I’ve been with Sprint a long time and am not unhappy with them except that I’ve finally concluded their coverage of my locale is really bad. (Small town in the hills, not surprising; we had five-bars where we previously lived.) I’m going to kick and scream my way out of the current contract as best I can and switch to Verizon, which is the only carrier with solid coverage here (so good the emergency response system uses it as the primary backup).
They just shuffled their plans and I have most of my answers, but if there’s a Big Red head here who knows these details, it will save me being BSed by a clueless V rep. We have a peculiar usage pattern and I am tired of throwing money at super-unlimited plans that are mostly a waste for us. Most carriers used to have a “cafeteria” plan where you could pick and choose elements, but they’ve all gone to combined plans that are hard to sort out.
[li]We use almost no minutes - I use about 10 and my wife uses maybe 30.[/li][li]We text very little - maybe 20-30 each in a month when the kids feel chatty.[/li][li]I use a modest amount of data when away from wifi, but not much - I might have hit half a gig on some heavy traveling months.[/li][li]I want to continue with a shared business plan. So:[/li][/ul]
I can go with the shared business everything plan for about $130 (2 smartphones at $40 each, plus $50 for unlimited with 1GB of data). Waste of text and voice minute costs and a little tight on data. $60 buys 2GB of data, but $140 is still high considering we don’t use unlimited nothin’ else.
I can go with the shared business plan at $40x2 for the smartphones and a data-only plan with 4GB for $30, meaning a base cost of $110 and no waste. Texts are 20 cents each in and out and aren’t likely to add up to more than $10 in a busy month, far less most months (we use Trillian IM on everything.)
What I can’t find is the zero-minutes voice rate. Or if there is one. Does anyone know if a data-only plan is allowed on smartphones, and what the per-minute rate might be?
(Oh, I’m upgrading my S3 to a Note II and my wife’s antique EVO to an S3.)
They, meaning all carriers, used to have cellular modems that by definition and design were data only. The one’s I’m thinking of would plug into a slot in your laptop.
They might not make those any more since most people probably tether their pc to their cellphone or use the cell as a hotspot, however it’s likely that they concept hasn’t been phased out completely since there are still applications like alarm systems that require this kind of connectivity. It’s just not something popular enough that will listed on a web site or a local storefront.
So I would give their customer service number a call, preferably one for business services. Not that you want to subscribe via that route, but they usually have people that will know everything the company has available and tend to be more interested in solving your problem.
edit: uhh, the point (yes, there was one) there was that if they still have a category for such devices, maybe you could get a smartphone of our own and have them register it as such a device.
I’d already figured out the last; you go smartphone, you go “unlimited” or nothing.
As for zero - I said, we use almost no voice minutes between us. There have been plans in the past that were data-only, with minutes billed at some high rate like 40 cents, which for us would mean lower costs than paying for 1000 minutes or unlimited minutes, no matter how good a bargain those prices were.
I have approximately the same needs as you. What I did was to get a used iPhone and an AT&T GoPhone sim card (this was suggested to me by a doper in response to a thread I opened). I pay $25 every three months. The only thing I don’t have is that “little bit of data coverage”, which, basically I knew I could not get. I find WiFi fills most of my needs. My cable/internet provider (Optimum) has a crap-load of WiFi available around town so I am generally good. I would love to have “pay as you go” data, but it is not happening yet.
Now all this is not going to do you any good if you absolutely need that little bit of data (or for that matter, if Verizon does not offer a similar pay as you go phone plan), but I just thought I would put it out there.
I ended up getting out of Sprint on reasonable terms; no cancellation fee in exchange for sending the new S3 back. About the only better solution would have been a zero or nominal cancellation fee and reselling the phone, but I’m good with this.
Went with a 2-line Verizon business plan, unlimited voice/messaging (only option if you have phones and not data devices), and 1GB data, which should prove to be plenty since we are in wifi zones about 95% of the time and don’t have a need to continuously stream video. Plan cost drops about $35-40 a month (partly because the Sprint plan was unlimited everything, a real waste for us) and the only net cost was two new phones.
And we have 3 bars plus 3G data anywhere we go, and 5 bars/4G in most areas. That being the real basis for switching.
I will say my new Note II makes my former SIII seem teeny… and the biggest objection most people had to the SIII was it’s huuuuuge size.
Verizon is a pain in the ass to get good rates for, especially if you want data.
The best you can do, is with straight talk wireless. $45/mo per phone, unlimited talk, unlimited text, 2gb/data per phone (may say unlimited, but isn’t really).
To get that on Verizon you have to buy one specific phone - Samsung Galaxy Proclaim: http://www.shopstraighttalk.com/bpdirect/straighttalk/PhoneDetails.do?action=view&productVariantExtensionId=15771226
All their other smartphone offers and bring your own smartphone plans are on AT&T, Sprint, or T-Mobile.
Page Plus gets you 2gb/unlimited/unlimited for $55/mo/phone. I believe they both sell Verizon smartphones or you can bring your own, but unless it has changed recently, only 3g phones (so no galaxy S3, etc).
The new rate tiers are much simplified and quite straightforward.
Across the board, there’s a “line” rate for each phone (basic or smartphone); if you have a phone, you have to go with unlimited voice/messaging and choose your level of data service; if you have a data device only, there’s a data only plan. It seems to be the same for personal or business, single or shared, although the shared rates can cut your costs overall.
Two smartphones at $40 each with unlimited voice/messaging, and $40 for a 1GB shared data pool. That’s about $35 less, net, than the Sprint plan we abandoned.
As someone who’s spent too much time trying to put together cafeteria-style cell plans only to be told this option precludes that one or this service requires that one, making the rate charts essentially moot, I found this pretty simple.
Actually, get on the t-mobile site and poke around.
No contract plan, 100 minutes, “unlimited” text and data* for $30 a month. You need to supply your own T-Mobile compatible phone, of course, but now that the Nexus is back in stock you can order an unlocked 8gb Nexus 4 for $299.
I was strongly looking at that before deciding that I really didn’t need any data, and could just go with the “buy $40 phone, put $100 on it, get 1000 minutes or texts good for one year” thing.
Dunno how much was at their “4G” (really 3G) speeds and how much was slower.
Right, no, the rate plans are understandable enough, but the plan pricing is quite high, and it is difficult to find a way to get it to a lower price on the same carrier through prepaid.
In comparison, you can get T-mobile smartphone plans for $30/month with 100 minutes/unlimited text/5gb data or AT&T based plans for $45 month through Straight Talk or Sprint based plans for $35/month through Virgin mobile.