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broadscott

@exetel.com.au

[Need Info] Arriving from OS and need cell phones

Hi all, first post in these forums for me. My family and I are emigrating to the USA from Australia early next year and I am looking into what cell phone plans we might get. I have to say they all seem rather expensive, so I thought I might be missing something. We both have unlocked Galaxy Nexus GSM handsets, so I am looking for low cost SIM only plans. In Oz we pay $10/month each and get free calls to one another, and we both get 150 minutes talk time and 250mb of data. Are there any plans that would offer something similar in the states?


BlitzenZeus
Burnt Out Cynic
Premium
join:2000-01-13
kudos:3

Not really. Welcome to the land of greed, and maximizing profits even when you break the law where if the profits outweigh the fines they'll keep doing it. The majority of the plans are either unlimited plans, except for the data of course, or you pay per everything, in which what you paid for usually expires.

Now not all gsm phones are standard, so you may encounter some issues with phones from another country.

Well besides the piggyback carriers, the major gsm carriers are AT&T and T-Mobile. AT&T has a larger nationwide network, but T-Mobile has better plans. You really should be looking the coverage where you're going to be first, but do realize some maps may be too general, otherwise seem like an outright lie if you've ever been there.

A family plan might suit you, lower ones have limited minutes, include mobile to mobile, but beware expensive mandatory data plans. AT$$$T loves to do this, and even with their shared data plan it's not a great deal. T-Mobile doesn't force you to have mandatory data plans at least when you bring your own equipment. Other piggyback carriers like straight talk have a gsm option, and are something to look into also. Either way you will be paying more than $10 per person unless you get some really basic pre-paid plans.
--
I distrust those people who know so well what god wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires- Susan B. Anthony
Yesterday we obeyed kings, and bent out necks before emperors. But today we kneel only to the truth- Kahlil G.



broadscott

@exetel.com.au

said by BlitzenZeus:

besides the piggyback carriers

Thanks for your response. Are you able to tell me who the main "piggyback carriers" are? We also have the main companies in Oz (Telstra, Optus etc) but there are a plethora of smaller companies that resell their frequencies. I find in Oz that these smaller companies offer the best bang for buck.


tao
Frazzlebats
Premium
join:2000-12-03
Lansing, MI
reply to broadscott

One thing not mentioned above is frequency and you will need to confirm that your phones are able to work for both voice and data. T-Mobile shifted their data network to a different frequency about two years ago. You can call any of the main GSM providers and ask about frequencies, but be advised that you will asking rarely heard questions for general customer support, and you should be advised to consult with a providers technical support instead.

You have no need for a plan. You should be able to look at Walmart's USA site and see the second teir providers. I have looked online, both Walmart and Target sell flat rate monthly service from most providers.
--
The only thing more accurate than television is the Internet.


broadscott

join:2012-12-30
reply to broadscott

OK, well I found the link below that lists the piggyback operators and I have searched through them and found there are not many / any plans that match what we have here. Ting looks like the best option for us but they require you to buy a device from them (not sure why). Maybe there is a phone upgrade in the future .... don't really want to - I like my Nexus Galaxy.

»en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Un···perators


bt06437

join:2001-12-03
Carrollton, TX
reply to broadscott

this may help you see who some of the providers are:
»cell-phone-providers-review.topt···ews.com/



Hagar

join:2004-10-31
Sunnyvale, CA
Reviews:
·T-Mobile US
·AT&T U-Verse
reply to broadscott

Your Galaxy Nexus is penta band so you are OK on both T-mobile and AT&T and their MVNO.

Sprint and Verizon CMDA networks are not friendly to let you use your on device (your current phones are not compatible). Ting is a MVNO of Sprint so search for Sprint when you want user reviews/opinions.

Remember you use cell minutes when you receive call in the US, e.g. you will use/need more minutes than you use currently.

Plans, well there is no cheap plans for people who used the phone sparingly.
Here are some T-mobile options (they sell SIM card for $1 or less)
- Pre pay 10cents/min, add $100 so minutes last a year, add $10 one a year thereafter so minutes never expire. No data
- Prepay Monthly 4G plan $30 a month 1500 min or text (any combination) 30 MB of data
- Prepay Monthly 4G plan $30 a month 100 min unlimited text 5 GB of 4G data. Popular with people who try to use VOIP over cell data.

On AT&T network Straighttalk is a MVNO with competitive plans, sim card are $15 unless you find a discount code.


broadscott

join:2012-12-30

said by Hagar:

Prepay Monthly 4G plan $30 a month 100 min unlimited text 5 GB of 4G data. Popular with people who try to use VOIP over cell data.

Well this one might be the go and use Google Voice for calls. Anyone have experience using GV as your full time voice solution?

bt06437

join:2001-12-03
Carrollton, TX
reply to broadscott

I use an HTC EVO V 4G, on Virginmobileusa.com, with their $35/month, 300 minutes, and frequently use Google Voice to make the call. People have told me the sound is clear, just fine.
Well worth the time to learn & use.



Hagar

join:2004-10-31
Sunnyvale, CA
Reviews:
·T-Mobile US
·AT&T U-Verse
reply to broadscott

Google Voice app uses minutes for the call. Talkatone and Gtalk app do not use minutes.
Over wifi they tend to work well but over 3G/4G they work so so. E.g. they require a great cellular data connection which you do not get all the time, problems indoors and in moving cars.

I use the t-mobile $30 5 GB plan with Google voice (GV is the main number). It stretches my minutes but I am not 100% VOIP.

The google voice codec G.711 is not optimal for cellular data. I am thinking of using Asterisk (PIAF) on a Raspberry Pi to convert G.729 to G.711 to see if I get a better result using cellular data connections.


bt06437

join:2001-12-03
Carrollton, TX
reply to broadscott

"Google Voice’s VoIP service also works on mobile devices, such as Android and iPhones. This means reaching a Gmail contact is as easy as clicking their name in their profile. Plus, with VoIP services, calls placed while on a Wi-Fi network do not subtract from those minutes on your cell plan, should you be monitoring them closely."

from:
»www.redorbit.com/news/technology···-122712/