Sprint’s new 3G Peel case for the iPod Touch probably has many of you wondering how much you could save by switching to a data only plan and using Skype Mobile. Here’s a quick rundown of potential plans based on what Sprint currently has available, and how much you could get out of them.
Mobile Broadband Connection Plan – 3G
Sprint has just one data only plan at the moment, which is capped at 5GB a month. Thanks to testing done by Ars Technica, we know that a 5 minute Skype-to-Skype call over 3g uses around 3.3 MB of bandwidth. This equates to 125 hours of talk time (or 7500 minutes) on this plan.
What does this translate to? If you have a 200MB data limit (as you might if you’re on the $15 data plan from AT&T), you can make five hours worth of Skype calls—assuming you’re not transmitting any other data for other purposes.If you’re on a 2GB monthly limit, you can make just under 52 hours’ worth of Skype calls. If you want to actually do other things on your phone, though, you’ll have to adjust your usage. (If you typically use 550MB of data in a month doing other things, for example, you can make just under 37 hours’ worth of Skype calls on a 2GB monthly limit.)
Read on past the break for more number crunching.
According to Validus, the average iPhone user uses 338 MB of data a month, so if you’re planning on talking on the phone for less than 5 hours a month, a 2GB plan (Which costs $25/month on AT&T) will cover all your bandwidth needs and more.
In addition to your Sprint bill, Skype charges $2.99 a month for unlimited calls to landlines and mobile phones within the United States and Canada (and $13.99 for international users), and also has pay-as-you-go plans available for you quiet-types.
So, If you were wondering whether or not Skype could be used as a viable low-cost alternative to a normal cell plan, then the answer is a definite yes. iPhone plans cost around $85 for 900 minutes and 2GB of data, and using Sprint and Skype, you could get 4500 minutes and 2GB of data for $62.98 per month. Could the future of cell phones be data only? With many carriers implementing 4g technologies like LTE and WiMax, it is a very real possibility.