2012 was an exciting year in mobile technology. We saw the release of quad core devices, 720p and 1080p displays, and new flagships from most of the major OEMs. However, one thing that hasn’t changed much is mobile carriers. Their pricing has stayed pretty much the same. In many cases, they’ve actually gone up. In response to that, many customers are looking for cheaper alternatives in the prepaid market. As mobile technology improves, prepaid plans have the potential to be just as good as a contract plan for a fraction of the cost. So we’re going to outline some of the best monthly prepaid plans. So far in 2013, the amazing devices have continued to roll out as we’ve seen with the Samsung Galaxy S4, the HTC one, the Sony Xperia Z, and the Oppo Find 5. All these new devices and the same old carrier garbage.
Each month we’ll update these entries to reflect new deals, remove expired deals, and, if necessary, add and remove new carriers.
First on our list is the popular Verizon Wireless. They’re much more known for their contract plans, but they actually also do prepaid plans. Prepaid plans feature the same features as their contract plans, including their 4G data.
Verizon Wireless prepaid has a few noteworthy plans that have changed since January. Word is that they will soon be upgrading their prepaid plans to double the data, but as of May 31, 2013, those changes have not been reflected on their website.
You can check out Verizon’s plans on their website.
Much like Verizon, and the others of the big four, AT&T is more known for their contract plans. Also like Verizon, they’re known for being pretty expensive when compared to others. However, AT&T Wireless does offer some prepaid plans for people who want AT&T service without the expensive contracts. Like Verizon, AT&T prepaid customers will enjoy their nationwide service as well as their LTE where it is available.
AT&T has a few more options when it comes to prepaid plans. However, there are 3 that are the most noteworthy. As of May, they have reworked their rate plans to make them all smartphone compatible, albeit they are minor.
For the latest, check out AT&Ts prepaid plans on their website.
For the longest time, Sprint didn’t have any no-contract, prepaid services. They were the only carrier in the big four that didn’t. However, in December 2012, they announced that a new prepaid service would be up in January 2013. They weren’t lying as the Sprint prepaid plans are now live and available. They feature Sprint’s 4G coverage, which is still under construction. This could be a great plan for Sprint customers who have ended their 2 year contract but want to wait until LTE reaches their area before signing a new contract and upgrading. Their 3G, talk, and text is nationwide, though, so there is that.
Sprint not only keeps it really simple but really static as well. These rates remain the same since they were launched.
If Sprint’s prepaid service is up your alley, you can find more details at their official website.
Of the big four carriers in the United States, T-Mobile is the carrier that is usually among the cheapest. They’ve also undergone a transformation in the early portion of 2013. Instead of offering the usual contract stuff, T-Mobile has officially launched its Uncarrier infrastructure. So any new customers no longer sign a contract. All the plans are now no contract plans so there is no longer a real distinction between no contract and contract plans. They’re all no contract!
What’s fun is that T-Mobile’s infrastructure has changed but their rates really haven’t. Their no contract plans remain their no contract plans. However, they are not also the main plans from T-Mobile.
For more details on their prepaid and monthly plans, check out their website.
In terms of CDMA prepaid carriers, they are among the most known and trusted out there. They are also pretty reasonably priced. As Boost Mobile is based on Sprint’s network, customers will be getting Sprint’s nationwide calling, texting, 3G, and 4G WiMAX.
Boost Mobile has two plans worth looking at. One is a monthly plan and the other is a pay-as-you-go.
If Boost Mobile looks like your kind of carrier, check out their official website.
Republic Wireless has truly one of the most unique plans out there. Instead of depending on a cell signal for everything, Republic Wireless encourages customers to stay on WiFi connections whenever possible. This allows their services to be impossibly cheap, but there are drawbacks. If you’re not on a wireless connection, you’ll be depending on Sprint’s cell service. Republic Wireless relies on the honor system when it comes to data. It’s unlimited, but you have to promise to try to stay on a WiFi connection whenever possible.
Republic Wireless has only one plan but it’s now broken up into 2 options.
To view their plan, check out their website.
As with most of the other smaller wireless carriers with prepaid monthly plans, Straight Talk only offers one plan and it’s based on a larger carrier’s network. Also, like smaller carriers, the plans are more simple and don’t usually include options. Straight Talk offers a pretty cheap plan for an average smartphone user and they allow you to bring your own phone assuming it’s a GSM. Customers on Straight Talk will be on T-Mobile’s GSM network, to include their HSPA+ 4G
Straight Talk continues to add and delete plans, here are the two currently on their website.
To see everything Straight Talk has to offer, check out their website.
Net10 is about as old school as it comes with prepaid services. Net10 is a subsidiary of TracFone, which is why we won’t be mentioning TracFone. They’re pretty much identical services available in the same places. Net10 depends on the classic paradigm of buying minutes as you need them. Texting and data are taken off your minutes as you use them. So if you use one minute of mobile data, it deducts one minute from your plan. Thus if you get a plan with unlimited minutes, you get unlimited everything by proxy.
Net10 has expanded their services and offers a bunch of new plans. You can now do pay-as-you-go, monthly, and family. In the last month, they have changed their plans around quite a bit, including cheaper minutes and better monthly service plans.
If you want to take a closer look at Net10 prepaid, check out their website.
Page Plus is much like the others in a sense that it’s really just piggybacking off of a larger service’s network. While most of the others piggyback on GSM networks, though, Page Plus prepaid services puts their customers on Verizon’s network. So customers will get Verizon’s nationwide 3G, call, and text services. As with anything with Verizon’s name or technology attached to it, you won’t find any fully unlimited plans here. However, if you like CDMA and Verizon service and don’t want to pay Verizon prepaid prices, then this prepaid service is worth looking at.
Like others, PagePlus Wireless has expanded their services to include new plans.
If this sounds like a service you would like to have, you can find more info on their website.
Last month, PlatinumTel underwent a huge change. They switched from CDMA to T-Mobile’s GSM network, revamped their plans, and revamped their phone selection. So this is PlatinumTel’s first month under their new business model. They have T-Mobile’s nationwide service along with their HSPA+ 4G web. They have also lowered prices and simplified plans to better match the competition found elsewhere on this list. However, their new business model and plans are a considerable update from what they once offered.
PlatinumTel has three different plans. A pay-as-you-go service and two monthly plans
For more info, check out PlatinumTel’s website.
Ready Mobile PCS is another prepaid service that isn’t the most well known out there. They operate on Sprint’s service so customers will be able to enjoy nationwide service. Their plans are among the more conservative on the list. Ready Mobile PCS is definitely for people who don’t really use their phones very often. At least not for data.
Ready Mobile PCS takes a more a la carte approach to their plans. They have a variety of call and text plans and then a data plan you can add on.
If you have a grandparent who still thinks the internet is the lining in swimming trunks, you can hook them up with a prepaid phone on Ready Mobile PCS’ website.
Much like Ready Mobile PCS, Consumer Cellular does their prepaid plans in modules. There are minute plans and a separate messaging and data package added on. It runs on AT&T’s network, so customers will still enjoy nationwide calling, text, and 3G data. For now, there isn’t 4G data on Consumer Cellular. Unlike most of the other plans on the list, there is actually no unlimited plans on this carrier.
Consumer Cellular has two different plans. A monthly service for minutes and a monthly service for messaging and data. You can get both together if you so choose.
If this looks like your prepaid solution, check out Consumer Cellular’s website.
H2O Wireless prepaid is next on the list and it is another prepaid service that uses AT&T”s towers. So if you’ve seen an AT&T coverage map, you’ve seen a H2O Wireless coverage map. When it comes to their prepaid service, they’re pretty simple. Like the others, there is no 4G for their plans, but if you’re going prepaid you’re probably used to that by now.
H2O Wireless has upgraded their plans to include a few more. Their create your own plan is a little cheaper now, and there is a new minutes-only option.
If H20 Wireless prepaid looks your speed, check out their website.
When scanning lists like these, there are always people looking for a nice, secure, prepaid plan for their kids. After all, prepaid makes sense with kids. No need to spend an extra $100 adding a line to your plan if the kids only need phones for emergencies or to text their buddies. Kajeet fills this need with a prepaid service for children. It runs on Sprint’s 3G network so national coverage is a given.
Kajeet plans are needlessly complicated but offer a range of customizations.
If you’d like to check out Kajeet, head over to their website.
Next on our list is Red Pocket Mobile. As far as prepaid plans go, this company is right in the middle of the road, but they do have some decent plans. They piggyback off of AT&T’s nationwide network, so customers will be able to get AT&T coverage. Customers have a choice of bringing their own GSM phones or buying one from Red Pocket Mobile.
In terms of plans, there are 7 days, 15 days, and month long prepaid plans.
If you’re looking for a decent option and don’t care about the data, check out their website.
As their name implies, SIMple Mobile keeps their prepaid services simple and easy to understand. This is another company that uses T-Mobile’s nationwide network which means customers will have access to nationwide talk, text, and HSPA+ 4G. That, coupled with their simple outlook on prepaid monthly plans makes this carrier one of the most attractive on the list.
They only have 3 plans, and they’re all pretty easy to understand.
To check out their plans yourself, head to the website.
Total Call Mobile prepaid service runs on the Sprint network, so nationwide call, text, and 3G data is a given. Yes, we said 3G again. Their plans are more old school and revolve around prepaid cards that you load. They do the monthly plan deals by having customers buy monthly cards that last for 30 days.
They have 4 plans that are worth looking at.
If you’d like to take a closer look, head to their official website.
Virgin Mobile is a CDMA prepaid service that runs on the Sprint network. Much like Boost Mobile, customers will get Sprint’s nationwide calling, text, 3G, and 4G WiMAX. While it isn’t Sprint’s LTE coverage, even WiMAX is better than just 3G. Virgin Mobile keeps it simple and actually doesn’t offer any contract plans. So no matter which one you choose, there is no obligation.
There are 3 plans that Virgin Mobile promotes the most and they’re pretty simple.
To check it out further, go to their website.
Ting is perhaps one of the most interesting prepaid carriers on the list. They’re on Sprint’s nationwide 3G, call, and text network along with their 4G WiMAX. What’s interesting is that they also have Sprint’s LTE coverage as well. That makes Ting one of the few carriers on this list that actually offers LTE. Pair that with their interesting plan policies, and you have a unique experience.
Ting has 1 plan that they offer, but that plan is very highly customizable.
To check out Ting, go to their website.
You may have noticed that January 2013 is the first time we’ve added MetroPCS to our prepaid list. There are two reasons for that. The first being that MetroPCS was recently bought out by T-Mobile and we assumed that this would bring some changes. Second is because they actually did make some of those changes. MetroPCS has recently revamped their no contract plans to make it more simple for people looking for a mobile plan. MetroPCS has their own CDMA talk, text, 3G, and 4G LTE network. So unlike many carriers on this list, they don’t piggy back of the network of another carrier.
MetroPCS has lowered their offerings down to three easy plans for users to choose from. These may change again in the near future as the T-Mobile and MetroPCS merger has been approved, so things are going to change for both carriers in short order. These are accurate as of May 1, 2013.
If MetroPCS looks like something you’d like to try, check out their official website.
AIO is a recently released carrier that came from AT&T. They boast a simple to understand mobile experience that appeals to the masses. They use symbols like smiley faces and peace signs to appeal to customers, but are their rates that competitive? Well that’s what we’re going to talk about. As mentioned, this is a prepaid service on the AT&T service, so you’ll get their excellent nationwide coverage. For now, they only serve a few cities but once the testing markets have been tested, there’s no reason why this won’t expand nationwide.
AIO has 4 plans and one of the very few carriers that offers a tablet-only plan.
If you live in a test market and want to give AIO Wireless a shot, check out their official website.
Based on their price and features, we have determined the best carriers on the list are:
We chose these carriers based on a number of factors. They have unlimited talk, text, and data plans for under $60. Most of these include some form of 4G data along with that. While most may throttle 4G data, 2G/3G data remains unlimited so there are no overages and you get web when you need it. They range from $19 to $60 respectively. When AIO Wireless goes nationwide (which they can do anytime, since they are essentially AT&T Jr.), they’ll probably be on this list.
Republic Wireless remains our biggest up and comer. They have an amazing concept with their $19.99 unlimited plans. For $20 you get all the talk, text, and 3G you can handle but you have to promise to spend as much time on a WiFi connection as you can. This sort of give and take is very unique and $20 is, far and wide, the cheapest unlimited plan on the list. They’ve made their service a little more friendly to new customers by bringing in a $30 unlimited plan and lowering the price of their only phone to $99.
The only problem is their phone selection. They only offer one phone and it’s from the Android dark ages. If Republic Wireless ever bumps up their smartphone offerings, or at least allows people to bring their own Sprint phones (they are on Sprint’s network), then Republic Wireless could become the go-to prepaid carrier. However, for now, that $19.99 looks great but the phone it comes with looks terrible.
Sadly, there are. Based on price and features, we have determined that you should think twice about the following carriers:
Now before anyone gets mad, we’re not saying these are bad carriers. We’re saying that in terms of no contract carriers, they lag behind the rest in features in comparison to price. Ting doesn’t offer unlimited anything and it’s the most expensive service on this list. To get the maximum in each area, customers will pay $132 per month for a single user. That’s insane. For $35-$60 you can get unlimited everything on half a dozen different carriers.
Ready Mobile is no better. For 2GB of 3G data, unlimited texting and calls, it will run $125 per person. That is simply absurd. For the price of a Ting or Ready Mobile account, you can get 6 Republic Wireless accounts and you get unlimited everything. Consumer Cellular faces a similar problem but at a lesser degree. You can get 4,000 minutes, 10,000 texts, and 1GB of data for $90.
Essentially, if a carrier makes this list, you can find contract plans from the US big four (Sprint, Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile) that have better deals. In most cases you also get a nicer phone.
As you may have read, many of these plans either require you to bring your own phone or give you the option to do so. So we thought we’d suggest a few devices depending on if you’re going GSM or CDMA.
The best GSM phones out right now are:
Since you’ll be buying these off contract, the best combination of power and price will be the Nexus 4. If you’re particularly strapped for cash, you can find good deals on the Galaxy Nexus, the Galaxy S II, or the HTC One S on sites like eBay or Swappa.
For our CDMA picks, the best out there are:
It’s a little harder to port a CDMA phone to a CDMA carrier, but there are legal ways of doing it. Some of the CDMA carriers on the list allow you to bring your phone to their service if they share towers (like Kajeet, which works on Sprint’s network). Since Boost Mobile is our top CDMA pick and it boasts Sprint’s WiMAX, our suggestion is to find a way to get the Samsung Galaxy S II Epic 4G Touch or the HTC EVO 3D ported to Boost Mobile. They are the top WiMAX phones.
As the world of mobile technology moves at lightning quick speeds, we will be updating this on a monthly basis. So check back every month to see if there are any new deals or rate changes. Also, if there is a new wireless carrier that we don’t have on the list or an old favorite we missed, leave us a comment and let us know. We’ll check them out!
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Correction: Straight Talk does offer their own phones (albeit not very decent ones, except for maybe the SII). http://www.straighttalk.com/ShopPhones
Hello Brandon and thank you for commenting and reading :) Yes I know Straight Talk carries their own phones. I was attempting to engage in humor by saying they didn’t offer any real phones of their own (as only a couple of carriers on this list offer decent smartphones). I didn’t think that one through, so I will change it. Thanks again!
I’m going with T-Mobile. They don’t have the best speeds, but I’m in a contract paying $100 a line with 6 phones. Share your data thing doesn’t work either. I’m a data machine downloading my ROMs and apps and just surfing the web
With T-Mobile they are refarming their network, as well as constantly bumping speeds from HSPA+14 and HSPA+21 to HSPA+42 rapidly. So Im sure the speed will get better for you. Unlike AT&T, T-Mobile will NOT announce an HSPA+42 area until majority of coverage/towers in that area have fiber. AT&T will just say “Yes, we have HSPA+21″ but without the fiber to backhaul, only the equipment is up to date, not the speed.
Aside from this, T-Mobile Monthly 4G plans you CAN share data, via HotSpot for $15.
What about Ting?
I’ve got Ting.com.. Pretty good service for me since I travel out of the country from time to time and would hate to have to pay much when I’m not in the country to actually use my phone.
Thanks for reading and commeting Marvin and Stamas. I will add Ting to December’s update along with Virgin Mobile :)
Another correction: You are *very* wrong when you say you “can’t port Verizon phones” on PagePlus Cellular.
In fact, you can use ANY non-4g Verizon smartphone, and pretty much every other basic phone [as long as you dial *228 for activating], including the Samsung Fascinate, Droid X2, Droid 3, etc.
well, by “pretty much every other basic phone” I of course mean any basic Verizon phone, as long as it is not “prepaid.”
And yes, PagePlus has their own phones [which are probably junk, sure]
but just as long as you know you can use your old 3g smartphone with PagePlus!
The downside is it costs $10 to get a number [free to port in], they recently started charging for getting a number, it used to be completely free.
But I definitely recommend PagePlus!
Hello and thank you for stopping by :) I did not know Verizon allowed their phones on other networks and was misinformed about that. I’ll go make the appropriate changes now. Thank you for reading and letting me know :)
Straight Talk correction: you can get either an AT&T provisioned or T- mobile provisioned SIM card. With either, as long as you have the right APN settings, you can access their HSPA+ network. The main difference is that At&T’s is only a 21mbps network, but I still average about 5-6 Mbps down.
Hello and thank you for commenting :) I’ll make those changes immediately.
On virgin mobile you can get unlimited messaging, unlimited data, and 300 minutes of talk for $35 /month. They also have a decent smartphone lineup.
Hello and thank you for reading and commenting! I will add Virgin Mobile when I update this article next month :) Thank you!
No mention of Solavei. One of the best at the moment. Joe, mail me for details.
Hello Darnell, I have heard of Solavei before but I wanted to figure out more about what they’re all about before I included them on this list. My G+ and Twitter are on my author box just above this comment section. Feel free to send me a message or tweet me there if you have more information about it.
Don’t get too excited – Solavei is basically MLM phone service. That’s why he wants you to contact him personally for more info–so he can get you in his downline if you decide to try it out.
Oh I’m stuck in a contract plan ;) so that won’t be happening.
MLM or not it’s still great service. $49/month Unlimited talk, text and data. Plus you are not throttled down on data until 4GB!! That is the best in the market. Oh and for those international folks it also comes with unlimited international texting! Yea heck of a deal if you ask me. If you are interested and want to know more just go to http://www.CellDominion.com
FYI, Simple Mobile doesn’t allow call forwarding, so Google Voice voicemail will not work.
You’re missing the point of Google Voice. Virgin doesn’t allow call forwarding….so I got Google Voice which can automatically forward your calls to any other number.
No he meant for people like me, and many others who prefer to use Google Voice as a Voicemail option rather than carrier. This way, we can read our voicemails, listen to them over data in the app, etc. Rather than pay per minute for people to either leave messages, pick up messages or in some cases, BOTH.
I just purchased 2 Nexus 4, and I am going to be going with T-Mobile. My wife recently got the Note II on T-Mobile, and it had horrible connection issues, even down to being able to make a call, meanwhile, y son has a Samsung Exhibit, and it works great on T-Mobile. I hope the Nexus 4 lives up to it’s reputation… :)
The antennas on international Note II are not made for tmo’s network so you only get 2g with them with a n international note II
I will probably go on PlatinumTel in December if they piggyback on AT&T’s network, but not if they use Tmo’s or if they have a hidden 1GB throttle.
Nice round-up, Joe. FYI, on kajeet you can also activate your ‘old’ unactivated Sprint device, and with no activation fee. This is great for getting more use out of your old phone when you do a Sprint device upgrade. Best, –Daniel Neal
From my own horrible experiences with Simple Mobile, I can definitely confirm that they do NOT give you unlimited everything. It’s “Unlimited unless it’s more than we think is acceptable” – some months you get full 250MB of data, some months I got cut off at 130MB. (BTW this was on an iPhone 3GS, so I wasn’t even getting their 3G or 4G, merely 2G speeds – and btw, 2G = minimum 128Kbps by definition – even those first (only) 130-250MBs is throttled to 100kbps, which is not even 2g speed though Simple is advertising it as 3G. I tried dropping my SIM in a friend’s T-Mobile android phone and we did a line speed test there as well, on the first day of my billing cycle to make sure the speed was the max. available – same results, 100Kbps max, and generally around 80 on the tests for 2 days) When you hit that limit? Cutoff until next month period. Send too many text messages? Cut off until next month. The only thing that I never ran over on personally was minutes, however a close personal friend of mine did – he works nights at a slow job and would talk to his girlfriend for hours – 2 months in a row they cut him off for using too many of his “unlimited” minutes. He didn’t stick around for a 3rd. When I called customer support several times, they were rude and condescending, lecturing me on “Well we can’t afford to keep handing out bandwidth to people who want to be unreasonable” – when I asked what unreasonable meant, they stated that I was using “too much data” and that their plans do NOT in fact offer unlimited data, rather unlimited web. When I asked what the difference was (I use my phone to watch videos a lot via Hulu+ and similar) they informed me that it was only intended to be used to do basic tasks such as check email. According to their corporate policy, streaming videos, uploading photos, and using GPS programs were all in violation of the agreement. After the 3rd month in a row got cut off, I’d had enough.
You may want to clarify the coverage — most of these MVNOs do not have roaming agreements, so coverage isn’t the same as for postpaid contract customers on their parent networks. An example is H2O Wireless: “if you’ve seen an AT&T coverage map, you’ve seen a H2O Wireless coverage map” isn’t actually true. Just compare the maps:
H2O Wireless: http://www.h2owirelessnow.com/pageControl.php?page=coverage
AT&T Postpaid: http://www.wireless.att.com/coverageviewer/
AT&T Postpaid customers get coverage in Nebraska (Omaha) due to a roaming agreement with T-Mobile, but H2O customers are restricted to AT&T’s native network which has no presence there.
Verizon prepaid, AT&T prepaid, T-Mobile prepaid, Boost Mobile, PlatinumTel, H2O Wireless, Red Pocket, and Simple Mobile do not have roaming.
Page Plus charges extra for roaming.
Ting and Republic Wireless have roaming for voice and text, but not data.
Straight Talk and NET10 usually roam, depending on what underlying carrier and phone you end up with.
I would be glad to help with your research to add Solavei to your listing next month. I have spent the past four months studying Solavei and interacting with its leadership, and detailing what I have learned here: http://GoodSmartPhoneDeal.com . Solavei enrolled its first 65,000 subscribers and gave out its first million dollars in the first two months since its launch, according to the Wall Street Journal’s “Market Watch” http://www.marketwatch.com/story/solavei-reaches-65000-members-six-weeks-after-launch-delivering-the-first-mobile-phone-service-that-pays-2012-11-13 . Not only does Solavei offer premium service at a great price, but it offers growing income streams for its customers through profit-sharing (instead of one-time referrals), and is pursuing a global vision of introducing market efficiencies to benefit millions of people (in parallel with the other kinds of market efficiencies introduced by Amazon, Walmart and eBay). Solavei’s vision is to improve the lives of millions of people, with the mobile service just the first of their products. If I can be of help with your research, contact me at 360 420-5634 or Solavei@GoodSmartPhoneDeal.com . Thanks! —Robby
Straight Talk and SIMPLE Mobile are both also subsidiaries of TracFone.
Both Straight Talk and Simple Mobile limit your data after 2GB by the way, however a friend has Net10 Bring Your Own Device plan, which ironically is $5 more than Straight Talk, and not branded by Walmart, but owned by the same company (TracFone), however it offers true unlimited 3G/4G data on T-Mobile or AT&T (ask for one or the other SIM, phone does NOT need to be unlocked if its carrier branded).
I see no mention of metroPCS, unlimited local & long distance talk + text for $25. can’t beat that if you don’t need data,
I believe Solavei is the best prepaid plan out there right now. Granted $49/month + taxes&fees for unlimited talk, text and 4G data is slightly more expensive than some of the ones listed in this post; however, Solavei is the only one that will pay its members rather handsomely for referring others. Heck my wife and I are now enjoying free wireless service + extra money in the bank just for having referred a few people. Take a look at my affiliate website http://patrickepote.com/solavei and let me know what you think
article! However, Avoid the HTC EVO 3D like the plague! We got 5 on a family
plan with Sprint. One phone got replaced for restarting and its replacement is the
only phone still working… One phone got dropped in water and was replaced with
the GSII (a much much better phone)… One phone sends a strange text to one of
the other phones every time the phone is restarted, which is all the time
because it locks up… One phone can barely be used because texting and the
screen mess up with a mind of its own… and the last phone lost its 4g service
(4g turns on and off and on and off never connects to anything) Sprint
discontinued this phone for a reason… get the GSII which is still sold if you
want WiMAX! We can get new phones 4/1 by signing a new 2 year contract, but we
are not out of the current contract until 6/27. Lesson learned, don’t sign a
contract! When your phone breaks you are stuck.
Nice reviews… now for the 2013 updates and including the wifi spin on it…
Finger weh von Karten, die auch das T-Mobile Netz nutzen
habe schlechte Erfahrungen gemacht, da der Anbieter wenn zur Wahl
natürlich die Daten im günstigen T-Mobile Netz. Grundsätzlich
o.k., aber deutsche Nutzer haben Smartphones ohne die nötige UMTS
Quadbandfunktion, also nur extrem langsames 2g EDGE zur
Die Flatrate bring so garnichts… Emails, mehr
Hier meine Empfehlung – ausschließlich schnelles
AT&T Netz: USA Prepaid SIM http://www.prepaid-global.de/usa-amerika.html
Finger weg von den vermeindlichen Schnäppchen,
T-Mobile und europäische Endgeräte passen nicht zusammen, der Kunde
kann nicht frei zwischen den Netzen wählen, die Entscheidung trifft
der Anbieter natürlich nicht zugunsten des teueren AT&T
Kunde bleibt nahezu offline – nie wieder
Anyone able to tell me where I could easily obtain a prepaid sim card with data (Platinum, Straight talk, Ting or even T Mobile per the reviews) close to JFK airport? I am arriving in the USA and will be staying in a hotel very close to the airport. Would like to get a sim card upon arrival.
PS – I have a GSM phone (Nexus 4).
You forgot that Boost and Virgin now offer phones that run on Sprint’s new LTE rather than WiMax, and at the same monthly price.
Hello, I have a Verizon contract that just ran out, yet I’m now lingering for the phone aspect of it as a hotspot for my other devices. I have a ATT Pantech Element I bought for 250 via “month to month”. Afore that it was a T-Mobile branded Dell Streak 7, which died finally. I basicly used my hotspot for it, but did the tmobile prepaid a bit here and there, but their prepaid was totally expensive, I was hoping to use my hotspot and also then add their sim to tablet and get more data per month, etc. I usually use about 2-12 gig a month as it is via data surfing, emailing, blogging, etc, etc, etc…
What I want to know is, now that I have a ATT 4g LTE pantech element, what would be the best place to go and get unlimited data for it? When I say unlimited data I mean anything from 2g to 4g, 3g would be great for the duration, etc, that I won’t get throttled too badly at, where I could say use 5-20gigs per month?
I’d love to have 3g speeds and even slower, if it was truly unlimited… I had a bestbuy flyer(it got tossed in the recycler) but I remember reading all these plans and features and the one place said, “truly unlimited, many users report using up to 80+ gigs a month before being throttled down to slightly slower speeds for duration”….
I cannot seem to find any info on that article//flyer.
So, I need at least 5-20gig a month or it’s not worth it to bother for me since I have 6gig and hotspot for like 75 a month now with my verizon corp account.
Anyone know of a place that would sell me a mini sim(pantech element takes smaller sim) and doesn’t throttle down to dialup speeds? I don’t need blazing fast speeds and do not stream endless movies, but like to get my news and radio in am, etc, and then it’s surfing all day, blogging, etc.
I’d also consider buying a hotspot device and shoving a sim card in that. Someone gave me an old net10 fone to use as an mp3 player in bathroom and I noticed a sim card in that!!! I heard Net10 throttles you if you use over a gig in a week…
Thanks for the time and sorry so redundant!!!
Millenicom will sell you a vzw powered hotspot with 20 GB per month for $70. Sprint service is 50 gig for the same price.
I don’t live in USA, but T-Mobile seems like the best one
Best article I’ve come across so far….bookmarked it.keep updating
Metro is the cheapest and best with rate plans now tmobile unlimited 3g $40 4g $60 nobody close
I love page plus I use a Droid x have my router and get the 1200 plan with wifi I do great almost anywhere you go there is WIFI for 29.95 a month. Of course they are being bought out by Carlos so who knows what will happen
Unlimited everything shouldn’t be the ultimate/only criteria. We have Ting and they provide 3 smart phone lines and for what we use we pay $43 total, on average. We used to pay Verizon over $170.
AIO Wireless is the best plan for me..I use 2-3gb a.month $45 is perfect good coverage signal.
Simple mobile $25 is not a monthly plan, it is a 15 day plan. Beware.
Wheres U.S Cellular
For super cheap Pay As You Go, check out AirVoice Wireless (AT&T
MVNO). Great rate structure – you could pay as little as $3.33 per
month by mostly accessing WiFi and avoiding the cell network. Can’t
Here’s how: BYO-unlocked GSM WiFi-enabled
smartphone and you can get service for only $3.33/mo – utilizing mostly
WiFi, which people generally have access to at home and work, for VOIP
& data. Then use the cell network only when away from WiFi.
– $0.10/min voice and $0.33/MB of data. I’m told the data rates are
going to drop soon. $10 card good for 90 days. This allows you to do
a roll-your-own Republic Wireless kind of thing, but w/o the higher
monthly charge and the crappy phone they sell.
by integrating Google Voice, you can give out just one tel # for people
to reach you at home or any cell #. Calls (free over WiFi) from your
cell show your single unified Google Voice #. No more chasing multiple
voice mail boxes. Plus, the many other GV features.
Sorry to sound like a salesman, but this set up is awesome and it’s cheap!
News flash: AirVoice just lowered their data price to $0.06/MB.
One needs to identify monthly usage, choose a group plan for cost benefits, check coverage and get the plan which best suits your download & upload requirements. This article is very helpful: http://www.backspacetab.com/how-to-use-smartphone-smartly/
Lycamobile is new in US and has the lowest rates
0.02 cents per min talk
0.04 cents per text
0.06 cent per MB 4G data
Free incoming texts too I think.
I agree that ting is expensive if only one person is using it, but if you switch an entire family over to ting, and don’t use too much data it is in fact the cheapest carrier on this list. Ting is a great carrier because of their phone selection and their prices on everything except for data.
i am looking for prepaid 7 days,15 days & 30 days Unlimited solution including INT.call to India.
have gone through your resarch impressive.
what you suggest for my requirment
Far too much info in the article to be useful, especially considering the constantly changing rates. It’s like trying to find the best gas station; it feels good now, but wait until next week.
I still cannot find an inexpensive service and phone. All I need is GPS and occasional internet, on a phone I seldom use. Companies make it nearly impossible to compare.
Perhaps worse is the extremely high rates in the US compared to UK and Europe, in addition to data speeds we won’t see for another 10 years. Along with health care, perhaps it’s time to move.
This is very helpful to any person who wanted to know about prepaid wireless information.
We Offer Unbelievable Prepaid Phone Package. please visit us at http://www.wcwnetwork.com or call me at 800-886-0686 ext 8
We offer the cheapest long distance minutes to any country.
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great list. thanks for doing this.
one thing to note: the reason I don’t use republic wireless is their SMS is hampered by using VOIP-like protocols…so you can’t receive MMS, you also can’t TXT to short codes (e.g. TXT “dude” to 7748 to get your free tickets)…those are deal breakers for me…so much so, that I’ll pay my extra $15 a month and stick with boost.
Just to clarify something on the article that seems to be outdated information. I have Consumer Cellular 3 lines. We brought our phones over from At&t. You do get 4G Service provided you have a 4G phone and you are in the covered datazone. Same coverage zone as At&t so more often then not you’ll see the 4G icon hangin out in your status bar. I currently use the galaxy note 2 yup you guessed it 4G. My previous phone was the galaxy s2 skyrocket and 4G as well. I asked quite a few questions to the representatives at Consumer Celluar’s one of the questions I asked was are you planning on enabling 4G lte soon. Two different people said they have big plans for lte rollout in January. So remember what I said haha.
All three of us share 2gb of data a month, 15,000 text messages (comes with the data package, connect plus I believe). And 2,000 minutes a month. And we make it last. I am the only one of the three that uses the most texts and data but it still lasts every month. You can change your plan at any time no contracts! I would recommend this to anyone with gsm smartphones laying around. They give you your first month free to see if you like it. We pay half of what we paid with at&t for an identical “family plan” on 2- year contract. we pay about 100 a month as opposed to At&t’s 200+ a month. There’s so much more then the big four of mobile communications. Just have to read up and give it a shot! Goodluck to you all!
How about Textnow wireless or Solavei or Walmart Family Mobile or Lycamobile?
what about lycamobile?
I don´t take a t-mobile SIM. I am from germany and often use sim cards for traveling in the usa. I always order at http://www.simlystore.com/de/prepaid-sim-karten-kaufen/usa-prepaid-sim-karte.html They use AT&T SIM cards. Good choice for germans.