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#89633 by C&VMc
Wed Nov 16, 2011 7:29 am
Got the Ooma Telo up and running last night. I bought the Premier Service. My family wants to save on our cell phone expenses. My wife and I are on prepaid plans and our daughter is on a T-Mobile plan where the 2 year plan has expired.

I want to get the whole (3 of us) family on a prepaid plan and buy quality cell phones for all three of us. We all currently have bottom of the barrel cell phones and our daughter uses her's the most for texting.

Questions:
What is a high-end cell phone (like a newer Samsung) that works well with the Ooma cell phone app? Are there any phones I should avoid?

Does texting work with the Ooma cell phone app?

Can anyone recommend a good prepay plan? and is there one available for a family of 3 at a better rate?

I'm 30 minutes north of Atlanta Georgia. What kind of coverage should I expect (rough estimate) that will enable us to take advantage of savings by using the Ooma app instead of prepaid minutes?

These may be dumb questions, I'm really not that up to speed on cell phones and appreciate any constructive suggestions...
Thanks
#89639 by rmeden
Wed Nov 16, 2011 1:48 pm
Unlike Google Voice, I don't think Ooma does text messages. You could use the Ooma app for voice and the Google Voice app for text.

Keep in mind that both apps will use data and data tends to be much more expensive than voice. Unless you're always at a WiFi hotspot, you may be better with a cheap prepaid plan.

As far as phones, most carriers try to lock you into their phones. They also require you to sign up for their data plan if you get a smartphone. Even through T-Mobile "requires" it, I've been able to get an Android phone to work fine on a plan without data by changing the "Mobile Networks" config in the phone to disable everything except MMS. The phone works fine for voice and text, but you have to be on WiFi to get any data. Such use is "off-label" and don't expect much help if you have a problem.

Robert
#89651 by tommies
Wed Nov 16, 2011 6:15 pm
If you want to use ooma mobile app, your choice would be limited by the phone/platform that ooma supports. As rmeden mentioned above, using the app on the carrier data network will go against your frugal goal.

If you are not travel regularly, a local calling + roaming will be less expensive than a national coverage with no roaming. This holds true for both prepaid and monthly plan.

If you going to buy a new smart phone, the carrier will lock your phone to their data plan. Your option maybe limited in used phone in ebay, craigslist, or some similar services... >>> caveat emptor/let the buyer beware.

A question you need to ask yourself: how many minutes do you need when you are not at home? i.e. do you talk a lot when you are not at home?

Do you plan to use your phone in a wifi hotspot? If so, your current laptop (if you have one) with skype/google voice can do the job.

Think of what you need vs. of what you want. If it's just talk and SMS, any phone (i.e. non-smart phone) can do and the $$ you spend will a lot less.
#89846 by Pajoe
Tue Nov 22, 2011 2:05 am
No apps as you describe, but a very frugal cell phone setup is the Tracfone monthly automatic renewal plan with no minutes for about $6.75. Their older Motorola W376G using AT&T as a carrier is a good working combination. There are web sites informing you how to make sure you get AT&T as your carrier. Tracfone charges .3 unit for a sms message, as you know both Ooma and Goggle Voice could send you a sms message with a voicemail notification. As you know Google Voice will also send a computer generated transcript of any voicemail. Tracfone always has deals on minutes and they also have triple minutes now. In the past, most times when we replaced our older phone with newer Tracfones we got several free minutes added by the customer service representative during the transfer. Their CS representatives some times do not speak English as well as some and tend to go overboard with thanking you for being a Tracfone customer but are good to deal with if you are patient. I confess, one time I had to actually ask the CS representative to stop thanking me for being a Tracfone customer, they must have a list of different ways to thanking the customer and it seemed like every other sentence concerns stopping and thanking you for using Tracfone.
#91448 by Kat
Wed Jan 04, 2012 11:43 pm
I bought 2 HTC Incredible Droid used phones on eBay and use them with Page Plus Cellular pre-paid (VMNO on Verizon network). I'm very pleased with the setup - neither one has an official data plan, currently. Just stick with Wi-Fi. Unfortunately, I can't tell you how Ooma Mobile HD works on them, since I haven't gone that route, yet.

http://www.pagepluscellular.com/

A very good forum for PPC and other providers:
http://www.howardforums.com/forumdispla ... s-Cellular
#91593 by oomg
Mon Jan 09, 2012 10:24 pm
Depends on your projected usage. For example, you mentioned that your daughter sends a lot of text messages. If the ability to text is important, but data is not required, look at Virgin Mobile PayLo plan which offers 1500 minutes of talk time and 1500 texts per month for $30. Virgin Mobile runs of Sprint's network.

If you use your cell phone only occasionally, or want to have access to cell service for emergency purposes, look at T-Mobile's prepay service. Pay $100 up front and you get Gold Member status for about 1150 minutes. Thereafter, assuming you are a minimal user, you would be required to add only the minimum of $10 per year (which adds about 30 minutes). Thus, over a five year period the total cost would be $140 or $28 per year. That's hard to beat. You would likely want to pick up a couple good used cell phones. Motorola Razr should work just fine, and there are lots of used units available.

If you are looking at smart phones, Republic Wireless is a few months away from a general launch. $20 per month for unlimited cell, text, and data (all of which may be subject to fair use policy). Right now they are in beta testing on their first cell unit; an LG Optimus which is a decent unit. Republic Wireless requires that the subscriber have wifi because their units will default to wifi when available. See, http://republicwireless.com/
#91613 by whistlewicket
Tue Jan 10, 2012 11:26 am
Before you start your smartphone quest, make sure that you can receive the carriers you are interested in at your home. You may have to get your friends or neighbors to tell you what carriers they get good reception with.
#91615 by rmeden
Tue Jan 10, 2012 1:39 pm
I just replaced my daughters data-less feature phone with a used Android phone on T-Mobile. I was able to easily edit the data config to allow MMS, but block other data use. We haven't been hit with any data charges by T-Mobile, so it's working great.

When my plan expires, I'll probably put all my girls on unlimited text + wifi data only and never sign up for a 2yr contract again.!

Robert

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