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My husband and I both are pretty invested in our iPhones, we have had iPhones for about 4 years now, started with the originals and have worked our way through the spectrum of models which we now are up to the iPhone 4 and 4S. Our first way of saving is we never buy them brand new, always either off eBay at a significant savings or someone local.
This entire time however we have never been on AT&Ts network, we could never have afforded the bill that went along with having the iPhone through them. T-Mobile has always been a more affordable option for us, the only down side was we never got the 3G data the phone was capable of, but it was a small price to pay to not have that speed of data to save on the bill. Last year we decided to part ways with having a contract with T-Mobile however and the fact that their rates had continually been rising to where it was starting to get quite ridiculous.
We decided to go with Walmart Family Mobile, it utilizes the T-Mobile towers however you have no contract, you get unlimited minutes, unlimited text* and technically unlimited data (I’ll tell you more about that) Our bill on a monthly basis with our 2 lines runs after tax right around $98, when we were on a contract plan and actually had limits on our minutes our bill was pushing $120 so definitely a savings.
Now as for the data being unlimited, with our iPhones for the time being they do not pick up 3G data we only get Edge data, HOWEVER that is changing, T-Mobile is upgrading their towers in larger cities and working their way out and as these upgrades take place iPhones are starting to pick up 3G data, this is currently happening all over Orlando. I can be driving along and 1 minute have 3G the next minute switch back to Edge.
For the unlimited part, Edge data is unlimited, 3G data however for the base plan you get 250 MB a month to share with anyone on the plan. Once that first 250 MB of data is burnt up you are automatically governed down to Edge speed, none the less even if the data runs slower you always have some sort of data, since I’ve never had anything faster I live with the Edge speed just fine LOL.
You basically get the benefits of a post pay plan, with the joys of a no contract plan. It works for us great, I truly have never really had any complaints, besides the side note below 😛
*Unlimited Text Messages – does not allow incoming or outgoing text to short code numbers.
Now I know your asking yourself, how does she use her iPhone on T-Mobile or Walmart Family Mobile. We used to Jailbreak our iPhones and that was always such a hassle, having to wait for the jailbreak developers to catch up with the most recent update which lead to us never having the latest, greatest version of iOS when it came out.
We now go on eBay and there are people who can unlock your AT&T iPhone by giving them your IMEI number, they usually only charge around $2 – $5 and have a turn around of 6 – 10 hrs, we have unlocked quite a few now this way with no bad results. When looking for someone to do this just make sure you look for someone with a very high feedback. unlock_fusion is one seller we have very good luck with that always has listing for iPhones up.
Doing the unlock this way is a permanent unlock through the Apple & AT&T servers so you can update your phone anytime there is an update and you don’t have to put versions of the updates on your phone that have been messed with. Its leads to a smoother running iPhone than if it is jailbroke and you can keep it under warranty if you by chance buy one that is under warranty.
I hope this has helped you see how you can have an iPhone or even another smart phone and keep your cellphone bill cheaper than if you go with a contract plan with minute limitations.
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