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Info Seeker

Cell phones and Service Providers (carriers)

Message 1 of 19

Cell phones and cell phone service providers (T-Mobile, AT&T, Sprint, Verizon Wireless, Republic Wireless, etc), offer a variety of services and phones at different costs.  And service in different areas vary significantly.  Cell phone service over WiFI is quickly becoming relavant. What is the best phone and service provider for the least cost?

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Valued Social Butterfly

Re: Cell phones and Service Providers (carriers)

Message 2 of 19

I know people have dissed this provider but for me and my wife; Consumer Cellular is the best for us. We literally use less than 20 minutes a month. We also haven't progressed past the flip phone. To get 200 free minutes and inexpensive new phones, we couldn't find anything that met OUR needs better. Yes, the phone itself is pretty cheaply made and the coverage can be sketchy but for us, having any phone and a plan for $29.97 (all taxes and fees included) outweighed anything else.

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Re: Cell phones and Service Providers (carriers)

Message 3 of 19

As usual, it comes down to an 'it depends' on how you use your phone. As a generalization, Verizon is considered to have the best coverage. Because we travel all over the country, wide coverage is a priority for us. It may not be for you.

   However, there are cheaper carriers. But, they do not have such extensive coverage. Again, may or may not matter to you.

   As for plans, totally up to you. Unlike many people, we still use our land line as primary phone so as far as plans, we simply buy minutes ahead of time and are not locked into any kind of contract.

Just think. The world was built by the lowest bidder.
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Social Butterfly

Re: Cell phones and Service Providers (carriers)

Message 4 of 19

i've been using the WAlmart FAmily mobile plan for a few months.  I don't use the phone much but I do need to send/receive pictures and texts so it is working for me.  However the flip phones are running out and are cheaply made.  I've had two where the speaker gave out and this third one is a samsung $19 jobbie and it is using battery power for no apparent reason.  I am glad to be free of Verizon and their expensive programs and two year contract games

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Trusted Social Butterfly

Re: Cell phones and Service Providers (carriers)

Message 5 of 19

"...I am glad to be free of Verizon and their expensive programs and two year contract games....".


    Not to be a cheerleader for Verizon but like many, if not most carriers, they now have 'plans' where there is no contract and you simply purchase minutes. I have a cheap Tracfone right now for that, but will probably go to Verizon for better coverage. I purchased the old-style (dumb) phone some 6 years ago for $30, and pay $99 a year for 400 minutes.

   Tracfone is another alternative --- widely available, cheap, and have options for newer smart phones. But their coverage is 'iffy' in some areas. 


   You really have to spend time looking at each carrier online,  look at the plans they offer and their costs, try to determine how good their coverage is and does it work well in the area(s) you're interested in (you can often find comments by people who have the service and read those), know your personal needs, then make an intelligent decision. This takes some hours of online work.

Just think. The world was built by the lowest bidder.
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Info Seeker

Re: Cell phones and Service Providers (carriers)

Message 6 of 19

I have used T-Mobile (myself) and AT&T (my wife) for the last several years.  To reduce cost without affecting the provided service, we switched my wife from AT&T to Republic Wireless.  We did this mainly because AT&T did not work very well inside of our house and AT&T would do nothing about it after repeated request from us to AT&T about the problem.  AT&T had a solution to our problem (in house wireless hot spot device) but would not provide us this solution without cost (as they did provide it without cost to our neighbor).  So we switched to Republic and we are very glad that we did as it has worked perfectly for us inside of our house as well as outside (Florida, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina).  Below is what we did.

Purchased a Republic Wireless Moto G with 16MB storage in early June 2014. Works great! Ported (transferred) my existing AT&T cell phone number last week. Took only two days for the port to complete, both Voice and Data. Great service in my house via my existing WIFI. Great service not on WIFI also for Voice and Messaging in my area (Orlando, FL). Bluetooth also works great with my Chrysler Uconnect to answer incoming calls and initiate outgoing calls.

If you want to go with Republic, use the below code and receive a $20.00 credit on your monthly bill.

I also get a $20.00 credit on my monthly bill if you use the above link, so please consider using it as it is an advantage for both of us. If you will, let me know that you use the link please.

Republic has three different calling plans as follows.
A $5.00 per month for unlimited Voice, Messaging and Data on WIFI only.
A $10.00 per month plan for unlimited Voice, Messaging and Data on WIFI and unlimited Voice and Messaging while not on WIFI.
A$ 20.00 per month plan for unlimited Voice, Messaging, and Data while on WIFI and while not on WIFI.
While not on WIFI, the phone uses Sprint, so check you Spring coverage in your area to make sure you will have service when not on WIFI.

I use the $10.00 per month plan.

If you have any questions or problems relating to the above link, please let me know. If you have questions regarding Republic Wireless or the Motorola Moto G, please ask.

Again phone is great.


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Trusted Social Butterfly

Re: Cell phones and Service Providers (carriers)

Message 7 of 19
If I'm actually reading the original question correctty of cellphone calls over wifi I think the only one offering it now is either tmobile or Verizon.

I read an. Article in a telco mag and said that's nice next can't keep up on everything - I age.

What I do remember is ATT and others. Will be doing it within the upcoming months. And you do need to be in an accepted carrier and wifi area. Not all are created equal -

The really good news is the prime carrier tmobole or verizon I can't remember is now advertising the service, and the best news is it won't count as part of your regular cell calling charges.

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Re: Cell phones and Service Providers (carriers)

Message 8 of 19

Actually, anyone can make wifi "cellphone" calls using their microphone-capable laptops/PCs using Google Voice/Hangouts for free in or between the US and Canada.


Although I and my mother both belong to AARP now, we couldn't be more different in our use of technology. She has a land line, recently fell for a Consumer Cellular pitch for two(!) overpriced cheap flip phones and minutes that will expire before she ever uses them, and has no use for the internet. My first addiction to multiplayer computer games (lol) happened when I was a teenager, I've had a computer on my desk since 1985 - can't imagine life without one - and I haven't used a landline since the mid-1990s.


There's really no "best" cellphone plan. My "best" plan has varied over the years depending on who needs to be on the plan and what their needs are.  I suspect we're at the high water point of our lives on this with kids in college still on our plan with unlimited everything per person (including unlimited high-speed data on the device, and unlimited fast-to-4-gigs for tethered devices - even we haven't hit that limit yet) via T-Mobile. We'd be fine with limits on minutes because we seldom use the phone calling feature.  But we would die with limits on data. 

And then, there's my mom Smiley Happy


In summary, there's no such thing as a "best" plan for everyone, and there's no such thing as a "best" plan for ourselves throughout our own lives, either.  My advice is to not get locked into contracts (this can be done - I've never had a contract, and have always had post-paid plans and bought my own phones), and review plans and needs when circumstances change.


Don't travel much? A regional plan and a burner phone when out of town might do ya. Travel a lot? Consider a national plan. Foreign travel? Consider staying away from the CDMA providers (Sprint, Verizon) and purchase a multi-band phone for the T-Mobile- or AT&T-type networks that you can use on your travels by purchasing a SIM in the appropriate country.

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Valued Social Butterfly

Re: Cell phones and Service Providers (carriers)

Message 9 of 19

We were originally going to use our cell phones and get rid of our landline phones except there was one small problem.


No matter what make of cell phone we've matter who our service provider was........ we received excellent reception, even in the middle of a National Park forest......... except in one place.....our HOME.


Verizon couldn't figure it out, they said there were 5 towers near my house, they blamed it on the trees around my house. Alltel had no reason. And with Consumer Cellular, I just expected it. When people come to our house, they get no reception either.


In speaking with other folks, I have found that a lot of people have cell phone reception problems in and around their home. I wonder why?

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Frequent Social Butterfly

Re: Cell phones and Service Providers (carriers)

Message 10 of 19

T-Mobile has a great global roaming policy for you world travelers. I don't know of anyone who can match them. That's why I stay with them, because I can use my phone in Beijing or Paris and not worry about how much it's costing me to call back to the USA.

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