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RxZ 11-16-2012 09:23 AM

Cell Phone Plans
 
Maybe my GoogleFu is weak, but I am having a hard time finding the answer...

We all know that the large mobile network companies (ATT&T, Verizon, etc) subsidize the cost of cell phones through increased rates on the actual plans. I currently have AT&T, and am eligible to upgrade to a new phone/plan which I want to do. However, what if I want to buy my own phone somewhere, and not from AT&T? Do they offer the same plans at a reduced cost since I would have nothing that needs to be subsidized? Or am I forced to go the pre-paid route (which after looking at AT&T's website is actually more expensive per GB of data)?

Or do I wait until the first of May 2013 when my two year contract is up, and say bye-bye to AT&T? But then what?

Thanks for any advice.

13 11-16-2012 09:33 AM

I don't know for sure but I'm gonna guess if they get less money and it benefits you they probably won't be too hip to the idea.

DaveStockwell 11-16-2012 10:53 AM

Check into Virgin Mobile. I believe they offer plans for SIM cards only. The others might but you aren't going to find them advertised that well. From the shopping I've done, over the long term (and especially if you use a lot of data) your most cost effective route will be to take the ATT upgrade.

lucas123 11-16-2012 11:10 AM

Your plan will remain the same price as it currently is. It doesn't get cheaper.

The only difference after the contract expires is that you can cancel that plan without incurring a fee.

~DC~ 11-16-2012 11:21 AM

Not sure if they still do it, I think T-mobile reduced rates off contract, no one else does.

PoundSand 11-16-2012 11:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ~DC~ (Post 20058675)
Not sure if they still do it, I think T-mobile reduced rates off contract, no one else does.

yep. well, close- they offer reduced rates for non subsidized phones- you actually need to sign a initial contract to get the lower rates anyways, iirc.

this, or go prepaid.

RxZ 11-16-2012 12:38 PM

OK, this is all as I expected. I was just hoping that there was something out there I didn't know about. I kinda like the t-mobile plans, but unfortunately I would not get service inside the hospital I work at. Sprint doesn't work well either, and since Virgin uses Sprint's network... That is why I was asking about AT&T more than any other company.

Oh well. Gotta pay to play it seems. :deal

Thanks all!

PoundSand 11-16-2012 01:21 PM

if you want att and are willing to buy your own phone, look at straight talk prepaid. $45/month, and you can chose tmobile or att as the network. cheaper than using att's own prepaid plan. ;D

AZbiker 11-16-2012 08:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DaveStockwell (Post 20058482)
Check into Virgin Mobile. I believe they offer plans for SIM cards only. The others might but you aren't going to find them advertised that well. From the shopping I've done, over the long term (and especially if you use a lot of data) your most cost effective route will be to take the ATT upgrade.

Virgin Mobile only supports CDMA--no SIM cards. They also will only activate Virgin Mobile phones. Theoretically Sprint phones would also be able to be activated and I've seen stories on the net where people have been able to talk the customer service rep into activating a Sprint phone on Virgin but it's not company policy.

My phone is $35/mo, unlimited text and data, 300 minutes of talk time. I bought my Optimus V used for $50 with an otter box case and screen protector.

der_saeufer 11-17-2012 07:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by PoundSand (Post 20059418)
if you want att and are willing to buy your own phone, look at straight talk prepaid. $45/month, and you can chose tmobile or att as the network. cheaper than using att's own prepaid plan. ;D

We have a winner!

(Second) best deal around if you buy your own phone. #1 is T-Mobile's $30 100min/unlimited msg/5GB data on an Android phone with a VoIP app, but OP says no to T-Mo, so Straight Talk on AT&T's network is the answer.

Forget the CDMA carriers (Verizon and Sprint) and all their MVNOs (Virgin, Boost, etc etc). Too much bullshit if you want to switch. With the GSM carriers (T-Mobile and AT&T), if your phone is unlocked, you can switch carriers whenever you want with a new SIM, though a number of smartphones only support one or the other's 3G/4G frequencies. Among others, Google's phones are 5-band, though after last week's Nexus 4 launch fiasco, it might be a while before you can get one.

Also worth noting if you've got one T-Mobile dead spot is that many T-Mobile phones can make calls over wifi. With the 'normal' plans, wifi calls are free, but on prepaid they do count against your minutes. SMS and MMS work over wifi too, though you can't switch from wifi to the cellular network mid-call unless you're on a BlackBerry.

glasswave 11-18-2012 12:39 AM

I recently (July) got on a Verizon network unlimited minutes/text/data plan for $100/mo. My Razr Maxx was an extra $100. I am super happy with this arrangement since I use my phone as a hotspot for my iPad & laptop & never have to worry about data/minute/text overages. Also, I spend a fair bit of time in remote locals and appreciate the Verizon extended coverage over other networks.

darenative 11-19-2012 09:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by PoundSand (Post 20059418)
if you want att and are willing to buy your own phone, look at straight talk prepaid. $45/month, and you can chose tmobile or att as the network. cheaper than using att's own prepaid plan. ;D

I went this route after leaving ATT. For me, including buying the phones, it was about $500 cheaper per phone for 2 years of service.

I thought there would be a reduction in overall services offered or received due to the reduced rate of the ST plan, but so far that's not been the case. It's just like Att service without the ass rape at the end of the month

AZbiker 11-21-2012 07:10 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by der_saeufer (Post 20067652)
We have a winner!

(Second) best deal around if you buy your own phone. #1 is T-Mobile's $30 100min/unlimited msg/5GB data on an Android phone with a VoIP app, but OP says no to T-Mo, so Straight Talk on AT&T's network is the answer.

Forget the CDMA carriers (Verizon and Sprint) and all their MVNOs (Virgin, Boost, etc etc). Too much bullshit if you want to switch. With the GSM carriers (T-Mobile and AT&T), if your phone is unlocked, you can switch carriers whenever you want with a new SIM, though a number of smartphones only support one or the other's 3G/4G frequencies. Among others, Google's phones are 5-band, though after last week's Nexus 4 launch fiasco, it might be a while before you can get one.

Also worth noting if you've got one T-Mobile dead spot is that many T-Mobile phones can make calls over wifi. With the 'normal' plans, wifi calls are free, but on prepaid they do count against your minutes. SMS and MMS work over wifi too, though you can't switch from wifi to the cellular network mid-call unless you're on a BlackBerry.

T-Mobile and AT&T happen to have the worst coverage areas where I live. Verizon and Sprint are the best. Whoda thunk it? :lol3

Chuckracer 11-21-2012 07:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by der_saeufer (Post 20067652)
We have a winner!

(Second) best deal around if you buy your own phone. #1 is T-Mobile's $30 100min/unlimited msg/5GB data on an Android phone with a VoIP app, but OP says no to T-Mo, so Straight Talk on AT&T's network is the answer.

Forget the CDMA carriers (Verizon and Sprint) and all their MVNOs (Virgin, Boost, etc etc). Too much bullshit if you want to switch. With the GSM carriers (T-Mobile and AT&T), if your phone is unlocked, you can switch carriers whenever you want with a new SIM, though a number of smartphones only support one or the other's 3G/4G frequencies. Among others, Google's phones are 5-band, though after last week's Nexus 4 launch fiasco, it might be a while before you can get one.

Also worth noting if you've got one T-Mobile dead spot is that many T-Mobile phones can make calls over wifi. With the 'normal' plans, wifi calls are free, but on prepaid they do count against your minutes. SMS and MMS work over wifi too, though you can't switch from wifi to the cellular network mid-call unless you're on a BlackBerry.

I have NO idea what you just said. :cry

AkBrian 11-21-2012 07:19 PM

You can get the same $45 wally world straight talk plan directly from Net10. You just have to agree to having the $45 automatically billed each month.


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