go phone plan

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by ghanwani, Oct 7, 2013.

  1. ghanwani macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2008
    #1
    I'm thinking of switching to the $60/month go phone plan. My phone is out of contract and I like having it unlocked, so most likely even if I get a new one it will be unlocked.

    Is there any downside to having a go phone plan from AT&T?

    Would I still be able to add international data? Would I still be able to receive calls internationally?

    I use those two things because of convenience. It works out better on short trips and I can use the data right when the plane lands in any country without having to frantically search for a local SIM (which can be pricey) or wifi (which can also be pricey and has very limited range). Also for voice, I usually just let the call go to voicemail, then check visual voicemail (which uses data) and communicate with the person via email instead. So it's been working out well and I wouldn't want to lose these.

    If you have other solutions I would like to know.
     
  2. vigilant macrumors 6502

    vigilant

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2007
    Location:
    Dallas, TX
    #2
    The big thing I know from people I know from people who work at AT&T is that VMNOs get a lower tier of priority on the network.

    I don't know of they do the same thing with AT&T go phones.

    That would be my only thought on it.

    Honestly though, the lower priority even for carriers like Straight Talk would only be an issue I would think when enough users are on a specific tower that lower performance on non-Att users would really be noticeable.
     
  3. ghanwani thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Dec 8, 2008
    #3
    How would one go about finding out about that? I asked someone at AT&T if there would be any difference in quality and they "no". They said the main thing that I lose is the ability to get discounted pricing on the phone...which is actually quite a good deal at about $18/mo and the difference between what I pay not and the go phone $60 plan is much less than $18. The main issue is that the phone would be locked and on a longer trip overseas, it would mean the locked phone cannot be used with a local SIM card. If it were like the old days where they unlocked in-contract phones after a few months, it would be a no brainer to stay with a contract plan and get the phone discount.
     
  4. vigilant macrumors 6502

    vigilant

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2007
    Location:
    Dallas, TX
    #4
    I would think that they would be giving you the right information for that.

    These carriers have no issue with jacking with MVNOs because of the cut rate deals they get their access at.

    Considering its under AT&Ts own brand and you are there customer there is less incentive to mess with your access.
     
  5. rocksyoursock macrumors regular

    rocksyoursock

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2011
    #5
    I made the switch from Verizon contract to AT&T GoPhone with my iPhone 5S (paid full price). I live in the US and do not travel internationally, but I can offer other input for you.

    AT&T GoPhone isn't an MVNO. It is its own brand and it is not throttled. AT&T has another prepaid service you might have heard of on here called aio wireless. It is AT&T as well but they do throttle that service (but offer you more data, just less speed). I am pretty sure aio is just nationwide for the US though. Other services, like StraightTalk, state that they prohibit video or music streaming on their service. I am sure you still could still stream and maybe you'd get caught and maybe you wouldn't. I don't know. But you can stream fine on GoPhone.

    Using the Speedtest app, for my area I average about 23Mbps download speed on GoPhone. I live in hilly suburbs, so like with Verizon service, it fluctuates. I have gotten as high as 57Mbps and when I am in a spotty LTE area I get around 7Mbps. But for most of my region its stays in the mid 20's. It is not throttled but there is a data cap of 2GB with that plan. However, you can add an extra gig for 10$ if you are getting close to your limit.

    Also, l took the advice of so many other people on this forum and used callingmart.com with the coupon codes they give out every so often and pay $54 to refill.

    Sorry I could not answer your other questions about being able to use it internationally.
     
  6. ghanwani, Oct 8, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2013

    ghanwani thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2008
    #6
    Thanks for the info...very useful. I think I will stop by the AT&T store and make the switch to the go phone. 2GB is plenty for me. I seldom exceed 300 MB, but I don't want to get something lower tier that would cause usage anxiety. I also don't do much calling/texting. I really use the phone mostly for necessary calls and lots of email/browsing, but much of the latter happens on wifi unless I'm traveling.
     
  7. edtorious macrumors 65816

    edtorious

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2007
    Location:
    San Diego, California
    #7
    switch

    How do I go about switching go GoPhone from Straight Talk? Can I activate and port my number online just like Straight Talk? I cannot seem to find a dedicated GoPhone website to activate service. Please advise. Any help or suggestions will be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
     
  8. Wolfpup macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    #8
    You might be on an older plan, but typically the price difference is more like 2x, not just $18. I know I'd make it up in just 7-8 months, based on buying the most expensive iPhone, and paying full price for the plan, which I probably won't.

    Going to an AT&T store would probably be your best bet. América Móvil seems hard to get out of. The person in the store will probably have to end up calling corporate, who will have to deal with Movil to get you ported.
     
  9. Fedmahn Kassad macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2013
    Location:
    New York City
    #9
    Call ATT. If you ask them directly, they transfer you right to the guys who handle this and after about a 10 minute hold they should transfer your account.

    Keep in mind that you need to have a $0 balance and not be in the last or first 4 days of your billing cycle to do the change.

    Very worthwhile, I think. Go for it!
     
  10. edtorious macrumors 65816

    edtorious

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2007
    Location:
    San Diego, California
    #10
    But I still need to buy a GoPhone sim card before I call and activate and port my number correct? Are they available in AT&T or any other retail store like Walmart? Do they still need to be cut to Nano size sim? Kind of surprising for a major carrier to not have an easy way to do this unlike Straight Talk where everything can be done on their website.

    Oh and by the way, does your Visual Voicemail works on GoPhone? It seems like it's not working on Straight Talk.
     
  11. 617aircav Suspended

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2012
    #11
    Service will be pretty much the same as regular att plan. I switched from att contract to aio prepaid. Service is the same to me. Just way cheaper.
     
  12. Wolfpup macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    #12
    This'll be painless in store, if it's anything like my store. You'll get the SIM, they'll handle América Móvil for you (which will probably require multiple AT&T people working on it).

    And yes, visual voicemail works, even if you're on the $50 plan with no data. I was very impressed by how well the process works.
     
  13. TraceyS/FL macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2007
    Location:
    North Central Florida
    #13
    We were able to walk into the ATT store and get a sim free when I put DDs iP4 on as a go phone (the $25/mo plan with no data). I was going to buy it, and he asked what for - and told me to go grab the phone and he could set it up for me. I figured he probably earned a commission on it - but I was fine with that, he was nice and I wasn't paying for the sim card! I didn't expect them to be helpful since i was doing something they technically didn't allow/like. But, he pointed out it wouldn't get data unless I flashed it, so I accomplished what I wanted. A phone for a teen for $25/mo without data, but with unlimited texts! (note, she does run out of minutes because she actually uses the phone side for phone meetings with her teachers).

    We didn't have a number to port, so I have no experience with that aspect.
     
  14. Fedmahn Kassad macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2013
    Location:
    New York City
    #14
    I do have visual voicemail functioning just like before. If you're not currently using an ATT simcard, then yes you'll need to go into a store to get one. I was already a customer however, so I was able to keep using my regular sim.

    I'm not sure about sizes or what sizes are sold, though, so be sure to check it out first hand.
     
  15. henryonapple macrumors 6502

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    Oct 29, 2012
  16. Wolfpup macrumors 68030

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    Sep 7, 2006
    #16
    Absolutely. I just did it last Friday, and I know of 3 others who have done it recently. My AT&T store at least was the most painless experience I've had at a cell phone store!
     
  17. ghanwani thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2008
    #17
    Stopped by the AT&T store today. The rep told me that coverage for regular plan vs go phone is different. I asked him to show me the maps. AT&T's site has separate maps for regular plan and go phone, but they pretty much looked identical. I asked him to point to differences, but he said he couldn't. But I still found it interesting that AT&T maintains different maps for regular plan vs go phone.
    http://www.att.com/maps/wireless-coverage.html

    Next I asked about international data when traveling. He said that's not available with the go phone. (This conflicted with what I was told by the phone rep.) For me this was a deal breaker so I decided not to switch.
     
  18. Wolfpup macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    #18
    As far as I know, the difference is that the prepaid plan-and this goes for Verizon and Sprint as well-doesn't include free roaming on other carriers. You're ONLY on AT&T's network. This may or may not ever be an issue for any given individual, but that's why the maps are different.

    Not sure about that, but it should be much cheaper to slap a SIM in from the country you go to, or just to buy a cheap phone there.
     
  19. ghanwani thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2008
    #19
    For short business trips this is pain. Finding SIM cards is not always easy and nowadays some countries have to do background checks before issuing a SIM. Also, with data roaming, you can check email and text even when in transit or as soon as the plane lands, without having to go looking for wifi. In some cases, just the cost of wifi for a day can equal the data roaming fee.

    For longer trips, a local SIM is definitely the way to go.
     

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