Cell Phone Plan/Carrier Recommendation?

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Topic Author
JoeChick10
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Cell Phone Plan/Carrier Recommendation?

Post by JoeChick10 » Wed Dec 19, 2018 5:10 pm

Going to be looking to start a new cell phone plan in the coming weeks. Will start out on my own plan and will be adding my wife in the next few months. We are millennials - i.e. use our phones (data, text, etc,) a lot - but wanted to see what creative options there are out there as opposed to simply going with a Verizon, T-Mobile, etc.

I can purchase the phone outright if that is a better deal or amortize it out with the plan (I'm assuming this would not be the better deal).

What experiences have you had with 2nd tier carriers and their network availability, speeds, etc.?

Has anyone tried the google plans?

Thanks!

DSInvestor
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Re: Cell Phone Plan/Carrier Recommendation?

Post by DSInvestor » Wed Dec 19, 2018 5:18 pm

I use cricket wireless (uses AT&T network) and have been pretty pleased. We had great signal in most places when taking cross country road trips. Our plan also allows us to use our phones in Canada and Mexico without fear of roaming charges. internet speed is capped at 8Mbps which is plenty for us. I'm able to view videos on LTE without problems. We pay $45/month per line taxes/fees included.

I have also used T-Mobile and their internet speed is significantly faster than Cricket but it's not really that noticeable unless you're doing huge downloads. T-Mobile's plans also offer the option to use the phones/tablets in Canada/Mexico without roaming fees.

We use unlocked iPhones.

You have to consider which networks are strong in your area(s). The last time I went through Montana with my T-Mobile phone, I only had signal in cities. Folks with Verizon phones had much better coverage in Montana.
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Jags4186
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Re: Cell Phone Plan/Carrier Recommendation?

Post by Jags4186 » Wed Dec 19, 2018 5:23 pm

You need to consider your usage and what’s important to you. You can save significant amounts of money by buying your phones upfront and using a prepaid carrier. Don’t just jump to the cheapest prepaid carrier only to later find out that it’s missing a key feature.

Do you travel internationally a lot? Some prepaid offer roaming, some do not.
Do you desire visual voicemail? Most MVNO will not allow visual voicemail on iPhones—perhaps it works on Android.
Do you need to be using a certain company’s towers? Some people only have service from one or two carriers in their area.
Do you need access to a hotspot? Not all prepaid company’s have this enabled.
How heavy of a user are you? Different companies have different pricing sweet spots depending on voice/data/text usage.

xb7
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Re: Cell Phone Plan/Carrier Recommendation?

Post by xb7 » Thu Dec 20, 2018 1:30 am

As with a lot of comparisons between companies that serve consumers, I think that folks have a combination of objective data and personal bias based on their own experiences, a bit like the story of several blind people describing what an elephant is.

My own experience was that two of the companies (AT&T and Verizon) sort of drove me away several years ago as at that point I only wanted a pay-per-use plan rather than a contract, and these companies, in sequence, stopped offering such a plan for a smartphone (probably no longer the case, or at least changed today). But it sort of torqued me off. I ended up at T-Mobile, despite it having poorer coverage in the backcountry (and I'm an avid backpacker).

Today, T-Mobile has continued to earn my business because (a) their coverage is improved --- still trails in the backcountry, but better overall, and (b) their 55+ plan has been a good choice for my wife and I. I particularly like that I seem to be grandfathered in at $60/month for two lines and unlimited data etc, given that I read online that the price for this plan today is $70/month.

Of course this could change, who knows what the Sprint merger will bring.

I guess one other thing that sent me to T-Mobile is that I favor a GSM phone over CDMA/TDMA, as in the past I've picked up a local SIM when travelling overseas. With the current T-Mobile plan I think I'll no longer bother to do this, which is yet another benefit.

If I didn't have this plan already and were willing to limit my choice of phones, I'd be looking at Google Fi, but have no personal experience or information to offer about it.

Best of luck!

OnTrack
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Re: Cell Phone Plan/Carrier Recommendation?

Post by OnTrack » Thu Dec 20, 2018 2:34 am

I recently signed up with Google Fi. Price seems relatively good especially if you don't use a lot of data. Supports international roaming to many countries without having to get country specific SIM card. There is a very limited choice of phones that work with Fi. It uses T-Mobile, Sprint and U.S. Cellular networks. My 2nd choice would have been Mint.

HIinvestor
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Re: Cell Phone Plan/Carrier Recommendation?

Post by HIinvestor » Thu Dec 20, 2018 3:12 am

If you have a friend or relative over 55, the 55+ plan at T-Mobile is $90 for 3 lines, unlimited no throttle) data, text and phone. We have been on it awhile and are pretty pleased with the price and service. No overages. We have had sprint, Verizon and AT&T but really like the lower price of T-Mobile.

3-20Characters
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Re: Cell Phone Plan/Carrier Recommendation?

Post by 3-20Characters » Thu Dec 20, 2018 4:22 am

OP, I can’t help because I’m a low data user, for which XFINITY mobile is hard to beat ($27 per month for 2 lines on most months). I’m sure you’ll get many good suggestions. From what I understand, whether you do a lot of international travel also matters (google fi seems good for that). I think that the general advice is to find an MNVO whose plan you like (phone options, no data limits/throttling, etc). The coverage will be the same as whichever mobile network operator they use (Verizon, AT&T most likely).

You could also try something like this to screen:

https://www.whistleout.com/CellPhones

spooky105
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Re: Cell Phone Plan/Carrier Recommendation?

Post by spooky105 » Thu Dec 20, 2018 11:07 am

We've had great success with Total Wireless (Verizon MVNO). Coverage & speeds are great as expected with Verizon (previous 5 MB speed cap is no more). Four lines w/25 GB data, unlimited talk/text runs us $102.50 per month. Only downsides are I can't turn my iPhone into a hotspot (never used that feature anyway) and customer service is bad (that said, I have only needed support during the initial setup of 1 of the 4 phones).

I would completely separate the phone purchasing decision from the network decision -- outside of initial offers to switch (unusually on a contract) networks have largely stopped subsidizing phones. And you can bet they're recovering their costs on any upfront phone offers through higher costs over the life of your contract.

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dumbbunny
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Re: Cell Phone Plan/Carrier Recommendation?

Post by dumbbunny » Thu Dec 20, 2018 11:11 am

I use Consumer Cellular. Simple plans. Great customer service. Even greater coverage (I think they use AT&T towers).
“It’s the curse of old men to realize that in the end we control nothing." "Homeland" episode, "Gerontion"

Andyrunner
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Re: Cell Phone Plan/Carrier Recommendation?

Post by Andyrunner » Thu Dec 20, 2018 11:17 am

I think a lot depends on where you live.

I live in a small/mid sized city in the midwest. With Sprint, cell service is great until I'm 30 minutes outside the city and am surrounded by cornfields then I am roaming or no service.

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Vulcan
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Re: Cell Phone Plan/Carrier Recommendation?

Post by Vulcan » Thu Dec 20, 2018 11:25 am

OnTrack wrote:
Thu Dec 20, 2018 2:34 am
I recently signed up with Google Fi. Price seems relatively good especially if you don't use a lot of data. Supports international roaming to many countries without having to get country specific SIM card. There is a very limited choice of phones that work with Fi. It uses T-Mobile, Sprint and U.S. Cellular networks. My 2nd choice would have been Mint.
The best hidden feature of Google Fi are data-only SIMs. They are free and do not incur any monthly charges, they simply use data allowance from the shared bucket. We give them to kids, and their lines are basically free, as their mobile data use is minimal. You can still make/receive voice calls with data-only SIMs with Hangouts/Google Voice over WiFi (free) or mobile data network (about a penny a minute).

With our data use, we pay about $30/month for 3 lines (main line for my wife and two data-only lines for the kids).
Can't beat that anywhere.
If you torture the data long enough, it will confess to anything. ~Ronald Coase

lakpr
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Re: Cell Phone Plan/Carrier Recommendation?

Post by lakpr » Thu Dec 20, 2018 11:49 am

+1 for Total Wireless.

We also use Speedtalk Mobile

https://www.speedtalkmobile.com/home

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FrugalProfessor
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Re: Cell Phone Plan/Carrier Recommendation?

Post by FrugalProfessor » Thu Dec 20, 2018 12:02 pm

http://www.frugalprofessor.com/phones/

< $1/month. Been doing this for a decade. Boggles my mind that more people don't do the same. I get 99% of the benefits that a $100/month plan would provide at 1% of the cost.
I blog. Taxes are the lowest hanging source of alpha.

FirstAllTheWay
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Re: Cell Phone Plan/Carrier Recommendation?

Post by FirstAllTheWay » Thu Dec 20, 2018 12:08 pm

Currently multiple lines with RedPocket on ATT network using unlocked phones bought on ebay/amazon. You can save a lot of money by being frugal with data b/c it is expensive.

blastoff
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Re: Cell Phone Plan/Carrier Recommendation?

Post by blastoff » Thu Dec 20, 2018 12:13 pm

OnTrack wrote:
Thu Dec 20, 2018 2:34 am
I recently signed up with Google Fi. Price seems relatively good especially if you don't use a lot of data. Supports international roaming to many countries without having to get country specific SIM card. There is a very limited choice of phones that work with Fi. It uses T-Mobile, Sprint and U.S. Cellular networks. My 2nd choice would have been Mint.

I thought fi was open to many phones now?

Topic Author
JoeChick10
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Re: Cell Phone Plan/Carrier Recommendation?

Post by JoeChick10 » Thu Dec 20, 2018 12:31 pm

blastoff wrote:
Thu Dec 20, 2018 12:13 pm
OnTrack wrote:
Thu Dec 20, 2018 2:34 am
I recently signed up with Google Fi. Price seems relatively good especially if you don't use a lot of data. Supports international roaming to many countries without having to get country specific SIM card. There is a very limited choice of phones that work with Fi. It uses T-Mobile, Sprint and U.S. Cellular networks. My 2nd choice would have been Mint.

I thought fi was open to many phones now?
After checking on their website, it seems that most phones are offered - many are in 'beta' which means you won't get certain features (i.e. visual voicemail, iPhone texts to non-iphone users).

https://fi.google.com/compatibility

furwut
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Re: Cell Phone Plan/Carrier Recommendation?

Post by furwut » Thu Dec 20, 2018 5:15 pm

WhistleOut Is where I’ve been going to compare plans.
https://www.whistleout.com

Currently on Mint Mobile.

bloom2708
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Re: Cell Phone Plan/Carrier Recommendation?

Post by bloom2708 » Thu Dec 20, 2018 5:27 pm

TotalWireless.com has a very good "two phone" plan with "plenty of data" for $57 + tax (sharing 15 GB of data).

If you want unobstructed use of data, Cricket Wireless has 2 different Unlimited plans. Unlimited has capped data speeds (3) but it still plenty fast for most people. Unlimited Extra is 8mb for $10 more per month for 2 lines.

Unlimited:

2 lines for $80 mo ($30 discount)

Unlimited extra:

2 Lines - $90/mo ($30 discount)

You may find these plans "too expensive". They really shine when you add lines 3,4,5. We have 5 Unlimited lines for $125, tax included. We buy our own phones.

The discounts are lower for 2 lines.

If 1, 2 or 5GB /month is enough, then the RedPocket plans are good.

These are AT&T (Cricket) and Verizon (Total Wireless). If you are ok with T Mobile or Sprint, then Mint SIM and many other lower cost options open up.
"We are not here to agree with you; we are here to provoke thoughtfulness." Unknown Boglehead

palaheel
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Re: Cell Phone Plan/Carrier Recommendation?

Post by palaheel » Thu Dec 20, 2018 7:05 pm

Some MVNOs include taxes and fees in the published price, some don't.

If you hit the data limit on your plan, some MVNOs degrade the data speed, and some discontinue the data service until the next month.

Some MVNOs cap data speed or are given lower priority than the carrier's own customers.

Just know what you're really getting.
Markets crash. Markets recover. Inflation takes your money FOREVER.

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G12
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Re: Cell Phone Plan/Carrier Recommendation?

Post by G12 » Thu Dec 20, 2018 7:41 pm

Another Total Wireless customer here, moved from VZW in late August. 2-lines, 15 GB data for $57 with monthly auto pay, and TW was offering a special then where we got an extra 10 GB of data free every month if we used the initial 15 GB. Someone said Montana, went on 7800 mile trip including CO, WY, MT etc and always had good coverage, or when using phone GPS/Google maps could download data for spotty areas and never had an issue with Google maps in more remote areas. I have utilized customer service via the TW website or app on the phone a few times, it is OK and gets the job done.

Topic Author
JoeChick10
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Re: Cell Phone Plan/Carrier Recommendation?

Post by JoeChick10 » Fri Dec 21, 2018 11:39 am

G12 wrote:
Thu Dec 20, 2018 7:41 pm
Another Total Wireless customer here, moved from VZW in late August. 2-lines, 15 GB data for $57 with monthly auto pay, and TW was offering a special then where we got an extra 10 GB of data free every month if we used the initial 15 GB. Someone said Montana, went on 7800 mile trip including CO, WY, MT etc and always had good coverage, or when using phone GPS/Google maps could download data for spotty areas and never had an issue with Google maps in more remote areas. I have utilized customer service via the TW website or app on the phone a few times, it is OK and gets the job done.
This sounds really good. Do you know what the data speed are?

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Taz
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Re: Cell Phone Plan/Carrier Recommendation?

Post by Taz » Fri Dec 21, 2018 4:37 pm

Just switched to Total Wireless a few days ago for its $57 22.5 GB shared two lines special. Download speed was 40; upload 4. Will probably never use that much data.

My old carrier was Puppy Wireless (another Verizon MVNO) 1 line rate was $26 for 2 GB. Seemed to drop out more.

Phones all carrier unlocked bought from Amazon (older Moto X Pure and new Moto X 4).
The destination matters.

chw
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Re: Cell Phone Plan/Carrier Recommendation?

Post by chw » Fri Dec 21, 2018 4:56 pm

Been with TMobile for years. They have always offered a good solid plan with good calling coverage (I used them across the US on business trips and rarely had connection issues). Their plans are fairly priced, and their customer service is very good. They generally will go out of their way to retain your business if you call asking about better plan features.

Olemiss540
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Re: Cell Phone Plan/Carrier Recommendation?

Post by Olemiss540 » Fri Dec 21, 2018 5:15 pm

Mint mobile. Cheapest I have found anywhere.....
I hold index funds because I do not overestimate my ability to pick stocks OR stock pickers.

kerplunk
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Re: Cell Phone Plan/Carrier Recommendation?

Post by kerplunk » Fri Dec 21, 2018 5:19 pm

The all-around best cellular service is provided by Verizon Wireless. They are also the most expensive. You get what you pay for.

Generally, you should not be cheap when it comes to things you use throughout the majority of your day. You're just setting yourself up for annoyance. Good luck on your quest!

aristotelian
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Re: Cell Phone Plan/Carrier Recommendation?

Post by aristotelian » Fri Dec 21, 2018 5:35 pm

Take a look at Mint. I have their $15/month 2 GB plan. I have no problem staying under that limit, and even if you go over they just throttle you back. My phone is a Blu R1 HD that cost $70, so my total cost is under $20 per month.

retire2022
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Re: Cell Phone Plan/Carrier Recommendation?

Post by retire2022 » Fri Dec 21, 2018 6:16 pm

I'm on Verizon Network with Walmart's StraightTalk, which is 48 autopaid it is cheaper if you buy more time see link:

https://www.straighttalk.com/wps/portal/home

Straight talk allows you to bring your own phone, albeit you have to get their sim card to use it. There are four networks to choose from Verizon, ATT, T-Mobile and Sprint.

I suggest you check the area (opensignal) which you are there the most, for upstate NY, Verizon beats all carriers, I had TMobile and there was data roaming. My first cellphone was ATT, then Verizon, then T Mobile and now back to Verizon.

https://opensignal.com/

This app will show real users and their signals

Presintense
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Re: Cell Phone Plan/Carrier Recommendation?

Post by Presintense » Wed May 08, 2019 7:28 pm

FrugalProfessor wrote:
Thu Dec 20, 2018 12:02 pm
http://www.frugalprofessor.com/phones/

< $1/month. Been doing this for a decade. Boggles my mind that more people don't do the same. I get 99% of the benefits that a $100/month plan would provide at 1% of the cost.
So I took the Frugal Professor's advice. Went to red pocket, checked the compatibility of my device. Once confirmed, I signed up with google voice. Once that was working I ported my number for $20. Once that was done I purchased a red pocket plan. Once the SIM cards arrived I went to the easy activation site. Once my phone would not activate I had a four hour online chat with red pocket and a multitude of their online "helpers". Once the problem was identified and solved I started receiving another red pocket customer's calls. Once that started happening I contacted red pocket who had assigned another customer's number to me. Once that was addressed I was informed that my phone is not compatible (even though it was working fine albeit with another's number; meanwhile that person had no service). All of this took place over the past 30 hours. I like what Frugal Professor has to say and the way he thinks about cutting unnecessary costs but found red pocket mobile to be entirely inept.
Performance = Potential - Distraction

Loon11
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Re: Cell Phone Plan/Carrier Recommendation?

Post by Loon11 » Wed May 08, 2019 8:23 pm

After much research and resistance to owning a smartphone, I bought one directly thru Tello.com (a moto e4 for $79) and pay $10 a month for unlimited text and many minutes and 4g data. The thing with Tello is that you can roll over your data and minutes each month manually. So since I'm not a big data user outside the home (connect to our wi-fi in home and at work for free), my data has increased to almost 8 g. They run promotions often and have lots of affordable phones. Very pleased so far - costs about the same as what I have been paying for a flip phone thru verizon. Tello uses sprint and has great coverage. Did consider google Fi but this is more affordable.

Golf maniac
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Re: Cell Phone Plan/Carrier Recommendation?

Post by Golf maniac » Wed May 08, 2019 9:39 pm

We went with T Mobile and love it! 4 line for $100 with unlimited data through their Military Veteran plan. We were formerly Verizon. Also free Netflix.

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wander
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Re: Cell Phone Plan/Carrier Recommendation?

Post by wander » Thu May 09, 2019 9:08 am

OnTrack wrote:
Thu Dec 20, 2018 2:34 am
I recently signed up with Google Fi. Price seems relatively good especially if you don't use a lot of data. Supports international roaming to many countries without having to get country specific SIM card. There is a very limited choice of phones that work with Fi. It uses T-Mobile, Sprint and U.S. Cellular networks. My 2nd choice would have been Mint.
My experience with Mint was so terrible. I paid $45 for 3 months but actually couldn’t use any minute due to horrible coverage in my home. I asked for refund on the second day of receiving the SIM card but the refund never happened. So, I lost $45 plus shipping to them. My lesson is to stay away from TMobile until my neighbors try and give good feedback.

cpumechanic
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Re: Cell Phone Plan/Carrier Recommendation?

Post by cpumechanic » Thu May 09, 2019 10:25 am

I have used Redpocket for the last 20 months , unlimited talk, text, and 5gb of ATT LTE data for $20/month is hard to beat.

Downside, is you have to pay for full year in advance.

If you want/need 10gb/month they have a second option that is $33/month.

Ebay links below

5gb/month (ATT LTE)
https://www.ebay.com/itm/20-Mo-Red-Pock ... 8066!US!-1

10GB/month (ATT LTE)
https://www.ebay.com/itm/20-Mo-Red-Pock ... 8066!US!-1

I did have some issues with the service starting in Month 2, but I called technical support and they were able to address the issue (I no longer recall what the issue was).

Redpocket resells all the major networks (Tmobile, Sprint, Verizon, and ATT).
Verizon and ATT have the best data coverage if you travel. Redpocket Verizon is more expensive vs ATT, hence my selection of ATT.

When you setup redpocket service , you need to do some prior research to ensure the Sim card you use is assigned to the network you want. If you ask them about ATT, they won't talk to you about the exact service provider, you have to know that the GSMA service/sim card is Att on your own.

Tmobile doesn't work at my home, so they are out.


I also use google voice and it rings at home, and on my wife's cell, and my cell all at the same time. The voicemail transcribe is very good.

I find the 5gb per month more than covers my needs, and I rarely go over that.

CPU
Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for Lunch. | Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.

Presintense
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Re: Cell Phone Plan/Carrier Recommendation?

Post by Presintense » Thu May 09, 2019 11:09 am

cpumechanic wrote:
Thu May 09, 2019 10:25 am
I have used Redpocket for the last 20 months , unlimited talk, text, and 5gb of ATT LTE data for $20/month is hard to beat.

Downside, is you have to pay for full year in advance.

If you want/need 10gb/month they have a second option that is $33/month.

Ebay links below

5gb/month (ATT LTE)
https://www.ebay.com/itm/20-Mo-Red-Pock ... 8066!US!-1

10GB/month (ATT LTE)
https://www.ebay.com/itm/20-Mo-Red-Pock ... 8066!US!-1

I did have some issues with the service starting in Month 2, but I called technical support and they were able to address the issue (I no longer recall what the issue was).

Redpocket resells all the major networks (Tmobile, Sprint, Verizon, and ATT).
Verizon and ATT have the best data coverage if you travel. Redpocket Verizon is more expensive vs ATT, hence my selection of ATT.

When you setup redpocket service , you need to do some prior research to ensure the Sim card you use is assigned to the network you want. If you ask them about ATT, they won't talk to you about the exact service provider, you have to know that the GSMA service/sim card is Att on your own.

Tmobile doesn't work at my home, so they are out.


I also use google voice and it rings at home, and on my wife's cell, and my cell all at the same time. The voicemail transcribe is very good.

I find the 5gb per month more than covers my needs, and I rarely go over that.

CPU
I really thought this was an awesome option to keep Verizon service but cut the bill. The problem for me was that, in signing up, they inadvertently assigned me someone else's number. I got a call from the lady's husband. REALLY awkward when I answered his call. Then they switched the number back to her without notifying me or giving me a new number. Guess what happened then... My wife called my number and a lady answered. You can't make this stuff up! Then red pocket came around to say that as of May 1st my phone could not be activated EVEN THOUGH THEY HAD ACTIVATED IT, even though their website said it was compatible when I checked prior to May 1st and ordered their SIM cards. They explained that I was caught in the middle of their change (which wasn't a hardware change but a policy change mandated by Verizon) and that I simply could buy a new phone or not use the Verizon network which was the only reason I had chosen RedPocket to begin with! :) Glad to hear others have good experience with them. Hope you find humor in my experience. It was kind of fun to answer some random wife's phone with her husband on the other end though:)
Performance = Potential - Distraction

hoops777
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Re: Cell Phone Plan/Carrier Recommendation?

Post by hoops777 » Thu May 09, 2019 12:10 pm

FrugalProfessor wrote:
Thu Dec 20, 2018 12:02 pm
http://www.frugalprofessor.com/phones/

< $1/month. Been doing this for a decade. Boggles my mind that more people don't do the same. I get 99% of the benefits that a $100/month plan would provide at 1% of the cost.
So what happens if you are somewhere without WiFi and there is an emergency?
K.I.S.S........so easy to say so difficult to do.

hoops777
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Re: Cell Phone Plan/Carrier Recommendation?

Post by hoops777 » Thu May 09, 2019 12:14 pm

TMobile over 55 years old plan is by far the best of the major carriers.We pay 70 bucks a month for 2 phones with unlimited everything and a tablet.
K.I.S.S........so easy to say so difficult to do.

mxs
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Re: Cell Phone Plan/Carrier Recommendation?

Post by mxs » Thu May 09, 2019 12:39 pm

Another Total Wireless user here. Look at Verizon's coverage map that shows red and pink areas. Total Wireless is only the red area, not the pink area. I would look at coverage maps for all the other carriers and see what works for you. Then, find a good MVNO for that network, and see if they offer a discount on a phone you want. If not, get an unlocked phone that is compatible with them.

I went from retail Verizon to Total Wireless and I have no complaints or regrets. I did drive through a stretch of Oklahoma once and didn't have service that I probably would have had with Verizon, but oh well. Going from ~$130+ a month to ~$65 a month for two lines is great. Their plans are decent for one line, and get better for 2-4 lines.

*Edit* Depending on how you got your current phone, you may not need to get a new phone for the new network. You will have to see if it is carrier locked, if so what the process is to unlock it. Also, you have to look at the GSM vs CDMA thing as well. When I first made the switch to Total Wireless I got their BYOP (Bring your own phone) kit at a store for $1, which is just a SIM card with instructions oh how to change over to their network. Check for SIM card compatibility on SIM card size, if your phone has a SIM card.

Hulu
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Re: Cell Phone Plan/Carrier Recommendation?

Post by Hulu » Thu May 09, 2019 1:01 pm

Just switched to Xfinity Mobile from Republic Wireless. Both around $15 for 1gb however Xfinity works on iPhones and is on Verizon. Now after reading this thread I may switch to Redpocket, love how much prices have gone down!

shorty313
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Re: Cell Phone Plan/Carrier Recommendation?

Post by shorty313 » Thu May 09, 2019 2:15 pm

Another total wireless user here for about 2 years now, 3 lines for ~$87. Two features I wish it had - hot spot and wi-fi calling. My interior office has shit service, and when I was with Verizon I could do wifi calling to make up for it. Still not an incentive to go back to verizon, but I miss the feature!

mxs
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Re: Cell Phone Plan/Carrier Recommendation?

Post by mxs » Thu May 09, 2019 2:50 pm

shorty313 wrote:
Thu May 09, 2019 2:15 pm
Another total wireless user here for about 2 years now, 3 lines for ~$87. Two features I wish it had - hot spot and wi-fi calling. My interior office has shit service, and when I was with Verizon I could do wifi calling to make up for it. Still not an incentive to go back to verizon, but I miss the feature!
I am able to use my Moto G5s Plus as a hotspot when needed. Are you referring to an IPhone thing or something else? Not technically Wi-Fi calling, but I used my phone with Google Duo over Wi-Fi to call from Europe to the US.

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F150HD
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Re: Cell Phone Plan/Carrier Recommendation?

Post by F150HD » Thu May 09, 2019 4:40 pm

multiple threads on this

smackboy1
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Re: Cell Phone Plan/Carrier Recommendation?

Post by smackboy1 » Thu May 09, 2019 5:07 pm

Cellular coverage in your geographic area is most important. So first figure out which carrier has the best coverage. Without cell signal the phone is useless.

http://webcoveragemap.rootmetrics.com/en-US

In big metro areas all carriers have decent coverage, including the MVNOs. Elsewhere, it's usually between Verizon and AT&T who has the best coverage.
Disclaimer: nothing written here should be taken as legal advice, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.

rj342
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Re: Cell Phone Plan/Carrier Recommendation?

Post by rj342 » Thu May 09, 2019 5:50 pm

Her on the Gulf Coast I have been on TMobile forever, starting with Digiph PCS, the VoiceStream and PowerTel then TM as they gobbled each other up.

I will absolutely go on their 55+ plan next January when I turn 55.

Here in parts of the South where things are spread out, there are some areas where there is no signal if you get too far away from the interstate, but since that is very rare for us to go out in the true boondocks that has been a livable compromise for the low pricing and no contracts.

For the last several years we have been getting 'good enough' $200 phones like Samsungs J7 every 2 or 3 years or so. I just have no need to spend $700-800 every year for latest Galaxy S or iPhone.

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FrugalProfessor
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Re: Cell Phone Plan/Carrier Recommendation?

Post by FrugalProfessor » Thu May 09, 2019 7:03 pm

hoops777 wrote:
Thu May 09, 2019 12:10 pm
FrugalProfessor wrote:
Thu Dec 20, 2018 12:02 pm
http://www.frugalprofessor.com/phones/

< $1/month. Been doing this for a decade. Boggles my mind that more people don't do the same. I get 99% of the benefits that a $100/month plan would provide at 1% of the cost.
So what happens if you are somewhere without WiFi and there is an emergency?
Non WiFi calls cost $0.03/min through Tello prepaid. I spend about a buck a month for all my calls, data, and texts because the vast majority are free through WiFi. Used to be zero until ringplus died.
Last edited by FrugalProfessor on Thu May 09, 2019 11:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
I blog. Taxes are the lowest hanging source of alpha.

warner25
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Re: Cell Phone Plan/Carrier Recommendation?

Post by warner25 » Thu May 09, 2019 8:21 pm

FrugalProfessor wrote:
Thu Dec 20, 2018 12:02 pm
...Boggles my mind that more people don't do the same...
I read your blog post, and I do use Google Voice/Hangouts and Red Pocket's $10/month plan, but I don't think I can go lower than that. The "key ingredient," as you say for your system, is really not Google Voice; it's "[spending] 90% of your waking hours with free Wifi]." I don't have Wifi at work, and work computers are locked down tightly so personal use is difficult. As an aside, I'm curious to know if any government employees have access to Wifi for their personal devices.

gtd98765
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Re: Cell Phone Plan/Carrier Recommendation?

Post by gtd98765 » Thu May 09, 2019 8:47 pm

I have been in some federal agency cafeterias with open WiFi.

captaindorky
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Re: Cell Phone Plan/Carrier Recommendation?

Post by captaindorky » Thu May 09, 2019 9:01 pm

Vouching for RedPocket on Verizon (It's their red plan). Runs about $16 per month with an annual plan. Data is 2GB at LTE speeds then throttled. I've been very happy with it.

One thing to consider with these MVNO's is that service can get funky in extended network areas. Keep that in mind.

Also a fan of the Moto unlocked phones. Can use any network. Also can use internationally by just swapping out the SIM card.

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wander
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Re: Cell Phone Plan/Carrier Recommendation?

Post by wander » Fri May 10, 2019 6:19 am

mxs wrote:
Thu May 09, 2019 12:39 pm
Another Total Wireless user here. Look at Verizon's coverage map that shows red and pink areas. Total Wireless is only the red area, not the pink area. I would look at coverage maps for all the other carriers and see what works for you. Then, find a good MVNO for that network, and see if they offer a discount on a phone you want. If not, get an unlocked phone that is compatible with them.

I went from retail Verizon to Total Wireless and I have no complaints or regrets. I did drive through a stretch of Oklahoma once and didn't have service that I probably would have had with Verizon, but oh well. Going from ~$130+ a month to ~$65 a month for two lines is great. Their plans are decent for one line, and get better for 2-4 lines.

*Edit* Depending on how you got your current phone, you may not need to get a new phone for the new network. You will have to see if it is carrier locked, if so what the process is to unlock it. Also, you have to look at the GSM vs CDMA thing as well. When I first made the switch to Total Wireless I got their BYOP (Bring your own phone) kit at a store for $1, which is just a SIM card with instructions oh how to change over to their network. Check for SIM card compatibility on SIM card size, if your phone has a SIM card.
With Total wireless, does the data stop if you have used all the data for the month?

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wander
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Re: Cell Phone Plan/Carrier Recommendation?

Post by wander » Fri May 10, 2019 6:21 am

captaindorky wrote:
Thu May 09, 2019 9:01 pm
Vouching for RedPocket on Verizon (It's their red plan). Runs about $16 per month with an annual plan. Data is 2GB at LTE speeds then throttled. I've been very happy with it.

One thing to consider with these MVNO's is that service can get funky in extended network areas. Keep that in mind.

Also a fan of the Moto unlocked phones. Can use any network. Also can use internationally by just swapping out the SIM card.
Moving to Redpocket, can you keep your old phone number? How was your experience?

robphoto
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Re: Cell Phone Plan/Carrier Recommendation?

Post by robphoto » Fri May 10, 2019 6:49 am

re: Red Pocket:

I was on Ting, when my usage got too high I switched to Red Pocket. I've been on it about a year, and it was pretty painless to convert.

I am on the Blue Plan, AT&T, which was 240. for a year of unlimited talk/text and 5GB data per month.

It's been good so far for me.

Oh, and I also use a Moto G6; good phone, and I just buy a cheap SIM when in Europe.

My kids use Google Fi, so when they are out of country their phones just work for phone/text/data.

shorty313
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Re: Cell Phone Plan/Carrier Recommendation?

Post by shorty313 » Fri May 10, 2019 7:01 am

mxs wrote:
Thu May 09, 2019 2:50 pm
shorty313 wrote:
Thu May 09, 2019 2:15 pm
Another total wireless user here for about 2 years now, 3 lines for ~$87. Two features I wish it had - hot spot and wi-fi calling. My interior office has shit service, and when I was with Verizon I could do wifi calling to make up for it. Still not an incentive to go back to verizon, but I miss the feature!
I am able to use my Moto G5s Plus as a hotspot when needed. Are you referring to an IPhone thing or something else? Not technically Wi-Fi calling, but I used my phone with Google Duo over Wi-Fi to call from Europe to the US.
Maybe it’s an iPhone thing for the hot spot. As far as WiFi calling, yes I have used Skype in the past. Just when a normal call comes in, I can’t answer over WiFi. Or it doesn’t even ring at all, goes to VM.

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