Prepaid phone save $$$ for same service as plans?

Anyone care to comment on the following article:

http://tiny.cc/isdmgw

I would(need) to save money on the At&T plan I have for my wife's
iPhone. Because of her work and family concerns, we pay $141 for
the works. I dearly need to cut this down if possible w/out affecting
her usage. Is this article truly correct? If you do get prepaid, is it still
possible to change chips so what is on the previous phone is transferred
over? (and they help clean up the little things that might need to still
be transferred?).

Thanks

Yes you can change carriers by changing your sim card but ONLY if your phone is unlocked.

You have to take into account that part of your payment is for the iPhone itself. AT&T might require you some kind of usage in order to cover the cost of the phone.

I'm still not sure how the Cell phone plans in the US work. All I heard is that you can get your phone unlocked if your plan is over in AT&T. My brother has an iPhone from AT&T and he had a lot of trouble using his phone in Israel because he had to hunt for hotspots and couldn't use a local sim .In Israel you can get 25$/month unlimited calls/sms/mms with speed slow down if you go over 3GB but without a phone (no long term contracts and no sim lock ) .

If you really want to save you should look into using 3rd party voice apps like viber/skype which use internet bandwidth . I think it's enough if you and your wife switch to alternative communication methods that you'll start saving. The bandwidth of voice in the simple PCM codec is about 1MB per minute (bidirectional) at the worst case. This way a 1GB package can translate to 1000 minutes in VOIP.

Without knowing the specifics of the phone's package it's really hard to suggest a saving strategy. I'm not sure about the status of phone unlocking in the US so I won't suggest something that may violate your contract /the law etc .

Niseg wrote:

You have to take into account that part of your payment is for the iPhone itself. AT&T might require you some kind of usage in order to cover the cost of the phone.

I'm still not sure how the Cell phone plans in the US work. All I heard is that you can get your phone unlocked if your plan is over in AT&T. My brother has an iPhone from AT&T and he had a lot of trouble using his phone in Israel because he had to hunt for hotspots and couldn't use a local sim .In Israel you can get 25$/month unlimited calls/sms/mms with speed slow down if you go over 3GB but without a phone (no long term contracts and no sim lock ) .

If you really want to save you should look into using 3rd party voice apps like viber/skype which use internet bandwidth . I think it's enough if you and your wife switch to alternative communication methods that you'll start saving. The bandwidth of voice in the simple PCM codec is about 1MB per minute (bidirectional) at the worst case. This way a 1GB package can translate to 1000 minutes in VOIP.

Without knowing the specifics of the phone's package it's really hard to suggest a saving strategy. I'm not sure about the status of phone unlocking in the US so I won't suggest something that may violate your contract /the law etc .

Thanks much for the information. (and Edwin, I had forgot about that, thanks for the reminder)

Niseg, FWIW, my family is in Israel right now (father is Israeli) and he's using an AT&T iPhone 3GS with a local SIM, so dunno why your brother couldn't, unless he was still on contract with a subsidized phone. And then for calling back here, like you said we're using Viber. I was surprised at how good the call quality is with Viber.

You can buy unlocked phones in the USA but it's not very common yet for medium-to-high-end phones. With Sprint, AT&T, and Verizon you're going to pay the same every month with an unlocked, unsubsidized phone or a subsidized phone and a two year contract. There are quite a few smaller carriers where that's not the case.

Donan, you talk about changing chips, care to clear up what exactly you mean? I guess contacts used to be stored on SIM cards, but with an iPhone I think everything is now tied to your iCloud account or something, so if you kept your iPhone and got a Straight Talk SIM card ($45/mo for unlimited everything), you would basically be switching out SIM cards and you'd be good to go. (There's a few other changes to make but they seem to have an excellent walkthrough.)

I'm in a similar boat, right now we're on Verizon but we're probably going to switch to Boost (my wife) and Straight Talk (me, with an unlocked Galaxy Nexus or somesuch).

Up until a couple of days ago, you could buy the Galaxy Nexus, which is the first unlocked, cross-carrier phone in the US market. It will do full 3G speeds on both the GSM carriers, AT&T and T-Mobile (normally you only get 3G speeds on one or the other, not both), and will apparently work with any GSM provider worldwide, also in 3G mode.

But Apple f*cked that all up.

General Crespin wrote:

Niseg, FWIW, my family is in Israel right now (father is Israeli) and he's using an AT&T iPhone 3GS with a local SIM, so dunno why your brother couldn't, unless he was still on contract with a subsidized phone. And then for calling back here, like you said we're using Viber. I was surprised at how good the call quality is with Viber.

My brother is under contract with his iPhone 4 so he can't unlock it until it's over. In Israel the new unlimited package which cost 25-35$ include unlimited international calls (to about 30-40 countries). Our cellular market moved away from subsidized phone. The government did a few things in the telecommunication industry to spark competition. Initially it made it easier to switch between companies (industry wide) and then by getting new players in the market with favorable conditions(cellular).

We don't use Viber because we have more than enough minutes we can't seem to use up. My company pays for my phone and my wife is paying for a special work place plan so our phone bill isn't too high.

Jealousy.

Little bit of a res here, by the wife and I are thinking about taking our AT&T iPhones (contract period is over on both) over to Straight Talk. Has anyone done something similar? Thoughts on the service? This would cut about 33% off our cell phone bill.

My buddy uses Straight Talk with his Nexus S and has no complaint.

Might check out this article to see if any commenters have experience.