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Old 12-17-2015, 03:32 PM   #21
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Some people get overly attached to the grandfathered "unlimited" plans. I have a sister like this..

This describes my DW perfectly. She never goes over 2 gig per month, but doesn't want to give up the unlimited. I've told her that we will ditch it when I figure out the best replacement strategy . . . and that I will worry about the bill. The second phone on my account is for my youngest son. He's at the opposite end of the spectrum . . . about 20 gig per month. So, I need to keep him on an unlimited plan, at least for the next six months. After that, he's graduating from college and I expect him to get his own account.

Thanks to everyone who commented on the coverage issue. I was kind of leaning toward switching to Sprint, but with the limited coverage outside of urban areas and major highways, I'm now rethinking that decision. DW and I plan to FIRE mid-2016 and will hopefully be doing a good bit of traveling for a while. Don't want to get stuck with phones that don't work on some of those trips.


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Old 12-17-2015, 03:39 PM   #22
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DW and I plan to FIRE mid-2016 and will hopefully be doing a good bit of traveling for a while. Don't want to get stuck with phones that don't work on some of those trips.
That's one reason I stick with AT&T, besides their good coverage everywhere I travel in the USA. Their Passport program makes it easy to buy a month of roaming at a time when I travel internationally.
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Old 12-17-2015, 04:01 PM   #23
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DW and I plan to FIRE mid-2016 and will hopefully be doing a good bit of traveling for a while. Don't want to get stuck with phones that don't work on some of those trips.
Take a look at Cricket - it is a non-contract/MVNO carrier owned by AT&T and uses their network. We get unlimited talk and text plus 2.5GB of data a month for $35 each, including taxes. You can up the data to 5GB for another $10 month at anytime, and switch back and forth whenever you want.

Note you have to bring or buy your own phones.
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Old 12-17-2015, 04:26 PM   #24
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Take a look at Cricket - it is a non-contract/MVNO carrier owned by AT&T and uses their network. We get unlimited talk and text plus 2.5GB of data a month for $35 each, including taxes. You can up the data to 5GB for another $10 month at anytime, and switch back and forth whenever you want.

Note you have to bring or buy your own phones.

Thanks REW. That might work for me.


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Old 12-17-2015, 04:28 PM   #25
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Take a look at Cricket - it is a non-contract/MVNO carrier owned by AT&T and uses their network. .
Cricket seems to be a decent option if you're here, but apart from Canada and Mexico I can't find anything on their website about roaming in other countries. That's important to me.
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Old 12-17-2015, 09:58 PM   #26
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Just went through the cell phone question ourselves. Had a grandfathered unlimited plan with Verizon. Bought our last iPhone at full retail so would not have to change plan. Verizon and others have done away with the subsidized phone purchase and Verizon just upped the cost of the unlimited plan by $20. They obviously are trying to force people out of it. We had two unlimited plans so added $40 to our bill making it $185 a month. Figured we were paying too much for the grandfathered unlimited plan so checked out our options. Only other decent coverage was AT&T but there cost was no better than Verizon.

Decided we only used lots of data when we were out in the RV and never used over 3 gig when home with wifi. Changed our plan to the Verizon 6 shared data gigs with unlimited talk and text. New monthly bill will be about $120, ($60 for data and $20 per phone on plan) savings of $65 a month. On months when we are RVing I will change plan to 18 gig plan, will up our cost to about $160 a month. Verizon says you can change anytime so it will just be a matter of managing the plan from one bill cycle to the next. I figure we will save around $500 a year by doing this. You can manage you plan from My Verizon app or call them to make changes.


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Old 12-17-2015, 10:40 PM   #27
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Like T-mobile because it's so great to travel to Europe and have our phones still work!
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Old 12-17-2015, 10:53 PM   #28
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Take a look at Cricket - it is a non-contract/MVNO carrier owned by AT&T and uses their network. We get unlimited talk and text plus 2.5GB of data a month for $35 each, including taxes. You can up the data to 5GB for another $10 month at anytime, and switch back and forth whenever you want.

Note you have to bring or buy your own phones.
That does look good for DD (DW and I will probably stick with our T-Mobile Gold plans, since we rarely use data away from wi-fi, and don't talk/text much on the cell phones, - she gets by with ~ $100/year, I get by with $10/year).

The important point (for us) that you make is that they are AT&T based (GSM system). DD's phone is an unlocked GSM (on T-Mobile now). DD could just get a new SIM.

Her T-M plan is $30 (~ 33 after fees/taxes), unlimited text, unlimited low-speed data with the first 5GB is high speed (but she uses far less, being on wifi much of the time). But minutes are only 100 min/month - not usually a problem for her, but it would be nice not to worry.

So for $35, she'd still have unlimited text, gain unlimited voice, and just a little less hi-speed data, for a few more $/month.

AT&T probably has better coverage than T-Mobile. Some sites said that AT&T can give priority to AT&T customers over Cricket customers, but most everyone said they never experienced that.

But hey - DD is on her own now (still living at home, but fully employed), so it can be her choice, and her bill!

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Old 12-17-2015, 10:55 PM   #29
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Like T-mobile because it's so great to travel to Europe and have our phones still work!
My friend travels a lot - and he says this deal cannot be beat. He knows people who keep a T-M account just for travelling, and use a different carrier at home (maybe the coverage is poor in their house?).

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Old 12-18-2015, 07:22 AM   #30
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If you are OK with using an Android phone, you may want to look into Google's Project Fi. It doesn't have the concept of unlimited data but you only pay for the data you use. It is probably not the right thing for someone who uses 20 gig but it is great when you have variable amounts you use.

It works with 2 current phones, Nexus 5x and Nexus 6p. The phones have TMobile, Sprint and Wifi capability. The phone picks what has the strongest signal for voice calls. One call you may be using TMobile, the next you are using Sprint. At my house, we are often using Wifi calling since all carrier's signals are bad. You buy the phone (Nexus 5x which I have is $379). The cost for the plan is $20 for unlimited voice and text and $10 for each gig of data you use. The key is that you only pay for the exact amount of data. For example, if you use 1/2 gig, you pay $5. It sure beats the $130/month bill we were getting from Verizon for 2 phones.

We have been extremely happy so far. It is so great to not have to run outside for cell phone calls when we are home. We have tried Sprint and Verizon before and have had "femtocells". Project FI works much better than anything we have had before. You need to request an invitation to use Project Fi but I have not heard of anyone getting rejected.
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Old 12-18-2015, 08:29 AM   #31
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They're basically all the same. The only way to tell is to find someone who has service through each carrier...have them come to your house or where you will be using the phone the most...and see if you have decent reception. I have att, wife has Sprint...99% of the time if one phone has reception the other does too. Anyone that tries to tell you one is better than the other can go fly a kite.
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Old 12-18-2015, 08:37 AM   #32
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I have att, wife has Sprint...99% of the time if one phone has reception the other does too. Anyone that tries to tell you one is better than the other can go fly a kite.
Bring those two phones out west and get off the interstate highways. You'll revise your opinion.
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Old 12-18-2015, 08:42 AM   #33
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... Anyone that tries to tell you one is better than the other can go fly a kite.
OK, but some are worse than others. Is that better?


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Old 12-18-2015, 08:56 AM   #34
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We have AT&T works great but pay quite a bit, $229/mo including all taxes. This is for 4 people with unlimited everything. Also includes free iPhones every 2 years (sell old ones and buy subsidized for net zero cost).
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Old 12-18-2015, 09:24 AM   #35
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Verizon's coverage is unsurpassed. We live in the southwest, and with all our travels through the hinterlands, including indian reservations, canyons, remote ski areas, etc, Verizon has always been excellent and reliable. It's rare that I cannot get a signal. The other big carrier out here is AT&T, but friends who have it complain of dropped calls and spotty service all the time.
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Old 01-05-2016, 10:48 AM   #36
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If you are going to change, let your son assume your unlimited plan (from what you mentioned about his usage). He won't be able to find anything close to it.

Good luck.
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Old 01-05-2016, 11:27 AM   #37
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Verizon's coverage is unsurpassed. We live in the southwest, and with all our travels through the hinterlands, including indian reservations, canyons, remote ski areas, etc, Verizon has always been excellent and reliable. It's rare that I cannot get a signal. The other big carrier out here is AT&T, but friends who have it complain of dropped calls and spotty service all the time.
Agree Verizon has the best coverage, so I signed up with PagePlus (Verizon network) and get low rates and great coverage.
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Old 01-10-2016, 03:00 PM   #38
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If you live in an area covered well by Sprint, they seem to have pretty amazing prepaid plans.
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Old 01-10-2016, 03:30 PM   #39
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(2) My understanding is that Verizon has started leasing phones and adding that charge to your monthly bill, instead of letting you purchase a phone and use that one. So as soon as I need a new phone, my $60 is history, I suppose.
I don't think that is correct. Verizon is splitting out the cost of the phone from the cost of the service.

For example, I'm on the "old" plan. I got a very nice iphone at a discounted price, but basically I'm paying the full price of the phone as the rest of the cost of the phone is built into my bill over the time of my 2 year contract. Under that type of plan when my contract ended I would keep paying the same monthly amount. In effect, continuing to pay for my now paid for phone.

Under the newer plans, I can buy the phone at full price and either pay for it up front or divide the payments out over time.

Then I pay for the service which is separate and less than the old monthly amount. If I pay out the phone over time once it is paid for my bill goes down (unlike the old way where it didn't).
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Old 01-10-2016, 04:03 PM   #40
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Verizon is splitting out the cost of the phone from the cost of the service.
You are correct. In my case, I bought a Verizon-compatible phone elsewhere and just pay Verizon the fee for the service. DW's iphone is now off-contract and we just pay for the reduced cost of service. We do not continue to pay for the phone. You can lease a phone from Verizon if you want but it is not required. At least that is my experience.
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