Inexpensive Pre-Paid Plan for AT&T iPhones!

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by bohbot16, Jun 24, 2012.

  1. bohbot16, Jun 24, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2013

    macrumors 6502a


    Mar 22, 2009
    Here’s how I cut my monthly iPhone bill to $20. This is only useful for people who are fairly light users and rely on WiFi for almost all of their data usage.

    I switched from AT&T to the Airvoice Wireless $10/month plan. Airvoice Wireless is an AT&T MVNO, which means that they run on AT&T’s network. It also means that you can use an AT&T iPhone without the need to jailbreak or unlock it. You also don't need to play any games with the provider since Airvoice allows you to use an iPhone with their service.

    Here are the charges:
    $0.04 per minute
    $0.02 per sms
    $0.10 per mms
    $0.33 per MB

    You need to add a minimum of $10 every 30 days to the account. Any unused funds roll over when you add another $10.

    What you will need:

    Airvoice Wireless SIM Card
    Noosy Micro SIM card cutter (for iPhone 4 or 4S)
    Airvoice Wireless refill card

    You will need to cut the Airvoice Wireless SIM down to a MicroSIM using the Noosy. The Noosy comes with the instructions. It’s just like using a hole punch.

    Go to the Airvoice Wireless web site and click on either New Activation (to get a new phone number) or Port Your Number (if you want to keep your phone number from your existing provider). For the plan select 250 TALK OR 500 TEXT 30 DAYS. Fill in all of your info and submit it. Wait an hour then call 1-888-944-2355 to speak to a customer service representative. Have them double check that your account is set up properly and ask them to enable data on the account.

    Next you will need to configure your phone to log in to AT&T’s cell towers as an Airvoice subscriber. Make sure that your iPhone is connected to WiFi. Open Safari and go to Select Custom APN then go to the Carrier menu and select Airvoice. Select Create Profile, which will bring you to the Install Profile menu on your phone. Select Install and enter your phone’s password if prompted.

    You’re all set. Enjoy the savings!
  2. macrumors 6502a

    Feb 23, 2008
    Yes, a very reasonable deal. Just be careful - data at 33 cents per megabyte gets expensive REAL quick. Also you get those annoying reminders every time you use some data, and they can't be turned off.

    This same advice applies by the way to ALL AT&T MVNOs...Red Pocket, Jolt, Air Voice, PureTalk, Straight Talk, etc. Any of these will work without jailbreaking or doing any modification to the phone. Sometimes a little work is required to get MMS working but voice and data are easy.
  3. macrumors 68020

    Jun 19, 2010
    HAHAHA I would get 75MB/mo at my current cost. I use that in a day.
  4. macrumors 6502a


    Mar 2, 2010
    San Diego, CA
    Great post. But like you said, works really if barely use any data. I use about 1 GB a month that would cost 330 dollars at .33 for each MB of data used.

    I think you would essentially need to turn data off and just use wifi and only turn it on only for dire emergencies. If that works some people and they are out of contract with at&t, it's a great option.
  5. thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Mar 22, 2009
    You're all correct about the data usage. I leave cellular data off most of the time and turn it on when I know I want to use it. I work from home so I have WiFi most of the time, plus when I'm out somewhere there's often WiFi available. There are also a lot of CableWiFi hotspots available where I live.
    It's not for most people, but it's the least expensive legitimate option I've found.
  6. macrumors 68020

    Jun 19, 2010
    Having a smartphone that doesn't work as a smartphone... that's real useful. Just get ST, then you have sort-of "unlimited" data for $45/mo, plus unlimited everything else.
  7. thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Mar 22, 2009
    Straight Talk is a better option for people who use lots of minutes, text, and data. I just don't need to use a cell tower that often.
  8. macrumors regular

    Jun 12, 2012
    You guys have it rough, in the UK we can get 600 mins, unlimited texts and unlimited data (no fair usage policy, tethering allowed) from "3" for £12 per month in a 12 month contract or £15 with no contract.

  9. macrumors 601

    Jan 16, 2008
    Bristol, UK
    That plan does not include Tethering.
  10. macrumors regular

    Jun 12, 2012
    Just found out that is true, however it is not enforced by 3, I have been tethering on it for months without issue as have many others, that could change any time though.
  11. macrumors 68020

    Jun 19, 2010
    Actually, ST is great for most single users who don't use a ton of data.

    And you have a smartphone that you can't really use why?
  12. macrumors regular


    May 13, 2004
    Hey - I know that I'm late to the party, but I wanted to chime in, since I made the same switch to Airvoice Wireless this summer. I'm a light user, and virtually always covered by WiFi, so I figured that I'd give it a go, and with no contracts, no worries if it didn't work out.

    After a few months, it's AWESOME. For two iPhones, our total cell phone bill each month is exactly $19.90, with no taxes. It was going to be slightly more than $120 on ATT, even after several discounts. We generally keep cellular data turned off, and just turn it on whenever we need it. (We also use CityMaps2Go for fully functional GPS mapping without needing mobile data.)

    One point to clarify, however: Adding credit does NOT stack the expiration dates. By that I mean that each time you add credit, it extends the expiration date to 30 days from the date credit was added - and two or more cards will not stack to make the expiration date later. No big deal, but just wanted to be clear on this! (Otherwise I'd just add a ton of cards and be done with it!) Unused credit does carry over indefinitely, so our balance will likely be slowly growing throughout the year...

    And to the haters who say "Why bother with a smart phone without mobile data?"
    1. Over two years my wife and I will save more than $2400.
    2. Listening to Pandora while walking to work isn't worth $2k, nor is watching a youtube meme while on the bus. I can do either a few minutes later at home/work/cafe etc.
    3. We can still turn on and use mobile data whenever we want to.

    If you life revolves around watching youtube and netflix while walking around outside, great, stick with a major carrier. If, however, you'd like to save a good amount of cash and still have all the functionality of an iPhone, these smaller carriers are well worth a look.
  13. macrumors regular

    Sep 14, 2009
    Take a look at the footnote on this blog post. It sounds like Airvoice is aware of this limitation and is looking to fix it:

    I should add that I've looked at Airvoice, but it doesn't really make sense for my usage patterns. Too limited for me. I have been with Straight Talk since July and it's been pretty good, and is saving me $20-25 a month vs. my old AT&T plan with FAN discount.
  14. thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Mar 22, 2009
    I've tried out both Straight Talk and Airvoice and think that there are definite pros and cons to each depending on your usage needs. I have a page @ which I'm trying to keep up-to-date for prepaid iPhone comparison shoppers.
  15. macrumors 68040

    Jul 2, 2012
    At $3.30 for 10mb seems high. At this rate you can't even use data for anything. Just using maps for 15 miles will cost you a lot. Might as well not even have data. If you only use 500 min and 500 text a month that will cost $30. Might as well pay $10 more and get unlimited somewhere else.
  16. thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Mar 22, 2009
    Yeah, you basically have to rely on WiFi and pre-load most things like maps, music, and of course videos. After a little while you forget to turn cellular data back on when leaving the house.
  17. macrumors 65816

    Jan 3, 2010
    I guess this plan makes sense if someone gives you a free iPhone, maybe an old generation one, and you want to use it only for emergency calls or like an iPod.
  18. thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Mar 22, 2009
    Here's an example for someone who has low usage needs:
    100 minutes/month for $4
    100 texts/month for $2
    25MB/month for $8.25
    Total monthly cost = $14.25
  19. macrumors 65816

    Jan 3, 2010
    100 minutes a month is not very realistic for almost anyone. These days people are getting rid of their landlines and will need a few hundred minutes a month at the minimum. Otherwise if you're a light talker, it's more savings to jump on a family plan or another prepaid provider like net10.

  20. macrumors 601

    Aug 27, 2012
    Thanks bohhot16!

    I was looking at ST but AirVoice even works better for me. I've pushed most of my communication to email and text. If anybody needs to talk to me for more than 5 minutes, I know is a circular conversation and I lose interest.

    People on a budget - Here's the way!
  21. macrumors 68040

    Knowlege Bomb

    Feb 14, 2008
    Madison, WI
    That's way off in my opinion. Most people I know communicate through text and Facebook these days. Hell my parents and grandparents have even picked up on it. It's a sad state but its the way it is. The amount of rollover minutes I have built up over the past 6 years with AT&T is staggering.
  22. macrumors 68040

    Jul 2, 2012
    I like the minutes and text charges but you are better off just not using data at all. Without a home phone most people could not get by on 100 min a month. Most people have to have a phone that they can talk on extensively, for work and personal banter. Now if the plan included free night's and weekends then it could work.
  23. macrumors member

    Jan 18, 2013
    Tmobile 30/month no contract

    Unlimited text
    Unlimited web (throttled after 5GB)
    100 minutes
    Use Talkatone and a Google Voice number for free minutes. Especially if you are around wifi.
  24. thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Mar 22, 2009
    The data charges are high. It's useful to turn off cellular data in Settings, then only turn it on when you're already out and need to map something or email someone.

    For someone that's enough of a "techie" to use these forums, they could use a Google Voice number for their home phone and make free calls over WiFi using the Talkatone app.


    This plan is an awesome deal, but T-Mobile is still Edge only for most iPhones. I think this plan will take off in popularity as T-Mobile completes their HSPA+ refarming to 1900MHz, which will give iPhone customers good speeds.
  25. macrumors 6502

    Sep 3, 2009
    I would be ok with this myself as I am diligent with data use, but my son's 4s went haywire and used 5gb in one month, even with WIFI always on and connected. I would be in the poorhouse after one month!

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