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  1. #1
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Somewhere in the Hills

    Any minutes-based iPhone plans?

    I currently own a simple pay-as-you-go, minutes-based cellphone (Tracfone). You can purchase varying amounts of minutes for the phone, and it usually comes out to about $22 for 90 days. I live in a very hilly rural area where cellular coverage is spotty at best and I am very mobile. I've come to find cellular service to be unreliable and not worth more than a cheap minutes-based service. Verizon Wireless dominates most of the area in these hills with their (insufficient) tower-coverage.

    Because cellular service is unreliable here, I have very little experience with uber-mobile networking culture. I occasionally receive useful text messages but I never send any. (My Tracfone only has a simple phone keypad, so I never tried to send a message with it.) I only occasionally use my cellphone for voice-calls; some calls for business, some for personal conversation. I tried setting up a voice-mailbox with Google Voice so I could check my voice-mail through a web-browser, but Tracfone and Google Voice don't work together well.

    I also own an old, first-generation iPod, which is getting worn out.

    I was thinking about getting an iPhone, and wondered if there was a plan available that would allow for a cheap, minutes-based service so I could replace my Tracfone and my iPod at the same time. Does such a plan exist?

    Tracfone Motorola C139 or similar open-face model (minutes-based, pay-as-you-go)

    • Personal: send/receive some voice calls, rarely receive text messages
    • Business: send/recieve voice calls

    Verizon voice-phone and internet DSL connection

    late-2012 iMac, Airport WiFi connected to DSL (share w/ another person's laptop)

    • send/receive voice calls occasionally
    • send/receive text messages
    • connect text messages to my e-mail address
    • tie my cellular voice-mail to an internet-based service like Google Voice, so I can check voice-mail via a web-browser
    • use WiFi to check weather radar, e-mail
    • use iPhone as a calculator
    • use iPhone to scan-in purchase receipts, invoices, etc. and store and relay these to my iMac for records-keeping
    • use iPhone as a music player/iPod
    • use WiFi at home to relay iPhone's camera-photos to e-mail and/or Instagram
    • use iPhone as a voice-recorder to take voice to-do notes for later action

    Is this possible? Is there an iPhone plan that would work on minutes, and be able to function on local cell towers?
    Owner of: Super Ego briefcase (Black / Indigo / Steel) with Reflective Strip, Brain Cell (Steel), Horizontal Freudian Slip, various Organizer Pouches and Key Straps, and a Side Effect (Black / Wassabi) worn as a belt-style hip-pack.

  2. #2
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Virgin Mobile has Pay as you go plans and iphones. I haven't used them so I can't speak for quality. Check their coverage area to make sure you live in it.

    Prepaid Unlimited Cell Phones - No Contract Phones & Plans | Virgin Mobile

    Besides iphone, look at some of the Android phones.
    Editor--One Bag, One World: News, Reviews & Community for Light Travelers.

    Aeronaut(2), Tri-Star(2) Cadet , Large Cafe Bag, Travel Tray, Travel Money Belt, Absolute Straps(3), Side Effect, Clear Quarter Packing Cubes (2), 3D Organizer Cubes (4), Aeronaut & Tri-Star Packing Cubes, Clear Organizer Wallet, numerous Organizer Pouches,, Guardian Dual Function Light, Vertical Netbook Cache, Nexus 7 Cache, RFID Passport Pouch, numerous Key Straps.

  3. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Check out ting -
    They don't sell iPhones, but you can bring one to the network.

    I've used YouMail for voicemail - you can get a transcription sent if you want, and access your voicemail from a browser. They also have an app (of course).

    You could also look into using Skype for voice calls, and get a number associated with your account (they call it "Skype Number").

  4. #4
    Forum Member BPritchard's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    St Petersburg Florida

    Thumbs up No contract

    Wife and I use Consumer Cellular
    No contract cafeteria type where you choose different voice, text and data plans. You can pick voice only if needed.
    We only use the phones occasionally, so we are at 200 minutes, 100 text messages, 10 mb data.
    I have an Android smartphone(EBay) and the wife has a standard. With taxes, we spend $34 a month.
    You can change to another plan online for a month if you need more when going on vacation. Then resume normal plan after vacation.
    You buy the phones from them or use your own phone as long as it is GSM.
    Apple iPhone 5s is $650, $100 down and $25 a month until paid off.

    Cost break down:
    Our Family plan(taxes not included):
    Anywhere 200 $15.00
    Connect! Lite (100 Msgs / 10 MB) $2.50
    Subtotal $17.50
    Additional Line Charge $10.00
    Last edited by BPritchard; 03-27-2014 at 07:00 PM. Reason: add costs
    Been there. Done that. Can't remember.

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