Carrier True Pre Paid/Pay As You Go Option

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by max pl, Sep 7, 2013.

  1. max pl macrumors regular

    Jun 9, 2010
    I'm on Verizon, my early upgrade is September 19th, but I'm doing research for lower cost alternatives.

    I'd like one of these cheap $30 a month plans as I rarely, if ever, use data, so I only need something with text and minutes.
    And I'd like it to be on Verizon or ATT towers.

    So with that said, and the reason I said TRUE in the title, is that based on my research, it seems that all this prepaid stuff I see advertised is just no contract, month to month stuff.

    Can I get an iPhone, with good coverage, at a carrier where I can buy minutes/texts as I need them, as opposed to paying a fee every month for minutes I may not use?
    I did this in Poland over the summer with my 4S and could pop different carrier sims into my phone, buying more data and minutes as I needed them.

  2. Mrbobb, Sep 7, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2013

    Mrbobb macrumors 601

    Aug 27, 2012

    Exactly. Many resellers call this PAY-GO. I call it METERED. You pay what you use and no more. I love it. My average monthly is $10 (ten) bux!

    On top, very important, these resellers, officially called MVNO, typically throttle your data. If you must have fast data, you are kind of stuck with the big carriers, but u say u use very little cellular data - Perfect.

    Second, while the big carriers keep a history of your usage, the MNVO don't. If you have a need to go online and print out a history of all you calls, then again you are stuck with the big-3.

    Third, MVNO dont do roaming, so if you sign up with a Verizon MNVO (reseller using Verizon cellular facility) then you can ONLY talk to verizon's towers and no one else.

    OK still with me? step #1 is to find a MVNO that has good reputation and the metered charge to your liking, most of them are about the same: $0.10 per minute, $0.10 per text. Data $0.33 per megabyte (this seems steep but if you rarely use cellular data, it's exactly what u need). So GOOGLE for Verizon MVNO and ATT MVNO and read what people say about these MNVOs.

    It's perfectly fine to try them out. Don't transfer your old ph# just yet, buy their SIM and a cheap $10 usage PIN, and take a assigned ph#, and off you go, then if you don't like them, you lost $15 bux, no big deal.

    MVNOs offering PAY-GO also have "fake" pre-paids as you say. Say next month you have visitors, and you expect your cellular data to skyrocket because you are going to be out and about, no problem, you can switch to a "fake" plan just for that month, and when your visitors leave, go back to PAY-GO.

    OK then, that's enough. GOOGLE away my friend.
  3. Daveoc64 macrumors 601

    Jan 16, 2008
    Bristol, UK
    While I understand what you're saying, "Prepaid" means just that - you pay in advance of using it.
  4. max pl thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 9, 2010
    yeh but prepaid minutes that dont expire are also paid in advance.

    what they call prepaid in america should be advertised as no contract.
  5. Daveoc64 macrumors 601

    Jan 16, 2008
    Bristol, UK
    It's what they call "prepaid" everywhere (not that the term "prepaid" is used much outside of the US).

    In many cases here in Europe, Pay as you go plans are just the same as the Pay Monthly ones, but you just pay in advance.

    Being able to top up and then pay per message/minute/MB is much less common now.
  6. Mrbobb macrumors 601

    Aug 27, 2012
    That no longer exists. Everything have expiration date. Specifically cellular carriers, no matter what you do, it expires at some point. But that's the beauty of metered, so you just prepaid for a small amount, and when you run out, feed the meter again.

  7. max pl, Sep 7, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2013

    max pl thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 9, 2010
    oh man, i just researched page plus. the only store locations in my area are in the ghetto.
    now i know why this low cost option exists and who its marketed to.

    but yeh, their $80 a year 2000 minutes option sounds perfect for my mom.

    is the iPhone 5 and soon 5S compatible with these mvno providers?


    Wow I'm so done with contracts after looking into this mvno stuff.
  8. max pl thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 9, 2010
    oh and mrbobb, thanks for your post.

    i'm gonna do exactly what you suggested and buy a sim to test out before i commit to this.

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