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Thread: Need advice on where I should move

  1. #1
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    Need advice on where I should move

    I am wanting to change from a small flip phone to a smart phone with data. I am on disability following a horrific accident last year so I must keep control of my expenses. I am currently on US Cellular. After being on suspension since the accident my service was restored as I have used the maximum suspension time. My first bill came in at $97. This was outrageous to me because the phone had not been on or used and is one a 450 minute plan. After much conversation it was reduced to $50. US Cellular tells me a smart phone with data will cost $40 monthly line fee, $60 data fee (limited of course), and of course cost of phone. That's $100 and nuts. I checked with Verizon and got similar numbers. Oh, I forgot to add the monthly charge to buy the phone on top of this.

    I live in Iowa which is mostly rural. Right from the top I will not go to a GSM provider. I have dealt will at&t here before. My girlfriend is on iwireless which uses t-mobile and at&t towers. She constantly drops calls especially when traveling. Talk 5 minutes, drive for 20 minutes trying to get a signal, talk 5 more minutes, repeat. When I was working it was for a road construction company that work all over the state. We dropped at&t for the same reason. Not enough towers and what towers there are have limited range. I've never had that problem with US Cellular or Verizon. They are both CDMA providers. There are plenty of towers and those all seem to have much higher range plus their signal penetrates buildings better.

    I'm looking at going MNVO such as Straight Talk or Net10. Both offer GSM or CDMA depending on phone you purchase. For $45 or $50 a month without a contact you get unlimited talk, unlimited text, and unlimited data with up to 3gb high speed before being throttled. The big boys have plans at same price but throttled to 1x after only 500 mb (0.5 GB). So you get 6 times more high speed on Straight Talk!! And the price is what I expect in the $45 to $50 range but not some little flip phone but a smartphone with everything including data. Not $100 out more but half that.

    I haven't switch yet. I am looking for advice on which service I should try. I'd stay with US Cellular if they could match Straight Talk which it appears they won't. The GSM route from my experience only works if you live in an area with a million users and a gazillion towers.

    Last item is I would like a phone like the Samsun Mega 4. Large screen. Don't even suggest an iPhone. My boss has had several and they are nothing but trouble and junk plus Apple is as closed an eco system as there is. Even Windows phone is a little more open, well not much.

    Ok, let the rush begin to tell me how nuts I am, how superior GSM is (not out here in the great wilderness that isn't New York City or Loss Angeles), and how Apple is saving the world with their extremely overpriced iPhone. I know what I can afford and I know what works where I live.

    Let the flames begin.
    Michael

    via the HoFo App

  2. #2
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    The huge numbers of answers, exactly none, tell me that looking for help here was an exercise in futility or that everyone who reads this are a) AT&T addicts and/or b)lovers of GSM. Oh well thanks for nothing.

    via the HoFo App

  3. #3
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    I'm betting not many users saw your post, but it's tricky to advise you since for the money... Well, the only CDMA carrier that is slightly affordable would be a Sprint mvno (or getting in on a Sprint framily, which by the way people are looking for members in the HoFo Sprint forum).

    USCC and Verizon are going to cost. You might try Verizon prepaid but their phone selection isn't stunning. Plus for lower priced service you'll only be able to use a 3G phone. That strikes the Mega (and almost any other cool phone) off the menu.

    Why not look into the PagePlus forum and read up on the plans and phones, and Selectel. There's also postpaid Verizon which they do have a lower priced plan now but if you go over your data they'll charge you a fortune. But you could use a good 4G LTE phone with that.
    So these are just some ideas. As you can see I don't have anything to suggest that fits all your criteria.

    Edit to add: You mention Straight Talk but with Verizon the phone selection isn't going to be very good.
    Last edited by futurephone; 06-23-2014 at 10:53 PM.

  4. #4
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    To be honest, I saw your original post but decided not to reply because your post came across as belligerent -- it didn't really inspire me to want to send time to respond. (I am not trying to be a jerk -- just saying that you catch more flies with honey). However to prove that even us "GSM addicts/lovers" can try to be helpful...

    If you are looking for a cheaper CDMA option, then I second the suggestion about looking into Page Plus. They have comparable plans to the GSM MVNOs (though a little bit more expensive, though you get wider coverage). For instance, PP offers a $55/month plan with unlimited talk and text and 3GB data. (They offer, of course, cheaper and more expensive plans too.)

    If you are truly concerned about coverage, you should also consider Selectel, which is also a Verizon MVNO. They have similar plans to PP, but they also include free voice roaming -- comparable to Verizon postpaid coverage.

    To learn more about these MVNOs (in addition to exploring the forums here), you can also check out this website, which I find very helpful:

    http://www.prepaidphonenews.com/2011...and-plans.html

    Good luck! I hope you find a service and plan that works well for your needs.

    Sent from my XT1053 using the HoFo app

  5. #5
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    It was the wall of text that dissuaded me from reading the OP.

    Imo people should concisely state their comments, concerns, questions etc.?

    It's a regional thing mostly here in the US.
    As a US citizen I have the right to criticize my government. My thanks for this is endless in magnitude. I fear fascism is here in the US. [fascism: government led by a dictator having complete power, forcibly suppressing opposition & criticism, regimenting all industry, commerce, etc., & emphasizing an aggressive nationalism & often racism]

    Red Pocket (AT&T) $255yr UTnT 3GB
    AirVoice (AT&T) $20mo UTnT 50MB
    T-Mo Gold Rewards $10yr exp ext
    Tello (Sprint) $5 1+call/3mo=no exp x2

  6. #6
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    Thanks to all of you that answered including future phone, mmoose, and zapjb. I did not intend to sound belligerent. I was trying to be honest as to what I am looking for and why the more expensive plans are difficult given where I am financially. My experience with both AT&T and GSM in general have influenced my opinion of both I am afraid. I will look again at Page Plus and I h had not heard of Selectel. My girlfriend is on Iowa Wireless which uses T Mobile and AT&T towers. She works road construction as I once did and hope to again. If she is in motion we can talk for about 5 minutes then I wait for her to get in range of another tower. These are the things that get me about GSM. My phone right now is USCc and my work phone (yes they still let me use it for now) is Verizon and both work almost everywhere with excellent signals and no drop outs. So I am biased toward CDMA.

    Again I guess I got carried away with my original post but I thank all of you for taking time to read my opus magus and replying. I greatly appreciate it and value what you have told me!!!
    Michael

    via the HoFo App

  7. #7
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    After reading your most recent post and then re-reading your original post, I can now see how you weren't trying to be belligerent -- just extremely frustrated.

    As a previous poster suggested, you should get good feedback if you post directly in the specific MVNO forums. Good luck to you again! (Maybe you can give an update in a month or two after you decide what to do.)

    Sent from my XT1053 using the HoFo app

  8. #8
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    I'm kind of with mmoose here. You've placed so many qualifications and restrictions on your request that you may be asking the impossible. It reminds me of a sign we had where I used to work, "Our work is fast, cheap and good: pick any two." When you restrict yourself to CDMA carriers, that's Verizon, US Cellular and Sprint. Verizon is the high-priced brand in wireless. I don't know US Cellular but you seem to have plenty of information about them already. Sprint's native coverage is pretty bad but they roam other CDMA carriers.

    Only possible option might be Republic Wireless. They are cheap but they require that you use WiFi for most of your calls and data. They do have data roaming on Sprint and voice-only roaming on Verizon, so you don't go without service, but be warned that Sprint's data coverage is not great and many people find it slow.
    Donald Newcomb

  9. #9
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    If you found i-wireless and AT&T to be lacking, I can not recommend Sprint and their MVNO's as Sprint's coverage is worse than both of them in Iowa.

    Your best bet would be to go with verizon prepaid which gives you access to Verizon's LTE network (starting July 17th). It is $45/month for unlimited calling and texting as well as 500mb of data (you can pay for more if you need).
    I would recommend buying a phone off of ebay or craigslist (make sure it is a clean ESN) as you could get something like the Note 3 for ~$350-$400 vs the $700+ from Verizon.

  10. #10
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    I have had great coverage with Total Wireless, a Verizon MVNO. Great prices and good phone selection - including a new iPhone 5s for $149.00
    No coverage in off network areas, unfortunately. Page plus allows calling in Verizon roaming areas,however.

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