What are some good cellular plans for these scenarios

My brothers wife wants a cell phone, and she will probably use it alot to talk to her friends and family. Is there a plan that will put both her and her husband on the same plan that is a good deal? Would some kind of ‘in’ network with her family work, or would they all need to get a new plan to make that happen?

For me, I may need a cell phone but only with a handful of anytime minutes (200 or so would be fine since i’d use it sparingly) but I’d want free nights and weekends.

What are the best plans for these types of thing? Best plans include things like lowest cost, least hidden fees, least/no termination fees, best options, best reception, etc.

Are there any plans w/o a cancellation fee? WHo all makes plans aside from verizon, Cingular, T-mobile & AT&T

Plans without cancellation fees are prepaid services. Every post-paid service will subsidize the cost of the phone, but prepaid doesn’t.

For you, I’d probably recommend prepaid for as little as you’ll use it. Verizon just launched “INPulse”, which is essentially 30/month. That gets you unlimited nights, weekends, and IN-network calls. Other calls are .10/minute if I remember correctly.

AT&T and Cingular are the same company now, and offer a prepaid plan very similar to Verizon’s. T-Mobile is cheap enough that you could probably go post-paid, but their coverage sucks. They also have a prepaid plan.

The other choice you may want to consider is Virgin Mobile. You can pick up the phones at Wal-Mart for pretty cheap. They use Sprint’s towers, so coverage is pretty good. It’s something like .25/minute for the first 10 minutes, then .10 after that. Something like that.

For your brother’s wife, most companies offer free in-network calls now. It’s just a matter of knowing what companies the people you’ll talk to the most use. If they all use Verizon, they can get a family share, 500 anytime minutes to split, unlimited nights/weekends/in-network for $60/month. Not too shabby.

I’m on Verizon myself. My mom, sister, brother in law, dad, and every single one of my friends is also on Verizon. I tend to use about 100 anytime minutes and 1200 In-Network minutes per month. Not bad for $40. It would cost me a ton to use the phone as much on any other carrier.

I had Sprint for a couple years, and T-Mobile the last two. Sprint was great, but they are expensive. I have a pretty good plan with T-Mobile (good enough that I don’t have a land line any more) and when I was researching plans two years ago - they did give you the most for the least amount of money. I disagree that their coverage sucks - I haven’t had any issues with them in terms of coverage. Of course I don’t travel a great deal, but around Phoenix and the greater surrounding area, I haven’t had any problems making or receiving phone calls. I’d recommend them.

My new roommate will have a cell phone, can I piggypack on his plan or anything along those lines? ie, get a family share plan instead of each of us having an individual plan. Would we get individual numbers if we did that.

Sure, you can do that. Just be careful though… the bill will be sent to 1 person. 2 years down the road, you may want to have your own plan with your own name. In Verizon-speak, that’s called an “assumption of service”. It’s kind of a tricky maneuver, but definitely doable. It will make a bit of a mess with billing and contract start/end dates when it happens. Even then, your account will be forever scarred. I did an AOS from my dad a few years ago, and when I call in for customer support they still get confused, seeing a couple accounts and names associated with the phone number. If you think you can simply port your number to another carrier instead of an AOS, then you’re mistaken… only the person whose name is on the bill is able to port the number.

I’d recommend not doing this with a roommate. With a wife or child or long-term commitment, maybe, but not a roommate.

I use cingular and love it. I have coverage everywhere (excepted in certain basements, which isn’t their fault). I’m on the 29 dollar 250 anytime/1000 anytime minutes, although it gets much better at the notch up from mine.

Oh, and there are taxes on top, so it comes to 32 I think.

T-mobiles basic and basic plus look reasonably good. I don’t need night minutes, but weekend minutes would be good to have. I doubt i’d need 300 whenever minutes, but they’d be better than going over with only 60 minutes a month.


Have you checked T-Mobile’s coverage map? Do you know someone in your town with T-Mobile? They’re well known for their “spiderweb” coverage. If you stick mostly to urban/highway areas you’ll be okay, but off the beaten path you’re SOL. Definitely take advantage of their trial period if you go the T-Mobile route.

I used to sell Verizon phones, so I’m a bit biased. They have a $35 plan that is unadvertised… its used to close sales if the customer doesn’t want to pay $40. If memory serves, it’s 300 Anytime minutes, unlimited nights and weekends. No In-Network. You’ll have the benefit of Verizon’s National service which is still the best in the industry for just a few bucks more. Of coure, T-Mobiles phones are a lot sweeter than Verizon’s.

You may want to check and see if other providers have unadvertised plans. It’s worth a shot. US Cellular is also a good option if you’re looking for cheap, cheap, cheap, and they have all sorts of roaming agreements to give adequate coverage. They’re a regional company though, do you may not have one in your neck of the woods.

My SO and I have T-Mobile - for the two of us it is about $55 month including tax and yadayada…plus unlimited calls between the two of us 24/7 and unlimited anywhere in the US week nights and all weekend. No problem with connections here in Las Vegas (where Sprint sucks big time).

Plus they have a pretty cool website that lets you do all kinds of things…including typing in names and phone numbers and having them sent to your phone…a lot easier than trying to press all those little buttons to get the phone numbers in there. I also bought the Mission Impossible theme song ring (one time $1.49 purchase).

If you and your family all get T-Mobile, you can jabber all day and night, every day and night, for free.

Oh, and now I have access to Europe by using Powernet Global cheapie line (7.5 cents per minute) on my T-Mobile cell phone! Very nice for making my calls to Germany.