Author Topic: cheap cell phone service question  (Read 2441 times)

lemonverbena

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cheap cell phone service question
« on: September 24, 2016, 10:20:41 PM »
Yes, I've read the guides, but somehow an answer to a basic question seems to have eluded me. Do these cheap cell services like Selectel transition seamlessly when you move from one wifi area to another? My husband needs to take business calls while moving from his home office onto the road. It would be very unfortunate for these calls to get dropped. Can someone reassure me this won't happen? (We're leaning toward Selectel as we'd be leaving Verizon and want to keep our iphones.) Thanks in advance for your responses! Also, there's no reason why 'call forwarding' from a landline wouldn't work on these plans, correct?

FINate

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Re: cheap cell phone service question
« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2016, 11:47:08 PM »
Does Selectel do wifi calling? They have cheap plans, but IMO the value isn't that great with very limited data and limits on the number of texts and minutes.

I use Republic Wireless, which switches seamlessly between cell and wifi, never tested moving between wifi networks. I can't comment on the other cheap services, but Republic Wireless works well enough for the price, however call quality and dropped calls are occasionally an issue. I wouldn't recommend it if your husband needs it for business calls.

Rural

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Re: cheap cell phone service question
« Reply #2 on: September 25, 2016, 05:56:17 AM »
There are some very cheap providers that don't use wifi at all. I'm on Consumer Cellular, which is AT&T, but surely there's a Verizon equivalent. Have you checked the Superguide?

http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/share-your-badassity/communications-tech-son-of-the-superguide!/
« Last Edit: September 25, 2016, 06:00:45 AM by Rural »

Elle 8

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Re: cheap cell phone service question
« Reply #3 on: September 25, 2016, 07:46:12 AM »
Check out Page Plus Cellular and/or Puppy Wireless.  They use the Verizon network and don't use wifi as far as I know.  I've used them both and been happy with the service.  However, I am a low minutes/text/data user so your savings may not be as high as mine.  I pay about $20 a month for one smart phone and one dumb phone.  Was paying about $100 on Verizon directly.

Daley

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Re: cheap cell phone service question
« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2016, 09:07:23 AM »
Do these cheap cell services like Selectel transition seamlessly when you move from one wifi area to another? My husband needs to take business calls while moving from his home office onto the road. It would be very unfortunate for these calls to get dropped. Can someone reassure me this won't happen? (We're leaning toward Selectel as we'd be leaving Verizon and want to keep our iphones.) Thanks in advance for your responses! Also, there's no reason why 'call forwarding' from a landline wouldn't work on these plans, correct?

All the recommended providers from the guide (excuse Ting GSM) don't even have the option for WiFi calling, and in the rare case that they do (again, Ting GSM, but not Ting CDMA), it's actual standard compliant UMA network handoff - the same as T-Mobile and the rest of the GSM using world where the service is flicked on. However, it doesn't work with Apple's iPhones, because Apple doesn't believe in using the same standards as the rest of the mobile industry. They're special. Verizon didn't even offer WiFi calling on their iPhones until March of this year... we're talking barely six months here of you guys even potentially using that feature. Ignore WiFi calling, it's a distraction and a red herring for you. The only way calls would get dropped under a regular mobile network coverage usage scenario is if he walks through a dead zone between the desk and the door. He should already know that specific possibility if he stays on Verizon coverage and used his phone before March 15th(ish) of this year or earlier in that area or just tries using his phone right now with WiFi access turned off while at the office.

If you're using Verizon coverage for consistency, and Verizon works in his office, then he probably needs to switch to a Verizon MVNO. Unfortunately, the most expensive mobile network coupled with the most expensive mobile handset does not come with options for reasonably affordable mobile service. You're also dealing with a phone that consistently has some of the worst mobile antenna designs available on smartphones. Frequently, far cheaper Android and Windows Mobile handsets that don't try to shoehorn in a fractal antenna designed to work with EACH AND EVERY FARGIN' GSM, CDMA and LTE BAND ON THE PLANET can receive perfectly usable service from carriers like AT&T and T-Mobile in areas where an iPhone barely got Verizon coverage and nothing else.

That said, these are golden ticket phones with it being from Verizon. With an already carrier unlocked SIM slot, the phone can be taken to any AT&T or T-Mobile MVNO that might work where he is. If you know for certain that AT&T coverage works at his office and on the road for your region, you'll both be better served switching to Consumer Cellular and family planning it than going Selectel as you'll get a bit better deal for the money - just be sure to have Consumer Cellular ship you AT&T SIM cards, not T-Mobile ones (they offer service on both networks - and yes, there's roaming service on CC). Go Selectel only if you HAVE to have Verizon coverage with roaming.

Now, regarding Verizion MVNOs, Selectel as far as I know, is about the only remaining Verizon MVNO that still offers roaming. America Movil has dropped roaming from all their MVNO brands, including Page Plus, without dropping rates - effectively doing yet another stealth rate hike on all their users. Puppy Wireless never had roaming, but Kitty Wireless sold Puppy Wireless off to a smaller MVNO conglomerate a few months back. I'm still reserving my opinion on the new owners. Now, Ting CDMA is a Sprint first network with Verizon and USCC roaming agreements, but it is Sprint first. The phone will always try to connect to a Sprint tower if there's even a remote chance of detecting a Sprint signal, even if it's nearly unusable... and well... it's Sprint. It's an option, and the phone should actually activate on Ting CDMA, but coverage and reception is going to be VASTLY different than what your husband is used to. Unless you know Sprint coverage is really decent there and around your area, given how important the service is for business, I'm going to default steer you towards either an AT&T or Verizon first carrier without knowing more about your area specifically.

I could get into very nuanced details about network and tower prioritization with wholesale customers and what have you, but to keep it simple, service is pretty much going to behave the same way on an MVNO as it will on the parent network, excuse the potential lack of roaming depending on the provider and more modest data speeds that you probably won't even notice the difference on in day to day usage.

As for call forwarding, that'll still work just fine.
« Last Edit: September 25, 2016, 09:10:09 AM by I.P. Daley »

lemonverbena

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Re: cheap cell phone service question
« Reply #5 on: September 25, 2016, 04:48:42 PM »
Thank you, very helpful! FWIW, I have no loyalty to iPhone, I'd just rather not buy something new if I've got a perfectly good device already.
Will we be able to have our iPhones unlocked if we break contract with Verizon or do we need to wait until our contract runs out? (I'm not even sure if that question makes sense... I'm assuming unlocking a phone is something I request Verizon do when I go in to end my relationship with them?)
Also, I should mention they are iPhone 5c, if that matters.

Daley

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Re: cheap cell phone service question
« Reply #6 on: September 25, 2016, 05:25:12 PM »
Thank you, very helpful! FWIW, I have no loyalty to iPhone, I'd just rather not buy something new if I've got a perfectly good device already.
Will we be able to have our iPhones unlocked if we break contract with Verizon or do we need to wait until our contract runs out? (I'm not even sure if that question makes sense... I'm assuming unlocking a phone is something I request Verizon do when I go in to end my relationship with them?)
Also, I should mention they are iPhone 5c, if that matters.

The need for carrier unlocking would be necessary if it was purchased from AT&T, T-Mobile or a purchased Sprint LTE device (though I think Sprint automagically unlocks iPhones after contract requirements are met), but not Verizon. SIM locking does not apply to Verizon LTE devices due to spectrum licensing requirements set forth by the FCC. As such, it's unlocked from the factory and you can literally stick in any SIM card you like without worry right this minute - or even twelve months ago.

Just pay off your ETF penalty on the final bill you're cut after porting your numbers out (you do not have to "terminate" service with Verizon, porting your number out to another carrier does that for you automatically) and move on with your life.

Lastly, I applaud your effort to use up and wear out your iPhones instead of just swapping them like most others do. That said, keep this point in mind when it comes time to potentially replace them. There's cheaper, better handsets out there for the money.... especially used/refurbished.
« Last Edit: September 25, 2016, 05:29:25 PM by I.P. Daley »

lemonverbena

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Re: cheap cell phone service question
« Reply #7 on: September 25, 2016, 05:59:19 PM »
Word. Thanks again! Feeling confident enough now to make the switch. You're doing a great service for so many readers.

GreenEggs

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Re: cheap cell phone service question
« Reply #8 on: September 25, 2016, 06:11:17 PM »
My iphone 4s recently got wet & I'm shopping for a replacement.  :(