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Old 06-14-2011, 05:05 PM
ITR champion ITR champion is offline
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Location: North Dakota
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Is there actually a ten dollar phone bill?

I recall reading this article in Forbes two years ago. The basic argument is that as small wireless companies begin offering phone service without all the restrictions imposed by the big companies, the price of service would have to drop. I've read a few other articles here and there since then, all making the same point. But all the advertisements that I see suggest that the lowest rates available are still in the $40-$50 range. Was there anything to this, or was it just a bad prediction?

Last edited by ITR champion; 06-14-2011 at 05:06 PM. Reason: Typo
Old 06-14-2011, 06:05 PM
CurtC CurtC is offline
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Location: Texas
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If consumers strongly wanted a $10 phone (I assume you mean cell phone) bill, we may have had it by now. But my guess is that most people want more features (data plans, subsidization of the phone hardware cost), and they're mostly OK with paying $40 to $50 per month.
Old 06-14-2011, 07:00 PM
Mama Zappa Mama Zappa is offline
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Also - if you're a less-intense user, you can easily get by with 10 dollars a month for the phone. A basic prepaid, with 10/month top-up, will get you something like 50-100 talk minutes. No bells and whistles, no smartphone, limited texting etc. - but it can be done.

Oh - however, if you want a *plan* that's as low as 10 a month, I have not heard of any. And to get things like free nights / weekends, you have to be on at least some sort of plan.

Last edited by Mama Zappa; 06-14-2011 at 07:00 PM.
Old 06-14-2011, 07:06 PM
yabob yabob is offline
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Many of the people who want "cheap" probably don't make many phone calls, and use pay-as-you-go or low minutes plans which can approach that range. GreatCall (formerly Jitterbug) has a 50 min/month plan for $15:

Before I used my cell for my primary number, I had a setup where my VOIP number forwarded to my cell if there was no answer, and didn't give anybody my cell number. I was using a Virgin Mobile plan which was $7/mo + $0.10/minute. The idea being that the cell was really only to be used if I wasn't at home, and I wouldn't rack up that many minutes. Which led me to wish it was possible without a lot of difficulty to spoof caller id, so I wouldn't get people calling me on the cell phone anyway.

Last edited by yabob; 06-14-2011 at 07:06 PM.
Old 06-14-2011, 07:10 PM
Shagnasty Shagnasty is offline
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Jitterbug is a company that markets towards older people. Their cheapest plan is $15 a month for 50 anytime minutes which is more than enough for many people but it also includes the phone and special operators for assistance. That isn't that far off from what is described and is available to anyone.
Old 06-14-2011, 07:28 PM
california jobcase california jobcase is offline
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Location: S. GA
Posts: 2,938
You can get a Tracfone for $8-$10 at Dollar General and other places. 120 minutes and three months air time is $29.99 (about $32 after fees). That's 40 minutes per month at about $10.67 per month after the cost of the phone.
Old 06-14-2011, 08:16 PM
jasg jasg is offline
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You can get close to $10/month if you don't call a lot.

I bought a used iPhone for $50 and a GoPhone SIM card. A $25 refill card gives me 250 talk minutes and lasts 2 or 3 months and used minutes rollover - no data other than WiFi, but that is fine for my use.

GoogleVoice gives me free texting when within WiFi range, which is most of the time.
Old 06-14-2011, 08:32 PM
Bartman Bartman is offline
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Denver, CO, USA
Posts: 1,139
As people have said there are plans that approach that. Net10 for example has a 200 minutes/30 day service plan for $15.

There are plenty of options for cheap no-frills mobile phone service. But what hasn't happened is none of the major carriers have followed the new carriers into that market place. Basically Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile are still chasing the upper end exclusively. Good idea? Bad idea? I don't know. But there are plenty of companies trying to be the equivalent of Southwest Airlines in the mobile phone space. And I think the major carriers are fools if they aren't at least watching the low-end market very closely.
Old 06-14-2011, 08:33 PM
iamthewalrus(:3= iamthewalrus(:3= is offline
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Location: Santa Barbara, CA
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I have an Android smartphone plan (300 minutes, unlimited texts and data) for $25/month. It's not $10, but it's considerably less than the $40 you suggested as the low end of your range.

Virgin Mobile.
Old 06-14-2011, 08:47 PM
x-ray vision x-ray vision is offline
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I have T-Mobile Pay As You Go. For $100 you get 1000 minutes that expire in one year. I average a little over 300 minutes a year. Once the minutes are about to expire, I can roll over the unused minutes by purchasing $10 worth of minutes. Just this month I rolled over minutes for $10 for the second time, which means I will have received three years of cell phone service for $120 plus about $20 or $30 for the phone.
Old 06-14-2011, 09:56 PM
thelabdude thelabdude is offline
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Northern USA
Posts: 1,943 has a VOIP 300 minutes anywhere in the US or Canada a month plan for $12

We pay about $30/mo fro unlimited to US, Canada, and much of western Europe.
Old 06-14-2011, 10:00 PM
Mr Downtown Mr Downtown is offline
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I pay about $5-$8 per month using PagePlus.


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