Cheap phone service for kids

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by ftaok, Sep 18, 2017.

  1. ftaok, Sep 18, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2017

    ftaok macrumors 603

    ftaok

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    East Coast
    #1
    Two of my kids are at the age where having a phone can be useful. Between Soccer and after-school activities, it's nice to know that they have something that they can easily call home with. Plus, with Find My iPhone, I could keep tabs on their whereabouts if I need to.

    Anyways, are there any basic services/plans that would be compatible with unlocked, AT&T iPhone5 and my cheapness? I've looked at FreedomPop and their $0 plan looks good. Just wondering if there's a "gotcha" as it seems too goo to be true.

    Also, I saw someone mention RingPlus.

    Any other services that offer a few minutes and a few hundred MB for free or close to it? Thanks.
     
  2. Cascades42 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2016
    Location:
    UK
    #2
    I have a FreedomPop plan and ordered it from a 3rd party as they then referred other folks using my account which bumped up my data amount - and they avoided all the "free for the first month, your kidneys thereafter" addons.

    I'd recommend using Find my Friends to check on the kids vs find my iPhone - the service was designed for it and you can even set alerts for when they arrive/leave somewhere.
     
  3. ectospheno macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2005
    #3
    Find a Friend is awesome when each member of your family has their own phone. The key to this working is them always having their phone. You accomplish this with kids by making the phone awesome. You get unlimited data for your kid and the odds of them not having their phone with them is essentially zero.

    Don't go dirt cheap. Shop around for a good family unlimited plan and get it now. Just my $.02.
     
  4. techiegirl macrumors 65816

    techiegirl

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2007
    #4
    My kids are on our family plan for additional $20 per line and gets out hand me down iPhones.
     
  5. ftaok thread starter macrumors 603

    ftaok

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    East Coast
    #5
    Yeah, Find my Friends. That's what I meant. Anyways, how is the coverage with FreedomPop? Keep in mind, I have AT&T iPhones, so I'd be on the GSM towers and not the SprintCDMA ones. I'm in the Philly/SE PA area.

    Oops. Just noticed you're in the UK. You likely don't have experience on the FreedomPop network over in Pennsylvania. But if you do ... I'd still like to hear about your experience. Thanks!

    These phones won't be in their possession all the time. Just when they need it. Like when they're at a Soccer match or school event that we're not at. Just for emergency. I'm not interest in paying through the nose for a few days a month.

    Worst case scenario for my situation would be to add them onto my current AT&T 20GB plan. It would only be $15/mo for each phone, but an additional $30/mo for what would amount to a few days of usage seems obscene to me.

    When they're a bit older and have full possession of the phone, then I'll consider add them to the plan.
     
  6. Droidbricker Suspended

    Droidbricker

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2016
    #7
    Sprint is offering their free unlimited plan for a year. I’m not sure I’d call Sprint a legit “service” but occasionally they might get reception by accident.
    It requires a port in, I made a Google Voice account for that purpose and used the number from that.
     
  7. ftaok thread starter macrumors 603

    ftaok

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    East Coast
    #8
    Thanks, but that wouldn't work as I don't have any Sprint phones. I'm trying to use the two AT&T phones that I have, so it'll have to be a service that uses AT&T or T-mobile towers.
    --- Post Merged, Sep 18, 2017 ---
    Interesting. I'll have to do some research. Thansk for the info.
     
  8. Cascades42 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2016
    Location:
    UK
    #9
    I got the US one when I was in Chicago and it worked really well - but Chicago is probably well covered! Unfortunately I have no other US experiences to share :)
     
  9. Droidbricker Suspended

    Droidbricker

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2016
    #10
    I thought since they were unlocked they would; but I think I’m wrong. Good luck.
     
  10. rui no onna macrumors 603

    rui no onna

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2013
    #11
    I'm not sure what towers FreedomPop uses nowadays. Last time I was with them, I think it may have been Sprint.

    H2O Wireless (AT&T MVNO)
    Pay As You Go
    $10/90 days
    5c/min, 5c/SMS, 10c/MMS, 10c/MB

    The kicker here is data. Most prepaid monthly plans that include data are $30/mo minimum.
    --- Post Merged, Sep 18, 2017 ---
    Just remembered, MintSIM (T-Mobile MVNO) can be as low as $15/mo but requires prepayment for 3-12 months so same cost as adding them to your AT&T plan.

    The advantage with putting them on a separate prepaid plan is they get their own data allocation and you don't run the risk of overages on your current plan. I assume your 20GB plan is the same as I have ($100 double data promo + $15/line)?
     
  11. ftaok thread starter macrumors 603

    ftaok

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    East Coast
    #12
    Just looked at the H2O plan $10 deal. At 10 cents per MB, I can see issues if they started watching YouTube on data by mistake.

    And yes, I am on the same 10GB (promo doubled to 20GB) plan. Right now, there's no reason for me to switch to anything else as no other plans can compete with what I have at the moment (for my use case). So glad I was lurking on MacRumors when that post alerting us to AT&T matching Sprint's double data offer. Got in before AT&T caught on ... yeah!
     
  12. FunkyTang macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2008
    #13
    Cricket has a $30 plan that works with AT&T phones.
     
  13. rui no onna macrumors 603

    rui no onna

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2013
    #14
    I think you may be able to prevent certain apps from using cellular data (Settings - Cellular). However, I think 30MB ($3) per month is probably still too little.
     
  14. google macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2007
    #15
    Check out Mint - paid $180 for full year of unlimited calling, text and 1GB data. That's plenty for that price
     
  15. ftaok thread starter macrumors 603

    ftaok

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    East Coast
    #16
    Thanks for the advice, but for $15/mo, I could just add the phone to my current family share plan.
     
  16. rui no onna macrumors 603

    rui no onna

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2013
    #17
    True but like I mentioned earlier, one benefit is you don't get hit with overage charges. I know some teenagers who easily use 15-20GB by themselves every month. One thing I've noticed, if you give them a plan with a hard data cap, they tend to be more careful with their usage so they don't run out of data versus if they're just piggybacking on the family plan.

    Note, the MintSIM $15/mo plan comes with 2GB data.
     

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16 September 18, 2017