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Thread: Need advice for my situation

  1. #1
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    Need advice for my situation

    Wife and I live full time in our RV and as such travel all over.

    Current phones:
    IP6 unlocked
    IP SE unlocked

    Current plan:
    ATT postpaid unlimited everything. This plan is no longer available. It requires DirecTV, which I have and am keeping. Overall I am happy with ATT.

    The bottom line after discount, taxes and fees is $150 total per month and I am trying to get this amount down. There is also a $10 combined billing (phone/DTV) discount I would lose if I leave ATT phone.

    Looking at past bills we could get by with about 20 gigs of shared data and 2-300 minutes/texts per month. Hotspot not required.

    In the full time RV community there is general consensus that Verizon provides the best overall coverage nationwide (followed by ATT) and am considering a Verizon prepaid or MVNO. My main concern is that prepaid/ MVNO will not have the same coverage due to roaming agreements. Is that a reasonable fear?

    Verizon postpaid is more than I am paying now so that is out. Prepaid is somewhat less and the MVNOs even less.

    I would also consider ATT prepaid/MVNO but am concerned about coverage.

    The other option I see in some plans is video quality. I stream TV/Netflix through the phone to the TV either with HDMI cable or airplay. Is there a noticeable difference between SD and HD while doing this? I currently have HD streaming but with general buffering and other connection issues affecting video quality I wonder if the real world difference would be noticeable.

    I would like to keep our current phones. Data caps are OK but no throttling to 3G or less as that is useless.

    All ideas welcome.

  2. #2
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  3. #3
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    The amount of data for hd content will be noticeably more than SD content. If you are watching on an SD screen like a cell phone or 720p TV, it will buffer and consume less data if you are steaming in SD.

    Some prepaid Verizon mvnos like Page Plus recently upped their data limits and I think they even offer some sort of quasi unlimited plan that cuts off or throttles at a reasonable amount like 60 gig. I don't know if they roam though - the only mvno I know of that does that is selectel but their offerings might be behind the times.

    Sent from my Moto G (4) using HoFo mobile app

  4. #4
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    OT
    OP can I ask if you're not hot spotting what do you for home (RV) internet?
    As a USA citizen I have the right to criticize my government. My thanks for this is endless in magnitude.

    Fascism is here led by a racist, hypersensitive, crass, immoral psychopathic traitor, narcissist liar committing High Treason against the USA.

    Red Pocket (AT&T) $192yr UTnT 5GB exp 08.08.19
    Red Pocket (AT&T) $184.50yr UTnT 1GB exp 02.19.20
    T-Mo Gold Rewards $10yr exp 01.16.20
    Tello x2 (Sprint) $5 1-use/3mo no exp by 06.03.19

  5. #5
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    If you want to stay with AT&T, the best prepaid options for your circumstances of needing a good deal of data are likely their own prepaid. They have an unlimited plan that limits video to 480P and is right now $45/month for the first line as a holiday promo (that price continues post-holidays if you sign up now). The Unlimited Plus which includes HD streaming (plus 10GB hot spot) is $65 on promo and you can mix/match lines.

    These rates require auto-pay and they also offer a multi-line discount which is usually stackable, but they may not combine the holiday discounted pricing with the multi-line discount. Since data is not pooled, one of your lines could be unlimited (pick one from the above), and the second line could be 8GB and that second line could get the multi-line discount (e.g, the regularly priced 8GB line is $45 but it is $30 after $5 auto-pay discount and $10 multi-line discount). So if you stream and use more data one one device you could put that one on the $65 promo Unlimited Plus plan, and the other on the 8GB data plan (which throttles to 2G after the 8GB LTE is used) for $30, making the total $95/month.

    Those choices boil down to both unlimited = $90, Both Unlimited Plus = $130, or if you can get by with 8GB on the second line then it's $75 or $95 for Unlimited or Unlimited Plus, respectively for both.


    Verizon prepaid would be $70 for the first unlimited line, plus $50 for the second unlimited line or ($35 for 8GB on the second line), so that is $120 for both unlimited or $105 for the unlimited/8GB combo.


    Since you have iPhones, beware that many AT&T MVNOs can't handle MMS properly due to the network configuration AT&T uses for their MVNOs. This issue doesn't happen on any other US carrier's MVNOs.

    Also, given you're likely in more off-the-beaten path places, I might not suggest MVNOs for your situation since they generally don't roam / don't offer data roaming. For example, I'd otherwise recommend Page Plus as a Verizon MVNO, but they don't offer data roaming.
    Last edited by high technology; 12-20-2018 at 06:46 PM.

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    I wonder how much of your $150 bill is DirectTV. Online it looks like it ranges from $45 to $110.

    I know you said you want to keep DirectTV but the way I see it you probable need to get rid of DirectTV if you want to save a significant amount of money.

    Also you mention you have netflix in addition to DirectTV and that is about $10 a month. If you could get by with just netflix that would save money.

    I would also look at using a verizon MVNO just for voice in case of emergencies if you can find a very cheap plan. If not verizon you might do the same thing with another carrier to supplement your main carrier with unlimited data. I am assuming this might be important depending on where you travel you always want at least to have service for voice calls for emergencies.

    If you got rid of DirectTV you might also be able to find a cheaper unlimited plan for about $50.

    Also I would not bundle phone and TV together because it makes it harder to save money.

    Anyway, that is the approach I would look at if it were me is to find a way to get by without DirectTV.

  7. #7
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    Thanks for all the ideas.

    I forgot to mention I have a gUDP (Loyalty plan) with a Verizon hotspot that I bought from a data trader. Off contract at $70/month now. Probably use ~50-80 gigs a month and that is with little or no streaming. It is mainly my laptop and wife's iPad. I am reading that VZW is booting folks off these plans if they have an average usage of 100 gigs or more over three months or something like that which is why we don't use it for streaming. I know there are some new plans out there but for now I am holding on to that one and not letting go.

    The ATT prepaid is intriguing. Anyone know if those plans roam? Will I need a new sim? Whatever I do I would prefer online or in a store. Calling ATT CS is frightening.

    The $150 is my phone only bill. Total bill with DTV is $255/month.

    Someone mentioned a backup phone on Verizon. I have a spare android that was used to activate the gUDP (can't activate those in a hotspot). I can use that for 911 without a sim or put the hotspot sim in and use the loyalty plan minutes in an emergency.

  8. #8
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    Los Angeles

    Quote Originally Posted by SWFLFFPM View Post
    Wife and I live full time in our RV and as such travel all over.
    Are you familiar with:
    https://www.rvmobileinternet.com/

    They seem to be doing the kind of thing you are doing but on steroids.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by SWFLFFPM View Post
    ... The ATT prepaid is intriguing. Anyone know if those plans roam? Will I need a new sim? Whatever I do I would prefer online or in a store. Calling ATT CS is frightening.
    Generally, prepaid AT&T doesn't roam, but they have pretty good coverage in most areas with limited roaming partners (though they are larger parts of some states). The map is here -- check the difference between AT&T Prepaid and "DATA" to see where you may not have coverage on prepaid. https://www.att.com/maps/wireless-coverage.html

    You may be able to convert down to prepaid at an AT&T store, or even a Walmart. If you can convert, you won't need a new SIM -- if you need to start a new account, you probably will.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by SWFLFFPM View Post
    Thanks for all the ideas.

    I forgot to mention I have a gUDP (Loyalty plan) with a Verizon hotspot that I bought from a data trader. Off contract at $70/month now. Probably use ~50-80 gigs a month and that is with little or no streaming. It is mainly my laptop and wife's iPad. I am reading that VZW is booting folks off these plans if they have an average usage of 100 gigs or more over three months or something like that which is why we don't use it for streaming. I know there are some new plans out there but for now I am holding on to that one and not letting go.

    The ATT prepaid is intriguing. Anyone know if those plans roam? Will I need a new sim? Whatever I do I would prefer online or in a store. Calling ATT CS is frightening.

    The $150 is my phone only bill. Total bill with DTV is $255/month.

    Someone mentioned a backup phone on Verizon. I have a spare android that was used to activate the gUDP (can't activate those in a hotspot). I can use that for 911 without a sim or put the hotspot sim in and use the loyalty plan minutes in an emergency.
    There is some limited Roaming on ATT Prepaid. If you look at the coverage map, along I-80 in Nebraska and some in Wyoming. But I believe it is roaming for voice/text, not data. I was in Nebraska last month but not in those areas.

    A backup phone on the Verizon network is something I would suggest if you have a compatible phone. Nice in case of emergency. Red Pocket has a $10/month plan with 500 minutes, or 360 day plans for $60 (100 minutes/month which could be useful for short calls if needed). Or do prepaid with one main phone on Verizon Prepaid, the other on ATT Prepaid.
    iPhone X is my current primary phone. I have older model iPhones and Moto phones available on other lines. Currently prepaid, though would consider postpaid on right plan.

  11. #11
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    visible by Verizon. $40/mo taxes and fees included, only runs on iPhone 6 and above (some se models included,) so you’re probably in luck. Also includes unlimited hotspot. The only catch is the service is always throttled to 5Mbps, which is plenty for streaming video though.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by SWFLFFPM View Post
    Thanks for all the ideas.

    I forgot to mention I have a gUDP (Loyalty plan) with a Verizon hotspot that I bought from a data trader. Off contract at $70/month now. Probably use ~50-80 gigs a month and that is with little or no streaming. It is mainly my laptop and wife's iPad. I am reading that VZW is booting folks off these plans if they have an average usage of 100 gigs or more over three months or something like that which is why we don't use it for streaming. I know there are some new plans out there but for now I am holding on to that one and not letting go.

    The ATT prepaid is intriguing. Anyone know if those plans roam? Will I need a new sim? Whatever I do I would prefer online or in a store. Calling ATT CS is frightening.

    The $150 is my phone only bill. Total bill with DTV is $255/month.

    Someone mentioned a backup phone on Verizon. I have a spare android that was used to activate the gUDP (can't activate those in a hotspot). I can use that for 911 without a sim or put the hotspot sim in and use the loyalty plan minutes in an emergency.
    Verizon is no longer concerned with how much data is being used on the GUDP lines since they've reintroduced unlimited data plans.

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