Author Topic: Our New $10.00 Per Month iPhone Plans  (Read 25227 times)

I.P. Daley

  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 2134
  • Location: Cow country. Moo.
  • Got that mustache feeling.
    • Technical Meshugana
Re: Our New $10.00 Per Month iPhone Plans
« Reply #50 on: November 21, 2012, 12:17:34 PM »
I re-reviewed the massive pre-paid thread and this is what I gather, correct me if I'm wrong.

If I have verizon phones now, and want to keep them, I need to go with a verizon compatible pre-paid service, and the phones may not be eligible to transfer over. (Samsung Galaxy Nexus, HTC Rhyme).

Given my plan $117 (drops to $107 next month) before taxes and whatnot, according to the spreadsheet below with $500 to cancel and a new phone cost of whatever defaulted in there ($300+), I break even in 12 months.  My contract expires in 13.

So I should probably wait?

First, going from Verizon over to a prepaid carrier and keeping the phones only really leaves you one of two options: Verizon prepaid (which has customer support managed by America Movil, which is no bueno) or Page Plus. Page Plus is going to be your best and only option if you want to keep your handsets. From preliminary research, it appears both the Nexus and the Rhyme should be able to be brought over to P+ so long as it has a clean ESN and hasn't been associated with a Verizon prepaid account. If you're unsure, contact Page Plus to ensure they'll be supported first.

As for break even, I ballparked the numbers you provided in the Wireless ROI calculator with a 12 month remaining contract for both phones and the pending drop in rates, the handsets kept with The 12 as the plan used for both devices ($24 total), and got a break even in buying out your contract and switching over at 5.5 months with a savings of $536.00 over finishing your contract by doing so. Double-check the numbers, but if you can keep the handsets, the sooner you pull the handle, the more you're gonna save.
« Last Edit: November 21, 2012, 12:19:06 PM by I.P. 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.

adam

  • Magnum
  • ****
  • Posts: 379
  • Age: 34
  • Location: SC
Re: Our New $10.00 Per Month iPhone Plans
« Reply #51 on: November 21, 2012, 01:09:56 PM »
I re-reviewed the massive pre-paid thread and this is what I gather, correct me if I'm wrong.

If I have verizon phones now, and want to keep them, I need to go with a verizon compatible pre-paid service, and the phones may not be eligible to transfer over. (Samsung Galaxy Nexus, HTC Rhyme).

Given my plan $117 (drops to $107 next month) before taxes and whatnot, according to the spreadsheet below with $500 to cancel and a new phone cost of whatever defaulted in there ($300+), I break even in 12 months.  My contract expires in 13.

So I should probably wait?

First, going from Verizon over to a prepaid carrier and keeping the phones only really leaves you one of two options: Verizon prepaid (which has customer support managed by America Movil, which is no bueno) or Page Plus. Page Plus is going to be your best and only option if you want to keep your handsets. From preliminary research, it appears both the Nexus and the Rhyme should be able to be brought over to P+ so long as it has a clean ESN and hasn't been associated with a Verizon prepaid account. If you're unsure, contact Page Plus to ensure they'll be supported first.

As for break even, I ballparked the numbers you provided in the Wireless ROI calculator with a 12 month remaining contract for both phones and the pending drop in rates, the handsets kept with The 12 as the plan used for both devices ($24 total), and got a break even in buying out your contract and switching over at 5.5 months with a savings of $536.00 over finishing your contract by doing so. Double-check the numbers, but if you can keep the handsets, the sooner you pull the handle, the more you're gonna save.

So that break even assumes $0 for new phones because my current phones should move over?  Where can I verify that? I didn't see a list on the P+ page.

I.P. Daley

  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 2134
  • Location: Cow country. Moo.
  • Got that mustache feeling.
    • Technical Meshugana
Re: Our New $10.00 Per Month iPhone Plans
« Reply #52 on: November 21, 2012, 01:17:28 PM »
So that break even assumes $0 for new phones because my current phones should move over?  Where can I verify that? I didn't see a list on the P+ page.

Yup, assumption of a goose egg on the new phone front. As for verifying that the phones can transfer over, you'll have to contact Page Plus customer support and just ask them directly as there's no official list, but they'll be able to provide the definitive answer. However, my assumption is that they should be fine as there's a reasonable bounty of anecdotal evidence on the search engines about people using both the Nexus and the Rhyme on Page Plus.
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.

TheDude

  • Magnum
  • ****
  • Posts: 386
Re: Our New $10.00 Per Month iPhone Plans
« Reply #53 on: November 21, 2012, 01:26:38 PM »
Hey Adam, in my experience they should transfer over just fine. They wont be officially supported by page plus but they should work just fine. My wife and I both have HTC Incredibles on page plus and I have activated a couple of those apple devices too.

adam

  • Magnum
  • ****
  • Posts: 379
  • Age: 34
  • Location: SC
Re: Our New $10.00 Per Month iPhone Plans
« Reply #54 on: November 21, 2012, 01:34:50 PM »
And just to be sure, assuming I pay the $500 ($250 per line) to legally cancel my contract with Verizon, my phone will be "clean"?  We got them both back in January and re-signed 2 year commitments for the subsidized price, so they are about to be 11 months into that 2 year commitment.

I.P. Daley

  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 2134
  • Location: Cow country. Moo.
  • Got that mustache feeling.
    • Technical Meshugana
Re: Our New $10.00 Per Month iPhone Plans
« Reply #55 on: November 21, 2012, 01:43:06 PM »
And just to be sure, assuming I pay the $500 ($250 per line) to legally cancel my contract with Verizon, my phone will be "clean"?  We got them both back in January and re-signed 2 year commitments for the subsidized price, so they are about to be 11 months into that 2 year commitment.

Yes.
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.

tweedscholar

  • Stubble
  • *
  • Posts: 12
Re: Our New $10.00 Per Month iPhone Plans
« Reply #56 on: November 23, 2012, 02:02:24 AM »
Per Verizon's calculations, I have used 132 MB of data...today. The hazards of working in a mobile office (read: ambulance) with no hot spots. So long as my data plan stays unlimited, I gotta stay with THIS pricetag.
<$150/mo, unlimited data (just me), more than enough talk and unlmtd txt. Talk/txt shared w 2 other people. One of them pays my car insurance in exchange for me managing the phone bill.

I.P. Daley

  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 2134
  • Location: Cow country. Moo.
  • Got that mustache feeling.
    • Technical Meshugana
Re: Our New $10.00 Per Month iPhone Plans
« Reply #57 on: November 23, 2012, 07:20:29 AM »
Per Verizon's calculations, I have used 132 MB of data...today. The hazards of working in a mobile office (read: ambulance) with no hot spots. So long as my data plan stays unlimited, I gotta stay with THIS pricetag.

My question is, what was that 132MB of data in one day used on? Odds are, unless your employer is so cheap as to force you to use your personal phone for work related functions, you don't actually need any of that data. Outside of situations where your employer uses it as part of your job, cell phones are a convenience, not a necessity... and if it's work mandated, they'd better be supplying the phone and the plan, or at the very least paying you for yours. Otherwise, this level of data usage can be cured through a bit of self-discipline and badass resourcefulness like memorizing the street layouts of your service area instead of using the crutch of an online GPS or listening to the radio.

Even still, $150 a month for what you're getting is downright criminal.

Virgin Mobile has Beyond Talk plans with "unlimited" text and up to 2.5GB of unthrottled data starting at $35 a month. Buying a mobile hotspot friendly phone (read most of their Android phones) and paying the extra $15 a month for that service bumps you up to 3.5GB of unthrottled data before cutting you down to at least 256kbps. 132MB x 30 = 3,960MB. If you get zero days a month off and speed on the connection is that important, certainly you could figure out a way to modify your usage habits enough to shave 15MB of usage off a day... otherwise, even if you worked six-on-one-off, 3.5GB is plenty of data. Even if you use more than 20 hours of talk time a month, the Virgin plan is still going to top out at $70 a month at most, less than half of what you're currently paying.

Then there's T-Mobile's prepaid Monthly 4G plans with the same cost cap of $70 a month for "unlimited" everything and 5GB of data usage before throttling, with a package as low as $30 a month with the same text and data restrictions if you only need about 100 minutes of talk time. If you're fine with EDGE data speeds (128kbps), $50 a month would get you plenty.

There's also newcomer Ultra Mobile, a T-Mobile MVNO. The deals aren't as great as their parent MNO's prepaid packages, but they're still a fair sight cheaper than Verizon. I am hesitant to recommend a new provider with "unlimited" offerings and no hard caps in a Terms of Use for determining cutting off service, but it is good to point out anyway as they are potentially viable.

Then there's Platinumtel who's announced they're launching an "unlimited" everything service with bring your own device support next month (December 2012) for $40 a month. I don't know what restrictions there will be with this plan before throttling or potential service termination yet, but it's still yet another potential option to be aware of.

Nobody truly needs these services, let alone needs to pay for "unlimited" versions of these services... especially through a mobile network operator on a postpaid plan. Stop making excuses for throwing away so much money for a convenience when you could cut your bill in half or more without even modifying your usage habits.
« Last Edit: November 23, 2012, 07:25:01 AM by I.P. 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.

TheDude

  • Magnum
  • ****
  • Posts: 386
Re: Our New $10.00 Per Month iPhone Plans
« Reply #58 on: November 23, 2012, 10:51:38 AM »
Also Page Plus has there 55 plan with unlimited talk/tex and 2 gigs and soon to have a 70 dollar plan with unlimited text/talk and 6 gigs. Not the cheapest but 150 is crazy.

iamlindoro

  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 515
Re: Our New $10.00 Per Month iPhone Plans
« Reply #59 on: November 30, 2012, 07:48:50 PM »
Well, I'm sold.  Switched to the AirVoice $35/month plan.  Now I'm irritated about paying the pro-rated AT&T bill next month :)

askew

  • Stubble
  • *
  • Posts: 7
  • Location: Brighton, MA
Re: Our New $10.00 Per Month iPhone Plans
« Reply #60 on: December 03, 2012, 03:17:13 PM »
Has anyone happened to do a speedtest on the airvoice network with an iPhone?

I.P. Daley

  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 2134
  • Location: Cow country. Moo.
  • Got that mustache feeling.
    • Technical Meshugana
Re: Our New $10.00 Per Month iPhone Plans
« Reply #61 on: December 03, 2012, 03:26:38 PM »
Has anyone happened to do a speedtest on the airvoice network with an iPhone?

HSPA+ 3G data throughput speeds on Airvoice with an iPhone shouldn't be any slower than data throughput speeds on AT&T with same said iPhone in the same coverage area. Same network, same bands, same protocol, same congestion. You wouldn't see a drastic data slowdown unless you switched to a T-Mobile MVNO with an iPhone due to HSPA/3G frequency incompatibilities, and that will only hold true until sometime next year.

Be warned, though... faster access speeds just mean you burn up data faster. Try to stick with WiFi where you can.
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.

Mactrader

  • Handlebar
  • ***
  • Posts: 142
  • Age: 33
  • Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Re: Our New $10.00 Per Month iPhone Plans
« Reply #62 on: December 06, 2012, 08:24:38 AM »
Growing disgruntled with my AT&T bill and highly considering dropping (at least myself, Wife and Mother on mobile share plan also) and moving to Airvoice with my iPhone 5. The ETF won't be as bad as I used my mothers to upgrade to the 5 (would pay her to leave the plan if she chose, it's only right) and it seems as if it just boils down to whether I can adapt to using as little data as possible and a slightly more cumbersome set up. I also am presuming that the main line at AT&T can drop and switch to another one of the plan, as I'm sure my wife isn't ready to make the jump right off the bat.

Has there been any word of the iPhone 5 working on Airvoice? Has anyone tracked the data usage of Maps? As it is what I believe the only possible data hog that I would still use. The MMM article talks about quite a bit of stress and delays in dealing with AV, has that gotten any better and should I prepare some sort of intermediary phone in the meantime? Lastly, what happens if the company goes belly up?

CB

  • Handlebar
  • ***
  • Posts: 111
Re: Our New $10.00 Per Month iPhone Plans
« Reply #63 on: December 06, 2012, 08:40:45 AM »
The MMM article talks about quite a bit of stress and delays in dealing with AV, has that gotten any better and should I prepare some sort of intermediary phone in the meantime? Lastly, what happens if the company goes belly up?

I just ported a number to Airvoice, it took less than 36 hours total.  As for them going belly-up, they're one of the older MVNOs out there. 

With a GSM phone like the iPhone 5 you can still get unlimited data with the T-Mobile prepaid $30/month "Monthly 4G" plan--you will need to get the phone unlocked, but that's no longer the hurdle it once was.  Depending on where you live the data may not be all that speedy (until next year) but for a heavy user it may beat $.33/MB.

I.P. Daley

  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 2134
  • Location: Cow country. Moo.
  • Got that mustache feeling.
    • Technical Meshugana
Re: Our New $10.00 Per Month iPhone Plans
« Reply #64 on: December 06, 2012, 09:00:26 AM »
Has there been any word of the iPhone 5 working on Airvoice? Has anyone tracked the data usage of Maps? As it is what I believe the only possible data hog that I would still use. The MMM article talks about quite a bit of stress and delays in dealing with AV, has that gotten any better and should I prepare some sort of intermediary phone in the meantime? Lastly, what happens if the company goes belly up?

You'll need to carrier unlock the iPhone in order to use MMS/data services... this requires paying the ETF fee or jailbreaking the phone. Even then, the iPhone 5 is so new there's no guarantee that AT&T will carrier unlock it for you yet. If you don't do this, it'll be voice and SMS only.

There's offline GPS maps available for the iPhone, and with far fewer problems than the native app for directions. Check out Sygic.

No need for an intermediary phone if your phone's already unlocked. Most of MMM's reported problems with Airvoice were due to changes in the plans and billing, and have since been straightened out.

Airvoice is one of the oldest MVNOs in the country outside of Platinumtel, have been around since 2001, and have a pretty large user base. They might appear disorganized and a bit rinkydink, but they're well established and have great support which makes up for the shortcomings. But you've highlighted why I'm hesitant to just recommend any old MVNO, especially newer boutique ones as the MVNO market can be a bit cutthroat. If you want to know what happens to an MVNO that goes under while you have service? Hit up Howard Forums and do some searches on Zapp Wireless, TúYo and Mingo Wireless. Mingo's still a pretty fresh failure at under a month at this point, but the worst part is their lights are still on with the website still taking orders but nobody's home. Reminds me of my time with ITMom web hosting nearly a decade ago. Lost a good domain with that charlie foxtrot, and learned never to register domains through your rackspace provider.
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.

Mactrader

  • Handlebar
  • ***
  • Posts: 142
  • Age: 33
  • Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Re: Our New $10.00 Per Month iPhone Plans
« Reply #65 on: December 06, 2012, 09:13:09 AM »
Has there been any word of the iPhone 5 working on Airvoice? Has anyone tracked the data usage of Maps? As it is what I believe the only possible data hog that I would still use. The MMM article talks about quite a bit of stress and delays in dealing with AV, has that gotten any better and should I prepare some sort of intermediary phone in the meantime? Lastly, what happens if the company goes belly up?

You'll need to carrier unlock the iPhone in order to use MMS/data services... this requires paying the ETF fee or jailbreaking the phone. Even then, the iPhone 5 is so new there's no guarantee that AT&T will carrier unlock it for you yet. If you don't do this, it'll be voice and SMS only.

There's offline GPS maps available for the iPhone, and with far fewer problems than the native app for directions. Check out Sygic.

No need for an intermediary phone if your phone's already unlocked. Most of MMM's reported problems with Airvoice were due to changes in the plans and billing, and have since been straightened out.

Airvoice is one of the oldest MVNOs in the country outside of Platinumtel, have been around since 2001, and have a pretty large user base. They might appear disorganized and a bit rinkydink, but they're well established and have great support which makes up for the shortcomings. But you've highlighted why I'm hesitant to just recommend any old MVNO, especially newer boutique ones as the MVNO market can be a bit cutthroat. If you want to know what happens to an MVNO that goes under while you have service? Hit up Howard Forums and do some searches on Zapp Wireless, TúYo and Mingo Wireless. Mingo's still a pretty fresh failure at under a month at this point, but the worst part is their lights are still on with the website still taking orders but nobody's home. Reminds me of my time with ITMom web hosting nearly a decade ago. Lost a good domain with that charlie foxtrot, and learned never to register domains through your rackspace provider.

Wonderful, great information. I am unconcerned about carrier unlocking as eBay provides that service quite efficiently and inexpensively. I recently unlocked a 4S for $4.50 and a coworker for $6. I hadn't considered offline maps, that's how inundated I am with my iPhone and massive data usage. This is a big leap for me, but I've recently been modifying many non-financial aspects of my life and this is another one I can add to the list, hopefully. I'll circle back when I'm ready to do something further with this. I'm running an experiment to see how much data I use, and to use as little as possible to see what I'd be "missing".

Mactrader

  • Handlebar
  • ***
  • Posts: 142
  • Age: 33
  • Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Re: Our New $10.00 Per Month iPhone Plans
« Reply #66 on: December 06, 2012, 09:18:09 AM »
The MMM article talks about quite a bit of stress and delays in dealing with AV, has that gotten any better and should I prepare some sort of intermediary phone in the meantime? Lastly, what happens if the company goes belly up?

I just ported a number to Airvoice, it took less than 36 hours total.  As for them going belly-up, they're one of the older MVNOs out there. 

With a GSM phone like the iPhone 5 you can still get unlimited data with the T-Mobile prepaid $30/month "Monthly 4G" plan--you will need to get the phone unlocked, but that's no longer the hurdle it once was.  Depending on where you live the data may not be all that speedy (until next year) but for a heavy user it may beat $.33/MB.

Ah, that is another great option. I recall years ago that the best speed you could get was EDGE, is that still the case or has it moved up to 3G? I could live with that...

CB

  • Handlebar
  • ***
  • Posts: 111
Re: Our New $10.00 Per Month iPhone Plans
« Reply #67 on: December 06, 2012, 09:59:45 AM »

Ah, that is another great option. I recall years ago that the best speed you could get was EDGE, is that still the case or has it moved up to 3G? I could live with that...

If you're in Ann Arbor it's likely you're still limited to EDGE speeds.  Here's a recent update from BGR:

Quote
There’s only five markets with 1900MHz HSPA+ live right now including Baltimore, Houston, Kansas City, Las Vegas and Washington D.C, but T-Mobile also says it’s also working on advancements in “Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis, New York metro area, Philadelphia, San Francisco, San Diego and Seattle” to provide iPhone coverage beyond Edge speeds.

Supposedly TMo is shooting for HSPA+ nationwide by the end of next year...

I.P. Daley

  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 2134
  • Location: Cow country. Moo.
  • Got that mustache feeling.
    • Technical Meshugana
Re: Our New $10.00 Per Month iPhone Plans
« Reply #68 on: December 06, 2012, 10:27:54 AM »
Wonderful, great information. I am unconcerned about carrier unlocking as eBay provides that service quite efficiently and inexpensively. I recently unlocked a 4S for $4.50 and a coworker for $6. I hadn't considered offline maps, that's how inundated I am with my iPhone and massive data usage. This is a big leap for me, but I've recently been modifying many non-financial aspects of my life and this is another one I can add to the list, hopefully. I'll circle back when I'm ready to do something further with this. I'm running an experiment to see how much data I use, and to use as little as possible to see what I'd be "missing".

Keep in mind the Ebay unlocking option is only going to be legal to do with phones purchased on or before January 31, 2013 as the Library of Congress changed the carrier unlock policies with their latest ruling. Even though it only impacts phones purchased after a certain date, I'm sure this is going to heavily impact the availability of these services for newer model phones still on sale after that date as carriers can claim these providers are aiding customers to break the law.

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2012/10/jailbreaking-now-legal-under-dmca-for-smartphones-but-not-tablets/
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.

FI40

  • Magnum
  • ****
  • Posts: 344
  • Location: Toronto
Re: Our New $10.00 Per Month iPhone Plans
« Reply #69 on: December 11, 2012, 02:11:59 PM »
This was a great post by MMM which pushed me to optimize my own cell plan situation last month. For those of you mustachians in Canada living in major cities, I've found a $10/month solution through WIND mobile that works quite well for my usage habits, and I'm sure it applies to quite a few others.

I used to be on the $40/month "holiday miracle" plan because I thought it had great value, but found I wasn't using the data, and >95% of my outgoing calls were to my wife who is also on WIND. Turns out their prepaid plan has a $5/month add-on for unlimited WIND-to-WIND calling, and another $5/month add-on for unlimited texting. Incoming calls are free. Outgoing local calls are 20c/min, which I almost never use (maybe 1-2 calls a month).

Of course, you must live/work in a WIND-Home zone. For me this is not a problem. Also, you must own your phone outright - I own an LG Optimus T I bought a couple years ago. Anyway it looks like this is going to save me almost $30/month (plus 13% tax) and in my opinion I'm hardly sacrificing anything with this plan.

ginamwalker

  • Stubble
  • *
  • Posts: 7
Re: Our New $10.00 Per Month iPhone Plans
« Reply #70 on: December 20, 2012, 12:47:56 PM »
I.P. Daley, you are rockin' it! 

So, I really hope you might be able to help.  My husband really wants an iPhone 5.  We still have dumbphones from 4 years ago.  We are with Verizon, but are more than OK to jump ship.  This is what I'm thinking of doing:
1. Get the iphone 5 through Verizon for $300 (32GB), cancel and pay the $350 etf.  Saves $100 if it works like that.  I'll keep my old phone and just use talk/text.
2. Sign up with Page Plus.  We'll have Verizon unlock.

Do you see anything wrong with this idea? 
Gina

TheDude

  • Magnum
  • ****
  • Posts: 386
Re: Our New $10.00 Per Month iPhone Plans
« Reply #71 on: December 20, 2012, 01:44:49 PM »
I.P. Daley, you are rockin' it! 

So, I really hope you might be able to help.  My husband really wants an iPhone 5.  We still have dumbphones from 4 years ago.  We are with Verizon, but are more than OK to jump ship.  This is what I'm thinking of doing:
1. Get the iphone 5 through Verizon for $300 (32GB), cancel and pay the $350 etf.  Saves $100 if it works like that.  I'll keep my old phone and just use talk/text.
2. Sign up with Page Plus.  We'll have Verizon unlock.

Do you see anything wrong with this idea? 
Gina

I'm I.P. but I can give you a little feedback. You are not going to be able to activate and Iphone 5 on Page plus. You can not without lots of effort use a 4g phone on Page Plus. Even if you do get it  to work you can't get 4g speed on page plus so its not worth the expense of activating on PP imho. You can get a used 4s for about $300 and activate on PP without any problem. You dont need them unlock it as PP uses V network.

There is only one place I now that will flash a 4g phone over to pp and thus far they are not doing Iphone 5.

ginamwalker

  • Stubble
  • *
  • Posts: 7
Re: Our New $10.00 Per Month iPhone Plans
« Reply #72 on: December 20, 2012, 01:53:38 PM »
I.P. Daley, you are rockin' it! 

So, I really hope you might be able to help.  My husband really wants an iPhone 5.  We still have dumbphones from 4 years ago.  We are with Verizon, but are more than OK to jump ship.  This is what I'm thinking of doing:
1. Get the iphone 5 through Verizon for $300 (32GB), cancel and pay the $350 etf.  Saves $100 if it works like that.  I'll keep my old phone and just use talk/text.
2. Sign up with Page Plus.  We'll have Verizon unlock.

Do you see anything wrong with this idea? 
Gina

I'm I.P. but I can give you a little feedback. You are not going to be able to activate and Iphone 5 on Page plus. You can not without lots of effort use a 4g phone on Page Plus. Even if you do get it  to work you can't get 4g speed on page plus so its not worth the expense of activating on PP imho. You can get a used 4s for about $300 and activate on PP without any problem. You dont need them unlock it as PP uses V network.

There is only one place I now that will flash a 4g phone over to pp and thus far they are not doing Iphone 5.

This explains why when I called PP today they said they don't connect iphones at all.  I was really confused  by that for sure!  The two sites that do "flash" (whatever that means) I've found are: beigephone.com and freemobiledataplans.com

Looks like in order to do this I have to convince my husband to go the 4S route.  I really appreciate any help/insight into this people can give! 

TheDude

  • Magnum
  • ****
  • Posts: 386
Re: Our New $10.00 Per Month iPhone Plans
« Reply #73 on: December 20, 2012, 02:09:16 PM »
Hey ginawalker. Flashing is basically the process of a phone onto a CDMA network.  So you really only need to flash a Sprint phone onto PP. They aren't really flashing 4g phones onto page plus they are just activating it but its easiest to just flash. Its complicated and requires some software.

If you get a Verizon 4s you shouldn't need to flash it. It should activate pretty easy (I think). I have never done a 4s but I have done a couple 4 with no problems.

ginamwalker

  • Stubble
  • *
  • Posts: 7
Re: Our New $10.00 Per Month iPhone Plans
« Reply #74 on: December 20, 2012, 02:34:46 PM »
Thanks TheDude!

I.P. Daley

  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 2134
  • Location: Cow country. Moo.
  • Got that mustache feeling.
    • Technical Meshugana
Re: Our New $10.00 Per Month iPhone Plans
« Reply #75 on: December 20, 2012, 04:11:36 PM »
I.P. Daley, you are rockin' it! 

So, I really hope you might be able to help.  My husband really wants an iPhone 5.  We still have dumbphones from 4 years ago.  We are with Verizon, but are more than OK to jump ship.  This is what I'm thinking of doing:
1. Get the iphone 5 through Verizon for $300 (32GB), cancel and pay the $350 etf.  Saves $100 if it works like that.  I'll keep my old phone and just use talk/text.
2. Sign up with Page Plus.  We'll have Verizon unlock.

Do you see anything wrong with this idea? 
Gina

Thanks for the compliment, I appreciate it... but you're probably not going to like much of what I have to say.

You've pretty well nailed it down already it looks like, and you are correct in that there's very limited ways to get iPhones onto P+. Technically, they're not permitted to be ported over at all (Verizon and Apple rules), and the flashing involves an ESN change amongst other things, IIRC. That said, the Beige folks are actually sellingiPhone 5 flashes for $100. There is a lot wrong with your approach, however... especially when you crunch the numbers. If your husband did do an iPhone 5 on Page Plus, you'd be looking at $300 for the phone, $350 for the ETF, and $100 for the flashing. THAT'S $750 FREAKING DOLLARS FOR A PHONE YOU CAN'T EVEN USE THE 4G LTE SERVICE WITH!

Not that $450 is any prize pig itself, but if you really feel comfortable dealing with the Beige folks, you can buy a "refurbished and pre-flashed iPhone 4S for Page Plus" through them directly for $300 less. And if you're groovy with the iPhone 4 instead of the 4S, that's only $330. No monkeying with Verizon and ETFs or jumping on the bleeding edge hedonic adaptation treadmill for the Jeebusfone... just the phone at an almost sane price that only warrants a little face punching from a dealer that is dealing in territory that isn't technically approved by Page Plus.

Speaking of Verizon and buying an iPhone outright, if you're switching providers and phones at the same time, why are you sticking with a Verizon MVNO? I can understand for you if you're sticking with your feature phone, but there's better deals on the GSM end of the market these days between Platinumtel's recent switch from Sprint CDMA to T-Mobile GSM and Airvoice Wireless' service on AT&T GSM. If you've got good GSM coverage and your husband absolutely has to have an iPhone 5, buy one outright from AT&T for $650 and hack down a P'tel SIM card. Still another $100 savings over the P+ hoohah you originally proposed. Still no 4G LTE service (and only EDGE data speeds in most markets until next year), but...

Hopefully a few new things to ponder for you.

EDIT (12/21): Self edited to remove links and outright namechecking with the dealer in question and re-emphasize P+ policy. Hadn't linked them in the past, was probably a mistake to link them yesterday.
« Last Edit: December 21, 2012, 08:40:56 AM by I.P. 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.

TheDude

  • Magnum
  • ****
  • Posts: 386
Re: Our New $10.00 Per Month iPhone Plans
« Reply #76 on: December 20, 2012, 05:44:36 PM »
He I.P. In my experience with a Iphone 4 (not the 4s) they can be directly activated with page plus. I have no reason to believe that an Iphone 4s will not activate with PP just fine. You do not need to purchase and Iphone from beige phone. You can find many a iphone on ebay or craigslist for 150-200. Just make sure its a Verizon phone.

Ptel does have a good paygo rate but PP has a pretty good package for $30. 1200min 3000 texts and 250mb. Its not the cheapest but you will use most of that its a pretty decent deal.

I.P. Daley

  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 2134
  • Location: Cow country. Moo.
  • Got that mustache feeling.
    • Technical Meshugana
Re: Our New $10.00 Per Month iPhone Plans
« Reply #77 on: December 20, 2012, 09:49:02 PM »
He I.P. In my experience with a Iphone 4 (not the 4s) they can be directly activated with page plus. I have no reason to believe that an Iphone 4s will not activate with PP just fine. You do not need to purchase and Iphone from beige phone. You can find many a iphone on ebay or craigslist for 150-200. Just make sure its a Verizon phone.

Ptel does have a good paygo rate but PP has a pretty good package for $30. 1200min 3000 texts and 250mb. Its not the cheapest but you will use most of that its a pretty decent deal.

I'm still getting conflicting info regarding iPhone support with Page Plus and Verizon, but I'll always tow the official line. The dealers I've talked with have said things consistent with what I've been saying regarding "official" iPhone support, and they all point to Danny Scher at Page Plus corporate and his official line. Plenty of evidence online from dealers saying the same thing, too. That official word is that iPhones are not permitted for activation on the Page Plus network. Have a couple:

http://www.phonenews.com/page-plus-to-increase-data-on-the-55-plan-to-2gb-on-june-6th-20465/#comment-58615
http://www.iphoneforums.net/forum/verizon-iphone-51/verizon-iphone-pageplus-cellular-8238/index2.html#post204038

There's also no information backing any claims of official support for any iPhones on Page Plus within the HoFo community, not from official channels and documentation, anyway. People will cite CSRs at Page Plus for "official" word on iPhone support, but they're wishy-washy and highly inconsistent. This is one of the reasons why I say what I do about the quality of customer support... most of the people there really don't know what they're doing or what official policy is. It's inconsistent at best.

I don't deny for a second that people have iPhones on Page Plus... but I've yet to see anything from official channels say they're anything but verboten on the network, which is why the things have to be reprogrammed by third parties for Page Plus support before usage.

Anyway, that's besides the point. The reason why I said what I did wasn't to necessarily tell her to buy phones from Beigephone (I'm not even particularly fond of them, find some of their business practices suspect, and wonder how long they'll keep their dealer status - you'll note, the big online P+ dealer names like Kitty Wireless won't touch iPhones as officially supported and anything else on the official forbidden list - check their iPhone subform)... I was just illustrating how ridiculous the prices were for the handsets and how locking into a single carrier for service can heavily influence final costs, and that through very little effort and sacrifice, real money can be saved with minimal effort even with ridiculous handset prices.

EDIT (12/21): Self edited for content and clarity.
« Last Edit: December 21, 2012, 08:34:43 AM by I.P. 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.

I.P. Daley

  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 2134
  • Location: Cow country. Moo.
  • Got that mustache feeling.
    • Technical Meshugana
Re: Our New $10.00 Per Month iPhone Plans
« Reply #78 on: December 20, 2012, 10:24:30 PM »
Hey ginawalker. Flashing is basically the process of a phone onto a CDMA network.  So you really only need to flash a Sprint phone onto PP. They aren't really flashing 4g phones onto page plus they are just activating it but its easiest to just flash. Its complicated and requires some software.

If you get a Verizon 4s you shouldn't need to flash it. It should activate pretty easy (I think). I have never done a 4s but I have done a couple 4 with no problems.

Just re-read this post. You're a bit off in your understanding of what's involved with a phone "flash" to get CDMA phones that aren't officially supported on specific networks to work. Flashing is reprogramming the phone's baseband configuration, changing the network settings and sometimes altering the phone's ESN to get it to talk to the MNO's network. Flashing and handset activation have common ground, but are two different beasts. Reality is, Sprint phones can't typically go on the Verizon network as a primary handset with their default Sprint issued ESNs and baseband firmware, and vice versa, and same with other CDMA carriers. This is also partially how people get CDMA phones that aren't on the "allowed" list with MVNO carriers to work anyway... they sometimes replace the ESN programmed into the phone with an ESN from the target network that's on the approved number list and do a little network configuration magic.

If you want to get really technical, this is how stolen CDMA handsets from the gray/black market get a second life... altered ESN and firmware flashed to another carrier where the make/model isn't "officially" supported. MEID/ESN spoofing is technically illegal as you're tampering with the device's serial number (as is IMEI spoofing on GSM devices), and is why the general practice is frowned upon.

Now you know why I'm so cautious about my phone recommendations with purchasing and BYOD on CDMA networks. You deviate from the approved list, you have the potential to wind up in some dubious waters if you can't personally vouch for the handset's providence and the method used for activation with the CDMA carrier.

Edit (12/21): Self edited for accuracy, content and clarity.
« Last Edit: December 21, 2012, 08:32:27 AM by I.P. 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.

ginamwalker

  • Stubble
  • *
  • Posts: 7
Re: Our New $10.00 Per Month iPhone Plans
« Reply #79 on: December 21, 2012, 09:52:54 AM »
I.P. Daley, you are rockin' it! 

So, I really hope you might be able to help.  My husband really wants an iPhone 5.  We still have dumbphones from 4 years ago.  We are with Verizon, but are more than OK to jump ship.  This is what I'm thinking of doing:
1. Get the iphone 5 through Verizon for $300 (32GB), cancel and pay the $350 etf.  Saves $100 if it works like that.  I'll keep my old phone and just use talk/text.
2. Sign up with Page Plus.  We'll have Verizon unlock.

Do you see anything wrong with this idea? 
Gina

No monkeying with Verizon and ETFs or jumping on the bleeding edge hedonic adaptation treadmill for the Jeebusfone...


The quote above was killing me!  Literally LoL'ing.  I'll start referring to it as Jeebusfone from now on.  We are an Apple family so I get his desire to have an iphone.  I have now been brought to my normal senses as to what I should do.  And I figured that I had that punch to the face coming!   I actually felt sick yesterday thinking about buying that phone for him.  Makes me slightly queezy honestly.

I looked at Airvoice and the coverage is a little too weak at our house where I would use it about 1/3 of the time.  I like phones that work well. I'm going to look into Platinumtel and the others you mentioned and hopefully score a 4S at a great price. 

Thank you again for the stern talking-to.  ~Gina

TheDude

  • Magnum
  • ****
  • Posts: 386
Re: Our New $10.00 Per Month iPhone Plans
« Reply #80 on: December 21, 2012, 10:32:38 AM »
Hey I.P. I dont want to get called out for being PP pusher. I am just fond of them and as they were the first Pre paid I ever found and I still use them to this day. I know you didn't say anything I just want to defend myself before its an issue.

The way I see there are several classifications for PP phones:

Supported Sold by they company (or a dealer for the company in this case) If you have a problem and call the CSR they will help you

Allowed but not Supported These are phones that PP officially allow but that they don't support. If you have problem and call the CSR they will tell you good luck.

Not Allowed, Not Supported but work anyway For PP these these phones include Iphone 4 and Iphone 4s I believe maybe black berries (no data)

Not Allowed Not Supported will work with lots of work this group includes 4g phones, sprint phone, phones with a bad ESN.

Phones not allowed Verizon pre paid phone

This is based on everything I have read and several things I have tried with PP. An Iphone does not need to be flashed. You can activated a used Iphone on PP without an problem. You will have to use a dealer that not PP and maybe not Kitty. But that not a problem.

Also I understand what flashing is however I don't believe you need to truly flash a 4g phone. The problem comes in with the SIM Card. Although i am not absolutely sure of this as I have not to played with any 4g phones.

If PP or Verizons decides to purge the PP rolls of Iphones via banning the ESN they certainly can. However, they have not done so yet so I dont believe they will. At this point I understand you would need to flash it to make it work.

In regards to buying used cell phones. There are sites you can check the ESN to make sure it is not bad. I know its on hofo somewhere. Its probably not a bad idea to check but so far I have pretty good luck. If you are that worried you can pay a little more and buy from cowboom.

ginamwalker

  • Stubble
  • *
  • Posts: 7
Re: Our New $10.00 Per Month iPhone Plans
« Reply #81 on: December 21, 2012, 10:51:57 AM »
I'm just bummed right now that my choices are Sprint and Verizon for coverage.  If we don't want to pay their crazy prices, then PagePlus is the way to go... uggh.  After I.P.'s info I'm not totally comfortable with the risks.  TheDude you are sort of swaying me, but looks like I have some more research to do.  :(

I.P. Daley

  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 2134
  • Location: Cow country. Moo.
  • Got that mustache feeling.
    • Technical Meshugana
Re: Our New $10.00 Per Month iPhone Plans
« Reply #82 on: December 21, 2012, 03:06:27 PM »
Hey I.P. I dont want to get called out for being PP pusher. I am just fond of them and as they were the first Pre paid I ever found and I still use them to this day. I know you didn't say anything I just want to defend myself before its an issue.

No worries, I don't think you're a pusher, and I know it's coming from a genuine enthusiasm. Nothing I say should ever be viewed as a personal attack on you, I'm just trying to bring some perspective to the topic.

The way I see there are several classifications for PP phones:

-snip-

Not Allowed, Not Supported but work anyway For PP these these phones include Iphone 4 and Iphone 4s I believe maybe black berries (no data)

Not Allowed Not Supported will work with lots of work this group includes 4g phones, sprint phone, phones with a bad ESN.

Phones not allowed Verizon pre paid phone

I think this is a false sense of division as these are all phones that are not allowed, and usage would be in violation of Section 3 of their Terms and Conditions, a legal agreement you approve and agree to in order to establish service.

Non-Verizon CDMA phones, Verizon prepaid, iPhone, 4G LTE and Blackberry devices are not approved or allowed by Page Plus on their network due to legal agreements made with Verizon. This means that bringing any of those devices onto the P+ network carries inherent risk no matter how little effort may be made to activate them, as the ability to use them is dependent solely on either the application of illegal practices like ESN spoofing, or a lack of enforcement of the agreements between Verizon and Page Plus, Page Plus and a sketchy dealer, or Page Plus and you. Just because some phones on the banned list are easier to activate than others and a rotating stock of new sketchy dealers keep popping up enabling people to help activate these phones doesn't magically make it okay to do, it just means that it's easier to break the rules with those handsets.

If PP or Verizons decides to purge the PP rolls of Iphones via banning the ESN they certainly can. However, they have not done so yet so I dont believe they will. At this point I understand you would need to flash it to make it work.

Tacit approval through apathy in enforcement should never be construed as explicit permission. It does not change the fact that you are violating a legal contract you voluntarily agreed to, and it doesn't mean that you can't ever lose service, have the ESN blackballed, or worse... by violating that agreement, they retain the right to do so at any time. It is a risk with some form of legal involvement. If you want to take that risk and feel the reward outweighs that risk, that's your choice to make and nobody else's. Ignorance of those risks doesn't make you immune to them, it just means you sleep better at night when those risks are taken without experienced repercussion.

In regards to buying used cell phones. There are sites you can check the ESN to make sure it is not bad. I know its on hofo somewhere. Its probably not a bad idea to check but so far I have pretty good luck. If you are that worried you can pay a little more and buy from cowboom.

Personally, I'm not worried about getting into trouble and getting hot devices because I know what to look for, but you are correct in that people should get in the habit of checking ESNs and IMEIs to ensure they're clean when buying used.

My concern is that through a seemingly innocent suggestion of just "breaking the rules" because they're "not visibly enforced" to get the phone you really want on a network where it shouldn't be, people who don't know the risks are just going to latch onto what they want and potentially get in way over their heads in some potentially risky waters they wouldn't normally choose to be in. Now guess what? If they have the misfortune to run afoul and get in trouble because of your suggestion to just "break the rules", they blame you. I don't have problems with rule benders or breakers so long as any damage and responsibility is assumed solely by those individuals. My concerns are rooted in rule benders and breakers who either through ignorance or an assumed judgment call on others behalves not to disclose that their suggested actions are risks and waive those concerns from others away as nothing. People are investing money in a tool and service that they feel is important enough to dedicate resources to, and these are risks that can impact those decisions if encountered.

My advice here will always skew Lawful Good. People can do with it what they want, I just care that they're well informed before they make their decision. :)
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.

I.P. Daley

  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 2134
  • Location: Cow country. Moo.
  • Got that mustache feeling.
    • Technical Meshugana
Re: Our New $10.00 Per Month iPhone Plans
« Reply #83 on: December 21, 2012, 03:14:47 PM »
I'm just bummed right now that my choices are Sprint and Verizon for coverage.  If we don't want to pay their crazy prices, then PagePlus is the way to go... uggh.  After I.P.'s info I'm not totally comfortable with the risks.  TheDude you are sort of swaying me, but looks like I have some more research to do.  :(

Don't despair... your handset will probably work just fine on Page Plus and will be in the unsupported but allowed category unless it was a prepaid model. There's your out.

If your husband absolutely has to have an iPhone and you're stuck on CDMA coverage, look into Virgin Mobile. Sprint coverage, price starting at $350 new for the iPhone 4, plans from $35 a month. You might even get lucky and find a used one already officially provisioned with a clean ESN for cheaper.
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.

TheDude

  • Magnum
  • ****
  • Posts: 386
Re: Our New $10.00 Per Month iPhone Plans
« Reply #84 on: December 21, 2012, 04:12:18 PM »
Wow I.P. I have never looked at there terms of use.  Based on this

"Page Plus Cellular Handset, Service and Phone Number

    You must use a certified Page Plus Cellular Handset in order to receive Page Plus Cellular Service."

According to that its not even a BYOD company. And well frankly we all know that's not true.

Also I just want to thank you for your posts. I am glad we can disagree civilly and I appreciate your well thought responses.

ginamwalker  you can always just mover you current phones over to page plus and give them a try for a week or a month or two. Then if you feel comfortable get some nice phones. Also if you want to read more about Page Plus (or anyone for that matter) Howard Forums is a great resource.

ginamwalker

  • Stubble
  • *
  • Posts: 7
Re: Our New $10.00 Per Month iPhone Plans
« Reply #85 on: December 24, 2012, 02:42:40 PM »
Thanks guys!  So, I've looked and I'm still narrowing to PagePlus (for the 4S) and then Cricket.  Anyone know enough about them?  They are quite a bit cheaper than Verizon, and actually beat Page Plus for what you get.  We could get away with $85 with PP if one line (mine) was the plan with 250MB and the minutes allowed isn't an issue.  Cricket is $100/mo for two lines at 2.5GB and other features and unlimited minutes/text.  We'd save $37/mo. this route vs. Verizon. 

I checked out Virgin and the coverage wasn't good enough.  :(

I.P. Daley

  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 2134
  • Location: Cow country. Moo.
  • Got that mustache feeling.
    • Technical Meshugana
Re: Our New $10.00 Per Month iPhone Plans
« Reply #86 on: December 24, 2012, 03:59:03 PM »
Thanks guys!  So, I've looked and I'm still narrowing to PagePlus (for the 4S) and then Cricket.  Anyone know enough about them?  They are quite a bit cheaper than Verizon, and actually beat Page Plus for what you get.  We could get away with $85 with PP if one line (mine) was the plan with 250MB and the minutes allowed isn't an issue.  Cricket is $100/mo for two lines at 2.5GB and other features and unlimited minutes/text.  We'd save $37/mo. this route vs. Verizon. 

I checked out Virgin and the coverage wasn't good enough.  :(

My question to you is, why do you need to go with the same carrier for both phones? Clearly, you're going to have to make exceptions to get that Jeebusfone working for your husband, but that doesn't mean you have to go to whatever carrier is selected for that. If you did the iPhone 4S through Cricket @ $55 a month and you went through Page Plus for their "The 12" package, that's about $67 a month, and you wouldn't have to deal with trying to get a 4S working on Page Plus. Honestly, I think getting that iPhone's gonna wind up being a serious hedonic adaptation slide, especially if you get sucked into the "unlimited" trap and belly up to the data bar... but that's your call. Imagine how much more money you could save every month just by not getting an iPhone. These things have a habit of nickel and dimeing you if you're not careful and disciplined with usage.

As for what I know of Cricket, Leap Wireless can be hit and miss with coverage in less urban areas. I've never really considered them a fantastic deal in wireless, but there's far worse available for the money.
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.

TheDude

  • Magnum
  • ****
  • Posts: 386
Re: Our New $10.00 Per Month iPhone Plans
« Reply #87 on: December 24, 2012, 04:22:03 PM »
Hey Ginamwalker, If all else fails I  think I.P. is right not reason you both need to use the same carrier. Although I think you should start of with a smaller package than 2 or 2.5GB. Get a 4s and put it on the 30 plan with 250mb. That not a ton of data but its enough if you are careful. Since you are moving from dumb phones to smart phone I think you should start small. Its easier to train yourself to only use data when you need it then to train yourself to use less data after you've had unlimited. My wife went to the 30 from an unlimited plan and she didn't have any problem with it. Does  your husband have access to wireless at home and at work? If so 250 is plenty. And if all else fails you can switch to bigger plan. I am pretty sure a Verizon phone can be flashed to Cricket if you need to.

ginamwalker

  • Stubble
  • *
  • Posts: 7
Re: Our New $10.00 Per Month iPhone Plans
« Reply #88 on: December 24, 2012, 08:54:36 PM »
TheDude.  Thanks!  Great food for thought and we are strongly going that direction! 

shadowmoss

  • Handlebar
  • ***
  • Posts: 239
Re: Our New $10.00 Per Month iPhone Plans
« Reply #89 on: December 29, 2012, 10:56:50 AM »
Sorry for trying for a short cut through all this.  I am in Honduras using a new China knock off GSM ATT-able phone.  Mom in the US has a no name ATT flip phone she got at Best Buy.  We are no longer under contract, but I stay with the plan I had before I left which is a family plan that I'm paying over $100.00/month for just to keep my US number and my Mom in a cell phone.  When I'm back I put my US SIM in an old ATT phone and have cell for the duration (usually a couple of weeks a year).  I have no real idea when I'll be back in the States full time, but hopefully within the year.  So, I want to get a plan that lets us use our current phones, has my Mom on it so she uses the minutes while I'm outside the US (she isn't a huge user of the minutes, less than 100/mo), uses the ATT network, and I can reserve my phone number for a year at a time, or at least 6 months at a time.

I think the T-Mobile pay as you go $100/yr would work for me, but Mom would have to be on a different plan.  I like the setup of Ting, but I don't think our phones would work.  So, what is the sweet spot?  Mom lives in Kansas City, MO, and I'm not sure where I'll end up.  DOD contractor.  Coverage is an issue as I don't want Mom out and not have coverage is she has car trouble.  She is 82.

Here is my new phone:
http://www.chinavasion.com/china/wholesale/Android_Tablets/4-5_Mini_Android_Tablets/Android_4.0_3G_Phone_Squire_-_1Ghz_Dual_Core_CPU_6_Inch_Display_White/

Basically I'm seeing good plans, that don't use our phones.  Good coverage, but more expensive.  Not a lot of family plans.  Help me figure this out?
Bad spellers of the world UNTIE!

http://shadowmoss.blogspot.com/

iamlindoro

  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 515
Re: Our New $10.00 Per Month iPhone Plans
« Reply #90 on: December 29, 2012, 11:44:45 AM »
So, for anyone who took the Airvoice route, I went hunting for coupon codes to save a little extra.  I found the ones listed here:

http://www.retailmenot.com/view/callingmart.com

CallingMart has slightly discounted airtime by default (the $35 plan is $34.65), and it appears they almost always have a 5-10% coupon code.  I was able to find coupon codes going back at least a few months with a Google search.  I got this month's $35 plan for more or less $30.  It's not a huge savings but it's not really that much more work than refilling in general.  Just thought the extra few bucks would help people out.

I.P. Daley

  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 2134
  • Location: Cow country. Moo.
  • Got that mustache feeling.
    • Technical Meshugana
Re: Our New $10.00 Per Month iPhone Plans
« Reply #91 on: December 30, 2012, 10:16:50 AM »
Shadowmoss-

You are correct, you won't be able to use that phone you linked with Ting, nor will your mother hers. Ting's operating on Sprint and Verizon's IMT-MC/CDMA2000 networks. What you have personally is a purely GSM/W-CDMA/UTMS world phone that requires SIM cards to work, as does your mother, though without global band support if I were to guess. I also noticed your handset is a dual-SIM model, so I'm guessing that's a feature you'll need/want. No matter what choice you make, get those phones carrier unlocked by AT&T before you leave them. This will let you take them to a T-Mo MVNO or resell them at a higher price if needed.

It seems that you'd prefer to have a "family" plan going, but if you don't mind me asking, what's the big deal about separate accounts? If you need/want to manage re-upping the account yourself for your mother so she doesn't have to do it, nothing's stopping you from doing so. Anyway, let's start with GSM reception.

Some considerations on GSM networks and emergency service reception:

As for AT&T versus T-Mo GSM prepaid providers, if you have to choose the best coverage for your mother's part of the world, she'd get about split difference coverage out of T-Mo Prepaid 4G and Airvoice (AT&T) depending on general wandering habits, though they don't have family plans. Keep in mind, so long as you're in range of any GSM tower, even if you don't have service with the owner of that tower and the phone may be showing no reception on your network, you can still dial 911 and have the call go through. This level of emergency coverage will be no different than any other plan with any other provider on the US GSM network: you will either have a GSM signal to dial 911 to or you won't. This same idea applies to CDMA phones and coverage, as well.

If you want to go with Ting, be prepared to drop some serious cash:

Your mom isn't the problem here, as a $50 feature phone off Ting's website will work for your mom to replace the phone she has. It also is the best fit for the money from a paranoid general coverage area as she would have both Sprint and Verizon's CDMA network coverage, and CDMA has far heavier penetration across the Midwestern sticks than GSM does... so she'd technically have even better coverage there than with AT&T postpaid currently, even though that coverage hasn't been an issue.

Ting has BYO(S)D support now, so theoretically you could hunt down a Sprint CDMA/GSM quad band world phone that you could then bring over to Ting and then stick your SIM card into for usage in Honduras, but good luck finding a Sprint CDMA/GSM dual-SIM quad band world phone. It'll be hard enough finding a decent model of Sprint phone with those specs and the GSM 850/1900 bands unlocked for just a single SIM card that isn't Blackberry, let alone runs Android. (Let me tell you, this is a steep order - I really tried and I'm coming up pretty empty.) Your best and easiest bet on that front would be to just ask Ting if you could get a full GSM unlock on their Samsung Galaxy SIII (SPH-L710) and be prepared to cough up over 500 clams on it if they will.

If you want a GSM family plan, Consumer Cellular is your only option:

That said, if you absolutely have to have "cheaper" GSM service in the US that also allows for "family" plans and general roaming on both major networks, look into Consumer Cellular. They're basically the AT&T GSM equivalent of Ting, only far more expensive, and you have to directly monitor usage like a hawk and juggle plan switching to avoid their insane overage fees of 25¢ a minute if you don't want to grossly overspend for services. Expect $10 a handset per month plus whatever minutes/text packages you need/want to park onto that. (A sane breakdown of their service plan rates here.) Most MVNO's don't really offer any true off-network roaming outside of Ting and Consumer Cellular, and for the money and overly paranoid blanket coverage desired, Ting's the winner for your mother even if it means a new handset for her and it's nearly a non-starter for you....

Some alternate ideas and approaches that might add some flexibility:

Now, the number parking raises another wrinkle and certainly explains the desire for a family plan, but it might open up some alternatives with some creative thinking. Yes, you could always go with T-Mobile's plan the way you suggested, but if I may offer an alternate idea. Normally, I don't like suggesting using Google Voice as the service is mediocre at best, but porting your own phone number over to them (or another VoIP provider that does cheap number parking like Future Nine or CallCentric if you don't trust Google, though you'd lose SMS support) might be a reasonable solution. Then you can just pick back up whatever is the cheapest GSM service stateside with the best coverage in whatever area you land when you're back, and have Google Voice (or your VoIP provider) forward your calls to that new number. Stick the SIM into your fancy phone there and go. For calling out with the Google Voice setup using cellphone minutes, use Voice+ (or CallCentric's Click2Dial app if you port to them) to ensure your caller ID stays consistent and people don't get confused.

During all your times abroad and to integrate the configuration better with your phone, you could use something like Talkatone (I'm nervous recommending apps that store your Google account credentials on their servers, but for a simplified interface that handles all texting and data calls, it might be the way to go), or alternately set up a CallCentric Free NY State incoming phone number, configure your native Andorid SIP client to connect to their service and use Voice+ to initiate calls back home for the price of data, either WiFi or GSM, and use the official Google Voice client for SMS texting. I'm also hesitant to recommend data calls on cell phones, especially over a cellular network due to increased SAR values for data transmission (and doubly so with something off Chinavasion, though if the FCC certification is legit, the SAR shouldn't be higher than 1.6W/kg - which is still a bit high, IMHO), but that can be mitigated with a headset.

Although some of this is a rehash of some of the guide info, it still took a bit of work to scrape the proper info together in the right order and peck out as your situation is a bit of a challenge. However, I think it'll open up your options a bit more than you were expecting with some cost-effective choices that doesn't require all new equipment, and better put your mind at ease in regard to other issues. I don't normally ask this when I provide help, but if you (or anyone else) really appreciate the effort, there's a way to pay back the kindness on my website. I enjoy doing it, but this stuff sometimes takes more time and effort than I care to admit to, folks.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2012, 12:04:26 PM by I.P. 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.

shadowmoss

  • Handlebar
  • ***
  • Posts: 239
Re: Our New $10.00 Per Month iPhone Plans
« Reply #92 on: December 31, 2012, 02:08:27 PM »
I am going to have to go through this line by line.  :)  Thank you for the extra work.  I will hit the donate button on your site next month, as I'm paying off my Jeep this month (last consumer debt!) and probably won't have extra till then.  I do appreciate it, and will share the extra abundance it gives me as I can. 
Bad spellers of the world UNTIE!

http://shadowmoss.blogspot.com/

I.P. Daley

  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 2134
  • Location: Cow country. Moo.
  • Got that mustache feeling.
    • Technical Meshugana
Re: Our New $10.00 Per Month iPhone Plans
« Reply #93 on: January 01, 2013, 09:17:20 AM »
I am going to have to go through this line by line.  :)  Thank you for the extra work.  I will hit the donate button on your site next month, as I'm paying off my Jeep this month (last consumer debt!) and probably won't have extra till then.  I do appreciate it, and will share the extra abundance it gives me as I can.

I'm just glad to be of help, honestly, and congrats on paying off the Jeep! :)

By the way, I knew I forgot to include something in that post Sunday... Speaking towards CDMA coverage: as far as best regional coverage with any network in your mom's area, Verizon looks to have the best (as they apparently own most of the CDMA towers in that part of the world). According to the coverage map, with the exception of some patchiness and roaming out by Jeff City, by the Iowa border up I-29, and the Eastern bits of the state, Page Plus might be the best carrier for general coverage outside of Ting. They do offer roaming as well at nearly 30¢ a minute (the only prepaid MVNO I know of that does), but if it's a concern to call in an emergency but it doesn't warrant 911, the option to do so at 30¢ a minute isn't a bad deal. Sprint MVNOs usually have pretty good coverage in metro areas and along major road corridors as well, so keep that in mind, though the only reasonably priced Sprint prepaid MVNO left now that P'tel has gone GSM is Eco Mobile at $10 a month. If you're open to new hardware for your mother anyway, no sense limiting your choices to Ting only on the CDMA end. It's not hard to find cheap preconfigured handsets from reputable sellers for Page Plus or used Sprint feature phones with a clean ESN on Ebay.
« Last Edit: January 01, 2013, 09:19:40 AM by I.P. 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.

trinny

  • Stubble
  • *
  • Posts: 6
  • Location: Chicagoland
Re: Our New $10.00 Per Month iPhone Plans
« Reply #94 on: January 30, 2013, 01:40:40 PM »
If you have an Iphone from Verizon that's still under contract, which prepaid carriers can you take it to if you break your contract?

Does this mean, it will have now have a BAD ESN?

If you have a phone with a BAD ESN, can you still activate it with a prepaid carrier?


1) None. Verizon iPhones are technically restricted to Verizon postpaid only due to a deal between Apple and Verizon, blacklisting all ESNs from activation through MVNOs.
2) It will if you break contract and you don't pay off your ETF (early termination fee).
3) No. Even if it wasn't an iPhone, the ESN will be blacklisted from activation on an MVNO like Page Plus if the ETF is not paid at point of departure, and would technically have to be resold as having a bad ESN.

It took me a while to figure this stuff out after reading and re-reading the super guide, but I ended up finding a friend who had an old Verizon DroidX he didn't want and took it over to PagePlus.  Their customer service was awesome and fast!  After a few minutes on the phone and a few hours to transfer my #, the phone was working flawlessly and although I admit, I personally prefer Apple products in general, a free phone is a mustachian phone!  After seeing how much money I'm saving every month, my mom is probably going to switch to PagePlus as well!

Thanks I.P. Daley and others for all your great input to help us figure this all out!

Viv A. Stache

  • Stubble
  • *
  • Posts: 20
  • Age: 30
Re: Our New $10.00 Per Month iPhone Plans
« Reply #95 on: February 01, 2013, 02:12:00 AM »
I just signed up for Ting, getting their free contract buyout plan on both lines, and I'm excited by the prospect of saving over $70 a month (Sprint bill was $144 last month), and getting the same levels of service. We don't have many options to get WiFi anywhere but at home, so I got a bigger data plan, with the expectation that I'll lower it after analyzing the first few month's usage. We've been staying home more to save money, and when we are out on the town as a family, I hate seeing my husband's nose buried in his email anyway.

After checking again, I see that the contract buyout reached it's limit fast so I'm glad I stayed up late to catch the deal! I can't wait to give you guys a good review.

icefr

  • Magnum
  • ****
  • Posts: 324
Re: Our New $10.00 Per Month iPhone Plans
« Reply #96 on: February 01, 2013, 08:16:11 AM »
I just signed up for Ting, getting their free contract buyout plan on both lines, and I'm excited by the prospect of saving over $70 a month (Sprint bill was $144 last month), and getting the same levels of service. We don't have many options to get WiFi anywhere but at home, so I got a bigger data plan, with the expectation that I'll lower it after analyzing the first few month's usage. We've been staying home more to save money, and when we are out on the town as a family, I hate seeing my husband's nose buried in his email anyway.

After checking again, I see that the contract buyout reached it's limit fast so I'm glad I stayed up late to catch the deal! I can't wait to give you guys a good review.

Wow! I can't believe it filled up already! I'm on Pacific time, so I grabbed a spot at 9:01 pm. My number has now been ported to a placeholder Ting device and my BYOD device is in progress. I'm super excited for Ting! I was paying about $80-85 after taxes with Sprint for just one smartphone and based on my guesses, it's about $34.36 with Ting! That's a $50/month savings, so even if they didn't cover my ETF, I would have broken even after ~2 months and there are another 5 months left on my contract.

I.P. Daley

  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 2134
  • Location: Cow country. Moo.
  • Got that mustache feeling.
    • Technical Meshugana
Re: Our New $10.00 Per Month iPhone Plans
« Reply #97 on: February 01, 2013, 10:02:28 AM »
Wow! I can't believe it filled up already! I'm on Pacific time, so I grabbed a spot at 9:01 pm.

I'm not surprised at all, honestly, as $100,000 isn't that much when you've got an ETF cap of $350 per line as that's a minimum of only 286 people. I have a feeling there were some very stupid people who couldn't do the math on the deal or read the fine print who bought into a new Sprint contract and handset with the idea of porting over to somehow "save" money, ignoring both the ETF payout as Ting credit and the fact that ETF plus Sprint price was higher for all handsets offered than the exact same handsets offered new from Ting directly.
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.

sol

  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 1450
  • Age: 37
  • Location: Pacific Northwest
Re: Our New $10.00 Per Month iPhone Plans
« Reply #98 on: February 24, 2013, 10:49:56 PM »
Our friend and recent MMM forum member Joshua Kennon (joshuakennon.com) recently posted an article about switching to a prepaid phone plan, and how such small changes can accrue to large amounts of money over time.  Check out:  http://www.joshuakennon.com/the-small-things-matter-when-you-are-making-your-fortune/ and notice the similarities to the MMM post that started this thread.

Perhaps it was inevitable, given the volume of writing that he produces, that there would be some overlap.

I.P. Daley

  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 2134
  • Location: Cow country. Moo.
  • Got that mustache feeling.
    • Technical Meshugana
Re: Our New $10.00 Per Month iPhone Plans
« Reply #99 on: February 24, 2013, 11:03:24 PM »
Fascinating choice he made in carriers for the money, but good for him. Looks like Mr. Kennon came to the same conclusions many of us have and is basically now echoing the advice I've been trying to help share myself for... ho-lee crow, has it really been nearly a year now on these forums? Whoof. Everything's conspiring to make me feel old this week.

*shakes cane* Dang kids, get off my lawn!
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.