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

delbitter Apr 10th 2014 8:52 am

Re: Cellhphone Hellphone!
 

Originally Posted by kodokan (Post 11212109)
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.

I guess the deposit thing is something we will have to get used to. I wish we could move credit history to another country#! haha

hungryhorace Apr 10th 2014 1:15 pm

Re: Cellhphone Hellphone!
 

Originally Posted by delbitter (Post 11212746)
I guess the deposit thing is something we will have to get used to. I wish we could move credit history to another country#! haha

Don't bother with prepaid (it's a complete rip off here) would be my advice, that way you won't be on the line for any potential deposit.

jibsymalone Apr 10th 2014 1:36 pm

Re: Cellhphone Hellphone!
 

Originally Posted by hungryhorace (Post 11213052)
Don't bother with prepaid (it's a complete rip off here) would be my advice, that way you won't be on the line for any potential deposit.

I agree, Use the potential deposit money to pay for the phones you want and go pay as you go, you will be sooo much better off!

Bayleaf_01 Apr 11th 2014 12:24 pm

Re: Cellhphone Hellphone!
 

Originally Posted by delbitter (Post 11211104)
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

I'll be honest and admit, I haven't read every reply. Here is my 2p.

We arrived on L1a visa's almost 2 years ago. The company that moved us had a business contract with Verizon. We walked into a Verizon store the day after we landed with a letter of employment and the visa's and Verizon set us up with 2 year contracts. They put a fake SSN in the system (I must remember to change that!).
The only proviso was that we paid a $400 deposit per handset - which they fully refunded after 1 year.

I would recommend you check out the coverage maps and check with colleagues, as although every provider claims they cover our area at full saturation, only Verizon has a strong signal in the buildings that both myself and husband work in. My husband has staff that have to leave the building to check messages on AT&T, we have never had a problem.

Ash14297 Apr 13th 2014 5:55 pm

Re: Cellhphone Hellphone!
 

Originally Posted by delbitter (Post 11211104)
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

Good luck getting a cell phone contract... That is unless you want to pay a hefty deposit! I actually went out yesterday to try and get a phone contract (been here 4 weeks) with AT&T and T-Mobile as I get corporate discount through my company. T-Mobile wanted $300 for an iPhone upfront plus a refundable security deposit of $500... so $700 in total and you don't get your deposit back until 12 months have passed. AT&T wanted $199 for the phone plus a refundable security deposit of $500! :eek:

Safe to say that I will be sticking with my prepaid simcard for a little while!

Boiler Apr 13th 2014 6:02 pm

Re: Cellhphone Hellphone!
 
Republic Wireless.

No brainer.

hungryhorace Apr 13th 2014 6:30 pm

Re: Cellhphone Hellphone!
 

Originally Posted by Boiler (Post 11217230)
Republic Wireless.

No brainer.

They use Sprint though, and they suck balls big time. Plus limited handset availability with RW.

Boiler Apr 13th 2014 6:39 pm

Re: Cellhphone Hellphone!
 
I was concerned about Sprint, but it has not been a problem. Where I am it is more important to be CDMA so you can pick up the other towers. I use it to listen to the radio as radio reception is cack up here and was surprised how few dead spots I encountered.

In reality, most of my use is on wi fi, so irrelevant anyway.

Also using it as a phone seems to be very minor! Had not quite worked out that one.

If you must have an I Phone, agree not the one for you.

Boiler Apr 13th 2014 6:42 pm

Re: Cellhphone Hellphone!
 
As an aside my Nexus has T Mobile free data, T Mobile seems much more patchy.

hungryhorace Apr 13th 2014 6:54 pm

Re: Cellhphone Hellphone!
 

Originally Posted by Boiler (Post 11217277)
As an aside my Nexus has T Mobile free data, T Mobile seems much more patchy.

T-Mobile is a current 'work in progress'. If you live in an area they cover then you will have a first class HSPA+ or LTE experience. If you don't, then like you say, expect patchy coverage. I was with T-Mobile for a couple of months initially but switched to ATT as T-Mobile was just so ropey coverage wise (I would drive past the state border and drop to 2G!).

However, things have drastically changed in the last year. T-Mobile is aggressively expanding their LTE network and by the end of 2015 their *entire* cell network will be provisioned with LTE upgrades. That's pretty impressive.

Also, if rumours are to be believed, Sprint's parent company will purchase T-Mobile then integrate Sprint into the T-Mobile brand as TM is a hot brand whereas Sprint is held with great negativity.

Skint Apr 15th 2014 1:46 am

Re: Cellhphone Hellphone!
 
We use Ting. Two phones. Only pay for what we use. Monthly bill runs $21 + extras, combined for BOTH phones. Very affordable compared to our crappy old PAYG Virgin deal. Very non-evil company whose customer service answer the phone with a real person within 5 or 6 rings!

Piggybacks on the Sprint network and needs unlocked Sprint phones - including iPhone 4/4S/5 (we got used ones from glyde.com)

You check your account online and you always know your expected bill each month, which varies according to your use

Ting.com

delbitter Apr 15th 2014 8:22 am

Re: Cellhphone Hellphone!
 

Originally Posted by Skint (Post 11219279)
We use Ting. Two phones. Only pay for what we use. Monthly bill runs $21 + extras, combined for BOTH phones. Very affordable compared to our crappy old PAYG Virgin deal. Very non-evil company whose customer service answer the phone with a real person within 5 or 6 rings!

Piggybacks on the Sprint network and needs unlocked Sprint phones - including iPhone 4/4S/5 (we got used ones from glyde.com)

You check your account online and you always know your expected bill each month, which varies according to your use

Ting.com

Looks good and I do like good customer service! Will check them out.

hungryhorace Apr 18th 2014 5:05 pm

Re: Cellhphone Hellphone!
 
ATT GoPhone just improved their prepaid package.

$54 (through callingmart.com) now buys you, 2.5GB LTE data (50 ms pings!), Personal Hotspot functionality (ie, tethering) and Facetime over Cellular.

Boom!

Steve_ Apr 19th 2014 7:08 am

Re: Cellhphone Hellphone!
 

Originally Posted by Boiler (Post 11217230)
Republic Wireless.

No brainer.

Yeah, I've got a Republic Wireless phone, the reasons for which would be obvious to you but it bears some explanation for the OP.

They work over wifi and then seamlessly transition to cell service, so say you're in your house on wifi and then walk down the street it switches over without you having to redial. If you only want to use the wifi option then it's $5 a month plus tax, with cell and wifi only it's $10 a month and there are options for 3G ($25) and 4G ($40). You have to buy the phone though, they're Motorola and the cheapest phone is $150.

The reason I've got one is because it's $5 a month and people in the US can phone me on a US number and there are no roaming charges because it's on wifi. When I'm in the US I can switch it over to the $10 plan.

As hungryhorace points out though, the cell service is provided by Sprint and Sprint is pretty awful it has to be said. Check the coverage map for Sprint before you do this. I've got friends in the US with RW phones and they happen to have great Sprint coverage where they are but I've had problems in various US locales.

Even then though, even if you only use it on wifi it's a better option than a landline.

www.republicwireless.com


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