Just like the long-distance wars of yesteryear, unlimited cell phone plans become a business. It's a race to the bottom to see who can provide the most features for the cheapest price. The two largest mobile networks contain all maps. So, is it Cricket Wireless, or is it Visible Wireless that wins for the most affordable wireless subscription?
AT&T and Verizon maintain the largest and fastest US mobile networks. They own the wireless networks that are the commodity being sold, which puts them in the best position to juggle the creative features to provide cheap wireless plans. AT&T owns Cricket, while Verizon owns Visible.
Of course there are a large number of mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) cell providers such as Straight Talk, Hello, Boost Mobile, Mint Mobile and many more, but they all have to lease their bandwidth from the big four (well, now three) network providers ̵
Things to Consider When Comparing Budget Unlimited Wireless Subscriptions
The plan that offers the most value to you depends on your specific needs. To get the best price for you providers make certain trade-offs that you should be aware of. Here are the features to look out for:
- "Unlimited" Data: Meanwhile, most of us have found that providers are playing fast and loose with the concept of "Unlimited Data". In most cases, the data is unlimited until it reaches a limit. Then it rolls back so slowly that it's even difficult to check your email. There are truly unlimited data plans, but they have other drawbacks.
- Data Priority: Some truly unlimited data plans sacrifice in other ways, such as data prioritization. Some traffic with a budget plan takes precedence over all traffic from customers with a premium plan. This works very well if you get a good signal in a place where you don't compete with many other customers for priority. However, this is often not great for densely populated areas.
- Devices: bring (or buy) your own phone is the preferred method, as these monthly prepay plans generally don't subsidize a phone purchase over a long period of time. period. However, you can sometimes get a price cut or a discount if you enter your phone number and make a new phone purchase at the same time.
- Customer Service: Carriers must make a profit. If they make your plan cheaper and still offer you great features, they have to cut costs somewhere. Some providers take away voice-activated customer service, which allows them to save costs in several ways. For example, representatives can serve two or more customers at the same time. It's a much slower resolution process, but most people just think it's because of slow typing while chatting back and forth.
- Cost Structure: Wireless budget plans typically fall into one of two cost structures: progressive discounts that are better for families, or lower costs for individual lines, which is better for an individual or a couple.
One of the nicest features that apply to these budget plans is that you don't need a doctorate in business law or accounting to understand the bill. The prices below are your all-in costs, including any taxes and fees. That means you won't be burned by a hidden fee you didn't understand when you signed up! These are also monthly non-contracted prepaid plans. If you decide you don't like the service, you can switch at any time.
Cricket Wireless Unlimited Plans
Cricket is a wholly owned subsidiary of AT&T. To use Cricket, you must be able to get a good AT&T signal in the location where you will usually be. With a stable AT&T signal verified, Cricket offers you a choice of two Unlimited plans.
The Unlimited Cricket Core Plan is not limited by total data, but is certainly limited in speed. Cricket limits your data entirely to a maximum speed of 3 Mbps. Video streaming data will come out at 1.5 Mbps, which is good enough to give you standard definition quality (SD) on your phone. The unlimited plan costs $ 55 / month for a single line, but progressive discounts make the plan cheaper with more lines. A family of five only pays $ 125 / month. The plan can support more than five lines (up to nine, according to Cricket), but there will be no additional discounts.
For an additional $ 35 / month, that same family of five can enjoy Cricket's fastest 4G LTE speeds on the Unlimited Cricket More Plan. They also retrieve 15 GB of shared mobile hotspot data, as long as they have a supported phone. Video streams are still compressed to SD quality.
In addition to powerful wireless budget plans running on the highly available wireless AT&T network, Cricket also offers customers voice-based customer service. If you do experience problems, you can access a real person over the phone to resolve the issue. Cricket also has brick and mortar stores if you'd rather walk through a door and talk to someone.
The Unlimited Cricket Core Plan is best for:
- Customers who can get a good AT&T signal where they spend most of their time
- Larger families who need great prices on five lines  Families that consume a lot of wireless data but don't mind the maximum speed of 3 Mbps
- Families who don't need a mobile hotspot
- When voice-based customer service is important
The Unlimited Cricket More plan is best for :
- Customers who can get a good AT&T signal where they will spend most of their time
- Larger families who need great prices on five lines
- Families that use a lot of wireless data and need high 4G LTE speeds
- Families that have one or more members who need a mobile hotspot
- When voice-activated customer service is important
n Both Cricket Wireless Unlimited plans are great for families who will be sharing an account. Which one is right for you really depends on how fast you want the connection and whether you need a mobile hotspot or not.
Visible Wireless Unlimited Plan
Visible Wireless is owned by Verizon. To use Visible you should be able to get a good Verizon signal in the location where you are likely to be. Visible has only one plan that costs $ 40 / month for unlimited everything, incredible signal coverage and mobile hotspot.
Visible also brings more to the table with Party Pay. Once visible, you can create a & # 39; party & # 39; invitation that allows four lines to receive discounts in total. For every line that participates, it's $ 5 / month less for everyone. The best thing about Party Pay is that everyone gets their own bill! You don't have to save your friends money every month. If someone leaves the party, all other participants lose that $ 5 / month discount until a replacement party member is added.
Visible sounds like nirvana on paper, but there are also a few negatives. First, customer service is provided through a chat window, email, Facebook and Twitter. In extreme circumstances, you may be able to convince them to call you, but there are no guarantees. While the mobile hotspot is great because there is no data cap, there is a huge drawback because you are limited to a single connected device with a maximum speed of 5 Mbps. Still, this may be enough for business travelers or RVers who need a mobile internet connection to an additional device connected to the world.
The biggest visible drawback is that while users can operate at full speed on the Verizon LTE network, data traffic has a lower priority than traffic generated by Verizon premium subscription customers. If there is little competition in mobile data in your area, you may never notice this problem. But if you live in a more congested area, you may experience slower speeds. For example, I live in a large neighborhood where Verizon has much better coverage than AT&T. In the early morning or late evening, speedtest.net reports speeds in excess of 80 Mbps, which is great. But I also ran numerous speed tests during the day and found the speeds to be as low as 2 Mbps. That's painfully slow for the data junkies out there.
Phones for sale on Visible are generally newer models and better devices than those available on Cricket. More importantly, there are some nice discounts for customers who want to transfer their existing phone number. Currently, you can get up to $ 200 back as a Prepaid Mastercard Virtual Account when you purchase certain phones over $ 400. You can also get back $ 100 for some phones over $ 200. Visible also supports monthly payment plans for some of the more expensive phones via Affirm.
Visible plan / partypens is best for:
- Customers who need a cheap but valuable unlimited plan
- A "party" of four friends or extended family members who want to join for an extremely cheap $ unlimited plan 25 / month
- Friends who don't want to bother each other for Venmo transfers every month to pay the combined bill
- Data bunkers who need really unlimited high-speed data on the device
- Customers who spend most of their spend time in an unobstructed area or don't mind if their data runs a little slower from time to time
- Gone away who really need unlimited (unfinished) mobile hotspot, even if it's only 5 Mbps
- don't mind dealing with chat-based customer service
Compared to Cricket, Visible is a better choice for people who like it want each of a family plan, but need separate billing. Verizon's coverage is ubiquitous, so Visible may also be a better choice for users in the most rural areas.