Cell phone bills too high? Here are some that start at just $10 a month [telecom]

Cell phone bills too high? Here are some that start at just $10 a month -- or $25 a month for unlimited

by: Rich DeMuro

(KTLA) - An unlimited plan from the major carriers can easily run you $90 a month. But if you're willing to switch to a smaller carrier, you could save substantially.

These smaller brands basically "rent" their network space from one of the three main carriers in the US, which is AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile.

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According to Moderator snipped-for-privacy@remove-this.remove-this.telecom-digest.org>:

That's a pretty lame list if you ask me.

Tracfone offers unlimited talk+text and 1GB for $20/mo on any of AT&T, Verizon, or T-Mo. You can bring your own phone or they will sell you anything from a really basic smartphone for $20 to an iPhone 11 for $600. No contracts, it's all prepaid month to month.

Airvoice Wireless resells AT&T, unlimited talk/text and 3GB for $20/mo, prepaid. Or for an emergency phone, for $13 you can get 100 min good for 90 days.

-- Regards, John Levine, snipped-for-privacy@taugh.com, Primary Perpetrator of "The Internet for Dummies", Please consider the environment before reading this e-mail.

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John Levine

Here's the problem from my perspective: I was warned, by people I trust, that only Verizon has a viable network in this part of North Carolina. The advice was from fellow Amateur Radio operators who work in the cellular industry: they have no ax to grind AFAICT.

Since my income was dependent on reliable cell service before I retired, I got a Verizon account, which was reliable on the roads I travelle - but I then discovered that my house is located in a black hole where UHF radio frequencies go to die. In order to make my phone work while I was at home, I had to buy a VoIP converter, which is a micro-cellsite that connects to my (cable) Internet connection. It works reliably, but I'm locked to Verizon's network so long as I'm dependent on it.

Ergo, the problem: MVNO's get their connectivity from the cheapest cell network provider they can find, and therefore I need to know which "incumbent" network provider any MVNO I might choose is using for its "physical layer," *AND* if my VoIP adapter, which is only useful for Verizon's network, will allow them to connect.

I could buy a flip phone from one of the MVNO's, but I've got a flip phone from Verizon that costs $30/month, and I'm leery of taking the leap.


Reply to
Bill Horne

Oh, then you definitely want Tracfone. Their SIM kit, which you can buy on eBay for $1, has three SIMs, one each for AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile. Activate your phone on one, if you don't like it you can switch to another and keep your phone number and prepaid credit. You might also look at Net10, same company, also provides three SIMs, better pricing if you use more data.

You do need and unlocked phone but they're not hard to find. I buy used ones on swappa.com.

You are right that most MVNOs use the cheapest network which these days means T-Mo, whose coverage outside of cities is not great.

Tracfone SIM kit here:

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John Levine

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