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Thread: Help Choosing a Carrier and Plan

  1. #1
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    Help Choosing a Carrier and Plan

    I was visiting my parents over the weekend and noticed a lot of commercials on TV advertising cheap prepaid plans. After a bit of looking today, I see that there are a ton of different companies offering a dizzying array of plans, and I have no idea where to start. A lot of these seem too good to be true, so what's the catch?

    I'm currently using an unlocked Samsung S10e on Verizon postpaid service. My plan has 5 GB of data and costs me ~$55/mo with taxes and fees. The amount of data I get is fine; I usually only use between 3-4 GB a month, and with carryover data, the months that I use more typically don't cost me anything. In fact, I only went over my data allotment once in the past 8 years that I've had a smartphone.

    I live in far northern Wisconsin, and Verizon is the carrier with the best coverage here, with AT&T being close behind. I see that T-Mobile shows it has coverage here, but I don't know anyone who has it and there are no retail stores here. I had a AT&T iPhone for work and often times the data would be very slow or unusable in the summer due to the influx of tourists to the area and the lack of capacity. This has me concerned about changing providers, but I'm willing to give it a try if it means saving a lot of money.

    Verizon prepaid used to have a big hole in their coverage right in the middle of the state, which always dissuaded me from switching, but that appears to be gone according to their coverage maps. I do travel all over the state somewhat often, and occasionally elsewhere in the US, so I need a carrier and plan that offers good coverage with minimal or no gaps in service compared to the postpaid coverage maps.

    I see the Red Pocket $20/mo 8GB plan would fit my needs, but some recent complaints on here about their service have me concerned. It also looks like porting my number over could get messy according to their ebay listing.

    Does anyone have any suggestions for carriers and plans that would fit my needs, or am I better off sticking with what I have?

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    Matt193,

    I did not read all of your posting, but I looked at this part a bit, and ...
    I'm currently using an unlocked Samsung S10e on Verizon postpaid service. My plan has 5 GB of data and costs me ~$55/mo with taxes and fees. The amount of data I get is fine; I usually only use between 3-4 GB a month, and with carryover data, the months that I use more typically don't cost me anything. In fact, I only went over my data allotment once in the past 8 years that I've had a smartphone.
    My opinion is you are paying too much money for your current plan.
    Just a feeling, you could like prepaid better than postpaid.

    Have you tried to ask yourself these?
    How much talk time do you need each pay period?
    How much text message do you need each pay period?
    How much data do you need each pay period?
    How much money do you want to spend each pay period for the cellular service you want?


    When you have all those narrowed, you are in a better position to evaluate information about the carriers service plans and to make a choice.

    There are other considerations also. Those discussed above should start you very well.

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    matt193 says or asks:
    Does anyone have any suggestions for carriers and plans that would fit my needs, or am I better off sticking with what I have?
    I know of two possibilities, and the one I will mention is US Mobile. The carrier offers the choice of service by the major carriers, Verizon, and T-Mobile. You would need to choose one or the other. You may be able to save some money, or very much money. Check for more about in their website, usmobile.com .

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    Quote Originally Posted by joseg2016 View Post
    matt193 says or asks:


    I know of two possibilities, and the one I will mention is US Mobile. The carrier offers the choice of service by the major carriers, Verizon, and T-Mobile. You would need to choose one or the other. You may be able to save some money, or very much money. Check for more about in their website, usmobile.com .
    Thanks for the suggestion. Reading on the US Mobile subreddit, it appears that they are really deprioritized on the VZW system and their data speeds are unusuable in congested areas. Do you have any experience with this? That would be a deal breaker for me.

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    Since Verizon has the best coverage I suggest Visible wholly owned by Verizon.

    I suggest just throw $5 at Visible for a month & see if it meets your needs. If you use a friend code, you’ll get your first month for $5. It's Unlimited Talk, Unlimited Text & Unlimited Data with Unlimited Hotspot to one device. Don't take anyone's word in place of your personal experience.

    If you're a bit confused about joining Visible, a friend code & joining Party Pay post#352 explains everything nicely.
    https://www.howardforums.com/showthr...-Thread/page24
    Check out this page: https://www.visible.com/get/36csHv, it has all the info you need to know about joining Visible.
    When you use my friend code, 36csHv, you’ll get your first month of service for only $5!


    Join my Party Pay Group 38,147 members (no information is shared with other members)
    https://visible.com/p/Reddit_Upvote & never pay more than $25 a month.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt193 View Post
    Thanks for the suggestion. Reading on the US Mobile subreddit, it appears that they are really deprioritized on the VZW system and their data speeds are unusuable in congested areas. Do you have any experience with this? That would be a deal breaker for me.
    Basically, all Verizon MVNOs and Prepaid are going to be heavily deprioritized. Your Verizon postpaid plan is about the only thing that won't be. I don't think you will find a lower price for priority data on Verizon.

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    Visible sounds fantastic except when looking at their coverage map, the prepaid no service hole in central and northeast Wisconsin is back, but not as big as it was a few years ago. That poses a big problem for me since the "major" town closest to me is smack dab in the no service area, which would cause some issues if I wanted to look at anything on my phone or make a phone call when I'm in that area. That is disappointing.

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    That map might not reflect your real life experience. I suggest getting a new number & try it for $5 for one month as in post #5 here. If you like it then port your number.

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    If data reliability and the least amount of data de-prioritization is of most importance to you, as @mframe said you won't get the priority you have on post paid Verizon on any mvno. Visible may be owned by Verizon but it offers no better priority then other mvno's.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt193 View Post
    Visible sounds fantastic except when looking at their coverage map, the prepaid no service hole in central and northeast Wisconsin is back, but not as big as it was a few years ago. That poses a big problem for me since the "major" town closest to me is smack dab in the no service area, which would cause some issues if I wanted to look at anything on my phone or make a phone call when I'm in that area. That is disappointing.
    Either the map is not updated or that coverage hole is roaming not actual verzion service which would explain why prepaid also shows it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hyelton View Post
    Either the map is not updated or that coverage hole is roaming not actual verzion service which would explain why prepaid also shows it.

    Sent from my Pixel 6 using Tapatalk
    It is a roaming area. According to someone I talked to at the VZW store about it years ago, the reason for the coverage gap has something to do with being a monopoly in a market. I'll probably order a sim and pop it in one of my old phones and see how it compares to what I have now.

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    Help Choosing a Carrier and Plan

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt193 View Post
    It is a roaming area. According to someone I talked to at the VZW store about it years ago, the reason for the coverage gap has something to do with being a monopoly in a market. I'll probably order a sim and pop it in one of my old phones and see how it compares to what I have now.
    It’s most likely uscellular

    Depends what your old phone is? Depending on the phone and how old it is could be missing bands which can impact coverage as well


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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    It is US Cellular and shows as "extended network" on my phone when I'm there.

    I have a Moto X Pure and a LG V20. I would probably activate the V20.

    Maybe I should look into getting service with AT&T since their prepaid doesn't have any coverage gaps in this area.

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    AT&T Prepaid has a $300/360 day plan ($25/30 days) for UT&T&8GB LTE + Unlimited 128Kbps that includes rollover data, hotspot, and Canada / Mexico roaming. You can fund it with AT&T Prepaid refill cards from Target. You can pay as little as $256.50 for $300 worth of AT&T Prepaid cards by buying when they are on sale for 10% off ($5 Off $50) at Target, and using a Target Red Card to get an additional 5% off, so each $50 card is $42.75 ($50-$5=$45x0.95=$42.75) and $42.75x6=$256.50 for the $300 worth of AT&T Prepaid cards. Target collects no additional taxes/fees on prepaid refill cards. Also, just to clarify, you need to buy the 6, $50 cards in 6 separate transactions, for $42.75 each. And you have to wait for the $5 Off $50 sale. So the total cost comes to $21.38/30 days.
    https://www.att.com/prepaid/multi-month-plans/

    Or, with less hassle, if rollover data, hotspot, and Canada / Mexico roaming aren't important to you, FreeUp Mobile (AT&T network) has a $240/360 day ($20/30 days) + taxes/fees plan with UT&T&8GB LTE + Unlimited 128Kbps. But with taxes/fees, the end cost probably wouldn't be much cheaper than the AT&T Prepaid plan if you fund it with AT&T Prepaid refill cards from Target.
    https://freeupmobile.com/shop/plans/...MITED-TT%2B8GB

    Red Pocket eBay has the same plan as FreeUp, but with your choice of AT&T, T-Mobile, or Vzw networks.
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/133058350672

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    Thanks for everyone's suggestions. I ordered a Visible SIM and am going to give it a try since I have to travel to the no service area next week. Unfortunately, my LG V20 won't work with Visible, but that's a minor inconvenience.

    If Visible's service doesn't work out, I'll give Boz1's suggestion of AT&T prepaid a try.

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