If you are using any of the big 4 (AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon) you are paying way too much, especially since they resell their data to MVNO’s (mobile network virtual operator). As they continue to upgrade their infrastructure and technology your best bet is to hop between networks. Project Fi currently does the best job of this. I have used quite a few of them so here are my reviews on each:
Mint Currently Using
Owned by Ultra Mobile who buy their data from T-Mobile which has recently spent billions on their 4G network. They are currently having a killer promo, $35 for 3 months which translates to just $11.67/mo! Unlimited talk/text is standard plus 2GB of 4G LTE data. International calling to India is just a penny/min plus tons more countries. You just need to pre-load your international wallet in your account before you can start making any calls. The call quality overseas is similar to Ultra so it’s pretty good. Mint is different from other providers in that you buy plans at different monthly intervals such as a month, 3 months, 6 months or a year, getting cheaper the longer you go.
Their basic plan starts at $35/mo (with auto pay) and give you unlimited talk/text along with 2.5GB of data. With their grouping you can easily add more lines with a $10 discount per line. This would be my favorite provider if not for their horrible customer service.
Plans start at $27/mo for unlimited talk/text and 3GB data as long as you sign up for their auto pay, otherwise it is $30/mo. Their customer service is not the best and through a lot of frustration I found out that their online processor does not take AMEX. I had to call in and their phone operator was able to push it through. Very strange! Jani has also had issues with group calling not working properly. Their data also seems a bit slower than the others even though they’re an AT&T MVNO. On the plus side, they come with FREE international calling! We only call India but they have like over 50 others though it is not the clearest call quality. If you want to try them out, they are currently running a promo for 50% off any of their plans using promo code “50off” in the promo code box at checkout. Their “smart” sim card setup which is supposed to set up everything for you automatically does not work completely but I have you covered here:
H20 Network Settings
MMS proxy 220.127.116.11
MMS port 80
APN type default,mms,hipri,supl
APN protocol IPv4
APN roaming protocol IPv4
MVNO type None
These guys are a steal with a $5/mo Wi-Fi only phone plan that gives you unlimited talk/text. If you move away from a Wi-Fi signal and still want data it starts at $10/mo. They actually do not list the $5 plan anymore but you can still get it by first signing up and then switching to it upon activation. I have not used them in awhile so make sure they are still doing this if you plan on going with them. The only drawback is you can not BYOD (bring your own device).
There is no BYOD at the moment but they did add some iPads and a Galaxy Tab recently so in the future more devices may be allowed. For now you must use their Google phones but that is not so bad as the Nexus phones are some of the best smart phones around. Plans start at $20/mo for unlimited talk/text and $10 more for 1GB of data but any unused data gets credited back to you the next month. As a bonus, free international texting, free 2G international data (no roaming fees) and calling to India is just a penny a minute! I use my phone on Wi-Fi networks most of the time so this plus the international rate makes it a great deal for me.
These guys are pretty unique in that you can customize your phone bill completely. If some days you use a lot of voice/text/data your bill will be higher and some months of limited use it will be dirt cheap. Their most basic plan starts at $6/mo but you can BYOD device so they are a step up from Republic Wireless in that way. They also just added international calling for a penny/minute.
Plans start at $19/mo for unlimited talk/text and limited data. Janishyathi was on the $39/mo plan that gives her 2GB of data plus free international calling to most countries including India.