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Thread: List of GSM prepaid/mvno providers with long expiration?

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    List of GSM prepaid/mvno providers with long expiration?

    Currently I'm using Lycamobile together with Google Voice. On Wi-Fi I use Spare Phone to make free calls, and take advantage of free incoming texts to get transcribed voicemail texts while away from Wi-Fi. I do my best not to use minutes and have been able to stretch my first $10 on Lyca for the last 8 months. It's nice not having a phone bill, but the Lyca service area is poor.

    So, price aside, what are the alternative long expiration plans from other GSM providers? I now Airvoice has their $10/90 day plan, AT&T have a 365 day expiration on their GoPhone with a $100 top up, but I am unclear how that works(can someone explain?).
    Are there others I should consider?

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    How much do you want to spend? T-Mobile Pay Per Day pushes your expiration out to 3 months whenever you use it, but it's a minimum of $2/day per use.

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    Tmobile prepaid with Gold rewards requires just $10 a year

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    Quote Originally Posted by cyberoam View Post
    Tmobile prepaid with Gold rewards requires just $10 a year
    You have to first get to gold rewards which requires $100. Then it's $10/year.
    MOBILE HISTORY:
    TM
    * 16: Moto X Pure 64GB Black
    TM, Telcel, ATT
    * 15: Note 3, ZE600, 2720
    * 14: Galaxy Avant, Z600
    Sprint/ATT
    * 12: GS3, 2720
    Nextel/Boost/ATT
    * 10: BB8350i, 2720
    * 09: i9, BB7520
    * 08: Tilt, i450
    * 07: W810i, A707, 8125, BlackJack
    * 06: L6, Z520, 6682
    VZ/TM/ATT
    * 05: 7135, i600, V551, 6230, 6620, Z600
    * 04: V300, T610, 6035, 3390
    * 03: T720C
    * 02: Advx CDM4000, 9000, 9155GPX, Thera

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    Quote Originally Posted by ryboto View Post
    So, price aside, what are the alternative long expiration plans from other GSM providers? I now Airvoice has their $10/90 day plan, AT&T have a 365 day expiration on their GoPhone with a $100 top up, but I am unclear how that works(can someone explain?).
    Are there others I should consider?
    Well, if you're on a AT&T "pay as you go" plan, you pay $100 and your renewal date is pushed out 365 days. Could you elaborate on what's unclear? You could also get a Red Pocket for 365 days for $100. Tracfone also offers a year for $99. Lycamobile and T-Mobile runn off the same towers, so that you'll get the same service from them
    There's also a $50 for 6 months deal but I forget who.

    The CDMA players are competitive - Verizon offers year for $100, Page Plus offers a year for $80, Virgin offers a year for $90.

    Regards, FJ

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    I don't think it gets much better than Lyca for absolute rock-bottom, low-usage prices.

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    H2O Wireless (AT&T) also has a $10/90 day plan. It's 5c/min, so it's half the price of Airvoice. So you're looking at a minimum of $40/year.

    Selectel Wireless (Verizon) has a $75 yearly plan that includes 2,000 minutes and 1,000 texts. You can add a $10 flex card to charge data (5c/mb).
    Carriers I've used: Sprint, T-Mobile, Cricket, AT&T, Verizon, Page Plus, Virgin Mobile, Movistar, AT&T Mexico, Telcel, Straight Talk, RingPlus.
    Phones I've used: iPhone 6S, iPhone 5c, HTC One M9, Samsung Galaxy S3, LG G2, BlackBerry Storm, Nokia 820, Motorola Atrix HD, iPhone 4S, HTC One V, iPhone 4, Nokia Lumia 900, Nokia N9, Samsung Focus, Samsung Captivate, Nokia N900, HTC 8525, iPhone 3GS, iPhone, Nokia E61i, Siemens A56...

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    I guess Ringplus has their free phone service if you can abide by their promotion rules.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rafster View Post
    You have to first get to gold rewards which requires $100. Then it's $10/year.
    Does T-Mobile prepaid roam on AT&T?

    Quote Originally Posted by Frontierjustice View Post
    Well, if you're on a AT&T "pay as you go" plan, you pay $100 and your renewal date is pushed out 365 days. Could you elaborate on what's unclear? You could also get a Red Pocket for 365 days for $100. Tracfone also offers a year for $99. Lycamobile and T-Mobile runn off the same towers, so that you'll get the same service from them
    There's also a $50 for 6 months deal but I forget who.

    The CDMA players are competitive - Verizon offers year for $100, Page Plus offers a year for $80, Virgin offers a year for $90.

    Regards, FJ
    I only have GSM devices, and don't want to buy anything new...plus no new phones tempt me enough to spend the money.

    My confusion with AT&T GoPhone service is that I'm not sure what the cost is to setup the line. Beyond that I see where you can buy the $100 cards. As far as coverage area goes, this would probably be the best? What about Truphone?

    Is Red Pocket AT&T or T-Mobile?

    What network does Tracfone use, and can I simply buy a SIM for use in my quadband phone?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ryboto View Post
    Does T-Mobile prepaid roam on AT&T?
    In some areas, yes. In some areas, no. GSM providers are strange when it comes to roaming agreements vs. CDMA providers. While Sprint will seamlessly roam everywhere that their roaming partner has coverage, GSM providers base roaming agreements on an area by area basis. It's best to check T-Mobile's coverage map for everywhere you think you'll need coverage than to just assume it'll always roam onto AT&T.



    I only have GSM devices, and don't want to buy anything new...plus no new phones tempt me enough to spend the money.

    My confusion with AT&T GoPhone service is that I'm not sure what the cost is to setup the line. Beyond that I see where you can buy the $100 cards. As far as coverage area goes, this would probably be the best? What about Truphone?

    Is Red Pocket AT&T or T-Mobile?

    What network does Tracfone use, and can I simply buy a SIM for use in my quadband phone?
    Red Pocket is AT&T on the GSM side. Sprint on the CDMA side. TracFone could be either Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, or Sprint depending on which phone you have. I heard TracFone would begin selling SIMs soon for their BYOP service, but I'm unsure if they've started that yet.

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    I honestly just want a better service area. T-Mobile is great where I am, but when I travel to family, the service area is "partner coverage", so Lyca doesn't have access. ATT would be the most ideal, but I'd rather not spend the money on a $100 plan if I could avoid it.

    I guess I should have stated me needs. My Google Voice number is my primary number. I only need voice/text, but I try to never text or call using the network unless absolutely necessary or in an emergency. Otherwise I wifi call/text. The free incoming texts are great on Lyca because I can get GV voicemails transcribed and sent as texts. I can also have texts forwarded for road trips and decide to make a callback if necessary.

    Based on my needs, I am considering Truphone, assuming the expiration is the same as it used to be. Can anyone confirm this? The introductory $15 could last me a long time if the expiration rules are what they used to be.

    So, I'm considering T-mo prepaid, AT&T Gophone, or H2O for $100 365 day plans, or Truphone.

    As for the AT&T GoPhone 365 top up....I would have to at least buy the $25/month plan to start? Then if I immediately bought a $100 card, I'd have 1250 minutes, and unlimited texts?

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    Los Angeles Truphone??

    Quote Originally Posted by ryboto View Post
    Based on my needs, I am considering Truphone, assuming the expiration is the same as it used to be. Can anyone confirm this? The introductory $15 could last me a long time if the expiration rules are what they used to be.
    Use about every 90 days minimum to keep alive. They do use both T-Mobile and AT&T networks so they are covered. 2G only on AT&T: 2G &3G with T-Mobile. Just be aware of the costs. Long expiration and low usage would be OK with Truphone.

    If you are needing more GSM coverage than just AT&T and T-Mobile, ekit seems to have deals to use almost all GSM providers in the USA. More expensive to acquire and use than Truphone.
    [The cheapest way to get ekit is on ebay from their store. They seem to be changing some of the SIM, so make sure what you are getting is what you need/want.]

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    Quote Originally Posted by ryboto View Post
    1. Does T-Mobile prepaid roam on AT&T?
    2. I only have GSM devices, and don't want to buy anything new...plus no new phones tempt me enough to spend the money.
    3. My confusion with AT&T GoPhone service is that I'm not sure what the cost is to setup the line.
    4. As for the AT&T GoPhone 365 top up....I would have to at least buy the $25/month plan to start? Then if I immediately bought a $100 card, I'd have 1250 minutes, and unlimited texts?
    Okeh ...

    1. Yes and no. For example, my sister-in-law is from north central Wisconsin. The T-Mobile coverage map sez her hometown is 850 roaming and therefore, postpaid roaming is ok and prepaid roaming is not. Her prepaid T-Mobile phone works there anyhow.
    2. How do you feel about unlocking your current phone?
    3. AT&T GoPhone has never charged me for activating a line. Sometimes I get the SIM cards for free and sometimes I pay $1. Sometimes an independant dealer wants an "activation fee."
    4. Free texts? I thought you were talking about a year-expiry deal. And, yes, $125 at 10-cents a minute is 1250 minutes. I think texts are a dime ; multimedia messages are 25-cents.
    Regards, FJ

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    Quote Originally Posted by Frontierjustice View Post
    Okeh ...

    1. Yes and no. For example, my sister-in-law is from north central Wisconsin. The T-Mobile coverage map sez her hometown is 850 roaming and therefore, postpaid roaming is ok and prepaid roaming is not. Her prepaid T-Mobile phone works there anyhow.
    2. How do you feel about unlocking your current phone?
    3. AT&T GoPhone has never charged me for activating a line. Sometimes I get the SIM cards for free and sometimes I pay $1. Sometimes an independant dealer wants an "activation fee."
    4. Free texts? I thought you were talking about a year-expiry deal. And, yes, $125 at 10-cents a minute is 1250 minutes. I think texts are a dime ; multimedia messages are 25-cents.
    Regards, FJ
    See, this is my confusion with GoPhone. If I go by their website, it looks like i have to choose a $25/mo plan, and then top up with a $100 card...but the $25/mo plan says it has unlimited texting.

    My phone is an unlocked quad band gsm phone. I don't care about 3g or data because I always keep the data connection off.

    edit-
    Here's what I've come up with and how it compares to my current Lyca plan, assuming I send no outgoing texts using the wireless carrier and assuming a year of service-

    Lycamobile $10/year
    Cost/month: $0.83
    Minutes/month: 41.67

    Airvoice Pre-Pay $10/20/30
    Cost/month: $3.33/5/6
    Minutes/month: 23.33/42.5/54.00
    (would turn off incoming texts from GV)

    Truphone with $60 balance
    Cost/month: $5.00
    Minutes/month: 33.33

    H2O/Black Wireless Pre-pay $30/100
    Cost/month: $10/8.33
    Minutes/month: 200/166.67
    (would turn off incoming texts from GV)


    T-Mobile Prepaid/AT&T GoPhone $100(assuming I can activate both with the $100 option and nothing more)
    Cost/month: 8.33
    Minutes/month: 83.33
    (would turn off incoming texts from GV)

    Now, based on the fact that I want to improve my service area, I might not chose T-Mobile, unless it really would roam on AT&T in New England. If it did, it'd probably be the better option, unless AT&T also roams on T-mo...in which case it's a draw.

    H2O and Black have the same cost for service, but they'd be limited to just AT&T.

    Truphone would cost the most, but with free incoming texts I'd be able to keep the same type of activity I have now with Lyca, in addition to a best of both worlds service area.
    Last edited by ryboto; 02-16-2014 at 01:22 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ryboto View Post
    See, this is my confusion with GoPhone. If I go by their website, it looks like i have to choose a $25/mo plan, and then top up with a $100 card...but the $25/mo plan says it has unlimited texting.
    This tread is entitled "...long expiration." IMHO a 30-day plan is not "long expiration." If you choose a 30-day plan, you are on that plan until you choose to do something else. If you change to a 365-day plan, I do not think you will get "free texts."

    If you sign up for a 30-day plan, pay (say) $25 and then put a $100 card on your account, you will still be on a 30-day plan but have a large balance. Your 30-day plan may or may not renew from your balance. Maybe it will renew from your balance but you still have to pay something every 90 days or so.

    Even while you're on a 30-day plan, you'll want to maintain a small cash balance for things your plan doesn't cover. Eg. my plan doesn't include calls to Canada, ringtones or wallpaper.

    Regards, FJ

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