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Old 11-05-2017, 11:33 AM   #41
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WE live in an area where AT & T has great reception all over the state. So we switched to Cricket to save $. However, we did not have phone service when we left town. Although Cricket uses AT & T's lines when in rural areas I guess AT&T rents these lines from others and Cricket users don't have access. We switched back after finding this out the hard way.
This is my fear as well.. AT and T service rep swore up and down we'd get good service using the zip of a town 7 miles away, but that town is only 6 miles from the biggest town in the county 20+K.....so if that small town is getting signals from the big town tower I might be SOL...
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Old 11-05-2017, 11:34 AM   #42
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WE ended up going back to AT&T pretty fast. We travel a lot and need service since we both work p.t.
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Old 11-05-2017, 12:29 PM   #43
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We used the $10/month Airvoice Wireless plan for about 4 years.... autopay of $10/month then they deduct 4c for each minute of voice, 2c per text and 6.6c per mb of data... whatever balance that remains at the end of the month rolls over to the next month.

Then we became snowbirds and our needs changed and we switched to their $30/month plan... unlimited talk and text and 1GB/month.

Very happy customers.

pb4uski -- Do you know whose cell towers Airvoice uses?

They look like very good deal.

It's sort of interesting, as I just read that their headquarters are located about 30 miles from me and I've never heard of them. I wonder how they do their marketing.

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Old 11-05-2017, 12:45 PM   #44
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They use AT&T towers.
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Old 11-05-2017, 01:18 PM   #45
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Republic Wireless is not without flaws, but you buy your phone and pay for what you use. My bill is $25 but I get back $15 or so if I don't use all my 2Gb.
Republic for me too. I have a legacy plan which gives me unlimited talk and texting. No data, except when on WiFi. I really don't need mobile data, so it works for me, and the price of $10/month + fees, which works out to a little over $12/month all-inclusive, works very well for me indeed.

New subscribers wanting the same plan have to pay $15/month + fees, which is still not at all bad.
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Old 11-05-2017, 01:35 PM   #46
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Most of the resellers (MVNOs) mentioned use either T-Mobile or Sprint.

Their data coverage is...lacking...in my area, which is why we switched to Cricket.

For backup for voice/text I carry a flip phone that uses Page Plus, a MVNO running on Verizon.
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Old 11-05-2017, 01:40 PM   #47
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We have 2 phones on Republic (me and wife), which each cost about $20 per month for 1GB of data. My teenage daughter is on ATT prepaid, primarily because her iPhone wasn't supported by Republic when we moved from Germany to the USA. Her 6GB plan costs $40 per month.
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Old 11-05-2017, 04:14 PM   #48
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I wonder how many people actually need/use 5G of data a month? My plan gives me 1GB of data a month and I barely even use 100meg as Wi-Fi is everywhere.
It depends. My daughter is on our cell phone plan with unlimited data. Last month she used about 100GB of data. Yes, it can be slowed down when she uses over a certain amount.

You might wonder why she does this if WiFi is everywhere. Basically WiFi is not everywhere. Specifically, it is not in her apartment. Paying for internet in her apartment is beyond her means right now. She has a computer center in the apartment building where she can use an actual computer or take her existing laptop and use WiFi there. But, for more casual computer usage such as web surfing and watching videos she does that in her apartment on her phone and doesn't have to pay for internet. It is way cheaper than paying for internet.

I sometimes use more than 5 GB a month. We do have WiFi at home. But, sometimes when we go places and DH is driving I will use my iPad in the car and will use internet at that point.

Another place. When we visit my 93 year old mother. She doesn't have WiFi either. But I can bring my phone and iPad and use data there. I can even use my phone as a hotspot with a notebook computer as well.
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Old 11-05-2017, 04:29 PM   #49
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WE live in NV and basically mostly only had service in Vegas and REno. We went to Fallon to see a friend and had no service which was not good as my DH had a phone meeting for work. He was definitely not happy.
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This is my fear as well.. AT and T service rep swore up and down we'd get good service using the zip of a town 7 miles away, but that town is only 6 miles from the biggest town in the county 20+K.....so if that small town is getting signals from the big town tower I might be SOL...
Looking at the Cricket coverage map it does show some parts of Fallon, NV have no coverage. Looks like several areas generally west of I-25 and east of I-5 have areas of spotty coverage. East of the Rocky Mts Cricket coverage is pretty solid other than western Nebraska and northern Maine.

https://www.cricketwireless.com/map.html
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Old 11-05-2017, 05:41 PM   #50
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I applaud you. At times I consider giving up the smartphone and decreasing wireless bill. However, I hike, climb, backpack and Scramble at least once a week. This means Iím driving in the mountains and hinterlands. I use the Maps function on my phone to find trailheads and the Gia GPS function once Iím on and off trail. I can also get weather and conditions updates. Verizon has outstanding coverage and many times I can text my husband from a summit or back at the trailhead. Its funny how many times people Iím out with have asked to use my phone to communicate with their families while we are out because I have coverage and they donít. I also take pictures with the phone which means I donít have to carry a camera. I use my phone for email, texting and reading. Iíve just scratched the service of the ways I use my phone. Interestingly, the smartphone has simplified and uncluttered my life due to itsí functionality.
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Old 11-05-2017, 06:04 PM   #51
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.......... I use my phone for email, texting and reading. I’ve just scratched the surface of the ways I use my phone..........
I recently discovered that mine has a function that will allow me to call people. It's a little icon on the bottom of the home screen.
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Old 11-05-2017, 07:45 PM   #52
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I recently discovered that mine has a function that will allow me to call people. It's a little icon on the bottom of the home screen.
Hey! I just figured out how to do that too! I need to have Google Voice, the Google Hangouts app and the Google Hangouts Dialer app to make it work, but work it does! But only with wifi.
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Old 11-05-2017, 09:05 PM   #53
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I recently discovered that mine has a function that will allow me to call people. It's a little icon on the bottom of the home screen.
DH and i just had a debate this afternoon of whether we should more properly refer to a smartphone as (1) a pocket computer on which you can also make calls or (2) a digital camera on which you can also make calls. I took option 1 and he took option 2.
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Old 11-05-2017, 09:15 PM   #54
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Republic for me too.
Me, too. I'm nursing my old phone along because when I buy a new one I'll have to pay slightly more for a similar Republic plan. But their prices are still good and I've been happy with the service. Now I pay about $15/mo net, unlimited talk and text, plus I use use about 1GB of data per month.
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Old 11-06-2017, 08:56 AM   #55
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For those who have a "no data" plan - I found that was a problem for us with our occasional texts. We could not send/receive picture texts (MMS) or group texts.

OK for us, but if one of the kids texted some of us as a group, like to all meet at such and such place at a certain time, my wife would not get the text. If a text included a picture, she would not get it. It just won't work to tell people to not send picture texts or group texts, they won't remember.

There may be some plans that enable some limited data for MMS, but don't provide data for other connections, but I'm not aware of any.

I'm not sure why OP said they want to get rid of their smartphones, but they are still using smartphones (their existing iPhones)? I guess the key is they wanted to get rid of data charges, which is really separate from 'smartphone'.


What's been working for us is Ting (heard about it on this forum). We don't use much talk/text/data, but we want it when we want it. With Ting, the rates are pretty low for low usage, and I added my phone to the account for just $6/month (usage is combined). It's not a great deal if you use a lot of data, but for us it has been great. We are more likely to use data if go away for a w/e or something, though we can still stay on wi-fi a lot of the time. But the occasionally higher monthly bills for the data are fine, as our averages stay low.

Our typical bill is ~ $26 for 2 lines ($13/line for people skimming the post) with occasional bills in the $35~$40 range when we are travelling (these numbers include the fees, which are added on to 'usage'). We just got to the point that we didn't want to go without data for the times that we really could benefit from it, and at these rates it just isn't painful at all.

https://ting.com/rates

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Old 11-06-2017, 09:03 AM   #56
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I recently discovered that mine has a function that will allow me to call people. It's a little icon on the bottom of the home screen.
And I find it to be a very difficult/confusing function. In many ways, my old flip phone was far better for making phone calls (and worse in others of course - navigating menus with a limited keyboard is a pain).

On my smartphone, I've tried to view a contact, and suddenly realized it was calling them (hey! I didn't do that! I was just looking!). And to receive a call sometimes seems to require a "secret handshake"? Oh, you don't tap the phone icon to answer the call, you need to swipe from left to right? Who said?

I rarely make calls/texts from the smartphone (months can go by), and it just isn't always as easy as it should be. I'm sure it is second nature for those doing it regularly, but the basics ought to be obvious for everyone.

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Old 11-06-2017, 09:14 AM   #57
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Looking at the Cricket coverage map it does show some parts of Fallon, NV have no coverage. Looks like several areas generally west of I-25 and east of I-5 have areas of spotty coverage. East of the Rocky Mts Cricket coverage is pretty solid other than western Nebraska and northern Maine.

https://www.cricketwireless.com/map.html
It's a little more complicated then that ..we have a 20 plus year old grandfathered business plan with 4 dumb phones on it at an average of cost of less then 20 bucks per month per phone. My DH and his bro log a ton of time on their phones thru work. In the fields we often get drops even on Verizon. If we port our numbers to Cricket and isn't suitable coverage our plan is dunnzo...
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Old 11-06-2017, 10:00 AM   #58
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I've been using tracfone for the last two years on two Motorola Moto E smart phones ($20 to purchase ea) and a $100/year plan ea that includes 1200 talk minutes, 1200 texts and 1.2g data. I've found this to be plenty for our needs (myself,son) since most of the time we are in a wifi area and then of course no charge for calls/text/data. My wife on the other hand talks on the phone a lot so the tracfone plan would not work for her. She got a Republic Wireless plan unlimited talk, text and 1 g data. This averages to about $15 a month. So the total monthly cost for our three phones is about $32.
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Old 11-06-2017, 10:03 AM   #59
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I understand the saving money part, but please expand on the data plan. I'd like to save money too, but I find the phone very useful for times when I need to look things up while away from home or to get directions. Granted, these often involve shopping ventures which we need to curtail as well, but I'm struggling to see how to give up data, which means giving up easy access to directions.
My phone uses GPS (no data plan) to do directions.
This did mean I had to download the maps to various countries which I store on the SD card of the phone.
Then I get to use map software for directions or location when I'm in those countries.
It works great and fast as no need to download the maps each time.
I used it in Mexico, PR, Hungary, Germany, USA, Canada.

It works just like a GPS does, which does not use any cellular data, or plan.
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Old 11-06-2017, 10:08 AM   #60
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It's a little more complicated then that ..we have a 20 plus year old grandfathered business plan with 4 dumb phones on it at an average of cost of less then 20 bucks per month per phone. My DH and his bro log a ton of time on their phones thru work. In the fields we often get drops even on Verizon. If we port our numbers to Cricket and isn't suitable coverage our plan is dunnzo...
You could always sign up for one line of Cricket service for a month with a new number. Check the Cricket coverage at various locations to see if it will work for you and if not you've only spent a few bucks to test it out - and haven't put your grandfathered plan at risk.
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