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New Year’s Resolution: Save Money On Cell Service

January 13, 2016 | by Paul

Is your 2016 resolution to save money on cell service? You’ve got some great options.

But first, let’s accept something.

The truth is, most of us spend most of our time in big urban centers with cell phone towers every block and WiFi at nearly every business. Verizon is great. They do a great job convincing us we need them. But we don’t really need them. We don’t need their cell towers in South Dakota. We’ll never use their service in Slab City. Good enough cell service is good enough for most of us. A tweet delayed a few seconds is still drivel. A slow upload of a selfie doesn’t make the photo suck less. What we do on our phones is pointless. When you accept that, you can save some serious dough.

Republic Wireless, $25 / month

If you like Motorola phones and spend a lot of time connected to WiFi, you’ll love Republic Wireless. They route calls and texts through the interwebs to save you money. There are some drawbacks — MMS isn’t as slick as other providers (you can’t use third-party apps) because of limitations of VoIP. And the Sprint network isn’t gigantic. But if you’re in the middle of Nebraska and don’t have cell service, you just need WiFi to get everything running. Same if you’re in the Netherlands — WiFi makes everything work.

Google Fi, $30 / month

Google saw what Republic was doing and did them one better. Their service includes actual service in a bunch of other countries and bundles Sprint and T-Mobile into one uber network. This is a great globe-trekker plan. Google Fi also routes calls and texts over WiFi — but you get the cool Google “Messenger” app instead of Republic’s less-cool “Messaging” app. Totally different. Bad news is that it’s invite-only. And it only works on Nexus phones (but you can get this one for only $250 today).

Cricket, $35 / month

“But I don wanna use WiFi and I wanna iPhone.” No problem. Cricket is your provider. They’re owned by AT&T and piggy-back on their almost-as-big-as-Verizon’s network. The $35 price assumes you sign up for auto pay. No weird WiFi call routing. No invite needed. Just reasonable pricing and solid self-service.

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The two-year contract is now dead. It’s time to save some money! Pick one of these plans — your wallet will thank you.

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1 Comment

  • Reply Marie January 13, 2016 at 6:08 pm

    Thanks to a recommendation Paul made in a previous incarnation, I have Virgin Mobile for $35/month, and it’s great. Bookmarking this post to check out when my almost-3-year-old phone dies.

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