I have been using my cell phone more and more for conference calls and I got sick of upping my minutes with Verizon each month. After the news about Straight Talk offering the iPhone at low monthly fees I began investigating that. I have a 4S that works just fine, but it seemed like with Straight Talk I would need to buy from them to use Verizon, the BYOD would require an AT&T version (although the 4S is GSM and CDMA apparently the GSM is restricted on the Verizon/Sprint versions to prevent being used on AT&T).
My research brought me to Page Plus. Unlike Straight Talk which offers unlimited* data, Page Plus offers unlimited talk and text with 2 GB of data for $55/month…more than Straight Talk, but cheaper than buying a new phone. Some online posts talk about flashing the ROM or paying some third party an activation fee. I went directly to Page Plus and ported my number and entered the identifying number from my phone. I took a risk and did this over GoGo during a flight, but luckily when I landed my phone worked just fine and my plan went from $101 for 900 minutes, 500 texts and 2 GB data to unlimited talk and text with 2 GB data for $55. I did have to pay an early termination fee with Verizon, but the difference between my old plan and the new plan has a break-even point of 4 months. My company would provide me with a basic phone. I choose to only use 1 phone and so I accept a cell phone allowance to cover basic service.
I have noticed no difference in service between Verizon and Page Plus and I have been with them for 3 months now. My reception is still the same and my speed tests are comparable. I haven’t had to deal with Page Plus customer service, but I never had to deal with Verizon either. I even managed to check and I was “roaming” in Canada which is something Virgin Mobile would never do. I have not attempted to make a call or text in Canada since I try to avoid those fees. The Page Plus site says it would be $0.60/minute for voice and $0.25/text. That is cheaper than Verizon’s $0.69/minute when not purchased as part of an international plan, but messages would be the domestic text rate.
It seems like everyone I know is on some family plan and this may not make sense for them, but for anyone else out there on an individual plan there are finally options to break free from contract carriers and have a phone worth using. Depending on which carrier you prefer, you can choose prepaid, no-contract carriers on Sprint, Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile and if you don’t have a phone for that carrier eBay may have a compatible device.