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Thread: Cut the Cord?

  1. #1
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    Somewhere in the Hills
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    Cut the Cord?

    Lately, when talking to a friend on the phone who has been a pro at computer sales, IT, configuring systems for business and other IT consulting, it seemed he was relying on cellular for not only his voice telephony but also for his data.

    I wanted to ask about this.

    Is it now reasonable to look to cellular as a way to “cut the cord”, relying on it for voice, data (internet) and TV (streaming), all in one, for one bill? Has it evolved enough to be reliable in terms of connection? How much does it cost to have all that funneled through cellular? Is it a better deal to do that?

    What about this talk of telecom big biz outfits playing tricks on customers, “throttling back” their data streams after so many MB or GB per month? Would you stream Hulu or Netflix over cellular? Does that actually work?

    Do you have to have your cellphone in the room with you all the time? How paranoid do you get about where your cellphone is at all times?

    Do you run a business through a cellular connection?

    The only reason I ask about this is that, ten years ago, our household dumped Atlantic Broadband for cable TV, tried DirecTV for a few years, then axed them as well. For several years, most video consumption has been via free public streaming and occasional iTunes downloads or DVDs/Blueray.

    I'd like to read about other folks' experiences.

    The reason I have avoided considering this until now is because I worked in the construction business in a rural area for many years and often found cellular signal lacking while on the road. I would, however, expect cellular to be much better at home, and there are new cell towers popping up all over.

    Comments?
    Owner of: Brain Bag backpack (Black), Field Journal Notebook (Blue), Snake Charmer (Small, Orange), 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
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    I’m a single male in my twenties who is a “professional consumer” in terms of streaming via Netflix, Youtube, HBO, etc. and do everything vie cellular. I have T-Mobile and with their Hookup discount (20%) I pay exactly $56/month for unlimited talk, text, data. Data is full speed up to 30GB, then it has the potential to be throttled to 256KB/s, but that is raising to 50GB soon. This also includes hotspot, unlimited international texting, unlimited data at slow speeds in various countries, and a few other things. My bill this next month will be $64 since I am upgrading to LTE Hotspot and HD video plus double the speed for international data.

    I have to say, I love this. It’s a fair price imo, I’ve had decent service everywhere and great service in most places, it’s awesome for travelers like myself who’ve been to London, Canada, and Germany in the last month, and T-Mobile seems to actually care about their customers at all levels. For someone who uses less data than I do (between 10-30GB/month) there might be cheaper options, but this also includes a $10 kickback/month if I ever happen to use less than 2GB.

    All this to say, this works the best for me in my situation, but I’ve also had access to free wifi everywhere these last few years prior to this summer to supplement my cellular usage. T-Mobile has also just purchased quite a few more towers to add to their coverage and it’s getting better every month. If you’re in a hyper rural area, I would suggest not relying on cellular because in my experiance the companies with the best rural coverage to date have been AT&T and Verizon, and I find their business practices deplorable and service to be lackluster with plenty of fees hidden and much fineprint. Not to say that all the reps are terrible, but I haven’t been impressed for what they provide in terms of cost compared to T-mobile as of this year.
    Boots, Bags, and Beer. (And Coffee)

  3. #3
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    I haven't had a landline phone in probably 20 years (or longer). We really solely on our mobile phones for telephone purposes.

    We cut the cable tv cord about 6 years ago and will probably never go back.
    We have a digital antenna, and use netflix and appleTV a lot, and we're considering getting amazon prime for streaming as well.

    We have a cable/broadband internet connection. It's very fast and it isn't cheap, but it's still cheaper than cable tv.
    We have an extra fast internet connection because it allows my husband to work from home if he needs or wants to. The standard speed wasn't enough to allow him to upload quickly enough via the VPN for his company. (At least I think that was the reasoning, he set the whole thing up.)

    I don't think we could ever go without the cable internet. We chat to our parents via Skype at least a couple times a week, and between our heavy use for videos and my husband using it for work, using cellular data for that would get expensive quickly.

  4. #4
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    I am on all cellular for voice and data. I get 1.5-2.0mbps on cellular data. I could get broadband through phone company, but they even admit the max is 1mbps with current lines out here in the boondocks. I use 18-25gb per month typically. Around 2005 I started with Sprint mobile broadband through a USB dongle. I am currently on US Cellular unlimited plan (high speed to 22GB, then 2G)for about $80/month for voice and data plus voicemail translated to text and email with attachment of the voice message included for $3/month. I stream 5-10 minutes per day of YouTube or news videos and that is like 1/3 of my data according to usage graph. IIRC HD video uses like 1gb per hour.

    I run a business solely with cellular. Issue is watching data usage and avoid the dreaded "throttle to 2G" and then speed slows to dial up speed and I dread it. (and dreadful said twice to feel how bad that is) I talked to USCC about buying data and got these responses from 2 occasions "You can't buy more data. (pre-unlimited I could pay $15/GB overage for as many GB as I wanted to buy). Like 98% of consumers uses under 2GB of mobile data per month. (So I am like a rare exception to be 10x that). We do not have the ability to allow you to throttle data to conserve high speed (which I don't need high speed for email or standby)" They say I can't add data to my one phone, but my workaround as they didn't even say or think it is I could just get another phoneline with 22GB for $40 per month.

    Overall, I like the simplicity. The simplicity of the smartphone with ability to tether my phone to my laptop by wifi. I am a little limited to total data, but is that really a bad thing in this age of media and info overload. One bill per month, no extra cords, gizmos, or dongles, only have antennae TV (never had cable or satellite in my life), don't own a DVD player, so I go into town 1-2x/month to a movie on $5 Tuesdays (cheap as Netflix), and I am free to go a wide area under same plan and have data to run the business.

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