Author Topic: Cell phones, data, and group texts  (Read 399 times)

flyAway

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Cell phones, data, and group texts
« on: September 19, 2017, 08:37:53 AM »
My kids and I are currently on phone plans with Ting.  None of us have cellular data activated.  Putting this topic here, because this is really only an issue in the parenting/kid realm of my life.

The no data is great except when it comes to group texts (or less importantly, photos sent via text).  I didnít realize initially that group texts are sent via cellular data rather than SMS, but I have been aware for the last year or so. 

Iíve had missed some communications.  Once I realize it or the senders realize that Iím not just ignoring them - they have no issue sending a separate text or email, but it does seem like Iím being difficult.

My kids are missing out on group texts which Iíve gathered is a pretty typical mode of communication.  We live in a community where most kids are getting whatever the latest phone is as soon as it comes out and data plans are assumed.

MMM-wise: Iím paranoid my $35-40 monthly phone cost is going to jump.  I also donít know if I want thatÖcomplexity?...in their life (I'm imagining a lot of the group texts are nonsense/etc). 

Questions: What do you do?  Any settings on phones of use to avoid cellular data beyond group texting?

Daley

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Re: Cell phones, data, and group texts
« Reply #1 on: September 19, 2017, 04:22:35 PM »
That's the nice thing about the MMS APN, it's separate from the general internet data APN. You should theoretically be able to configure one without the other. That said, there's nothing keeping you from restricting mobile data usage on the account and handsets, either. Pick the 100MB data bucket, restrict data usage to around 20MB per line, and either disable all mobile app data access on the phones except MMS, and/or place a monthly hard data usage cap in mobile data settings.
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.

flyAway

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Re: Cell phones, data, and group texts
« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2017, 07:43:06 AM »
Thanks for the reply and information.  I appreciate the MB suggestion. 

Our billing period ends tomorrow, so I will activate data with the usage caps and see how it goes and assess whether to continue.

J_Stache

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Re: Cell phones, data, and group texts
« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2017, 07:47:21 AM »
When I used Ting, I had no issue with group chats if every user was on iMessage.  If a few Android folks were in there, I would not get their texts on the group thread.  I ended up switching to  ATT GoPhone  and pay $40 per month instead of the $30 I was paying with Ting (I wasn't willing to go totally cellular data free and always wound up over 100 minutes per month).