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Landline vs mobile
Old 02-23-2018, 06:12 PM   #1
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Landline vs mobile

I know there are a lot of knowledgeable and very helpful people on this forum, so that's why I'm posing this question here. We currently have a landline with internet service from at&t. Internet speed is 18 Mbps with 1024 GB data allowance per month. Cost is $82. We also have two old flip phones on a per minute plan with Verizon that is free each month as long as we use one minute per month on each line. We rarely use these except for the required monthly minute (but they are very nice to have in case of an emergency). Our internet usage is usually between 150 and 200 GB per month. I am thinking of dropping the at&t package and getting the T-Mobile 55+ plan with 2 lines for $60/month. The salesman told us we would also need a WiFi hotspot for an additional $25/month. My concern is with the home internet speed and possible data caps compared to what we have now. Also, I thought the hotspot came automatically with the 55+ plan. It would be nice to be able to access the internet on the go, which is something we cannot do presently. I understand that we will have to buy new phones. Your recommendations?

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Old 02-23-2018, 08:51 PM   #2
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I'm on the T-Mobile 55+ plan, and I don't understand the $25 hotspot charge. I use the hotspot when traveling, and have never paid more than $60 per month. The speed is adequate for general web browsing, but slow for any kind of video streaming.

Those cell phone lines are the only phones we have, which works fine for us. We have cable internet at home, so I'm not sure how the hotspot would work as our only internet access. The cable internet is essentially unlimited, but sadly it appears the cost is also unlimited.

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Old 02-24-2018, 04:45 AM   #3
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I also don’t understand the hotspot charge. A new phone will be able to act as a hotspot. Does the dedicated hot spot give you higher speed or more data before throttling? If you read the fine print in the 55+ plan, it says that anyone who uses >50 GB per month “may experience slow data speeds”. Since you currently use 150-200 GB a month, you’d probably be at slower speeds for more than half a month.

Why the switch? With the $25 hotspot fee you won’t be saving any money, but will be trading very good internet connectivity in the home for a lesser plan.
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Old 02-24-2018, 05:25 AM   #4
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Phillie - though the phone can act as a hotspot, most providers do not include it without paying an additional fee. Though I suspect over time, due to competition, it will become standard to have it included at no additional charge.

I kept my 8 year old Samsung Intercept phone (slider with manual keypad) way longer than I should have, only because I was able to install an app which turned the the phone into a hotspot getting around the providers (Virgin) newer phones they put something in the OS which allowed them to prevent going around them.

Because I primarily use my phone for tethering for my laptop and tablet, the hotspot functionality is a requirement for me. Virgin wanted the $25 monthly fee (or $5/day) for hotspot. I think they recently lowered it to $5 or $10/month extra - not sure because I switched.

I moved to MetroPCS a few months ago because they include hotspot service out of your monthly data cap. I have the cheapest plan they offer at $30/month which includes 2GB of high speed data. Above that, they dial down the speed, but it's still acceptable...unless you are looking to use it for video streaming. If you really need more high speed data monthly, they offer higher caps for additional monthly cost.

MetroPCS is on the T-Mobile network. It may be that T-Mobile also includes hotspot for no additional fees.

I think the time to begin considering switching to using the phone as a hotpot for the home will be when 5G becomes standard.
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Old 02-24-2018, 05:37 AM   #5
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The T-Mobile 55+ plan allows phone tethering/hot spot at no extra cost. There is also unlimited data, subject to throttling. (We use that plan, so I know). That’s why I don’t understand the need for a WiFi hotspot at home, unless it changes the data limit before you are subject to “data prioritization”
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Old 02-24-2018, 05:38 AM   #6
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2nd the T-Mobile 55+ plan. No hotspot issues either, even when using my computer in Cancun.
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Old 02-24-2018, 05:46 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Plantman View Post
Our internet usage is usually between 150 and 200 GB per month.
With this much monthly usage I don't think you will be happy with the T-Mobile data limits. You will quickly run into throttling, reducing data speed to a level you will likely find unacceptable.

I wish that wasn't the case as I would love to do what you are proposing myself.
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Old 02-24-2018, 06:07 AM   #8
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The salesman told us we would also need a WiFi hotspot for an additional $25/month.
I think it may be the salesman was trying to get you to take an actual physical hotspot device for use in the home which utilizes your plan data, as opposed to using the phone itself as the hotspot.

I could see the could be in your home, always on, no need to put the phone into hotspot mode in the home and turn it off when you're not using it or leave the home. Whether it's worth an additional $25/month is debatable.

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