Author Topic: Montana cellphones  (Read 811 times)

MountainTown

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Montana cellphones
« on: March 25, 2018, 01:54:10 PM »
I am wondering if anyone living in the Montana area has had luck switching to some of the cheaper networks like Google FI or Republic Wireless?

My mother has travelled through on the Spring network and I have seen how annoying the Sprint network can be for her here. I am tempted to try it as I know they have the free year deal now. However I travel a lot in rural areas of Montana so that would be an issue for me....

Currently I am on verizon an would love to cut the cord on expensive cell phone carriers...

MatthewK

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Re: Montana cellphones
« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2018, 02:29:34 PM »
I don't live there but last summer spent a couple weeks in Livingston. I have service through Ting using their GSM network and at the time could only text/talk, no LTE there but did when we visited nearby Bozeman. I see now though if you look on their coverage map they now have that area of Montana covered with LTE. Side note, for GSM Ting use's Tmoblie which Republic also uses. Might be worth a looksie for ya. Tmobile has been great for me.
« Last Edit: March 25, 2018, 02:32:12 PM by MatthewK »

MountainTown

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Re: Montana cellphones
« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2018, 02:35:45 PM »
Thanks matt...maybe things have improved recently

Awesomeness

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Re: Montana cellphones
« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2018, 02:45:03 PM »
I donít live there but Puppy wireless uses Verizonís network.  Iíve been using them for years back when they were kitty wireless. You just need a Verizon phone and their SIM card, 10$.   I pay 28.60 a month for unlimited talk and text, 2GB of data.  Lots of good plans however they just started charging an e911 fee, my plan was 26$. 

I just upgraded my iPhone 6 Plus to an 8 plus. Bought a Verizon iPhone at the apple store, put my SIM card in and that was it.  I wish my 6 plus lasted longer but it got buggy so I upgraded. 

Iím happy with puppy wireless, service is great. 


Daley

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Re: Montana cellphones
« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2018, 03:32:29 PM »
It's worth noting that there are a small handful of decent Verizon-based MVNOs available. Puppy Wireless has been mentioned, though they're no longer owned by Kitty.

There's also Selectel, which is the oldest independent standing Verizon-only MVNO at this point; US Mobile which offers both T-Mobile (GSM LTE) and Verizon (Super LTE) plans; Red Pocket which offers plans on all four networks (Verizon being CDMA), though their billing and support has really been suffering lately; and newer MVNO Boom Mobile, who started out offering plans on all four carriers but have atrophied back to Sprint and Verizon service only, which raises a few red flags. There's other Verizon MVNOs owned by Carlos Slim's Tracfone conglomerate, but service and support can be pretty lacklustre at times.

So, you can save money right now and still get Verizon coverage without buying another phone!

As for T-Mobile coverage specifically given who you're referencing (both Republic and Google Fi as their primary networks are T-Mobile), you need a phone certified for LTE Band 12 voice calling support to get much of any coverage anymore. If you already have a phone on that short list, there's way cheaper T-Mobile MVNOs to choose from that may not have the extra roaming footprint of Sprint and USCC as Google Fi may have, but will nearly have the same footprint of Republic (as they only have T-Mo extended 2G roaming agreements like Ting and Consumer Cellular's T-Mobile SIM cards have) and still offer WiFi calling if your handset can support it; but it's worth noting that Google Fi's network coverage lists Big Sky Country as a 2G wasteland for the most part... which is interesting given most T-Mobile coverage maps show pretty decent 700MHz LTE Band 12 coverage now, especially along the major highways and in the western part of the state. Could just be dated maps on Google's part. Best to get a native's feedback, though.

I know it's a long read, but I actually answered a question for another person on the forum last night that has some bearing on the whole T-Mobile coverage question and situation and coverage and carriers hullabaloo, and the services you're inquiring after specifically. Give the post a read.

It's worth noting that if you don't mind losing a weak handful of 2G GSM roaming agreements with T-Mobile's coverage map and you're bent on going with a T-Mo based provider and getting a new phone instead of switching to a Verizon MVNO and using your existing handset?  I'm not a big Ultra fan personally and recommend against mortgaging off several months of service in advance for cheap data in a volatile MVNO industry, but there's not many decent T-Mo based MVNOs left at this point. So with that caveat out of the way.... Ultra Mobile offers "unlimited" talk and text with 250MB of data for $12.50/month under their "Ultra Flex" plan with additional data packages that will roll-over unused data if you buy four months at a whack, and that will give you a plan that provides WiFi calling support as well - and there's also Ultra's sub-brand Mint SIM which offers even bigger discounts and larger wads of data for the money if you pre-pay away even more months of service at a time with those same WiFi calling benefits.

Now, did I just hear someone in the back just say, "Gosh Daley, does that mean Republic's not as amazing and unique as they claim they are?" Why yes, Billy, you're correct! They aren't special. Now that they have to stop pretending they're not a poorly implemented VoIP company pretending to be a mobile carrier and actually compete as a mobile carrier, they're just like everyone else. Though, that's certainly an improvement, because it means they're no longer trying to poorly re-invent technology that pre-dated their service and came to maturity by a good half-decade or more.

There you go. You should be a more educated consumer, and know a bit more about what you're actually getting.
« Last Edit: March 25, 2018, 03:35:36 PM by Daley »
Hi, I'm Daley, the Howard Cosell of MVNOs and the Technical Meshugana. I'm also the author of the Frugal Communications Guide and our own Superguide.

MatthewK

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Re: Montana cellphones
« Reply #5 on: March 25, 2018, 05:00:25 PM »
Sorry for the quick hi-jack...
@Daley,
I was actually thinking of switching from Ting to Republic because of their WIFI calling and unlimited text/voice for cheaper than my usual monthly bill with Ting. I have the moto g4 play so it's capable of getting the long range network tmobile uses which works well for me here except for when indoors, it can be a little sketchy depending on what room I'm in. For that reason Wifi calling would be good and I usually exceed the 100 minutes package which makes my Ting bill quite a bit more expensive. I do try to supplement my calls by using my google voice number but it would be nice to just have one number. A little about my usage, I'm pretty light in that I use <225 minutes, about 500 messages and around 150 megabytes monthly. Republics plan looks to be good for me....what's the problem with them and what would be a good other option? Thanks

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Re: Montana cellphones
« Reply #6 on: March 25, 2018, 06:18:36 PM »
Sorry for the quick hi-jack...
@Daley,
I was actually thinking of switching from Ting to Republic because of their WIFI calling and unlimited text/voice for cheaper than my usual monthly bill with Ting. I have the moto g4 play so it's capable of getting the long range network tmobile uses which works well for me here except for when indoors, it can be a little sketchy depending on what room I'm in. For that reason Wifi calling would be good and I usually exceed the 100 minutes package which makes my Ting bill quite a bit more expensive. I do try to supplement my calls by using my google voice number but it would be nice to just have one number. A little about my usage, I'm pretty light in that I use <225 minutes, about 500 messages and around 150 megabytes monthly. Republics plan looks to be good for me....what's the problem with them and what would be a good other option? Thanks

Republic's just rubbed me the wrong way for way too long. Cargo cult advertising, distorting the truth, tacky terms of service, no real customer support you can reach on the phone, datamining...

Now, it's worth noting something very important here. (I'm more making this point in general, not necessarily for your sake, Matthew.) People keep thinking that WiFi calling is free. It isn't free. You're still using your mobile carrier to connect and terminate calls on their network, only it's being routed through UMA/GAN connections made through a WiFi hotspot connected to the Internet instead of connecting to one of their towers. If you use WiFi calling on Ting or even T-Mobile Prepaid PAYGO? You will get billed for the minutes used. Full stop. They're just using your paid for Internet and WiFi hotspot to freeload calls on their network in areas where their coverage isn't good enough so they can still bill you for the call. It only appears to be "free" calling if you're on an "unlimited" calling plan in the first place.

As for alternatives? First, I've mentioned repeatedly that Ting's not a great deal without multiple lines, so there's that, but... there's currently no T-Mo based MVNO outside of Ting right now offering WiFi calling with smaller PAYGO style packages. I wish I could say US Mobile already had WiFi calling running and send you there, but I can't. Second...

It's worth noting that if you don't mind losing a weak handful of 2G GSM roaming agreements with T-Mobile's coverage map and you're bent on going with a T-Mo based provider and getting a new phone instead of switching to a Verizon MVNO and using your existing handset?  I'm not a big Ultra fan personally and recommend against mortgaging off several months of service in advance for cheap data in a volatile MVNO industry, but there's not many decent T-Mo based MVNOs left at this point. So with that caveat out of the way.... Ultra Mobile offers "unlimited" talk and text with 250MB of data for $12.50/month under their "Ultra Flex" plan with additional data packages that will roll-over unused data if you buy four months at a whack, and that will give you a plan that provides WiFi calling support as well - and there's also Ultra's sub-brand Mint SIM which offers even bigger discounts and larger wads of data for the money if you pre-pay away even more months of service at a time with those same WiFi calling benefits.

Bolded for relevance. Republic charges $15/month just for talk and text, and data's billed on top. I'm no over-the-moon fan of Ultra, but they're the better deal and their support is better. It means paying four months at a whack, so it's a $50 commitment, but you'll get everything that Republic offers (excuse 2G T-Mo partner roaming which you're probably not even using with Ting) and more for less.
« Last Edit: March 25, 2018, 06:20:12 PM by Daley »
Hi, I'm Daley, the Howard Cosell of MVNOs and the Technical Meshugana. I'm also the author of the Frugal Communications Guide and our own Superguide.

MountainTown

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Re: Montana cellphones
« Reply #7 on: March 25, 2018, 10:32:03 PM »
Wow haven't heard of any of these....guess I will start with puppy wireless. I should mention now I am on a dumbphone...but want to upgrade to a smartphone.

MatthewK

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Re: Montana cellphones
« Reply #8 on: March 26, 2018, 03:38:58 AM »
Sorry for the quick hi-jack...
@Daley,
I was actually thinking of switching from Ting to Republic because of their WIFI calling and unlimited text/voice for cheaper than my usual monthly bill with Ting. I have the moto g4 play so it's capable of getting the long range network tmobile uses which works well for me here except for when indoors, it can be a little sketchy depending on what room I'm in. For that reason Wifi calling would be good and I usually exceed the 100 minutes package which makes my Ting bill quite a bit more expensive. I do try to supplement my calls by using my google voice number but it would be nice to just have one number. A little about my usage, I'm pretty light in that I use <225 minutes, about 500 messages and around 150 megabytes monthly. Republics plan looks to be good for me....what's the problem with them and what would be a good other option? Thanks

Republic's just rubbed me the wrong way for way too long. Cargo cult advertising, distorting the truth, tacky terms of service, no real customer support you can reach on the phone, datamining...

Now, it's worth noting something very important here. (I'm more making this point in general, not necessarily for your sake, Matthew.) People keep thinking that WiFi calling is free. It isn't free. You're still using your mobile carrier to connect and terminate calls on their network, only it's being routed through UMA/GAN connections made through a WiFi hotspot connected to the Internet instead of connecting to one of their towers. If you use WiFi calling on Ting or even T-Mobile Prepaid PAYGO? You will get billed for the minutes used. Full stop. They're just using your paid for Internet and WiFi hotspot to freeload calls on their network in areas where their coverage isn't good enough so they can still bill you for the call. It only appears to be "free" calling if you're on an "unlimited" calling plan in the first place.

As for alternatives? First, I've mentioned repeatedly that Ting's not a great deal without multiple lines, so there's that, but... there's currently no T-Mo based MVNO outside of Ting right now offering WiFi calling with smaller PAYGO style packages. I wish I could say US Mobile already had WiFi calling running and send you there, but I can't. Second...

It's worth noting that if you don't mind losing a weak handful of 2G GSM roaming agreements with T-Mobile's coverage map and you're bent on going with a T-Mo based provider and getting a new phone instead of switching to a Verizon MVNO and using your existing handset?  I'm not a big Ultra fan personally and recommend against mortgaging off several months of service in advance for cheap data in a volatile MVNO industry, but there's not many decent T-Mo based MVNOs left at this point. So with that caveat out of the way.... Ultra Mobile offers "unlimited" talk and text with 250MB of data for $12.50/month under their "Ultra Flex" plan with additional data packages that will roll-over unused data if you buy four months at a whack, and that will give you a plan that provides WiFi calling support as well - and there's also Ultra's sub-brand Mint SIM which offers even bigger discounts and larger wads of data for the money if you pre-pay away even more months of service at a time with those same WiFi calling benefits.

Bolded for relevance. Republic charges $15/month just for talk and text, and data's billed on top. I'm no over-the-moon fan of Ultra, but they're the better deal and their support is better. It means paying four months at a whack, so it's a $50 commitment, but you'll get everything that Republic offers (excuse 2G T-Mo partner roaming which you're probably not even using with Ting) and more for less.

Thank you Daley, you truly are the Tech Guru! I appreciate your insight and your opinions on such matters! Will research some of your recommendations.

Daley

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Re: Montana cellphones
« Reply #9 on: March 26, 2018, 06:49:26 AM »
Wow haven't heard of any of these....guess I will start with puppy wireless. I should mention now I am on a dumbphone...but want to upgrade to a smartphone.

You rarely hear about the good ones and the smaller ones, because they don't have the budget for national advertising.

How dumb a dumbphone are we talking here? Pre-SIM-card CDMA dumbphone, or 4G LTE dumbphone? That will actually partially inform who to switch to shorter term... that and your monthly usage averages. That said, US Mobile's probably your better option longer term, especially if you feel it necessary to get a tiny rectangular glowing ball and chain smartphone.

It's worth noting that Verizon will be shutting down its 2G CDMA network by the end of next year, and their 3G CDMA network by 2021, leaving only 4G LTE service by that point. I only bring this up for academic curiosity given you mentioned a dumbphone. That covers a lot of ground with Verizon, depending on its age.

If you really want to ruin your patience and sleep with a smartphone, however, and you want to stay with Verizon? Look into a Moto G4 Play (XT1609), E4 (XT1767), or E4 Plus (XT1774) used/refurbished/etc. Good prices, user replaceable battery, mostly stock Android, (mostly) mainstream third party ROM upgrade paths if so desired, etc. Just be sure to get the thing with a clean ESN and certified to activate on a Verizon MVNO, as new Verizon Prepaid models won't be eligible for activation on Verizon MVNOs until they meet the minimum service requirements on Verizon Prepaid first.



Thank you Daley, you truly are the Tech Guru! I appreciate your insight and your opinions on such matters! Will research some of your recommendations.

I appreciate the sentiment, but I'm not too partial to being called a guru. That implies something I'm not. I'm just a guy who's spent too many years with his head in the mobile industry trying to help others not get screwed too royally.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2018, 07:02:16 AM by Daley »
Hi, I'm Daley, the Howard Cosell of MVNOs and the Technical Meshugana. I'm also the author of the Frugal Communications Guide and our own Superguide.

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Re: Montana cellphones
« Reply #10 on: March 28, 2018, 10:49:35 PM »
1. Based on my own experience in a particular region of the state in question, I would not trade Verizon's coverage for a GSM network like T-Mobile. The more rural you get, the more you'll appreciate the depth and breadth of Verizon's coverage area compared to the competition.

2. A StraightTalk prepaid plan can put you on the Verizon network (you have to use a Verizon-compatible phone and choose a specific, Verizon-compatible SIM from StraightTalk). I'm not sure how StraightTalk stacks up against some of the other Verizon-based MVNOs already mentioned in this thread, but their monthly, pay-as-you-go plans for smart phones are substantially cheaper than Verizon's own plans.

MountainTown

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Re: Montana cellphones
« Reply #11 on: March 28, 2018, 11:10:06 PM »
Wow...great info. I have got to say I am overwhelmed by options I didn't even know about...and also can anyone translate some of this into english? I didn't think I was such a luddite until now...

I have an LG Flip phone. Right now I literally just text(T9 word) and call with it. Actually I do prefer this. I am in no rush to be tethered to a phone. It's no judgment on people that have one...honestly that's the thing I think I lack the willpower to not be constantly checking an Iphone--so I just prefer not to have one. Plus it was the cheapest way to hold verizon.

ALL THIS BEING SAID, my work basically requires me to be out 'n about, mapping locations, and sometimes I need to be spontaneous and redirect myself. This has worked okay in locations I am familiar with but more and more I am finding it to be less efficient. I estimate that if I had an I phone with locating ability and such...I could save around 30 minutes a day sometimes just in the preparation.

Why is my work not paying for this most crucial function? I have no clue....it boggles my mind and it's why I have held out for so long. But at this point it's just not going to happen and it's only slowing me down.

So any thoughts on what would be best for me in this area?

Daley

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Re: Montana cellphones
« Reply #12 on: March 29, 2018, 12:36:16 AM »
Wow...great info. I have got to say I am overwhelmed by options I didn't even know about...and also can anyone translate some of this into english? I didn't think I was such a luddite until now...

What're you needing translated, exactly? The majority of the technical sticky parts are the detailed bits on network technology and frequency bands - if you don't understand, read past and pay attention to how it impacts your choices instead. Doesn't really matter unless you're really gonna try to do T-Mobile in Montana, anyway. I'd recommend you stay with Verizon, which means that the two carriers you first mentioned (Google Fi, Republic) are off the table as they're T-Mobile based.

All the same, I'll clarify a couple points to help with smartphone shopping.

I have an LG Flip phone. Right now I literally just text(T9 word) and call with it. Actually I do prefer this. I am in no rush to be tethered to a phone. It's no judgment on people that have one...honestly that's the thing I think I lack the willpower to not be constantly checking an Iphone--so I just prefer not to have one. Plus it was the cheapest way to hold verizon.

Get me a model number. I'll tell you what you need to know.

ALL THIS BEING SAID, my work basically requires me to be out 'n about, mapping locations, and sometimes I need to be spontaneous and redirect myself. This has worked okay in locations I am familiar with but more and more I am finding it to be less efficient. I estimate that if I had an I phone with locating ability and such...I could save around 30 minutes a day sometimes just in the preparation.

Why is my work not paying for this most crucial function? I have no clue....it boggles my mind and it's why I have held out for so long. But at this point it's just not going to happen and it's only slowing me down.

So any thoughts on what would be best for me in this area?

If you want to do a smartphone for GPS maps and you're staying on Verizon...
If you really want to ruin your patience and sleep with a smartphone, however, and you want to stay with Verizon? Look into a Moto G4 Play (XT1609), E4 (XT1767), or E4 Plus (XT1774) used/refurbished/etc. Good prices, user replaceable battery, mostly stock Android, (mostly) mainstream third party ROM upgrade paths if so desired, etc. Just be sure to get the thing with a clean ESN and certified to activate on a Verizon MVNO, as new Verizon Prepaid models won't be eligible for activation on Verizon MVNOs until they meet the minimum service requirements on Verizon Prepaid first.

Now, here's a few things to help you hopefully best decipher...

XT1609, XT1767, XT1774 = these are specific model numbers of the phones that are made for Verizon network support.

ESN = the phone's serial number in CDMA network terms, also known as an IMEI in GSM network terms.

CDMA = the pre-4G-LTE mobile network technology that Verizon and Sprint used and a competing technology to GSM. Phones were registered to the network via the ESN.

GSM = the standard global mobile network technology that AT&T and T-Mobile uses, includes 2G (GSM), 3G (UMTS/HSPA), and 4G (LTE) broadcast standards. Sprint and Verizon hybridized CDMA with GSM technology when they rolled out 4G LTE network coverage. Phones are registered to the network via a removable SIM card.

Clean ESN = the phone's serial number is clean in mobile operator databases so it can be activated, and hasn't been reported lost or stolen or listed as not fulfilling its service contract.

MVNO = mobile virtual network operator, they lease wholesale airtime from network owners like Verizon and AT&T. This is what outfits like US Mobile and Selectel are.

certified to activate on a Verizon MVNO = the phone's ESN/IMEI is listed as fulfilling its contract requirements with Verizon Postpaid or Prepaid in Verizon's registration database, so it can be activated and used on a Verizon MVNO.

third party ROM = an aftermarket Android OS update that can be installed, such as LineageOS or Resurrection Remix. Usually requires a young nephew of drinking age and a pack of beer to do this switch. Useful if the phone stops getting official updates, and you want to keep the phone patched and current. Does come with some risks, however.
Hi, I'm Daley, the Howard Cosell of MVNOs and the Technical Meshugana. I'm also the author of the Frugal Communications Guide and our own Superguide.

MatthewK

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Re: Montana cellphones
« Reply #13 on: April 03, 2018, 05:18:22 AM »
@Daley, After reading your reply suggesting USMobile I decided to check them out. I ordered the starter kit and just activated the Verizon(CDMA) sim due to the hopefully better, broader coverage. Just activated it yesterday and so far so good. No wifi calling but seems to be better coverage inside my home. Haven't traveled with it yet but in theory should get better/ broader coverage, especially this summer when we will be spending a couple weeks in the UP of Michigan. It's pretty remote up there. Also with using  their build your own packages, they are a better deal then Ting, even with me paying a couple bucks more per month using US Mobile's CDMA network versus their GSM. Thanks for the advice!

Matt

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Re: Montana cellphones
« Reply #14 on: April 03, 2018, 06:31:21 AM »
Thanks for the advice!

No problem, glad I could help. May the switch serve you well.
Hi, I'm Daley, the Howard Cosell of MVNOs and the Technical Meshugana. I'm also the author of the Frugal Communications Guide and our own Superguide.

MatthewK

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Re: Montana cellphones
« Reply #15 on: April 15, 2018, 08:08:12 AM »
quick update on US Mobile. So far it has been great. Super easy activation process and porting over my number from Ting was quick. I am using their Super LTE plan which uses the Verizon network. Signal has been great inside house and various place all over Michigan Lower Peninsula. I only wish I had found out about them sooner. I can't believe how affordable it is too, even compared to others such as Ting and Republic. I chose the 300 min, 500 text, and 1mb of data and am paying $15 a month! You could save even more if you use the Tmobile network. Only reason I didn't is because signal wasn't great inside my house with them, and my cell is my only phone so I sprung for the fancy Verizon network instead. If you haven't checked them out, you might want to consider it!

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Re: Montana cellphones
« Reply #16 on: April 16, 2018, 12:59:23 AM »
What do you all recommend I do if I need to get a new cell phone anyways?

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Re: Montana cellphones
« Reply #17 on: April 16, 2018, 05:29:34 AM »
What do you all recommend I do if I need to get a new cell phone anyways?

My 2 cents, I have the Moto G4 play and it has been great for me. I bought the unlocked version with ads on Amazon for about $100. The ads were kinda annoying at first but I got use to them, just swiped them away. They offered the no add version for $150 but I went the cheap route. And just recently, after a year of use, they updated the phone and removed the adds so now it's great. Also It appears to work great on all the networks. I've had Sprint, T Mobile and now Verizon all with this phone and they have worked flawlessly. I'm now with US mobile using Verizon. I'm sure @Daley may have some advice on this as well.

*I'm a fairly light user, so this phone works great for me. If you are a heavy user, not so sure if this is your best bet.

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Re: Montana cellphones
« Reply #18 on: April 16, 2018, 11:49:01 AM »
What do you all recommend I do if I need to get a new cell phone anyways?

Look into a Moto G4 Play (XT1609), E4 (XT1767), or E4 Plus (XT1774) used/refurbished/etc. Good prices, user replaceable battery, mostly stock Android, (mostly) mainstream third party ROM upgrade paths if so desired, etc. Just be sure to get the thing with a clean ESN and certified to activate on a Verizon MVNO, as new Verizon Prepaid models won't be eligible for activation on Verizon MVNOs until they meet the minimum service requirements on Verizon Prepaid first.

The rest of the advice on carriers still applies as well. Don't overthink this. KISS. Keep it simple, silly.
Hi, I'm Daley, the Howard Cosell of MVNOs and the Technical Meshugana. I'm also the author of the Frugal Communications Guide and our own Superguide.

MountainTown

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Re: Montana cellphones
« Reply #19 on: April 21, 2018, 11:22:03 AM »
Thanks for your help Daley. Sorry I probably am overcomplicating it but it's just because I really have just stuck to verizon and basic phones so don't know all the terminology.

Well I just dropped my flip phone in water so here are my options:

1.) Replace LG Revere phone that I had....$50 and I keep paying me low $29 a month rate with little data.

2.) Try something like Straight talk? I saw on their site I can get LG Style 3 and pay $35 a month for 2-5 gigs of data

3.) One of the other options you mentioned. I guess I found those to be bewildering....not sure which phones work for which network...

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Re: Montana cellphones
« Reply #20 on: April 22, 2018, 01:42:02 PM »
Thanks for your help Daley. Sorry I probably am overcomplicating it but it's just because I really have just stuck to verizon and basic phones so don't know all the terminology.

Well I just dropped my flip phone in water so here are my options:

1.) Replace LG Revere phone that I had....$50 and I keep paying me low $29 a month rate with little data.

2.) Try something like Straight talk? I saw on their site I can get LG Style 3 and pay $35 a month for 2-5 gigs of data

3.) One of the other options you mentioned. I guess I found those to be bewildering....not sure which phones work for which network...

As for your question regarding which model phones work with which handset? You said you wanted to stay with Verizon coverage, and knowing the territory in question you're wanting coverage in, I only recommended handsets with a focus on Verizon support.

So long as they have a "clean ESN" for activation on Verizon MVNOs, you can take the XT1609, XT1767 or XT1774 to any Verizon MVNO you like. Of the short list of providers out there, I would recommend not being sucked into the siren song of huge data packages in exchange for crappy customer service and billing support with a locked in handset you can't take elsewhere without pulling teeth loaded up with a junky build of Android. Consider what you need and seriously look at US Mobile's "Super LTE" plans, which is again, Verizon coverage, but you gotta put in the effort of a little research and math to know what you actually need to pay for... if you don't want to shop used, you can buy the Moto E4 directly from Motorola carrier unlocked for $130.

If you want to do something else as well, don't let me stop you. Do what you gotta do. I'm just trying to steer you in a direction that won't potentially leave you locked into an abusive carrier relationship. Horse. Water. Drinking. Etc.

Do what you gotta do, man.
« Last Edit: April 22, 2018, 01:56:15 PM by Daley »
Hi, I'm Daley, the Howard Cosell of MVNOs and the Technical Meshugana. I'm also the author of the Frugal Communications Guide and our own Superguide.