Last week we heard rumors that RadioShack was preparing to launch a no-contract wireless service on September 5 powered by regional carrier Cricket Wireless. A leaked memo provided a wealth of information including the fact that select phones would come with a free 8GB microSD card but at the time, there was no mention of pricing.
Now that we are just over a week away from the scheduled announcement, the missing pieces of the puzzle are falling into place. TheShack will offer both feature phones and smartphones on no-contract plans. Feature phone pricing starts at $25 for unlimited messaging and 300 minutes. $10 more per month gets the same package with a 1,000 minute allotment.
Smartphone packages start at $50 per month which includes unlimited messaging, voice, full song downloads from the Muve Music service and 1GB of 3G data. Extra data is available in bundles of 50MB for $1. A $60 month fee will bump the data limit up to 2.5GB per month and enable mobile hotspots (tethering), visual voicemail, unlimited international text / picture / video and unlimited directory assistance.
When compared directly with Cricket’s no-contract plans, you may or may not save with RadioShack – it all depends on what services you are after. Cricket’s $35 plan gives you unlimited minutes whereas TheShack limits you to just 1,000 each month. In the smartphone category, $55 at Cricket will get you unlimited everything and 2.5GB of wireless data but that doesn’t include access to Muve Music. That feature cost an extra $10 but is included in both RadioShack smartphone rate plans.