iPhone 4 or 4S: best carrier/ plan for unlimited talk/ data?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by RichardF, Oct 20, 2011.

  1. RichardF, Oct 20, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2011

    RichardF macrumors 6502a

    RichardF

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2006
    Location:
    New York City
    #1
    I don't use SMS or MMS so I couldn't care less for either.

    Could you guys help me pick the best and cheapest carrier/ plan with unlimited voice and data?
    Don't mind a contract.
    This is to use on an unlocked iPhone 4S.

    In order of preference, I am have zero-ed in on:

    1) Simple Mobile (T-Mobile MVNO) for $40/ month.
    Unlimited everything.
    Pro: no contract (pre-paid) Con: no 3G on the iPhone (no 1,700MHz band)
    http://www.mysimplemobile.com/plans-40-unlimited.aspx

    2) T-Mobile Small Business for $44.99/ month (+ stupid 20% or so in taxes).
    Unlimited everything.
    Pro: Can get a subsidized phone to resell to fund >6-7 months of service
    Con: 2-year contract and no 3G on the iPhone.
    http://business.t-mobile.com/small-business/cell-phones-plans/unlimited-plans


    Ideally there would be a at&t MVNO for about $40/ month unlimited everything.
    Is there any close to this?

    H2O is a at&t MVNO but it's $60 for unlimited everything:
    https://www.h2owirelessnow.com/pageControl.php?page=plans


    There used to be a trick to get on the unlimited at&t data plan: people would buy a iPhone 3G, put its IMEI on their at&t account and would get grandfathered into that unlimited $25 plan that's not longer avail.
    Does this still work?
    http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/arcmessageview.php?catid=18&threadid=1034383
     
  2. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2006
    Location:
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    #2
    The only carrier with unlimited data is Sprint in the United States.
     
  3. dieburnbot macrumors 6502a

    dieburnbot

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2008
    Location:
    CA
    #3
    Only carrier with unlimited data is Sprint. Or if you're lucky you got grandfathered with AT&T (not sure about verizon). Overall though if I was going to buy the 4S on a new carrier, my order of preference would be AT&T, Verizon, and then Sprint. Only basing this on the 3G speed threads I've been looking at. Sprint apparently has horrible 3G speeds.
     
  4. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #4
    Well you can get the post-paid T-Mobile account for $45 without a contract.
     
  5. Eddy120876 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2011
    Location:
    Bronx,NY
    #5
    Not sure if this is an old one. Theres also straight talk : 45 dollars for the iphone. I hope this helps

    http://youtu.be/YbwYrqADGgA
     
  6. verwon macrumors 68030

    verwon

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2011
    Location:
    Seattle
  7. Eddy120876 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2011
    Location:
    Bronx,NY
    #7
    Thats correct but pricing still high no matter what :(
     
  8. verwon macrumors 68030

    verwon

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2011
    Location:
    Seattle
    #8
    Umm...on a contract plan, with a regular carrier, Sprint has the lowest prices.
     
  9. Eddy120876 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2011
    Location:
    Bronx,NY
    #9
    That is also correct but i mean for the speed they should charge a bit less if you don't the speed they promise. Too bad we don't get the protection the Brits get for false ads :(
     
  10. verwon macrumors 68030

    verwon

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2011
    Location:
    Seattle
    #10
    It's not that slow everywhere. I can run all over Seattle on Sprint 3G and have no problems. I've no complaints about my monthly bill with 3 phones on it, either. It's pretty generous for unlimited data, roaming, text, mms and mobile to mobile.
     
  11. Eddy120876 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2011
    Location:
    Bronx,NY
    #11
    Good to know that. I will be looking to Straight talk once my contract with ATT is up coming up in february
     
  12. forcetactic macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2010
    #12
    straight talk $45 unlimited 3g data/talk/text
     
  13. pilot1226 macrumors 6502a

    pilot1226

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2010
    Location:
    USA
    #13
    If 3G data isn't important to you, I'd consider the T-Mobile plan. But, if you want 3G coverage, your only option is Sprint.

    I can't speak of iPhone speeds on Sprint yet - I'll know in about a week when I upgrade.

    The problem with Sprint would be, I believe, that they make you get unlimited texting because it's the same price as it would be to get the plan without it. At quick glance, it looks like $69.99 for 900 minutes with unlimited texting and data. But, you also have to add the $10 smartphone data fee, so you're now looking at $80 per month.

    How much do you actually use the data on your phone? You can consider a prepaid plan on AT&T GoPhone. Data's more expensive, but since you don't text that could be good.

    Be aware though that the 'Unlimited' GoPhone plan doesn't apply to Smartphones. You'd still have to add separate data. But you can either pay as you go for 10 cents per minute and 20 cents per text, or pay for the $25/month plan for 250 minutes (addl minutes 10 cents per minute) and unlimited texts)

    Data plans are: $5 for 10 MB, $15 for 100 MB, or $25 for 500 MB. It's certainly better to be on a contracted option for data, but again this depends on how much you use.

    Your best option in terms of price is probably the T-Mobile one you listed, but you won't have 3G coverage (though T-Mobile has started some spectrum rollouts in the southeastern US that appears to shift bandwidth to let the iPhone use 3G). So, what's more important to you - cheap service with slow data, or more expensive service with faster data?

    Also, for what it's worth, you can always try Sprint - they have a 14-day money back guarantee with no questions asked. If you're not happy, return the phone, they credit everything back - activation, taxes, fees, device charges, etc. I returned a Mobile Hotspot back in August because Sprint had pretty poor coverage at my vacation home where I was going to use it.
     
  14. scaredpoet macrumors 604

    scaredpoet

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2007
    #14
    It depends on what you're used to. Sprint 3G on its best day is still no match for HSPA+ on its worst day. I certainly couldn't go back to EVDO.
     
  15. takeshi74 macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2011
    #15
    1. Best is always highly subjective. Be very specific about what you mean when you use the word.

    2. Sprint is your only option for unlimited data as pointed out several times already.

    3. Unless your unlocked 4S is from Sprint you won't be able to use it with Sprint.

    You'll have to reassess your needs/wants.
     
  16. menotiko macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2012
    #16
    Where I live (Costa Rica), one month of unlimited 3G internet @ 1Mb is only $6. That includes personal hotspot and tethering.

    And I think 500 mins of voice is ~$20. SMS & MMS are <1 US cent and you're only charged for sending and not receiving.
     
  17. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    #17
    I think when the OP said best he meant the cheapest possible and without contract.:)

    I love Costa Rica:D
     
  18. wordoflife macrumors 604

    wordoflife

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2009
    #18
    If you already have an unlocked device, it can only be with AT&T.

    If you're looking for an unlocked device, you'd have to buy an unlocked iPhone if you want to use it on AT&T. Verizon will unlock iPhones that are bought under a contract price. Not sure if Sprint will.
     
  19. BanjoBanker macrumors 6502

    BanjoBanker

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2006
    Location:
    Mt Brook, AL
    #19
    I read an article earlier this week that Sprint throttles back on the speed of it's users who exceed a certain data amount each month. So much for unlimited per their ads. I think they should point out unlimited does not mean full speed all the time.
     
  20. Eddy120876 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2011
    Location:
    Bronx,NY
    #20
    If im not miss inform sprints max is 6 to 7Gb . Again cheapest plan with 3G is straight talk since H2O cut their 2GB to 1GB. All you need is a Nokia E71 and an ATT Iphone.
     

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