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How to Switch To Prepaid and Cut Your Cell Phone Bill in Half

Are you paying too much for cell phone service? You probably are if you aren't using prepaid. Most customers can cut their cell phone bill in half by going prepaid. The average US customer using a traditional postpaid mobile phone plan pays $60 a month, the average prepaid customer only $25. Even heavy users on unlimited plans can save. Postpaid unlimited voice and messaging plans with 2GB of data or more average $85/month, prepaid $50.

Prepaid Phone News has all the information you need to find the best prepaid option for your needs. Here's how to switch and begin saving money.

1) Watch out for Early Termination fees. Call you mobile phone provider and ask them when the contract on your line and each family member's line runs out and how much your early termination fee (ETF) would be if you canceled now. Termination fees can be very high, has much as $350 per line. In most cases you will want to wait until your contract expires before switching.

2) Check coverage. Rule out networks that don't give you the coverage you want There are many prepaid operators but most of them rely one of the big four operators (AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile) for the bulk of their coverage. At the national level, AT&T and Verizon provide service in more places than T-Mobile and Sprint. But all four have areas that they don't cover. I've created a page showing the national coverage maps for all prepaid carriers, with links to their detailed block by block maps. Use the coverage maps to eliminate operators that don't have service where you need to use your phone.

3) Determine current usage. Gather up your last few mobile phone bills and add up the maximum number of minutes and texts and the number of megabytes of data you or each family member uses per month. Be sure to include "free" night and weekend and mobile to mobile minutes in the total as most prepaid plans treat all calls the same.

4) Pick a prepaid operator. Once you know many minutes, texts and megabytes of data you need its time to find the best most effective provider for your budget. There are two pages on this site that summarize all the plans and prices to help you make an informed choice. If you are a data consuming smartphone user go here: The Best US Prepaid Data Deals. If you just want to talk and text see: The Best U.S. Prepaid Voice and Text Deals. For more information of each operator visit the prepaid carrier profile pages which have detailed information on each operator's plans, prices and payment and customer support options.

5) Make the switch. You probably want to keep your current number. Thanks to the FCC's number portability rules that's now relatively easy to do. Here's how:
  • Don't terminate your existing service. You will almost certainly lose your number if you do.
  • Always initiate a number port with the operator you are switching to. You will need your phone number, zipcode, account holder's name and billing address and your account number which should all be on your bill. You will also the account PIN code or password if you set one up.
  • Ports usually complete within 24 hours, often in an hour or less. During the porting process there may be a short period, usually less than five minutes, when neither phone works. When the port is done you may get a welcome text or voice message from the new operator. Or the new phone may just start working without any message. If the number hasn't ported within 24 hours you need to call your new operator.
6) Questions? Leave a comment below. Prepaid Phone News is a friendly, helpful place. I'll do my best to answer all questions and you may also get help from the site's large community of experienced prepaid users

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89 comments:

Comment Page :
  1. What about support for dual SIM phones? You could pick an optimal plan for voice and text and combine that with optimal plan for data and use those from the same phone.

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    1. Dual SIM phones are cool. Unfortunately most are baic messaging devices that don't support any US 3G networks.

      Delete
    2. What is a baic messaging device?

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  2. What i do is pick out a good data plan on an android or iPhone and then download the Line2 app. for 9.95 a month. I get unlimited. Calls or texts to all US. Or Canadian numbers. But beware. You Must have a good wfi or at least 3g coverage for the line2 to work well. And u can't send pics on Line2. Am a heavy user and has saved me a ton.Especially since i talk and text a lot to Canada. To help save on data use your wifi at home or wherever u can.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Also on a side note I switched from a verizon contract plan to an AT&T MVNO. (PuretalkUSA) My bill is now about 65 percent less for the same service that I got from Verizon. I know Verizon has good coverage but I am still very very happy with the switch. Only wish I would of done it years ago.

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  3. That's great. I love the step by step details on how to switch from postpaid to prepaid. Thanks for posting this. It will help a lot of people switch over easily.

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  4. I switched from at&t postpaid to virgin. My bill has dropped from $96.22 after taxes to $36 and change. I will also be paying a rather hefty discon fee, but it will be made up in a little over 4 months. The difference over 18 months (remaining term of contract) att: $1731.96 minus 913.00 (18 months virgin plus discon fee) is $818.96. I bought a Optimus Elite for $69.99 at Radio Shack (on sale this week) in store and will sell my Titan to offset phone cost.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. virgin good....optimus elite...ho humm.....

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  5. Virgin Mobile runs on Sprint's prepaid network so the nationwide coverage is terrible.

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  6. Virgin Mobile's calling and text coverage is good. But their data coverage really sucks. I use Boost Mobile. Yeah people say the coverage is the same. But I beg to differ since where I live picks up great 3G to my Samsung Galaxy S2 compares to when I was with Virgin Mobile. And when I was with Virgin Mobile, I was on the $35 plan. With Boost, now I am at $40 on my shrinkage

    Everyone has a choice of what type of plan they want along with what carrier they choose. If some people have had some misfortune with carriers like Virgin or Boost, then that's their problem for not doing proper research on these phones and prepaid carriers.

    AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile may have quality service. But you also have to factor in what people can afford. Boost Mobile offers shrinkage that knocks $15 off after 18 months on all monthly plans. Virgin Mobile offers three plans depending on how much you talk. Yeah both companies may impose a 2.5GB data allowance. But it also beats having to pay extra for data compared to Verizon and AT&T.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I took my Google Galaxy Nexus to Simple Mobile and haven't looked back. I get good speeds and so far no dropped called. I'm about to switch my daughter's now unlocked iPhone to Straight Talk.

    In my humble opinion, prepaid is the only way to go.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I have a locked AT&T Samsung Galaxy SIII. I purchased a AT&T micro sims card from Straight Talk. My understanding is that the phone did not have to be unlocked. However, after changing all my settings in the phone, when I try to make a call, I get a recording that my phone has been blocked by the carrier and nothing works on it. Does the phone have to be unlocked before it will work?

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Locked AT&T phones do work with a Straight Talk AT&T SIM. The message you are getting means the phone has been reported lost or stolen or the previous owner owes AT&T money. Unlocking the phone won't help. You need to contact the seller for a replacement or refund.

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    2. Yeswap, I know with CDMA phones you can do an esn check. Are there any methods you can use to check if a GSM phone is clean and clear?

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    3. You need to call AT&T. Also an IMEI can be clear today and blocked weeks or months later. People are selling phones, especially on Craigslist or Ebay, and then reporting them stolen and making an insurance claim weeks later. Only buy used phones from known reputable sellers.

      Delete
  9. The first phone I had was locked and when I put my Straight Talk Sims card in and changed the settings, everything worked fine for 2 days, then I started getting the message that the phone was blocked. I called AT&T and they did tell me the phone was "block listed". The seller refunded my money, and I purchased another phone. I unlocked this phone and used my same sims card and I'm still getting the message. Surely I didn't have the bad luck to get two "hot" phones! Do you think my sims card and activation card is messed up now because of the first phone?

    ReplyDelete
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    1. The AT&T block list is new and I don't know exactly how it works.
      Maybe when AT&T blocks a phone they also block whatever SIM is in it, although that doesn't make much sense.
      If I were you I'd contact AT&T and find out if the second phone is block listed too and if it isn't then try it with a new Straight talk SIM.

      Delete
  10. The Att blacklist is based on phones reported by the owner as stolen or lost. A new scam is going on where a user sells their phone to a new buyer with a working/non blocked device then the seller turns around, calls Att, tells them it was stolen/lost in order to take advantage of replacement/insurance programs. Att then blocks the phone and leaves the buyer stuck with a brick unless they unlock it and put it on a non Att network. Stick with phones older then two years old to avoid this and get all of the seller's data and confirm with Att first before buying. It ain't like the old days when if the gsm device worked at the moment you bought it , it would continue to work.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Yes ,this was going on very rampantly.Legislation has been passed to make unlocking and flashing cell phones bought after Jan 2013 illegal.This will be a big blow to selling used phones as now customers are literally ending up with BRICKS.
      I encourage my customers to buy unlocked phones and go prepaid.I offer No Credit Check Financing for the higher priced phones and tablets.If the customer ever decides to sell the phone later, it will be an original UNLOCKED phone which will at these times hold much more value than the Major Carrier phones at the end of the day.

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  11. I have been thinking of moving from a basic Tracfone to a smart phone (such as the Samsung Proclaim on sale now at Walmart) with Net10 or Straight Talk. But wow, the forums at both places are so full of customers begging for help with problems and talking about how long it takes to get it (if any) and how awful the customer service is. I realize you're only going to see the complaints though. What percentage of people do you think are actually having problems with phones deactivating after working fine, ports not going through, etc.? I'm afraid I'll lose my number during the port or lose my service after switching. Thanks, your site has been most helpful.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I don't really have a handle on how common the problems are but I suspect they only effect a small percentage of users. Straight Talk, Net10 and Tracfone all share the same customer support centers and representatives.

      To avoid port problems, request the port through the Miami number 305-715-6500. It's available Monday – Friday from 8:00 AM to 7:00 PM EST. But when that call center is busy calls are transfered to offshore support which is rarely helpful. Try calling early in the day around 8 AM Eastern. If a receptionist answers with "Executive Resolutions" you are in the right place, otherwise you've been transferred.


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  12. Thanks for the info about the Miami number! I'm going to give it a try once I pick up a phone at Walmart. I see that WM has extended their normal return policy of 15 days on cell phones to start after Dec. 26 (rather than from actual purchase date), to help gift buyers. THAT ought to give me enough time to figure out if the phone is going to work or not. http://corporate.walmart.com/return-policy
    Then I'll buy my refills through your site...hope this helps you eventually, thanks again for all the great info.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I just purchased a Net 10 Galaxy Proclaim. I still have an active AT&T G0phone that has $40-worth of minutes good for the next couple of months. If I like the Proclaim and Net 10 I will want to port my existing number to them. Is it possible to activate the new phone with a new number and then port my old number to it after a month or so?

    Thanks for this very helpful site!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, you can port your number to a Net10 account that's already active. Be sure to call the US support number at 1-305-715-6500 between Monday – Friday from 8:00 AM to 7:00 PM Eastern time. The offshore support tends to mess up ports.

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  14. Hello,
    I plan on purchasing a Nexus 4 from the Google Play store in the coming weeks when they are available. I will be ending a 3 person family plan in favor of either a Net10 family plan(advertised as $125/month)or a Straight Talk unlimited plan for each 3 members of my family($45x3=$135/month). I know that I need AT&T sim card because T-Mobile has bad coverage where i live. Which service would you recommend considering Net10 is cheaper, but i would need to somehow make sure I receive AT&T sim cards from Net10, but I could simply choose AT&T from Straight Talk.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you order your Net10 SIM from net10sim.com you can choose an AT&T SIM.

      Go with Net10 the service is identical to Straight Talk in every way except price and where its sold.

      Delete
  15. I am trying to find a Tracfone with triple minutes, that has FM radio.
    is motorola EX124G the only option?

    ReplyDelete
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    1. As far as I know the Motorola EX 124G was the only TMFL phone with an FM radio ever. Good luck finding one. The refurbs that Tracfone is sselling online are DMFL not TMFL.

      Delete
  16. I'm thinking of switching my family to StraightTalk and would buy StraightTalk phones to start out. If later on I wanted to use an unlocked Nexus 4 could I use the AT&T StraightTalk SIM from the purchased phone for use in the Nexus 4 or would I have to get a BYOD SIM for it?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The SIMs in Straight Talk's Android phones and Nokia Symbian phones will work in other AT&T or unlocked phones.

      The SIMs in Straight Talk's non-smartphones only work in the phones they came with.

      Delete
  17. i must say IO have had a phone allday, no number, vno help, no mins that I put on it, terrrible service

    ReplyDelete
  18. meid [removed]

    this is the phone that needs activated I have paid for unlimited, very very unhappy, no number fix the wsdfgvbnmik isssue please asap

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Contact your mobile operator to get your phone activated. No one but the operator can help you with that.

      It's dangerous to post your meid on the web. Someone could clone it to another phone and then your phone would be useless.

      Delete
  19. I want to switch to T-Mobile prepaid when my T-Mobile contract runs out in August. My wife and I don't make many calls so we'll each want the $30 per month plan with 100 minutes of talk and 5g of data. Can I buy two of the T-Mobile compatible phones I see advertised on HSN and use them for the plan I'm interested in?

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Yes. You can also switch now, and only pay $10-20/line ETF. You could get that back in the first month on Tmobile.

      Delete
    2. The bozos at T-Mobile support say I can't do it because "the 30 is just for new customers." This makes no sense to me.

      Delete
    3. To get the $30 plan you must activate your SIM online at prepaid-phones.t-mobile.com/prepaid-activate. Once you activate the prepaid account you can call T-Mobile to migrate your postpaid phone number to the new prepaid account.

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    4. Thanks, Dennis. That makes sense.

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    5. The prepaid CS folks at Tmobile will activate a new line on the $30 plan if you ask them. I did this once.

      Delete
  20. I am currently using Net10, but would like to EASILY experiment with some other prepaid service providers.

    Does somebody know of a service similar to the way Google Voice works for "parking" my "good" cell number? The ONLY thing that I would really like for the service to do is...

    1. Port in my "good" cell number.
    2. Allow me to tell it to call my handset number ... whatever number the new provider gives me.
    3. Allow me to give out that ported number, which sends the call or text (including **MMS texts**, which GV does NOT do) to my phone. I'll manage voicemail / keeping track of my texts / etc. with the phone.
    4. Allow me to call out and text with an app / etc. (again, including MMS texts), showing that the call or text is coming from my ported number (not the handset number). Again, keeping track of everything with the phone.

    That's it ... That's all I want ... "KISS" method (Keep It Simple Stupid).

    I Would be **THRILLED** to find a free or very cheap service to do this!!!

    Thanks in advance for any responses!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can use Send It Pro for Android to add MMS to Google Voice.
      http://appscout.pcmag.com/android/307931-send-it-pro-for-android-adds-mms-to-google-voice

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    2. You can use itim to receive sms and mms at gv
      http://itimworld.com/gv-activate-receive-on-itim.php

      You can also just ask your friends to send mms to your email address or your cellphone number.

      You may have to drop your KISS wish.

      Delete
    3. I'll check those out ... Thanks!

      I was trying to avoid having to get people to do anything special, like sending to email or a different phone number. Besides, I'm sure that most people don't even realize when their phone is using MMS. For example, it seams that when someone with an iPhone (including my boss) sends to multiple people, it sends as MMS ... no pictures, just text.

      The entire reason for the original request was an attempt to avoid having to re-port my number to each service provider that I might try, therefore reducing the chance of something getting screwed up. Once I find what I want and like, I'll tend to stick with it forever.

      Bummer about the KISS thing! I like things simple.

      Again, thanks!

      Delete
    4. I don't think there's a way to reliably receive all MMS sent to Google Voice or a similar service. The operators are the roadblock. Except for Sprint which has partnered with Google to make it work, none of the US operators will route a MMS to a non-cellular phone number.

      If a Sprint, Boost, Virgin or Sprint MVNO customer sends an MMS to a Google Voice number, Google Voice will forward it to email as an attachment or to a phone on any US mobile network.

      MMS sent to Google Voice numbers by non-Sprint network customers always fail.

      Delete
    5. When you use i-Tim app, your friends on non-Sprint networks must add @itim.me to the end of your Google Voice phone number when they send MMS to you. You receive their MMS in the i-Tim app. This is not what was requested above, but it is easier than having friends use a second phone number or an email address to send you MMS.

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    6. Your friends can also text the word "@photo" to your Google Voice number without the @itim.me, and they will get an auto-text asking them to reply with a photo or video. When they reply with the photo/video, you will get it.

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    7. It it works as advertised, iTim is probably as good a workaround as possible. But it looks like it's iOS only and gets a lot of negative reviews and a low 2 1/2 star rating in the iTunes store.

      My solution is to ask friends to email pictures to me or put them on their Facebook, Flicker or Google+.

      Delete
    8. Wow! I didn't realize the complexities of all of this! Thanks to everyone for all of the good information!

      For the sake of simplicity, I'll probably just punt the whole idea of using GV or something like it. I'll just let whatever service provider that I'm testing port my number in, cross my fingers that they don't screw something up to cause me to lose my number, then just use the phone.

      Thanks so much for this TOTALLY AWESOME SITE, Dennis!!!

      Delete
  21. I just found your site tonight! Thanks for all the great info. I currently have ATT but would like to switch to Net 10. A couple of questions -

    1. The maps that you have posted appear that Verizon would provide better service but that doesn't seem to be the case in my area (NE South Dakota...is that possible?

    2. I am looking at the LG Optimus Extreme - from another post of yours http://www.prepaidphonenews.com/2011/12/how-to-get-tracfone-net10-or-straight.html this phone operates on the ATT network. Am I understanding that correctly? So if I order this phone using a different zip code and activate it here it will use ATT even though it's an Android?

    3. How does Net10 determine what phone number you get? I would like to get a phone and try it out (while leaving my current ATT plan phone active) and if Net10 performs well then port my number? Is that possible?

    Info greatly appreciated...the more I read the more confused I get. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 1. No one opperator provides the best coverage everywhere. Use whichever one is best in the place you plan to use your phone. Actually Verizon coverage in NE South Dakota looks great to me.

      2. The LG Optimus Extreme does use AT&T. Net10 will activate it anywhere AT&T has native (not roaming) service.

      3. Net10 assigns a number based on the location that you activate the phone in. You can port a number to an existing account but you will need a new SIM card which NET10 will send you for free.

      Delete
  22. i am useing a nokia e71 straight talk phone,took sim out to try in a samsung phone,then returned it to the e71, now it says offline,and on the phone info the phone# says n/a


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The phone might be in offline mode. Go to Settings > Profiles and select Normal mode. Or the SIM could be improperly inserted.

      Delete
  23. This is a great site, and I have learned that there are so many things to consider...
    I have been with Virgin Mobile for the last 3 years, and while I LOVE paying $25 a month, my phone is crap and pretty much useless after all this time. After research, I think I want the Samsung Galaxy SII, but I'll have to go to the $35 a month, plus I want hotspot/wifi capability and that adds another $15 = $50 a month.
    I could also go to Boost Mobile, get the same phone and after 18 months, I'd be at $45 a month, but the hotspot adds $10 a month...
    Or, I could cross my fingers and try an unlocked phone, but I worry that it won't really be what I want, or that I don't know enough to get it right!
    Both Virgin Mobile and Boost use Sprint, is one better than the other? Any advice or thoughts? I'm located in Bellevue, NE

    ReplyDelete
  24. Hi.. I have a prepaid straight talk LG840G on the ATT network and want to switch to Consumer Cellular which is also on ATT.. Can I just install the Consumer Cellular sim card in my straight talk phone or are they non compatible.. Thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Straight Talk phones are locked to Straight Talk and are virtually impossible to unlock. You will need to get a new phone for Consumer Cellular.

      Delete
  25. How about a blog article that lists what you need to port out from each prepaid carrier? Every one is different, and CS sometimes waste your time and wears you down before you get the answer in advance of the port request. If you do not take the time, your port fails and you may lose a day or two in getting the number release.
    For example, Virgin Mobile requires a secret account number, and they shuffled me around 4 offices before I could get it. They require the 6-digit PIN as well. Ptel uses the SIM serial number as the account number and has no PIN/PW. Ting also has a secret account number and would not give it to me without the last 4 digits of the credit card I had used to sign up.
    An article would help people switch to better prepaid plans.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Personally, I think this is a perfect place for the government to step in a provide some regulation and set some standards. Maybe even force the industry to create a standardized system so that they all work in the same way, and must do such and such within a set amount of time. As it is now, I usually end up paying for service that I don't use because I have to port out before the end of my prepaid time is up--you don't want to cut it close in case it takes a lot longer than usual. It seems like the current system is rampant for abuse. There are only incentives for your existing carrier to make it difficult, slow, and possibly fail.

      Delete
  26. I currently have an old flip prepaid track phone. I am looking to update into the 21century. What do you think would be the best prepaid smart phone to get that will be easy to use. I currently use about 1000 minutes a year with my flip phone. Please give me guidance - there are so many plans and so much to choose from.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. According to a 2011 Harvard usability study, iPhones are the easiest smartphones to learn. Windows Phone came in second. http://www.phonearena.com/news/Phone-usability-study-finds-iPhone-and-WP7-easier-than-Android-or-BlackBerry_id21019
      There is another more comprehensive study in France that also rated iPhone easiest to learn. I will try to find a link for that one.
      The Verge has a good article on how to buy a smartphone. They also say iPhone is considered easiest to learn. http://www.theverge.com/2011/11/16/2565102/smartphone-buyers-guide
      My sister-in-law could not figure out Android in two weeks, but learned iPhone within a couple of days.

      Delete
    2. For Verizon, I recommend Selectel annual plan for $75, plus Flex card for data at 5c/mb. 2000 minutes, and 1500 texts/year. For ATT, I like the AirVoice $10/month plan with 4c minutes, 2c sms and 6.6c/mb. Sprint? Ting with 100-100-100/month and Verizon roaming for $15/month plus gov taxes, or Eco mobile $10/month with 5c/2c/10c rates. Tmobile Ptel prepaid 5c/2c/10c/month or Lycamobile 2c/2c avg/6c per mb. If you need free roaming on AT&T with Tmobile, use their own prepaid service. $100 for 1000 minutes good for a year, and you can switch to $2 or $3/day for unlimited daily use as needed when you want data. Check your needed coverage first, using the maps on this site. Then research the plans that Dennis compares for each network.

      Delete
    3. Here is a good ComputerWorld report of a smartphone user experience study done very recently by Pfeiffer Consulting:
      http://blogs.computerworld.com/ios/22868/apples-ios-7-best-mobile-android-threat-pfeiffer
      iOS 6 and 7 came out on top by a significant margin.

      Delete
    4. If Verizon coverage works for the OP, TracFone's Samsung Galaxy Centura Android phone would be an easy way to switch to a smartphone. The plans are a good value and she wouldn't lose her balance or have to deal with porting her number.

      Delete
  27. I have an I phone from Verizon. Can I switch to a prepaid plan with my current phone or do I have to buy a new phone? I also have a Galaxy on my plan. I'm paying 175 a month . There has got to be a cheaper way.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No problem for iPh4 or 4S. If you have a Vzw iPh5 you will have to use AT&T or Tmobile unless you know how to cripple the LTE. Do you owe Vzw a ETF for either phone?

      Delete
    2. If your iPhone is a 4 or 4S you can use it on Verizon Prepaid aor a Verizon MVNO like PagePlus or Selectel. If it's a 5 or 5S it will work with an AT&T or AT&T MVNO SIM.

      I believe that all the half dozen or so different Galaxy models that Verizon sold are LTE phones. If yours is LTE it would need to be flashed to work on a Verizon MVNO.

      Delete
    3. I am in similar situation with iphone 5 from Sprint. My question is can i use the said iphone on a prepaid plan after i pay the ETF to Sprint? Must i stay with Sprint MVNO's or can i use it on any carrier?

      Delete
    4. No prepaid operator or MVNO can activate the Sprint iPhone 5 currently.

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    5. will they be able to actvate Sprint iphone 5 in the future? how far away? so is the phone pretty much useless?

      Delete
    6. Nobody knows, including Sprint. If you don't want Sprint sell the phone and buy a Verizon or Straight Talk iPhone5 that is GSM unlocked. Or go back to iPhone 4S and activate it on Ting.

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    7. If you are OK with Sprint, they will buy back your Iphone 5 16gb for $220 if you do not want to sell it yourself. Get the One Up plan, unlimited for $65/month. Get a new smartphone with $0 down, pay per month. When the installment plan ends, you lose the $15/month discount. Start over, or take the phone to a Sprint MVNO if it is possible then.

      Delete
  28. Can I alternate between 2 active SIMs, keeping them both active?

    Here's a little more info...
    I have a Nexus 5 with StraightTalk (AT&T SIM). I'd like to try a different provider to test the coverage in my area. (I don't care if the other provider gives me a different phone number.) However, if after a few days I am not happy, I'd like to be able to put my StraightTalk SIM back in the phone and keep running (with the StraightTalk number.)
    Is this possible? Any gotchas?

    Also... if/when freedompop supports BYOP on Nexus 5, I would like to do the same test with freedompop.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes you can freely swap SIM cards without effecting your account status. Don't call Straight Talk, it's not necessary and will only confuse them, just switch SIMs and go.

      Activating on FreedomPop shouldn't affect your ability to use a GSM SIM either. You should be able to switch betwen CDMA and GSM using the Network mode option in the phone's Mobile networks menu.

      Delete
  29. can i switch to a prepaid plan from a verizon contract plan that still has an existing balance

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, in fact the number you are porting from must be active. If your postpaid line has a cash balance and you don't owe an early termination fee, Verizon will refund the balance by sending you a check.

      Delete
  30. I bought my grandkids droid x's. Can I use verizon prepaid, the $45 card from walmart?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There's no Verizon $45 plan. The Droid X can be used on the $45/month Straight Talk plan or the $50/month Verizon plan which is only available at Walmart.

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  31. I bought a Galaxy S III from Walmart Straight Talk. Apparently I was missed inform. I was told by going with Straight Talk you can use Verizon, AT&T, etc. service with any cell/smart phone they sell in their Straight Talk package at Walmart. Well, after my purchase and activation it ends up being more complicated. Straight Talk activated the phone with Sprint service which is what I had and is terrible coverage where I live. Main reason I wanted to switch to better coverage and plan. Straight Talk now says to purchase a SIM card that will able my phone to have AT&T service. They said it has to be a GSM phone. How do I know my phone is GSM, do I really have to purchase a SIM card (micro/Standard?) for AT&T service, how about Verizon? Do I need to do the same for Verizon service? How do I know if my new Galaxy S III phone will work for other service besides Sprint? What does lock and unlock mean? I am so confused.

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  32. I have a Samsung Galaxy Nexus that was a Verizion CDMA phone. It is currently inactive and the account is closed. Can this phone be used on a prepaid plan? I am in Tennessee at zip 37325. I need help understanding this prepaid stuff.

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    Replies
    1. You could use it on PagePlus or Selectel but it would have to be flashed and the Galaxy Nexus is supposed to be especially hard to flash.

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  33. I see you said Airvoice reduces data speeds to 2/Mbps on their pay as you go plan. Who has the fastest data speed for pay as you go on AT&T MVNO?

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  34. I need to switch from virgin mobile to PagePlus or another carrier that uses the Verizon network as that is the only network that will work at my house. I am looking for an inexpensive flip phone with a camera that will also do limited data once a month or less. I can't seem to find a phone of this type that will work on PagePlus . The ones I have found don't have data activated. Suggestions?

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    Replies
    1. Try Freedom Wireless of Bay City. They repair and flash phones. A Verizon flip phone will probably need to be flashed with PagePlus settings; most are hard to program manually. This dealer was giving free flip phones and activation with Selectel plans over $30/month on their Facebook page last month. 1/27 post. https://www.facebook.com/freedomwirelessbc

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    2. You could try this Moto W385 that Mobile Karma is advertising specifically for Page Plus, so data may work. $23 and you can return within 30 days if it has a problem.
      http://www.mobilekarma.com/p-20170-dark-grey-motorola-w385-flip-phone-page-plus.aspx

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    3. Getting data and MMS to work on feature phones on Verizon MVNOs is difficult (and expensive if you pay a professional) and sometimes impossible. It's easier and usually cheaper to use an older Android phone.

      If you must have a flip, Page Plus used to sell inexpensive "Page Plus Approved" refurbished flip phones with working browsers. Try calling PagePlus, they still may have a few. Currently they only list the LG 220C which lacks a camera. Or you might be able to find a used PagePlus Approved phone on Ebay.

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  35. A little confused, can I buy a Samsung S3 from anywhere and activate prepaid with Tmobile? For example Target or Walmart ?

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    1. There are many different versions of the Galaxy S III.
      T-Mobile's is SGH-T999L. It's the only one that supports T-Mobiles's AWS 3G and band 4 LTE. It doesn't matter where you buy it as long as it's branded T-Mobile or Brightspot.

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  36. Thanks, Dennis. I remember seeing an article on your site about which phones match up with which carriers, but I can't seem to find it. Do you have a link?

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  37. That's it! Thanks and thanks for the great website.

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