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Thread: Cheapest plan with unlimited "2G" data?

  1. #1
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    Cheapest plan with unlimited "2G" data?

    Right now I'm using a FreedomPOP SIM in the phone I use as a car navigation device, but what with the recent changes for free users, I'm thinking it might be wise to look at other options, even if paid. ;) Given how prevalent plans have become with some amount of "high speed" LTE data, then going to slower throttled data have become - I'm wondering if there's a cheap plan out there with minimal - or even no - LTE data, but with unlimited throttled data.

    I'd rather expect this wouldn't be something heavily promoted, and possibly rather obscure - that's why I'm asking. ;)

    Failing that - any really cheap plans with 500MB+/month? Best along those lines I've seen so far is a Red Pocket "any network" plan on eBay at $60 for a year of service with 100/100/500MB per month. (The phone I have on H2O PAYG is only $40/year, but data on that plan is 10 cents a megabyte - yeek!)

    Thanks in advance for any help/pointers!

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    How fast do you need the data to be?

    Tello (runs on sprint). You need the 200mb lte plan ($4 a month) and the 200 text plan ($2 a month) for a total of $6 a month. You need the texts as the min plan value must be $5. All data plans come with unlimited 64k data. Or you could just get the $8 data plan for 500mb lte and unlimited 2g after that.

    TPO (tmob or sprint) has the Admirable plan with 100mins/100texts/100mb lte and 64k unlimited data for $4.99 plus tax. If you need more calls and text you can get unlimited talk/text with the benevolent cordial plan for just $3 more.
    https://store.tpo.com/promos/welcome

    Black wireless has a data plus plan for $15. It has 200 min talk and text and 500mb lte with unlimited 128k data. ATT network.

    The Redpocket plan on ebay 100mins/100texts/500mb a month on any network for $60 a year is as cheap as you will get for 500mb with no unlimited data. Ebay regularly has $15 off $75 flash promos. Just add something else to fill up to $75. Missed one yesterday.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by jb82 View Post
    How fast do you need the data to be?
    To be honest - I don't know. I have noticed that even with fairly heavy use of the "navigation phone" I don't go through much of the data from the FreedomPop SIM - so even a 64kbit throttle probably wouldn't have a terrible impact on usability. (I suppose the only way to find out is to give it a try and see.) I'd probably be fine with a 500MB limit, but there's something about not having to think about a data limit on an "appliance" phone that appeals to me.

    TPO (tmob or sprint) has the Admirable plan with 100mins/100texts/100mb lte and 64k unlimited data for $4.99 plus tax. If you need more calls and text you can get unlimited talk/text with the benevolent cordial plan for just $3 more.
    https://store.tpo.com/promos/welcome
    Since the phone I'm using for navigation is an unlocked GSM device (from when AT&T was generous with unlocking GoPhones ;) this sounds good. (Calls and texts are unlikely to be used from this phone - but it's nice to have some in case of emergency if my regular phone is out of commission for some reason.) I did kind of figure that there would be a "floor" near $5/month where going below that gets to be too little to profitably bother with.

    The Redpocket plan on ebay 100mins/100texts/500mb a month on any network for $60 a year is as cheap as you will get for 500mb with no unlimited data. Ebay regularly has $15 off $75 flash promos. Just add something else to fill up to $75. Missed one yesterday.
    I ran across this myself, but as I said - I was interested in throttled unlimited. I could see this for an emergency/low usage phone one only had to attend to (other than charging, of course) once a year.

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    TextNow supposedly has unlimited 2g data, but subject to their fair use policy https://www.textnow.com/fairUse
    cheapest plan is $14

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    Use tello, 6 bucks a month, great service, unlimited 2g.

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    Pure Talk, $10/mo?

    Sent from my 6045O using Tapatalk

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    Los Angeles

    Quote Originally Posted by Furr View Post
    Right now I'm using a FreedomPOP SIM in the phone I use as a car navigation device, but what with the recent changes for free users, I'm thinking it might be wise to look at other options, even if paid.
    "Free is a very good price," said the TV pitchman in Portland, OR for decades.
    Are you getting anywhere close to using 500MB a month?
    If so get another FP SIM and swap halfway through the month.

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    What network do you prefer to use? That could determine a lot. With AT&T shutting down their 2G network, and with Verizon working to shut down their 3G network, your options long term may be limited. You may look for a family plan where you can add a second line for cheap and see it that works as well.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by J Wireless View Post
    What network do you prefer to use? That could determine a lot. With AT&T shutting down their 2G network, and with Verizon working to shut down their 3G network, your options long term may be limited. You may look for a family plan where you can add a second line for cheap and see it that works as well.
    The "throttled 2G speed" can/will remain after the 2G networks are gone.

    Sent from my Z982 using HoFo mobile app

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by J Wireless View Post
    What network do you prefer to use? That could determine a lot. With AT&T shutting down their 2G network, and with Verizon working to shut down their 3G network, your options long term may be limited. You may look for a family plan where you can add a second line for cheap and see it that works as well.
    I put "2G" in quotes because it's 2G-ish data speed (often 64kbps, though I've seen both 128kbps and - yikes! - 32kbps), throttled down over LTE or 3G, whatever is applicable.

    As for networks - the phones I have available for this are GSM - mostly unlocked, though I do have a couple GoPhones I bought before getting the news that AT&T had ended the unlocking gravy train.
    Last edited by Furr; 10-02-2017 at 04:22 AM.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by rfranzq View Post
    "Free is a very good price," said the TV pitchman in Portland, OR for decades.
    Are you getting anywhere close to using 500MB a month?
    If so get another FP SIM and swap halfway through the month.
    I'm not - but I recently got a nifty new phone to play with - billed as the smallest LTE smartphone out there - and it's a dual-SIM phone; I have a FreedomPop SIM in the LTE-capable slot and a Lycamobile PAYG SIM in the 2G slot so I have both LTE data and "real" voice/text services (as long as T-mo keeps their 2G running) instead of FPop's VoIP. That means I have a couple phones without SIM cards now and I thought it would be interesting to explore some other inexpensive options. And as I suggested, some of the changes recently at FreedomPop - like not allowing anyone to send data to an account that's maxed out on "Freedom Friends" - has me concerned where they might be going for free users... another reason to explore some options I hadn't considered before.


    By the way, to the people who suggested Tello - thanks, but I don't have a spare Sprint-compatible phone handy. I have one I use through Ting, but that's my main phone and I'm not going to change that for now. I know I could grab something like the Moto E4 from Amazon, but spending $99 for a new phone kinda cuts against exploring penny-pinching options - and as I said above, I have several SIM-less GSM phones on hand already.

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    I don't get it.

    "the phone I use as a car navigation device"

    There are GPS apps that download the maps to your phone over WiFi, so you use no data at all. I have NavFree on my tablet that doesn't even have a cell radio.

    Or you can spend about $60 on a refurbished standalone GPS unit that comes with free map updates.

    Why do you need data at all?

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by eggsalad View Post
    I don't get it.

    "the phone I use as a car navigation device"

    There are GPS apps that download the maps to your phone over WiFi, so you use no data at all. I have NavFree on my tablet that doesn't even have a cell radio.

    Or you can spend about $60 on a refurbished standalone GPS unit that comes with free map updates.

    Why do you need data at all?
    While this is rather off topic - WAZE. You may live somewhere this would be less useful, but here in the Los Angeles area its ability to "watch" live traffic and re-route around snarls is very valuable to me - and only works with data access.

    Also, I tend to like redundancy in certain areas; in a worst-case scenario, having a second phone in the car doubles the chances there's one still working and within reach I could use to make an emergency call.

  14. #14
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    A small update for anyone interested - I got my TPO SIM the other day and set it up on the Admirable plan. I used Speedtest to burn through the 100MB of LTE data, and then discovered that while they say the unlimited "2G" data is provided at 64kbps - I was seeing 128kbps. Nice!

    I haven't taken an extensive trip, but just driving around the area near my home, Waze was perfectly responsive - even when I missed a turn and it had to recalculate. I even did my initial trip setup after I got to my car, so my home WiFi was unavailable; while some of that did seem a bit slower - it wasn't to the point of being annoyingly so.

    Obviously my opinion might change if something crops up and YMMV - but at this point I'm thinking that this will work great for this purpose.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Furr View Post
    While this is rather off topic - WAZE. You may live somewhere this would be less useful, but here in the Los Angeles area its ability to "watch" live traffic and re-route around snarls is very valuable to me - and only works with data access.

    Also, I tend to like redundancy in certain areas; in a worst-case scenario, having a second phone in the car doubles the chances there's one still working and within reach I could use to make an emergency call.
    My SO uses Android Auto. It automatically navigates around snarls. In SoCal as well.

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