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-   -   Cellhphone Hellphone! (https://britishexpats.com/forum/usa-57/cellhphone-hellphone-830855/)

delbitter Apr 9th 2014 9:04 am

Cellhphone Hellphone!
 
Snappy title hey! lol

I got my L1 visa approved at the embassy yesterday and my wife and I move out to Chicago in May.

I have been told by my company to look at cellphones (as well as several other things) and after checking the stickys in this forum I am not sure if I can even get a contract cellphone to start off with.

Sounds like I will need a social security number and even then my credit score will be non existent so I wont be able to get one?

Thanks in advance

H Bomb Apr 9th 2014 9:25 am

Re: Cellhphone Hellphone!
 
I have been wondering the same thing! Sort of figured we would have to get a PAYG SIM in our existing phones til we get a bit of a credit rating going! Would obviously be better if this is not the case so will see what other people reply with!

Pulaski Apr 9th 2014 12:06 pm

Re: Cellhphone Hellphone!
 
Non-contract phones are apparently the way to go, and can be much cheaper. I do have a contract, with a "legacy" plan that is cheaper than any currently available plan, but even so, if it wasn't for inertia*, I could probably save $30-$50 a month compared to the contract Mrs P and I have. Others, including Bob, will probably be along shortly to recommend PAYG phone services.

* The problem is that I need the number and a PAYG service I previously used couldn't/ wouldn't guarantee that I could keep the number if I upgraded the phone, but I was able to "port" it to another carrier.

delbitter Apr 9th 2014 12:16 pm

Re: Cellhphone Hellphone!
 

Originally Posted by Pulaski (Post 11211335)
Non-contract phones are apparently the way to go, and can be much cheaper. I do have a contract, with a "legacy" plan that is cheaper than any currently available plan, but even so, if it wasn't for inertia*, I could probably save $30-$50 a month compared to the contract Mrs P and I have. Others, including Bob, will probably be along shortly to recommend PAYG phone services.

* The problem is that I need the number and a PAYG service I previously used couldn't/ wouldn't guarantee that I could keep the number if I upgraded the phone, but I was able to "port" it to another carrier.

Ah great thanks. Made this post before the other one although different topics so think thats ok! :)

I have been looking at sprint boost which seems good. up front phone price and then $55 per month seems better than the $90 I see elsewhere!

Markoncarp Apr 9th 2014 12:51 pm

Re: Cellhphone Hellphone!
 
My wife and children all use T-Mobile. I think that something like $55 a month now gets you unlimited calls in the US and to a bunch of other countries.

my wife can call any mobile/landline in UK for hours and it doesnt cost any more than her monthly charge. Unlimited Data is also included.

They also dont charge for data roaming.

All in all, a pretty good option.

delbitter Apr 9th 2014 12:54 pm

Re: Cellhphone Hellphone!
 

Originally Posted by Markoncarp (Post 11211423)
My wife and children all use T-Mobile. I think that something like $55 a month now gets you unlimited calls in the US and to a bunch of other countries.

my wife can call any mobile/landline in UK for hours and it doesnt cost any more than her monthly charge. Unlimited Data is also included.

They also dont charge for data roaming.

All in all, a pretty good option.

Is that on a contract or a sort of bolt on plan? i.e. you pay monthly for a set amount but are not tied in.

Guindalf Apr 9th 2014 1:39 pm

Re: Cellhphone Hellphone!
 
If you're moving to the big city or urban sprawl, there are many options available to you unlike more rural areas where you'r virtually limited to AT&T or Verizon.

Take a look at straighttalk.com (available at Walmart), where you can get an all-you-can-eat plan for as little as $45 per month with no contract or credit check. There's even an international plan for $60/Mo, which I'm sure, if necessary, you could get for any month you need it and pay the lower rate the rest of the time.

If your company is a decent size, it may be worth finding out which company they use for their business phones as that may get you a discount.

I'm assuming your new employer is not providing you with the phone. Prices at StraightTalk start at $99.99 on the site, but there are often offers.

brit_usa2014 Apr 9th 2014 1:40 pm

Re: Cellhphone Hellphone!
 
We were the same when we first came here- our credit check failed despite having a good credit score and social..:confused:

So now we're on T-Mobile family plan (consisting of 4 persons- me & husband, and 2 colleagues) and we pay like $50 (for both of us I might add) a month for unlimited talk+text and 1GB 4G speed data which is more than enough for us as everywhere you go in US most places have wifi hotspots...:thumbsup:
Btw, this is all prepaid and not on a contract so we can cancel anytime.

civilservant Apr 9th 2014 1:41 pm

Re: Cellhphone Hellphone!
 
Verizon will certainly offer you a contract when you have your SSN - just expect to be ashed for a $500 deposit.

Markoncarp Apr 9th 2014 1:43 pm

Re: Cellhphone Hellphone!
 

Originally Posted by delbitter (Post 11211429)
Is that on a contract or a sort of bolt on plan? i.e. you pay monthly for a set amount but are not tied in.

No. PAYG.

delbitter Apr 9th 2014 1:45 pm

Re: Cellhphone Hellphone!
 

Originally Posted by Guindalf (Post 11211491)
If you're moving to the big city or urban sprawl, there are many options available to you unlike more rural areas where you'r virtually limited to AT&T or Verizon.

Take a look at straighttalk.com (available at Walmart), where you can get an all-you-can-eat plan for as little as $45 per month with no contract or credit check. There's even an international plan for $60/Mo, which I'm sure, if necessary, you could get for any month you need it and pay the lower rate the rest of the time.

If your company is a decent size, it may be worth finding out which company they use for their business phones as that may get you a discount.

I'm assuming your new employer is not providing you with the phone. Prices at StraightTalk start at $99.99 on the site, but there are often offers.

No they are not big enough for that. They just said "take a look and we'll pay" sort of deal.

It seems like the only way will be buying a phone outright then paying for a monthly plan without a contract. I HAVE to have a smartphone like htc or samsung, pref not an iPhone! lol

Markoncarp Apr 9th 2014 1:46 pm

Re: Cellhphone Hellphone!
 
Well if you take your phone from the UK, then you'll have to use either T-Mobile or AT&T, as I think they are the only two that supply phones that are SIM compatible.

If I'm wrong, I give it approximately 45 seconds before someone corrects me though ;)

delbitter Apr 9th 2014 1:48 pm

Re: Cellhphone Hellphone!
 

Originally Posted by brit_usa2014 (Post 11211494)
We were the same when we first came here- our credit check failed despite having a good credit score and social..:confused:

So now we're on T-Mobile family plan (consisting of 4 persons- me & husband, and 2 colleagues) and we pay like $50 (for both of us I might add) a month for unlimited talk+text and 1GB 4G speed data which is more than enough for us as everywhere you go in US most places have wifi hotspots...:thumbsup:
Btw, this is all prepaid and not on a contract so we can cancel anytime.

Nice. I will check out t mobile!


Originally Posted by civilservant (Post 11211496)
Verizon will certainly offer you a contract when you have your SSN - just expect to be ashed for a $500 deposit.

That sucks! Would rather buy the phone outright than pay the deposit although I guess I would get that back at the end.

H Bomb Apr 9th 2014 1:48 pm

Re: Cellhphone Hellphone!
 

Originally Posted by Markoncarp (Post 11211509)
Well if you take your phone from the UK, then you'll have to use either T-Mobile or AT&T, as I think they are the only two that supply phones that are SIM compatible.

If I'm wrong, I give it approximately 45 seconds before someone corrects me though ;)

I forgot about being locked to a network. I was thinking take my UK phone - stick a straighttalk SIM in it and I am set - but that wont work will it.

Pulaski Apr 9th 2014 1:49 pm

Re: Cellhphone Hellphone!
 

Originally Posted by delbitter (Post 11211504)
...... I HAVE to have a smartphone like htc or samsung, pref not an iPhone! lol

Also Motorola are big in the US, and they're good phones, as good as Samsung, but with better battery life. ... My phone is a Motorola. :)

delbitter Apr 9th 2014 1:49 pm

Re: Cellhphone Hellphone!
 

Originally Posted by Markoncarp (Post 11211509)
Well if you take your phone from the UK, then you'll have to use either T-Mobile or AT&T, as I think they are the only two that supply phones that are SIM compatible.

If I'm wrong, I give it approximately 45 seconds before someone corrects me though ;)

I am just getting a PAYG sim for my current samsung S3 as it is starting to die on me now @ around 2 years old. It will be my UK phone for when I come home :)

hungryhorace Apr 9th 2014 1:51 pm

Re: Cellhphone Hellphone!
 

Originally Posted by Guindalf (Post 11211491)
If you're moving to the big city or urban sprawl, there are many options available to you unlike more rural areas where you'r virtually limited to AT&T or Verizon.

Take a look at straighttalk.com (available at Walmart), where you can get an all-you-can-eat plan for as little as $45 per month with no contract or credit check. There's even an international plan for $60/Mo, which I'm sure, if necessary, you could get for any month you need it and pay the lower rate the rest of the time.

If your company is a decent size, it may be worth finding out which company they use for their business phones as that may get you a discount.

I'm assuming your new employer is not providing you with the phone. Prices at StraightTalk start at $99.99 on the site, but there are often offers.


StraightTalk suck. They route all traffic through a proxy server (in Florida) and have phantom bandwidth limits which mean you can be stuck at dial up speeds until your monthly renewal.

A far better bet is GoPhone for 'post paid' quality level, or AIO Wireless for prepaid quality (latency is higher with AIO compared to GoPhone).

T-Mobile is also an option but ONLY if you have an LTE capable phone, and supports AWS 1700.

Pulaski Apr 9th 2014 1:51 pm

Re: Cellhphone Hellphone!
 
[QUOTE=Markoncarp;11211509]Well if you take your phone from the UK, then you'll have to use either T-Mobile or AT&T, as I think they are the only two that supply phones that are SIM compatible. ....../QUOTE]
All new Verizon phones are SIM phones now, I hear, and have been for a couple of years since Verizon transitioned over to LTE. Previously only AT&T and TMobile used GSM, the predecessor to LTE.

Markoncarp Apr 9th 2014 1:52 pm

Re: Cellhphone Hellphone!
 

Originally Posted by Pulaski (Post 11211525)
All new Verizon phones are SIM phones now, I hear, and have been for a couple of years since they transitioned over to LTE. Previously only AT&T and TMobile used GSM, the predecessor to LTE.

Slightly more than 45 seconds, but impressive none the less.

Markoncarp Apr 9th 2014 1:54 pm

Re: Cellhphone Hellphone!
 

Originally Posted by hungryhorace (Post 11211524)

T-Mobile is also an option but ONLY if you have an LTE capable phone, and supports AWS 1700.

I have an Iphone 4S. I dont think its LTE capable. I get 4G on my T-mobile. It works fine.

Now, my wife has an iPhone 5 which IS LTE capable and it is blisteringly quick... I just dont think its essential.

hungryhorace Apr 9th 2014 1:58 pm

Re: Cellhphone Hellphone!
 

Originally Posted by Markoncarp (Post 11211509)
Well if you take your phone from the UK, then you'll have to use either T-Mobile or AT&T, as I think they are the only two that supply phones that are SIM compatible.

If I'm wrong, I give it approximately 45 seconds before someone corrects me though ;)

Correct. VZW will only activate phones that they have registered to their database (ie, purchased through VZW or an authorised reseller).

brit_usa2014 Apr 9th 2014 1:59 pm

Re: Cellhphone Hellphone!
 
Hi, slightly OT, but we have a Note 3 which is locked to TMobile at the moment, but if I want to unlock it and use it on say AT&T or Verizon or any other network will it reduce the 4G speed which we're having at the moment? TMobile were unhelpful when we called them, but few friends have suggested it might get reduced! Help!!

Yorkieabroad Apr 9th 2014 1:59 pm

Re: Cellhphone Hellphone!
 

Originally Posted by Pulaski (Post 11211514)
Also Motorola are big in the US, and they're good phones, as good as Samsung, but with better battery life. ... My phone is a Motorola. :)

We've had a few Motorola handsets, and would have agreed with you until our last "upgrade" on the plan saw us getting 'mytouch' from T-Mobile which they told us was Motorola (though stand to be corrected). It is a steaming pile of crap. To make things worse, we have been told that our 10+ yo family plan that has been grandfathered into some great rates and upgrade phones every 2 years will be terminated at the end of May. We will be transferred to the new plan that will be 100/month for 4 lines unlimited everything (not sure what the cap for full speed data is) which is fine, but we now have to buy our own handsets. Wife wants an iphone 5 for $650:eek: I'd be happy going back to a 1990's fliphone.....

hungryhorace Apr 9th 2014 2:03 pm

Re: Cellhphone Hellphone!
 

Originally Posted by Markoncarp (Post 11211531)
I have an Iphone 4S. I dont think its LTE capable. I get 4G on my T-mobile. It works fine.

Now, my wife has an iPhone 5 which IS LTE capable and it is blisteringly quick... I just dont think its essential.

It is absolutely essential with T-Mobile.

1. Their ENTIRE network is being converted to LTE by 2015.
2. No new HSPA+ (ie, 4G, which is actually 3.9G) cell sites will appear.
3. T-Mobile already has pretty ropey HSPA+ coverage (ie, non existent outside of major cities).
4. T-Mobile converted a bunch of 2G spectrum to 3.9G on the AWS 1700 band. An iPhone 4S does NOT support this band, hence won't receive coverage.

I could go on and on. This isn't about the speed of LTE v HSPA (of which you're wrong, there's a HUGE difference. LTE feels like WiFi because of its low latency and being designed solely for data, HSPA+ feels laggy and slow in comparison).

Rather, the point is about if you're going to chose T-Mobile make sure you have the correct handset to provide you the best possible coverage with their network.

NB: There is a 'second' iPhone 5 model released last year which includes support for AWS 1700. Your UK phone won't have this support.

delbitter Apr 9th 2014 2:09 pm

Re: Cellhphone Hellphone!
 

Originally Posted by Yorkieabroad (Post 11211545)
We've had a few Motorola handsets, and would have agreed with you until our last "upgrade" on the plan saw us getting 'mytouch' from T-Mobile which they told us was Motorola (though stand to be corrected). It is a steaming pile of crap. To make things worse, we have been told that our 10+ yo family plan that has been grandfathered into some great rates and upgrade phones every 2 years will be terminated at the end of May. We will be transferred to the new plan that will be 100/month for 4 lines unlimited everything (not sure what the cap for full speed data is) which is fine, but we now have to buy our own handsets. Wife wants an iphone 5 for $650:eek: I'd be happy going back to a 1990's fliphone.....

My wife wanted an iPhone but I talking her round. It's a nice phone but a target for thieves and the latest versions are not impressive compared to s5 or HTC one M8 IMO

wtkp0u Apr 9th 2014 3:19 pm

Re: Cellhphone Hellphone!
 
Another option is a Nexus 5 and a T-Mob PAYG. You own the unlocked phone and have LTE. Depending on how much you talk, can be very cheap, e.g.
$30 for 100 minutes talk | Unlimited text | First 5 GB at up to 4G speeds

As others have mentioned, don't count on T-Mob once you leave the city.

kodokan Apr 9th 2014 3:53 pm

Re: Cellhphone Hellphone!
 

Originally Posted by hungryhorace (Post 11211548)
It is absolutely essential with T-Mobile.

1. Their ENTIRE network is being converted to LTE by 2015.
2. No new HSPA+ (ie, 4G, which is actually 3.9G) cell sites will appear.
3. T-Mobile already has pretty ropey HSPA+ coverage (ie, non existent outside of major cities).
4. T-Mobile converted a bunch of 2G spectrum to 3.9G on the AWS 1700 band. An iPhone 4S does NOT support this band, hence won't receive coverage.

My son is currently using an iPhone 4 on our T-Mobile family plan; he has unlimited calls, text and data. It's not LTE compatible, so he gets slower data at 3G/ 4G/ E/ something or other, which is fine as he's only a very occasional user. We're in Phoenix, ie, a major city with good T-Mobile coverage.

I'm not very techie and don't quite understand about bands and things. Does this change mean that his phone won't work at ALL for data once the network is converted? Or is it more that T-Mobile aren't expanding their non-LTE network, but they'll leave it in areas where it's already in place, at least for another couple of years until everyone's caught up with the technology?

S Folinsky Apr 9th 2014 4:15 pm

Re: Cellhphone Hellphone!
 

Originally Posted by brit_usa2014 (Post 11211543)
Hi, slightly OT, but we have a Note 3 which is locked to TMobile at the moment, but if I want to unlock it and use it on say AT&T or Verizon or any other network will it reduce the 4G speed which we're having at the moment? TMobile were unhelpful when we called them, but few friends have suggested it might get reduced! Help!!

Do note that for the moment, self-unlocking in the US is apparently illegal.

Also, look for the coverage area. I'm with T-Mobile -- last September we took a trip to Yellowstone and environs. When we had mobile service, it was not with T-Mobile. So, I turned off the data for most of the time unless I was in a hotspot and could get it wirelessly.

hungryhorace Apr 9th 2014 4:23 pm

Re: Cellhphone Hellphone!
 

Originally Posted by kodokan (Post 11211709)
I'm not very techie and don't quite understand about bands and things. Does this change mean that his phone won't work at ALL for data once the network is converted? Or is it more that T-Mobile aren't expanding their non-LTE network, but they'll leave it in areas where it's already in place, at least for another couple of years until everyone's caught up with the technology?

The latter. It means customers will be forever stuck with the current coverage provided. Unless they upgrade to an LTE compatible handset, they will see no increased T-Mobile coverage (which T-Mobile are currently very aggressively rolling out).

See: http://www.engadget.com/2014/03/13/t...lte-expansion/

kodokan Apr 9th 2014 4:46 pm

Re: Cellhphone Hellphone!
 
Thanks hungryhorace! It'll be a temporary problem, as hubby and I will get new iThings late 2015, and cascade our current 5s down to the kids (we do an approximate 2-3 year replacement cycle depending on what new shinies Apple adds to tempt us; we always buy unlocked phones separate to contracts so the timing is entirely up to us).

petitefrancaise Apr 9th 2014 6:32 pm

Re: Cellhphone Hellphone!
 
T-mobile have a pre-pay plan that costs $50 per month for 500megawhatsit of data,unlimited texts and calls in the USA. Add $10 more for unlimited international landline calls. That's just for the sim so bring your phone from the UK. That was what we had when we first arrived and we didn't need ssn or credit check since you pay in advance, very easy to do.

We've just switched to a family plan which is costing us about $90 permonth for 3 lines (not phones tho) but that required a credit check and a texas drivers license but not the ssn.

I bought a Nokia 521 from Microsoft last week for $70 which my son is now using until it ends up in the washing machine like the last one he had....

Bob Apr 9th 2014 7:43 pm

Re: Cellhphone Hellphone!
 
Best off asking people on the ground, where you plan to spend most of your time, home/office area.

No point getting a great deal on a phone if it isn't going to work in the office.

Contract is easy enough to get, you'll just likely be asked to put down a deposit, $200-600 a phone seems usual.

PAYG has gotten much better in the last couple years and well worth considering.

jibsymalone Apr 9th 2014 8:15 pm

Re: Cellhphone Hellphone!
 

Originally Posted by kodokan (Post 11211709)
My son is currently using an iPhone 4 on our T-Mobile family plan; he has unlimited calls, text and data. It's not LTE compatible, so he gets slower data at 3G/ 4G/ E/ something or other, which is fine as he's only a very occasional user. We're in Phoenix, ie, a major city with good T-Mobile coverage.

I'm not very techie and don't quite understand about bands and things. Does this change mean that his phone won't work at ALL for data once the network is converted? Or is it more that T-Mobile aren't expanding their non-LTE network, but they'll leave it in areas where it's already in place, at least for another couple of years until everyone's caught up with the technology?

My wife uses AIO and is extremely happy with their service. We pay $45 a month for unlimited talk, text and data.

The first 2.5Gb is at "4G speeds" (actually it is throttled a little, but we can tell no difference between my phone on AT&T post paid (company phone) and hers on AIO when downloading stuff to be honest). After the initial 4G cap is reached the speed gets throttled down to 3G speeds. There is another plan higher than this with a higher cap (5Gb opposed to 2.5) for $55 PM if you feel you need more data. These prices are for enrolling in the auto pay, add $5 a month if you don't wish to autopay.

AIO uses AT&T towers, so the coverage is usually pretty good (dare I say, one of the best nationwide?) and is GSM so will work with phones you bring from the UK (assuming they are SIM unlocked of course). Usually all it takes to unlock your phone is a call to your network (Orange, Vodafone etc.) if you are outside the contract period and they will unlock the GSM port and you can then put any SIM card in the phone.

You can buy phones from them also if you wish. a quick search will get you the site.

I highly recommend.

hungryhorace Apr 9th 2014 8:17 pm

Re: Cellhphone Hellphone!
 

Originally Posted by jibsymalone (Post 11212060)
My wife uses AIO and is extremely happy with their service. We pay $45 a month for unlimited talk, text and data.

The first 2.5Gb is at "4G speeds" (actually it is throttled a little, but we can tell no difference between my phone on AT&T post paid (company phone) and hers on AIO when downloading stuff to be honest). After the initial 4G cap is reached the speed gets throttled down to 3G speeds.

256kbit/sec to be precise. The thing I find off putting about AIO (apart from it's merger with Cricket) is the high latency, it really affects the 'feel' of your internet experience. With unproxied LTE the experience is like using WiFI. AIO simply doesn't offer that experience yet. Though, it's dirt cheap (compared to the general US market!) so I forgive it.

delbitter Apr 9th 2014 8:20 pm

Re: Cellhphone Hellphone!
 

Originally Posted by jibsymalone (Post 11212060)
My wife uses AIO and is extremely happy with their service. We pay $45 a month for unlimited talk, text and data.

The first 2.5Gb is at "4G speeds" (actually it is throttled a little, but we can tell no difference between my phone on AT&T post paid (company phone) and hers on AIO when downloading stuff to be honest). After the initial 4G cap is reached the speed gets throttled down to 3G speeds. There is another plan higher than this with a higher cap (5Gb opposed to 2.5) for $55 PM if you feel you need more data. These prices are for enrolling in the auto pay, add $5 a month if you don't wish to autopay.

AIO uses AT&T towers, so the coverage is usually pretty good (dare I say, one of the best nationwide?) and is GSM so will work with phones you bring from the UK (assuming they are SIM unlocked of course). Usually all it takes to unlock your phone is a call to your network (Orange, Vodafone etc.) if you are outside the contract period and they will unlock the GSM port and you can then put any SIM card in the phone.

You can buy phones from them also if you wish. a quick search will get you the site.

I highly recommend.

nice. will check them out thanks!

hungryhorace Apr 9th 2014 8:22 pm

Re: Cellhphone Hellphone!
 

Originally Posted by delbitter (Post 11212072)
nice. will check them out thanks!

If you do, fancy allowing me to refer you? :)

jibsymalone Apr 9th 2014 8:37 pm

Re: Cellhphone Hellphone!
 

Originally Posted by hungryhorace (Post 11212064)
256kbit/sec to be precise. The thing I find off putting about AIO (apart from it's merger with Cricket) is the high latency, it really affects the 'feel' of your internet experience. With unproxied LTE the experience is like using WiFI. AIO simply doesn't offer that experience yet. Though, it's dirt cheap (compared to the general US market!) so I forgive it.

I thought it was 4Mb on 4G and LTE at 8Mb??
Their ping is a little high, granted, but we have no issues, webpages load, music and video download/stream fine, so really don't see that much of a difference in what we use it for.

jibsymalone Apr 9th 2014 8:37 pm

Re: Cellhphone Hellphone!
 
:sneaky:

Originally Posted by hungryhorace (Post 11212077)
If you do, fancy allowing me to refer you? :)

:sneaky:

hungryhorace Apr 9th 2014 8:44 pm

Re: Cellhphone Hellphone!
 

Originally Posted by jibsymalone (Post 11212098)
I thought it was 4Mb on 4G and LTE at 8Mb??
Their ping is a little high, granted, but we have no issues, webpages load, music and video download/stream fine, so really don't see that much of a difference in what we use it for.

Those bandwidth caps are accurate, but I was referring to the cap when you go over your allotted allowance. Even if the download limits were 60Mbps, the feel would still be 'slow' because of the high latency. It's a real pita imo, but then ATT does offer a prepaid service with postpaid quality: GoPhone.

kodokan Apr 9th 2014 8:46 pm

Re: Cellhphone Hellphone!
 

Originally Posted by jibsymalone (Post 11212060)
We pay $45 a month for unlimited talk, text and data.

T-Mobile is $50 for the first line for unlimited everything, $30 for second, then $10 for each afterwards, so is a great scheme for families where one or more kids is old enough to have a phone and 'needs' a full plan. Prices are for no contract, and just for the service, not the device.

They've just added a ton of useful international services too - I can text the UK for nothing now, and hubby currently in the UK can use his phone for texting and data whilst there, free of charge.

I spend 99.9% of my time in metro Phoenix, so the patchy coverage isn't an issue. And I was slightly surprised when we went camping a few months back, and I got something like 10 MG of data free on someone else's network; enough to pull up a few webpages, check the weather, etc. It even gave me the free data, told me it was free up to 10 MG, then stopped working, which I far prefer than simply continuing to let me use it and then the next bill being a 'Surprise!'.

Edit: OP, you mentioned earlier in the thread about how a deposit would suck - be prepared for this with utilities. I have about $600 in deposits for electric and gas that are, hopefully, going to be refunded later this year as we've been not stealing their supplies and subsequently defaulting for 3 years now.


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