.84 per call plus the airtime used. Domestic text messages can be sent or received at $0.08/message, with pictures and audio messages and 3G data access charged at $2.35/Mb. The Venture Mobile PCS prepaid cellphone plans also have a push-to-talk walkie talkie option, allowing unlimited communication between subscribers on the same network for $0.50/day.
Customer support is advertised as being available 24/7 through online chat facility (limited hours only), toll-free landline number, direct from subscribers´ cellphones and via email.
Venture Mobile International
Direct dial calling is available through the services offered by Venture mobile on both networks, and rates are generally reasonable in comparison with other companies although further complicated by charging different rates per minute to the same country, dependent on which carrier provides the service to the recipient´s cellphone – for example there are twelve different calling rates to the United Kingdom.
Prepaid Cell Phones.net Rating: If you have managed to get this far, well done! Venture Mobile´s prepaid pricing structure must be one of the most complicated in the industry. However, there are some exceptional rates amongst them, and the unlimited free nights and weekend calls will appeal to a lot of people. The lack of a straightforward (!) pay-as-you-go plan or unlimited monthly package may dissuade a few people, but there really should be something amongst the options provided by Venture Mobile to suit most people – it´s just a case of finding it!