Carrier Att prepaid service?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Applefan4515, Jan 17, 2017.

  1. Applefan4515 Suspended


    Sep 19, 2016
    so I currently have att, the grandfathered unlimited data plan. Well with them raising the price, again, I switched my plan to the mobile share advantage 3gb plan with the idea of changing my habits and making it work. So basically $40+$20 device charge - 20% Discount = approximately $60 after taxes. Looking around I came across the att prepaid page. $40 per month for unlimited calls and text, 4gb per month. No device charge. No brained here what the better deal is. My only question is, is there really any difference? I mean it just doesn't make sense why they would do this, but crazier things have happened. So does anyone know what/if there is a difference between the contract plan and prepaid plan? Thanks I advance!
  2. BearBert macrumors regular


    Oct 6, 2015
    Off the top of my head AT&T prepaid also known as Gophone doesn't have VoLTE, also no WiFi Calling currently.
  3. AutoUnion39 macrumors 601


    Jun 21, 2010
  4. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere


    Apr 16, 2008
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    You can get some great deals with prepaid.
    Some plans or options will deprioritize your data speeds but it's still not bad.
  5. Applefan4515 thread starter Suspended


    Sep 19, 2016
    55 for 8gb on att. Either way it's kind of a joke. Thinking I'm going to switch. Seems like a better deal. I barely ever use the phone portion anyways. Mainly text and data
  6. Septembersrain Contributor


    Dec 14, 2013
    I think those are the most lucrative. You might be throttled but no surprise heinous bills with overages. That's why even though postpaid T-Mobile does warn me about 28GB potential deprioritization, to me it's still unlimited because I'm not getting an overage charge.

    I know a lot will disagree but extreme abuse of data will either end up with a throttle or overages. I'd prefer the former.
  7. Bart Kela, Jan 17, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2017

    Bart Kela Suspended

    Bart Kela

    Oct 12, 2016
    It really depends on your usage pattern and what you value in terms of additional benefits. The prepaid plans usually skimp on benefits or premium services like VoLTE, WiFi calling, WiFi hotspot access, tethering, Visual Voicemail, etc. You will need to do you own research, read the fine print carefully and weigh the various bennies (or absence thereof) to understand the full picture of what you will get and what you will not get. Finally, you can decide whether or not any given plan is will work with your regular phone behavior.

    As mentioned above, prepaid users are usually deprioritized on crowded cellular towers and are amongst the first to get degraded service (along with MVNO users like StraightTalk customers who also connect to AT&T's towers). If you don't come close to your cellular data thresholds like me, this is usually not a problem.

    I bounced around on various prepaid services until I landed on my current T-Mobile prepaid service several years ago, a plan that has been discontinued but I'm grandfathered in. It comes with unlimited international texts and unlimited cellular data (first 5GB at 4G speeds, then throttled down), plus 100 domestic voice minutes for just $30 per month (plus $2.50 now in additional California access fees & taxes). There are almost no fringe benefits and tethering is capped at a measly 100MB. I have never come close to either the voice usage threshold or cellular data threshold.

    This T-Mobile prepaid plan is useless overseas, but that's okay, I buy cheap prepaid SIMs from local carriers and shove them into my phone. I use Google Voice, so I can actually handle voice calls over their cellular data. It's not particularly streamlined, Google Hangouts for free outgoing VoIP calls and Talkatone VoIP for free incoming calls, but it does work. No one back in the States can tell that I'm overseas.

    I just checked StraightTalk again, their unlimited nationwide talk/text plans are $45 with 5GB of high-speed cellular data (throttled after that) or $55 with 10GB (again throttled after that). If T-Mobile ended my grandfathered plan tomorrow, I'd switch back to StraightTalk's $45 plan.

    Prepaid plans do not favor heavy cellular data users, but for someone with modest usage patterns like me, they can be an affordable and useful option. A lot of postpaid service plans are more advantageous to households with multiple lines and a mixture of users with a variety of cellular data usage habits.

    I happen to be single, so my scrutiny of cellular service plans only takes into account my particular usage.

    Long ago, I used Pay As You Go service (AT&T GoPhone), so I was paying for what I used, rather than a chunk of what was allotted to me. Some months I paid more, other months I paid less. It was working out great until AT&T restructured their GoPhone PAYG offerings and it no longer made financial sense based on my usage habits (I likely was not the only one who had discovered idiosyncrasies with the GoPhone offerings that made it a cost-effective solution).

    The main takeaway here is to review various prepaid plans and see how they dovetail with your own usage. For most, it's better to find a plan that matches your normal habits than to force change on the user.
  8. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere


    Apr 16, 2008
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    I hear you.
    I rather not spend an arm and a leg in data overages or keep loooking at my data usage to make sure I don't go over.
    I can live with deprioritized speeds.
  9. Jwhite1 macrumors member


    May 12, 2015
    Akron, Ohio
    I switched to prepaid a few months ago and love it on my 6 Plus. I had Verizon and was paying $60/month for unlimited talk/text and 2 GB data. I recently found a prepaid Verizon MVNO (uses Verizon's network) called Total Wireless (Walmart exclusive) that's only $35/month for unlimited talk/text and 5 GB LTE data. You can also add a $10/3 GB add on plan (which rolls over if unused) if you need more data. Of course I miss out on the wifi calling, hotspot, visual voicemail etc that others mentioned, but I never used them anyway and doesn't justify nearly double the cost. They also offer multiple line plans and a 5% autopay discount. I think it's a hidden gym that not enough people know about or are willing to swallow their pride to go with a "Walmart plan" to cut their bill in half and get more for their $. Just my two cents.

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