Author Topic: Another cell phone question, but circumstances I don't see answered in the big t  (Read 1586 times)

greenmimama

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We live out in the country and we are rural enough that we can not get high speed Internet, without paying an extra 5k to get a special tower in our back yard and then it would still cost us 90 a month.
I have tried every Avenue, cable will not come to us, so our only option is crappie Internet for 60 a month and that is still slow enough that you can maybe stream maybe not and it isn't unlimited. We moved here a year ago and I feel like we time traveled back to 1995.

So with that said, we also get pretty crappie cell service with Verizon, but it has been free through dhs work. This week they will take that away, so quickly I need new cell service and am hoping to buy a hotspot, and a special antenna to get better cell service.

I'm just frustrated with my lack of choices. Knowing we get cell coverage through Verizon and T Mobile, what pretty paid service should we look at? I went through all of that to explain that just connecting to our WiFi while home isn't even an option.

I would really appreciate some help here.

ketchup

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If you're rural, I would test the service for yourself in your actual house before signing up for anything. 

All carriers exaggerate coverage on maps.  All four carriers advertise coverage at my rural friend's house in Michigan, but the reality is she gets nothing except bad Sprint coverage and good T-mobile coverage (and the latter only appeared last year).

Daley

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I'm not going to have great news for you.

Let's start with the simplest first by getting you migrated to a new MVNO that you existing phone works with so you at least have phone service until everything can get fully sorted out. Since you're coming off Verizon and you know it works, find out what your average usage looks like month to month, and find the right Selectel plan to meet that need. That should give you the exact same Verizon coverage you're used to with voice and SMS roaming, and a bit of data to play with. Their $30 plan provides 1500 minutes, unlimited texting and 1GB of data, and they have plans with "unlimited" calling and more data at higher price points.

For home internet access, it really depends on what sort of T-Mobile coverage you actually have. Of the big four, T-Mobile's data prices are the cheapest (especially if you stream a lot of video from any of their BingeOn providers, which won't interfere or eat up any of your fixed data plan, but they will de-prioritize your data usage on the network after about 25GB of data in a month IIRC), and with Verizon's being the most expensive; and buying in bulk with data only plans, you're going to need to go to the carriers directly, with their prepaid mobile data plans being the better deal, unless you enjoy being under the thumb of contracts. But it's not going to be cheap. Also, it's important to know what sort of coverage T-Mobile has in your area, as well, as many rural areas still only get 2G 150kbps coverage. If you're unlucky enough to be in one of those locations, your choice will be made for you.

T-Mobile's prepaid data only plans.
Verizon's prepaid data only plans.

If Verizon's LTE service really is all you can work with, however, bite the bullet and go postpaid, but bring your own devices (do one line and a mobile data hotspot). Their mobile data is considerably cheaper this way.

There's LEO satellite internet services such as WildBlue, Exede, and Hughsnet, but their prices aren't much more competitive than mobile data with far more expensive equipment and even longer contracts, and much higher network latency.

No matter how you slice it, though... it's not going to be cheap. This is the cost of rural living if you want to stay connected to civilization.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2016, 02:16:59 PM by I.P. Daley »

greenmimama

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We do have a t mobile phone here for a few days to test and it is pinging just as well as our Verizon phones, is that enough to trust it will stay that way?

Daley

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Probably. But the real question is, what're the data connection speeds?

Rural

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Not an answer to your phone issue, but have you looked into DSL for Internet? It's all we can get here, but it's better than bad cell signal.

Syonyk

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I assume the tower is some rural wifi provider or other?

Put the tower up if you care about internet. :p