Author Topic: Advice on cheap Alaska/hawaii cellphone plans? Republic Wireless = no coverage  (Read 5571 times)

pirate_wench

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So, I'm trying to make the leap to a cheaper phone plan... I was pretty sold on Republic Wireless, until I found out they don't have coverage in Alaska and Hawaii. I mean, they really don't at all. It doesn't work, from what I've read on the Republic forums/FAQ. Though maybe, hopefully, I'm confused?

 The vast amount of time I'm in the lower 48, but I work in Alaska frequently, and Honolulu occasionally. When I say I work in Alaska (and Honolulu), I mean I'm on a ship, with little time ashore, and when/if I do get ashore, WIFI in Anchorage is spotty at best (it's like the 90's there, no offense Alaskans), and non-existent in the other Alaskan ports I go to. Either way, I don't want to spend my time searching for bars with WIFI just to call my loved ones. In other words the internet based part of the phone plan is not a realistic option for me while at work. Being able to make personal phone calls in port and checking my own private e-mail is extremely important to my quality of life.

I was contemplating getting Republic Wireless anyway, then doing pay-as-you go with my old Iphone using Airvoice while in Alaska, except that I just broke my Iphone...so...yeah...

Any suggestions? Any Alaskans on this forum?

rowhoss

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tmobile has some pretty cheap plans. I am on a family plan 4 phone for $100/month. If you can get on that plan with your loved ones, you would pay $25 a piece for unlimited min/text and 1GB of data.

If you go in by yourself, I believe it is $50.

gimp

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Yeah I drove through Alaska with my RW phone. Got coverage in Denali, believe it or not. Also in Fairbanks and Anchorage. And nowhere else.

catccc

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Not sure what AT&T coverage is like out there, but I use AirVoice Wireless' $10 plan with my second hand iphone on AT&T's network.

There are other prepaid MVNOs out there, too.  What big carriers work in your parts?

Daley

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I'd definitely recommend going with an AT&T MVNO like Airvoice or H2O Wireless given the Alaska issue, though it's worth noting that Ting does appear to have CDMA roaming agreements for Alaska, unlike any other Sprint or Verizon-based CDMA MVNO. Going the AT&T route means you can do "unlimited" talk and text with 500MB of data for $30/month, and both Airvoice and H2O have auto-pay options. That's maybe $5-7 a month more after taxes and fees than you would have spent doing Republic's $10/month plan coupled with Airvoice's $10/month plan, and at least equal cost wise with Republic's $25 3G plan after taxes, and $10/month less than the Republic plan with a $10 Airvoice plan tacked on top... no big whoop, no real savings going Republic (it's always about the math), and way more convenient.

Given that AT&T is probably the best network coverage option and with the need to replace your iPhone, if you don't want to try and scrounge around for a used/refurbished Android or iPhone deal, consider the Moto E which is $130 new, carrier unlocked, and is a fantastic smartphone for the money. Just be sure to stick a 16-32GB SD card in the thing to ensure you have plenty of storage space.

AlmostIndependent

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AT&T has decent service up here, Airvoice would probably be the way to go.

What ship are you working on? I work for the Alaska Ferry System.

Mika M

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Check out Consumer Cellular. Their commercials are targeted at seniors on a tight income but with their advertised "no-time-commitment plans starting at $10 a month" I figured why not? For the amount my husband and I use our phones (very little) it's been a good deal (we pay a total of about $35 for our phones together).

https://www.consumercellular.com/map

I looked at their map and Hawai'i and the more populous parts of Alaska seem to be covered...


FirePaddle

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+1 on the Consumer Cellular option for Alaska. We just switched from Straight Talk a while ago, since we can share a data plan, and it's been working great!

 

skinnyindy

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I just bought a republic wireless phone as a gift to my child.  He has only used it at home so far but it works using the house WiFi.  This is on Oahu.