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Prepaid carrier for MA/NH

Discussion in 'Northeastern US Wireless Forum' started by crv16, Sep 14, 2005.

  1. crv16

    crv16 New Member

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    Hi All,

    I've got vzw right now, 3 phones on a family plan. It works well, but I'm paying a grand per year for it. It's just too much money for me right now. We use our phones very little, so we never use all the minutes.

    I'm considering T-Mobile to go. The 10c per minute rate is very attractive, and should cut my yearly expenses by 2/3.

    I live in Bedford, NH, and work in Concord MA. So I travel thru Bedford, Merrimack, Nashua, down 495 to rte 2. Does anyone have experience with prepaid carriers in these regions?

    Thanks!
     
  2. waywith

    waywith Junior Member
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    I live in SW Manchester, near the Bedford line.

    T-Mobile will probably be OK in the area you describe. However, if you EVER go north (Lakes Region, North Conway, Mt. Washington Valley, etc.) forget it, they have virtually no coverage there. Very poor coverage north of Concord.

    I recommend Simple Freedom. If you don't use the phone much, you can get by with a $20 refill every 2 months, and there is no "daily" charge like Verizon has instituted. Best of all, it uses Verizon's network. Cost is 25¢ per minute.

    If you do go outside of Verizon's territory (which is a LOT more extensive than T-Mobile's). SF will roam on US Cellular at 50¢ per minute. But again, no daily charge.

    Check out www.cellguru.net, Dave Markson's excellent site devoted to New England Cell Phones.

    Simple Freedom phones are available at the New Hampshire Wal-Marts. Activitating is a simple process, and your number should be local (my neighbor has SF and his local number is a Suncook NH exchange).

    -way
     
  3. crv16

    crv16 New Member

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    I picked up a T-Mobile "to go" phone to try it out. It works better at my house than my VZW phone (4 bars for T-Mobile, compared to 2 or 3 for VZW). It seemed to have as good if not better reception along Rte 3 and 495, compared to my VZW phone. The only down side was little service in Hollis, but there my VZW phone wasn't so hot there either.

    All in all, I think it will work out for me. I realize there will be less coverage in more rural areas, but considering the impact that will have on me (very little) and the cost savings (at least half the cost of vzw), I'm going to make the switch.
     
  4. waywith

    waywith Junior Member
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    Your choice.

    "Half the cost of Verizon" is still pretty expensive, in my book. With Simple Freedom my neighbor pays about $10 a month ($120 per year) and uses around 80 minutes a month. You did say you were a very light user.

    However, if T-Mobile fits your budget and does the job, go with it.

    -way
     
  5. Andy

    Andy Diamond Senior Member
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    Bars are not the good/best way to describe which service is better. Every phone shows more/less bars for the same signal strenght, voice quality is important, since, for example, my old Sprint phone used to show 1 bar where my cousin's Samsung Sprint would show full serice...the samsung was overstating the signal strenght by far.
     
  6. crv16

    crv16 New Member

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    Well, I've lived with T-Mobile for several days now, and I'm quite impressed.

    Cons:

    - T-mobile doesn't have the broad coverage Verizon has. I've noticed a few places where there is no service with T-Mobile, but my VZW phone would have worked.

    Pros:

    - Where it does have coverage, call quality has been dramatically better than Verizon. My wife was shocked when I called her on the way home from work last Friday. She couldn't believe how clear and crisp my voice was - said it sounded like a land line.

    - Cost. I was spending $80 per month (taxes included) for 3 lines on a 500 min family share plan. Even with free in-network calls, we were using a total of 400-600 minutes per month. Now that we are paying for each minute, we'll talk a bit less, so I'm guessing it should average 300 min/month. That works out to $30 per month, for 3 lines.
     
  7. TelZone

    TelZone New Member

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    Just wondering where your neighbor gets discounted rates for Simple Freedom. All their published rates are 25 cents a minute which would be about $20 a month for about 80 minutes. If lower rates are available, it becomes a very attractive service.
     
  8. waywith

    waywith Junior Member
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    My mistake. I meant to say she uses 40 minutes a month and refills every 60 days, so her net cost is $10/month, one of the lowest available prepaid rates for CDMA service.

    Sorry.

    Telzone, you imply that 25¢ a minute is a high rate. Can you advise me who has cheaper rates for low-volume users? I don't know of any. Most of the services are now charging a per-day rate or a "connection charge" in addition to the per-minute rates.

    For somebody who wants the phone for emergency use, and just an occasional non-emergency call, there isn't much choice that is reasonably priced.

    -way
     
  9. viewfly

    viewfly Mobile RF Advisor
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    Welcome to the sweet sound of GSM. Welcome to the WA forums too.
     
  10. crv16

    crv16 New Member

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    T-Mobile to go is even cheaper.

    $100 card lasts 12 months = $8.33/mo
     
  11. waywith

    waywith Junior Member
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    The low volume users I know aren't at all interested in coughing up 100 bucks for cell service, no matter how low that gets the monthly rate. $20 every two months is a lot more manageable in a fixed-income budget.

    Your point is taken however. Unfortunately, in my area (NH) T-Mobile has limited coverage at best. So, add that to the large "nut" and it's not a good deal.

    -way
     

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