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Old 10-11-2017, 10:07 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Cellular devisings

Continuing from elsewhere - what cellphone plans do people recommend, with an eye to economy?

As far as the US goes, MintSIM looks pretty good. at $15/mo (complicated, as it's apparently only that rate if you buy a year ahead, or temporarily, three months), for unlimited everything, 2GB unthrottled data.

In the UK, I'm partial to GiffGaff, whose bundles start at 5/mo (no commitment) for 100MB, 150 mins, and 500 texts, though perhaps more temptingly with 7.50 for 1GB, 250 mins, and unlimited texts, going up from there.

Who else is competitive, especially in the US? (The UK seems to have much greater competition) I'm thinking along the lines of low usage, but still meaningful, so maybe 200 minutes doesn't bust any barrier. Personally, being useful globally would be a big plus - AT&T GoPhone, f'rex, has no coverage beyond the US.

Both are MVNOs, unsurprisingly - GiffGaff runs on O2 (and indeed, is owned by them!), whilst MintSIM runs on T-Mobile.
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Old 10-11-2017, 11:23 PM   #2 (permalink)
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US Mobile is another MVNO that currently runs on T-Mobile but is adding Verizon soon. It's got the most flexible plan system, where you buy the amount you want (minutes, texts, data) and can have a bare bones plan as low as $4, including the $2 service charge.

https://www.usmobile.com/

It's not as cheap as Mint in terms of overall value but when Verizon service goes live, I will be getting a sim for the cheap Moto E that I run with, so I can have some basic cellular service in case of emergencies.
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Old 10-11-2017, 11:58 PM   #3 (permalink)
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US Mobile is another MVNO that currently runs on T-Mobile but is adding Verizon soon. It's got the most flexible plan system, where you buy the amount you want (minutes, texts, data) and can have a bare bones plan as low as $4, including the $2 service charge.

https://www.usmobile.com/
That's an interesting option! Not for me, maybe, but really good for anyone not looking for a data allowance.

Ah, that reminds me - I ought to see if I can get my mother onto GiffGaff. She barely uses her phone, and I'm not much more fond of them - and if we're both on said carrier, the calls are free. = (The catch being I'd need to top-up at least every three months)

As for Arkady: from what I can see, PAYG is very much deprecated within US carriers. It exists, eg AT&T GoPhone, but even those offerings are scarce. (Not that it'd be competitive these days, but I sort of wonder what might happen if I were to resurrect my Pioneer Plan with then-Sprint.. at the time, maybe the first and only PAYG option in the US, with Qualcomm based in San Diego, my home at the time. Remember the days of $1.50/min being good for a US-UK call? =
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Old 10-12-2017, 12:10 AM   #4 (permalink)
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A friend of mine used the ultimately cheap solution for a few months. Facebook messenger and Hangouts Dialer. The latter allows outgoing calls for free while anyone contacting her needed to use Messenger. Limiting but free. Not doable without a wifi connection at your house.
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Old 10-12-2017, 09:37 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I have GiffGaff, and I can't praise them highly enough. No fuss, easy to set up a repeating goodybag, I never run out of minutes or data on 10 a month. They keep trying to encourage me to get the less expensive goodybag - what other operator does that!

No contracts, easy to do, nice community, why look anywhere else? I do use FB messenger and What'sApp too for free calls but most of my family are now on GiffGaff (we converted them) so all GiffGaff to Giffgaff calls are free anyway.
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Old 10-12-2017, 11:09 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I just ran across an an app called TextNow. This seems to good to be true but I've tried it and there doesn't seem to be a catch. Free phone number. Unlimited free phone calls in and out. Unlimited texts. Wifi required but if you aren't connected, incoming calls go to voicemail. No data, it's not for that. Damn!
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Old 10-14-2017, 11:07 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Hm! Not a bad option for normal cellular use, either:

https://www.textnow.com/wireless/

The base $14 plan's a bit pointless, with only 100MB of useful data (unlimited 2G? O.o Might as well use postcards =:), but $20/mo for 1.5GB isn't bad. It's tagged as "promo", but there's no note about any regular rate, as with the others above it.

Not an ideal option for me, though, as they note their cellular coverage is US-only. On the other paw.. the TextNow app would work regardless. IIRC, Skype's inbound phone numbers come with a fee, so a free option could actually be just the ticket. ^_^

Have you tried it yet?
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Old 10-14-2017, 12:58 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Have you tried it yet?
Yes. It gave me a phone number. I made calls in both directions. I tried their voicemail. It all worked. Then I uninstalled it since I don't actually have a use for it right now. They say it's subsidized with ads but I didn't use it long enough to see any.
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