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Thread: Keeping Old Nation Plans?

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    Keeping Old Nation Plans?

    I have an old line on a legacy Cingular Nation plan. It cost about $41 after tax and it has only a few hundred minutes and some special nights and weekends. I'm thinking about switching it to the AT&T prepaid plan of $25 with unlimited talking on autopay. The line is used 99% of time in a city where AT&T coverage is good.

    Supposedly, I could get a contract phone for 2 years at a discount but none of the AT&T phones interest me or the line owner.

    It's on an old flip phone now but the line in the future might be going to be on a cheap smartphone. The agent said if I switched to a smartphone, I'll need to add a smartphone data plan which will raise the price way above $41.

    I was looking through the feature list and it has something called "Data Unlimited for Basic Phones" for about $15. I think it was called MediaNet back then. Is this worth anything? I found something in the forums about tethering but I also found something about this isn't allowed.

    Is there any reason I shouldn't switch? Is this plan worth keeping for anything?

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    Quote Originally Posted by aspen4844 View Post
    I have an old line on a legacy Cingular Nation plan. It cost about $41 after tax and it has only a few hundred minutes and some special nights and weekends. I'm thinking about switching it to the AT&T prepaid plan of $25 with unlimited talking on autopay. The line is used 99% of time in a city where AT&T coverage is good.

    Supposedly, I could get a contract phone for 2 years at a discount but none of the AT&T phones interest me or the line owner.

    It's on an old flip phone now but the line in the future might be going to be on a cheap smartphone. The agent said if I switched to a smartphone, I'll need to add a smartphone data plan which will raise the price way above $41.

    I was looking through the feature list and it has something called "Data Unlimited for Basic Phones" for about $15. I think it was called MediaNet back then. Is this worth anything? I found something in the forums about tethering but I also found something about this isn't allowed.

    Is there any reason I shouldn't switch? Is this plan worth keeping for anything?
    If you are more brave than others, you could add the $15 data plan to any unlocked and non-AT&T branded smartphone device (except iPhone devices) to get unlimited data for the phone. In theory, tethering would work as well. Of course, all of this is against the Terms and Conditions and AT&T could cancel your service (with notice) or move you to an appropriate plan.

    If you want to save some cash, move your number to Cricket. They have a $30 per month plan (taxes and fees included) that includes unlimited talk, text, and 2GB of high-speed data. Cricket is owned by AT&T and your coverage will be extremely similar to what you experience today.

    Or, if you are like me and really like tech and can deal with some hiccups, move your number to Google Voice for a one time $20 fee. Activate a $10 per month 2GB Simple Choice North America Mobile Internet plan through T-Mobile. The SIM will work in any smart device you choose and after your number is ported to Google, you can link your Google Voice number to your T-Mobile Mobile Internet phone number by going to the Google Play store and downloading the Google Voice, Hangouts, and Hangouts Dialer apps. If T-Mobile asks what device you will use with the plan, let them know you just need a data only SIM for a data device.

    You will be able to call and text using your Google Voice number and you will have coverage anywhere you have WiFi or a cellular data connection. For emergency calling, always use your phone dialer as Google Voice does not support 911 or emergency calling. But, for $11.16 per month per line (that's with taxes/fees) for unlimited talk, text, and 2GB of high-speed data with Music Freedom, Global Coverage, and tethering included, that's a great value to deal with some headaches.

    If the T-Mobile 2GB Simple Choice North America Mobile Internet plan is too complicated, you could port your AT&T number directly with T-Mobile and go with the $10 Simple Choice North America for Wearables Unlimited Talk, Text, and 500MB of high-speed data plan. You can use this plan with any device as well, however, T-Mobile could block "non-wearable" devices in the future. But, if you want to activate this plan, tell T-Mobile you have a Wearable device that is compatible with the network and when the SIM is activated, place the SIM in any smartphone and you are good to go. No Google Voice porting required (unless you want those features).

    The reason I like the Google Voice and T-Mobile Mobile Internet combo is due to price and flexibility. If another carrier offers a better deal, I can cancel my T-Mobile Mobile Internet line and get a SIM and plan somewhere else. After popping in the new SIM into the device with that SIMs phone number, service just works. You don't have to worry about porting your number to another carrier again and you get so many great features with Google Voice.

    Anyway, sorry for my novel or for wasting anyone's time. I like to save others money, if at all possible. But, in my opinion, you are paying too much and there is no reason to keep your current plan, other than to help AT&T with their bottom line.
    Last edited by schippma; 10-17-2018 at 11:32 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by schippma View Post
    If you are more brave than others, you could add the $15 data plan to any unlocked and non-AT&T branded smartphone device (except iPhone devices) to get unlimited data for the phone. In theory, tethering would work as well. Of course, all of this is against the Terms and Conditions and AT&T could cancel your service (with notice) or move you to an appropriate plan.

    If you want to save some cash, move your number to Cricket. They have a $30 per month plan (taxes and fees included) that includes unlimited talk, text, and 2GB of high-speed data. Cricket is owned by AT&T and your coverage will be extremely similar to what you experience today.

    Or, if you are like me and really like tech and can deal with some hiccups, move your number to Google Voice for a one time $20 fee. Activate a $10 per month 2GB Simple Choice North America Mobile Internet plan through T-Mobile. The SIM will work in any smart device you choose and after your number is ported to Google, you can link your Google Voice number to your T-Mobile Mobile Internet phone number by going to the Google Play store and downloading the Google Voice, Hangouts, and Hangouts Dialer apps. If T-Mobile asks what device you will use with the plan, let them know you just need a data only SIM for a data device.

    You will be able to call and text using your Google Voice number and you will have coverage anywhere you have WiFi or a cellular data connection. For emergency calling, always use your phone dialer as Google Voice does not support 911 or emergency calling. But, for $11.16 per month per line (that's with taxes/fees) for unlimited talk, text, and 2GB of high-speed data with Music Freedom, Global Coverage, and tethering included, that's a great value to deal with some headaches.

    If the T-Mobile 2GB Simple Choice North America Mobile Internet plan is too complicated, you could port your AT&T number directly with T-Mobile and go with the $10 Simple Choice North America for Wearables Unlimited Talk, Text, and 500MB of high-speed data plan. You can use this plan with any device as well, however, T-Mobile could block "non-wearable" devices in the future. But, if you want to activate this plan, tell T-Mobile you have a Wearable device that is compatible with the network and when the SIM is activated, place the SIM in any smartphone and you are good to go. No Google Voice porting required (unless you want those features).

    The reason I like the Google Voice and T-Mobile Mobile Internet combo is due to price and flexibility. If another carrier offers a better deal, I can cancel my T-Mobile Mobile Internet line and get a SIM and plan somewhere else. After popping in the new SIM into the device with that SIMs phone number, service just works. You don't have to worry about porting your number to another carrier again and you get so many great features with Google Voice.

    Anyway, sorry for my novel or for wasting anyone's time. I like to save others money, if at all possible. But, in my opinion, you are paying too much and there is no reason to keep your current plan, other than to help AT&T with their bottom line.
    Thank you for the details. I'm getting out from this plan.

    The Google Voice plan sounds appealing but I'm going to need to research it more. But, I'm not comfortable with sending Google having all my phone call data. What is a reasonably priced alternative to Google?

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    Quote Originally Posted by aspen4844 View Post
    Thank you for the details. I'm getting out from this plan.

    The Google Voice plan sounds appealing but I'm going to need to research it more. But, I'm not comfortable with sending Google having all my phone call data. What is a reasonably priced alternative to Google?
    If you want a cheap plan, I would activate a "Wearable" plan through T-Mobile for $10. The worst T-Mobile would do is block the SIM until it is placed into an eligible device. I have this plan currently and have experienced zero issues for over a year in a T-Mobile branded LG V30.

    Cricket Wireless is only $30 for 2GB of data. If AT&T works for you, that's your best bet to get similar coverage as you experience today.

    I love Google Voice personally and is the cheapest option using the methods outlined above. I have 20 lines of service in my name through either T-Mobile or AT&T for various family members and their needs. Some lines are on the T-Mobile Simple Choice North America 2GB MI plan while others are on the T-Mobile Simple Choice North America for Wearables with Separate Number, each plan is only $10. I also have some hotspot plans through AT&T. I haven't been on a "traditional" cellular plan in over 5 years.

    Whatever you decide, be comfortable with your decision. I am glad I could help guide you into looking at some cheaper options that will give you more bang for your buck.

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    If you only use a few hundred minutes, and Wi-Fi for data, the Tracfone BYOP and/or Page Plus plans are really the way to go. I wouldn't use a wearable plan for my primary phone, it's just a hassle that won't save you much.

    With Tracfone you basically can choose which network you want - as Tracfone conveniently is the only prepaid provider with contracts on all four carriers (and by convenient, I mean a different word!)

    Regardless, I would do a Tracfone BYOP on either AT&T or Verizon networks and bring your own smartphone. For cheap devices, I recommend either the Moto G5 Plus (discontinued but excellent - upgrading to Oreo) or Moto E4 or E5.

    Then you can load 1200 minutes or so on a 1 year plan, and just reload as needed. You might even get it down to $10/month on a fully compatible/supported plan, depending on data use.

    If your data use increases, then you can just switch to Straight Talk, also conveniently owned by Tracfone.
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    Quote Originally Posted by hatoncat View Post
    If you only use a few hundred minutes, and Wi-Fi for data, the Tracfone BYOP and/or Page Plus plans are really the way to go. I wouldn't use a wearable plan for my primary phone, it's just a hassle that won't save you much.
    To be honest, I would not trust TracFone (or any of their brands) with my cellular number. Their customer service is horrible and good luck trying to port your number out from them, let alone if you have issues with a port in request.

    Using a Wearable line, at least with T-Mobile, is like using any other regular cell line. The only difference between a Wearable line and regular cellular line is how T-Mobile bills and codes the plan. The Wearable line SIM works in any device and data is slowed to 2G speeds after 500MB. But the plan includes Music Freedom and Global Coverage. This plan is only $10 per month plus taxes/fees which will provide more bang for the buck than any TracFone plan.

    Yes, it is possible T-Mobile could block the Wearable plans from being used in non-wearable devices down the road. However, T-Mobile would not cancel the line, they would suspend service to the line until the SIM is placed into an eligible Wearable device. I can confirm this plan works perfectly fine with any cellular device and has worked perfectly fine for the past year without any issues.

    Just my opinion and real world observations.

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    Yeah Cricket is definitely a better value than what your paying now. I’m thinking of moving over there myself.
    Hartford, CT Area

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    Quote Originally Posted by schippma View Post
    To be honest, I would not trust TracFone (or any of their brands) with my cellular number. Their customer service is horrible and good luck trying to port your number out from them, let alone if you have issues with a port in request.

    Just my opinion and real world observations.
    Having used Page Plus for years since it was acquired - while I too had reservations about that arrangement - I've never had a lost number or had a billing error.

    The only key with Tracfone is paying your bill (refilling airtime) when it comes due, benefiting from the ability to rollover unused airtime balances. If you let a phone lapse for more than a month with an expired balance, you can lose your number.

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    I'm not interested in the phones AT&T sells but to understand all the options, is there any financial reason to keep this plan on a 2 year contract with a $450 subsidiary? Even if I use the phone in another service.

    I'm researching carriers and I don't really like any of them. My first priority is keeping the phone number alive. I like the idea of having one place to keep the number and not having to depend on any of the carriers and never needing to port. Is there a Google Voice option without Google? Who else offers similar features to Google Voice?

    What options are there for the occasional international travel? The Nation Plan has (a very expensive) international roaming option for those once a year trips.

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    Quote Originally Posted by aspen4844 View Post
    What options are there for the occasional international travel? The Nation Plan has (a very expensive) international roaming option for those once a year trips.
    Correct. Those grandfathered plans are not eligible for the newer international plans. Only current plans offer the newer international discounted plans.
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    Since you are just using a flip phone for now, you could get the $20/mo unlimited talk/text plan from H2O Wireless. It also includes 500 MB of data (1GB for 1st 3 months promotion). You could put a smartphone on that, but when you want more data in the future, Cricket would be a good choice.

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    Quote Originally Posted by aspen4844 View Post
    I'm not interested in the phones AT&T sells but to understand all the options, is there any financial reason to keep this plan on a 2 year contract with a $450 subsidiary? Even if I use the phone in another service.
    The only reason why you would keep the Nation plan is because you talk a lot or don't really care for data. If you plan on using a phone on another service then there's no point in even keeping the Nation plan, you are better off just porting out to another service for slightly more and not bother paying for two services.

    I'm researching carriers and I don't really like any of them. My first priority is keeping the phone number alive. I like the idea of having one place to keep the number and not having to depend on any of the carriers and never needing to port. Is there a Google Voice option without Google? Who else offers similar features to Google Voice?
    The only way to keep your number is to keep it on the Nation plan or port out to somewhere so you can "park it" without paying a lot for something you won't use. Even if you found something like Google Voice, without the Google part, you will still have to port out your number anyways if you simply wanted to keep the mobile number. If you aren't willing to port out your mobile number then you will not be able to take advantage of whatever services you may find, your mobile number has to go somewhere, even if it means moving a third party service.

    The only way NOT to move your number out and simply keep you number is to suspend it, but I would ask AT&T to see if they can do this and find out more details.

    What options are there for the occasional international travel? The Nation Plan has (a very expensive) international roaming option for those once a year trips.
    Likely just Passport or PPU for international roaming.
    The Nation plans were great for talking, but other than that not much..
    That's why I got rid of the Nation 450 plan.

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    Ok, I'm out from the Nation Plan.

    Quote Originally Posted by i0wnj00 View Post
    The only reason why you would keep the Nation plan is because you talk a lot or don't really care for data. If you plan on using a phone on another service then there's no point in even keeping the Nation plan, you are better off just porting out to another service for slightly more and not bother paying for two services.

    The only way to keep your number is to keep it on the Nation plan or port out to somewhere so you can "park it" without paying a lot for something you won't use. Even if you found something like Google Voice, without the Google part, you will still have to port out your number anyways if you simply wanted to keep the mobile number. If you aren't willing to port out your mobile number then you will not be able to take advantage of whatever services you may find, your mobile number has to go somewhere, even if it means moving a third party service.

    The only way NOT to move your number out and simply keep you number is to suspend it, but I would ask AT&T to see if they can do this and find out more details.
    Of course, I'm willing to port out. I just don't want to keep porting from AT&T Prepaid to Cricket to T-Mobile to TracPhone to H2O, etc. If I could just keep the number in one secure and affordable place, that would be an option.

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