U.S. Cellular recently made some improvements to its Ready Connect prepaid plans. If you aren't familiar with U.S. Cellular, it's the largest US regional operator and the fifth largest US mobile operator overall with 4.67 million customers, including about 360 thousand prepaid customers. U.S. Cellular operates and is available to customers in parts of 24 states. All plans include no extra charge nationwide voice, SMS and 2G data roaming. Data roaming is capped at 200 MB/month. Customers whose roaming minutes exceed 50% of their total minutes in three consecutive months are subject to termination.
U.S. Cellular has two prepaid brands, Simple Connect, which is sold online and at U.S Cellular stores and Ready Connect which is available from Amazon, Wal-Mart, Sam's Club and Dollar General. The main difference between the two are that Simple Connect costs more but lets you use any U.S. Cellular phone while Ready Connect requires Ready Connect phone. Available phones for Ready Connect include feature phones and entry level and mid-range Android devices.
Here's what changed with Ready Connect:
- Smartphones can now be used on the $35/month unlimited talk, text, 2G mobile web plan. That plan used to be limited to 2G feature phones only. U.S. Cellular's 2G is 1xRTT which typically delivers speeds of around 100 Kbps.
- The $40 plan unlimited talk text and data plan gets its high speed data allotment increased from 1 GB to 1.5 GB of high speed data, followed by unlimited 2G data
- The $45 unlimited talk, text and data plan goes from 2 GB to 3 GB of high speed data, followed by unlimited 2G data
- The $55 unlimited talk, text and data plan with 4 GB of high speed data, followed by unlimited 2G data, gets a price cut to $50.
The new Ready Connect plans.
|$40||unlimited||unlimited||unlimited||unlimited (throttled after 1.5 GB)|
|$45||unlimited||unlimited||unlimited||unlimited (throttled after 3 GB)|
|$50||unlimited||unlimited||unlimited||unlimited (throttled after 4 GB)|
Sources U.S. Cellular, Amazon
Prepaid Operator Profile - U.S. Cellular
U.S. Cellular Ready Connect Prepaid Smartphone Plans Get Unlimited Data