This is definitely one of those deals that isn’t for everyone. But, for those who make a lot of international calls and don’t care about whether or not they’re on the cutting edge, this deal from H2O Wireless isn’t terrible.
H2O Wireless is offering a refurbished iPhone 3GS along with a $50 month plan card and an H2O SIM card. Usually, that $50 month plan card gets you unlimited talk and text, along with 250 MB of data and about 500 free international calling minutes. Right now, H2O Wireless is offering a double-up special, which will give you 500 MB of data and about 1,000 free international calling minutes. I use “about” because H2O approximates those minutes based on an estimate of $.02/minute for international calling. H2O does warn that international rates through them can vary depending on the country. Also, for an extra $10 per month, you can roll over unused minutes.
You would think the phone would be unlocked, but the sales page says “Device not configured with Data & MMS; MMS configuration may require unlocking.” H2O uses a GSM network, and you’ll have to configure your phone with them according to the instructions found on the website, which seem simple enough. If you do go with H2O Wireless and configure the phone for data, be warned that H2O Wireless will throttle 2G/3G data according to their authorized use policy. What the throttling threshold is is not specified.
The whole package (phone, $50 month plan card, and SIM card) is selling for $200. It seems like it’s not a bad deal, but before you jump in, you’ll probably want to get clarification from H2O about that throttling cap and the actual international rates.