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fartness
computersoc dot com
Premium
join:2003-03-25
Look Outside

Want something cheaper

I'm on a family plan now with ATT that I have with some family members. I have a 4 year old Blackberry Bold 9000 that has no data plan since I was grandfathered in. Phone works fine but I feel I'm falling behind the times with kids these days with their fancy iphones and droids (not that I care, but I'd end up using the technology too if I had it). I don't talk much and if I do, it's to people on other cell phones (either Vz, ATT or Sprint). Occasional landline place when ordering food or asking for prices from stores, but that's about it. I text a lot. I guess I don't want my portion of the bill increasing $30 a month with ATT for a lousy 2GB data plan. I already pay $30 right now for my "share" of the family line. So that means I'd be paying $60 total for 2GB of data if I got a new phone ($30 my family charges me plus the increase of $30 for getting a data plan equals $60). Can I get a package that suits me (and keep my phone number) for less than $60?

I'm thinking about getting a Samsung Galaxy S4 when it comes out, unless there's going to be something better.

BTW, I travel a lot, so I want/need a way to place a call if I'm in the middle of nowhere. Slow internet in the boonies is fine, as long as I can call or text. I have no issues with ATT in that regard. That's my only worry on switching. I haven't had no service (due to being in the middle of nowhere) or a dropped call anywhere in years.

My work is probably in their 20% off discount plan, at least my college was. Leaning towards Sprint for unlimited data, but I don't want to screw myself over inadvertently by switching.


orion940
Attractive like a magnet
Premium
join:2001-12-23
Windsor, CT
Reviews:
·Comcast
I'm in the midst of dumping Verizon for an MVNO. I'm using a Verizon MVNO because Verizon has the best signal in my area.

I'd look first look for which big provider gave me good signal strength, then look for a good MVNO who resells that provider. If you want to save money, this is the way to go. However, AT&T and Verizon do not have monthly prepaid MVNO networks with 4G that I could find. T-Mobil and Sprint suck here, so I kinda stopped at that point.

Hope this helps a little.

O.
--
Windsor, Home of the Decorative Zamboni


RobNyc
Premium
join:2002-03-06
New York, NY
reply to fartness
I been using StraightTalk (ATT MVNO) with great 3G speeds for 2yrs now and I must say better signal anytime anywhere than my Sprint (contract and been with them since 2004). I just paid $100 for 3 months service btw ($135 retail plan) so there's always even more savings.

The only problem with MVNO (3rd party non-contract providers, is if you go over 2GB a month of bandwidth you're risking getting throttled or internet disconnected) but their Calls/Text are unlimited. So I would probably recommend trying out StraightTalk (ATT sim) and see how it works for you and if not just go with ATT GoPhone PrePaid plan (which is what i'm thinking about trying out soon).


fartness
computersoc dot com
Premium
join:2003-03-25
Look Outside
reply to fartness
I see Walmart offers a $650 iphone5 for Straighttalk. Is there anyway to get one cheaper?

medbuyer

join:2003-11-20
kudos:4
said by fartness:

I see Walmart offers a $650 iphone5 for Straighttalk. Is there anyway to get one cheaper?

you're better off buying a unit outright from AT&T or sign a 2 year contract...OR ebay and or craigslist..

I got the Tmobile S4 with the $30 5GB "walmart" plan and loving it...


atuarre
Here come the drums
Premium
join:2004-02-14
Conroe, TX
reply to orion940
Best advice I can give you, stay the fuck away from Sprint. I know I keep saying I'm waiting for their network vision plans to come to fruition but as long as the company is managed by Americans, it will never happen. Softbank and the Japanese are the only thing that will get everything back on schedule.

Data here has become unusable. You might have one tower that works, and you might have three towers where the data is so slow that you can't even send an instant message.

I'm going to order another smartphone, either through Verizon or AT&T. T-Mobiles EDGE (yes they advertise 3G and 4G here on their coverage maps but no matter where you travel to in the city, there is only EDGE) is probably faster then Sprints 3G.

There are some things I do need data for. I don't need to be able to watch a Netflix movie, but I need to be able to see my e-mails and send and respond to instant messages.

Sprints network already wasn't the best but it got much worse when the influx of iPhone users started. I had AT&T (which doesn't have 4G here) but there coverage would force my Blackberry to bounce between EDGE and 3G all the time, killing the battery, T-Mobile like I said, had just EDGE, and Verizon, between them not wanting to replace handsets that were under warranty, forcing me to drive an hour to another store to get them replaced, and coverage issues that kept me on 1X and not on 3G, I ended up on Sprint.

I might wait till the Note 3 is available though before I order with another carrier.

Either way, I don't care about much money you think you are saving, stfa from Sprint. I think even if they stopped unlimited data and went to the way of the other carriers, it would not help their network issues.

Good luck.


Irun Man
Spartan up
Premium
join:2002-10-18
Walden, NY
reply to orion940
said by orion940:

I'm in the midst of dumping Verizon for an MVNO. I'm using a Verizon MVNO because Verizon has the best signal in my area...

Page Plus used to be the only game in town for VZW network BYOD, been with them for years. I'm about to port over to »www.talkforgood.com/, much better rates.
--
You'll know at the finish line.


orion940
Attractive like a magnet
Premium
join:2001-12-23
Windsor, CT
Reviews:
·Comcast
said by Irun Man:

Page Plus used to be the only game in town for VZW network BYOD, been with them for years. I'm about to port over to »www.talkforgood.com/, much better rates.

PagePlus just announced the 29.95 and 39.99 plans have 500Mb of data. That is 400Mb more than you get for $40 from talk for good. And like you said PagePlus has been around for years.

O.
--
Windsor, Home of the Decorative Zamboni


morbo
Complete Your Transaction

join:2002-01-22
00000
Reviews:
·Charter
reply to fartness
Ting is a Sprint MNVO that is close to a utility model (pay for only what you use). The downside is that you have to buy handsets at full price. However, you can have a smartphone and a bill of $25 depending on your usage. Ting roams on Verizon, so your voice coverage should be fine. Ting does not data roam at all - so if Sprint doesn't have a tower in the area, you will only have text and voice provided by Verizon.


Irun Man
Spartan up
Premium
join:2002-10-18
Walden, NY
reply to orion940
said by orion940:

said by Irun Man:

Page Plus used to be the only game in town for VZW network BYOD, been with them for years. I'm about to port over to »www.talkforgood.com/, much better rates.

PagePlus just announced the 29.95 and 39.99 plans have 500Mb of data. That is 400Mb more than you get for $40 from talk for good. And like you said PagePlus has been around for years.

UPDATE: Just ported one line from PagePlus to TFG, took two hours Wednesday evening and went FLAWLESSLY. Coverage is VZW postpaid so no roaming... so far so good!
--
You'll know at the finish line.


fartness
computersoc dot com
Premium
join:2003-03-25
Look Outside
reply to fartness
Opinions on Straightalk? Wasn't there a promo going on for a $200 iphone from them? I can't find the thread here (new article).

nowcharter
Charter HSI

join:2002-09-11
Uxbridge, MA
I've been on the Straightalk AT&T SIM plan for a year without issues, but they have discontinued using AT&T since earlier this year and now use T-Mobile. You would have to check the T-Mobile coverage where you travel to see if that works for you. There are rumors about the real data limits on the unlimited plan, so don't expect to actually use unlimited data. I may jump to the AT&T GoPhone $60 plan if I need to use data more or get an LTE capable phone. iPhones really cost a lot if you don't go into a contract or buy used.


SysOp

join:2001-04-18
Douglasville, GA
Reviews:
·MetroPCS
reply to fartness
said by fartness:

BTW, I travel a lot, so I want/need a way to place a call if I'm in the middle of nowhere.

NET10 on Verizon or ATT would be ideal at $45

Note: prepaid does not roam off network.

medbuyer

join:2003-11-20
kudos:4
reply to nowcharter
said by nowcharter:

I've been on the Straightalk AT&T SIM plan for a year without issues, but they have discontinued using AT&T since earlier this year and now use T-Mobile.

WRONG! they still use AT&T provided you can get the right sim card that's compatible for AT&T service...

that is if you're willing to fork over at least $50 for it on ebay....»www.ebay.com/itm/RARE-STRAIGHT-T···d4564709

considering they were only $15 from either Walmart or ST when they were available...

I still have mine and still undecided if I wanna go through using ST service after reading a lot of csr horror stories...


fartness
computersoc dot com
Premium
join:2003-03-25
Look Outside
reply to fartness
I want more than 2GB data and I want decent coverage. Even 10GB seems reasonable. I don't want to pay AT&T for it though since they'll charge me a lot for going over my data.

PS. Also what happens if I use ST or any of these other pre-paids in Europe or Asia for either text, data, or calls? AT&T is somewhat reasonable in that regards. I think I get 50 free texts and $1 a minute calls. Data isn't outright ridiculous if I want to just check email or check a restaurant review (light surfing).

medbuyer

join:2003-11-20
kudos:4
said by fartness:

I want more than 2GB data and I want decent coverage. Even 10GB seems reasonable. I don't want to pay AT&T for it though since they'll charge me a lot for going over my data.

PS. Also what happens if I use ST or any of these other pre-paids in Europe or Asia for either text, data, or calls? AT&T is somewhat reasonable in that regards. I think I get 50 free texts and $1 a minute calls. Data isn't outright ridiculous if I want to just check email or check a restaurant review (light surfing).

anything over 2GB of data will cost you an arm and a leg, specially with AT&T...

ST is for US use only....I believe...If you want to have international roaming, you need AT&T.

OR buy an unlocked international phone like the google S4 or Nexus 4 and buy a prepaid sim to whatever country you're going to...pop it in and you're good to go...

I've been using FB, email, light surfing, etc. on my S4 of barely a month of signing up with the Tmobile $30 plan with 5GB data. To date, I have only used around 500MB of the allotted 5GB.


fartness
computersoc dot com
Premium
join:2003-03-25
Look Outside
Can you go international with your $30 plan? Or still just ATT only? Might give me an excuse to not call people when I'm away lol I think 5GB is reasonable. Any link or details about that plan? What phone do you have?

medbuyer

join:2003-11-20
kudos:4
said by fartness:

Can you go international with your $30 plan? Or still just ATT only? Might give me an excuse to not call people when I'm away lol I think 5GB is reasonable. Any link or details about that plan? What phone do you have?

none of the prepaid plans of either AT&T or Tmobile includes international roaming...international calling from the US will be costly...

I have a Tmobile S4 with the $30 plan [100 min. / unlimited texting / 5GB data]. What's nice about this is that if your area has LTE and you have an LTE device, it will get the signals and of course the speeds...all without paying much more than the postpaid plans...

if I may ask, what countries do you normally call / visit?


fartness
computersoc dot com
Premium
join:2003-03-25
Look Outside
I randomly travel. I'll probably go to Germany or Italy within a year and I will go to China and some other countries over there within about a year also. When I've gone to Europe in the past, it was $1 a minute to call the USA.

S4 meaning Galaxy S4? If so, what did it cost? Do you get free nights and weekend minutes?

Where did you sign up/where can I go to sign up?

medbuyer

join:2003-11-20
kudos:4
said by fartness:

I randomly travel. I'll probably go to Germany or Italy within a year and I will go to China and some other countries over there within about a year also. When I've gone to Europe in the past, it was $1 a minute to call the USA.

S4 meaning Galaxy S4? If so, what did it cost? Do you get free nights and weekend minutes?

Where did you sign up/where can I go to sign up?

If I were in your shoes, I would buy me an international phone like the Google Edition Samsung Galaxy S4 or the Tmobile version S4 [need to unlock for international use]. Use it with prepaid here from either Tmobile or AT&T.

When you go overseas, bring the phone, buy a prepaid sim card upon your arrival, activate it, pop it in, you're good to go....

International roaming is expensive, specially if you use it with data. And international roaming is only available on postpaid plans.

Google's S4 will set you back $649 + shipping, tax on other states...
»play.google.com/store/devices/de···alaxy_s4

Tmobile's S4 will set you back $579 »www.t-mobile.com/shop/phones/cel···=reviews outright to use on prepaid plans like what I have. In my case, I bought my unit elsewhere which was way less.

Here's where I explained what I did regarding getting the Tmobile $30 prepaid plan....on slickdeals...

»slickdeals.net/forums/showpost.p···unt=6189


fartness
computersoc dot com
Premium
join:2003-03-25
Look Outside
I don't necessarily *need* phone/text/data when out of the country. So it would still cost $579 if I just wanted a USA only phone? Or can I get an S4 for less?

I also want to keep my phone number.

medbuyer

join:2003-11-20
kudos:4
said by fartness:

I don't necessarily *need* phone/text/data when out of the country. So it would still cost $579 if I just wanted a USA only phone? Or can I get an S4 for less?

I also want to keep my phone number.

I suggested those phones as an example of GSM [»en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GSM] units as having all the frequencies that will work outside of the US..

Europe and Asia deploy GSM 900 & 1800 frequency bands [»en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GSM_frequency_bands] on their networks. So, you can get any GSM phone that has those frequencies and make sure it's unlocked so you can use other carrier sim cards.

Nokia's, iPhones, Galaxy's and even Blackberry's should work as long as they are unlocked and are on GSM networks. How much you want to pay will depend on what phone you want / need.

Like I said previously, I chose the Tmobile S4 as it has all the frequencies one can use here the US and outside. You can buy this from the Tmobile store, ebay, craigslist or your neighbor depending again on how much you want to pay.

You need to determine the following:

1. What carriers have strong signals in your area.
2. Depending on #1...
2.a. Will I move to the other carrier?
2.b. Will I have to buy a unit that I can use with that carrier?
2.c. What plans do they have that I think will work for me?
2.d. Do I need to get a sim card for that carrier?

Keeping your phone number is an easy thing to do. You need to determine first, which carrier and plan would you like to go for.


fartness
computersoc dot com
Premium
join:2003-03-25
Look Outside
I thought you said in your post on the other forum that with the $30 plan, you cannot use your old phone number?

I'm pretty much looking to get an S4 or maybe an iPhone if I really had to settle for one. I would buy new. Cheaper the better. $579 is still a lot. However, even with ATT's subsidized price, I'd be ahead after a year or two if I bought an un-subsized phone for another carrier since ATT is expensive.

medbuyer

join:2003-11-20
kudos:4
said by fartness:

I thought you said in your post on the other forum that with the $30 plan, you cannot use your old phone number?

I don't recall saying that...when signing up for Tmobile's $30 walmart prepaid plan, there's a step for you to port your existing number from another carrier. I didn't rely on that step myself. What I did was to let the activation go through giving me a new number and then called Tmobile a day or two after testing the network in my area and ported my cell number from AT&T.

I came from AT&T gophone. I had that $25 monthly prepaid plan which gave me 250 minutes and unlimited US and International texting. It didn't come with data. I only used wifi at the office, at home and hotspots in my area on my previous iphone 4.

I was enticed with the $30 plan since it will give me data more than enough for me to use. Though it only came with 100 minutes of voice, I augment it using voip. I had to make sure that Tmobile's signal was adequate for me to use while waiting for LTE signals to pop up around.

Maybe six months down the around, I will ask Tmobile to unlock the phone for me or pay an unlocking service. That way, if Tmobile doesn't light up LTE from where I live, I could jump ship anytime and go back to AT&T. I've been with AT&T prepaid for many years now. But keeping up with the times, with all the smartphones, data, fb and all that made me re-consider Tmobile specially when they started fielding LTE after the botched AT&T takeover where they got a lot of money...

I've always bought phones outright and just sign up for prepaid plans. I've always come ahead though there are compromises that my family could certainly live with.


fartness
computersoc dot com
Premium
join:2003-03-25
Look Outside
Does the $30 plan give free nights and weekend minutes?

I see an unlimited data plan with Tmobile for $70 a month. Does unlimited mean unlimited or will it throttle after 2GB?

Any idea if the Tmobile plans offer discounts? ATT and Verizon offer 20% off because of where I work or go to school, etc.

medbuyer

join:2003-11-20
kudos:4
said by fartness:

Does the $30 plan give free nights and weekend minutes?

I see an unlimited data plan with Tmobile for $70 a month. Does unlimited mean unlimited or will it throttle after 2GB?

Any idea if the Tmobile plans offer discounts? ATT and Verizon offer 20% off because of where I work or go to school, etc.

$30 plan - 100 min. only, doesn't matter when you use it, you go over, they'll charge you .10C a minute...this is prepaid you're talking about...no free nights and weekend clauses...

$70 plan gives your unlimited minutes and text whenever you use it. the data part is a little vague since some users report a 10GB limit, after which they'll throttle you to edge speeds. Some have reported using over 50GB and hasn't been throttled. They said it all depends on the phone and the Tmobile network around you, if it's congested or not.

Don't get me wrong 10GB is plentiful...in fact, on mine, to date I've only used 700MB after light to moderate data usage involving streaming, multiple picture uploads and downloads...