Best cell phone carrier?
March 5, 2016 3:51 PM   Subscribe

know it's been asked before, but these things change constantly. I'm on a 3G plan with ATT but end up going over every month so I pay ~108 a month for nothing special. I want an iPhone 6s (not negotiable for the purpose of this post, so no Google network or whatever), solid coverage, and good international data for various travels. Does anyone have a suggestion?

I constantly feel like I'm paying more than most people for less. How much data do I use? right now it appears to be between 3-4 GB, though if I HAD more data, I'd be happy to stream spotify in my car every so often (let's say ~5 hours a month, usually I do audiobooks).

I travel a lot, i.e. between now and December I anticipate being in South America, Western Europe, the Middle East, India, and Indonesia (work, weddings). So not paying an extra 30$/month for some tiny amount of international data (ahem, AT&T) would be great too.

international data?
other bs I'm not consider?

I'm currently considering T-mobile. Anyone have feelings about this?

Thank you Mefi!
posted by namesarehard to Grab Bag (10 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Sorry, by 3G I meant 3GB.
posted by namesarehard at 3:54 PM on March 5, 2016

Have you looked at the current at&t plans? From a quick glance at their site, a 5GB plan for a single phone should be about $75/mo (plus taxes). Are you on an older plan or something? FWIW, I'm paying about $140 (including all taxes and fees) for three devices with 5GB, so $108 for one with 3GB seems pretty steep to me.

Not to say you may not be able to get a better deal with another carrier, but I'd recommend at least making sure you have the latest pricing before making any decisions...
posted by primethyme at 4:02 PM on March 5, 2016 [1 favorite]

I've had T-Mobile for 10+ years. The network used to be worse but it's gotten a lot better (I think they got some spectrum when the AT&T deal fell apart). The customer service has been good. It has worked well abroad. I think when I went to China a few years ago, I paid more for better data but when it ran out, it ran out - they didn't upgrade me to a more expensive plan. Also, I don't know if everyone has this but I can turn my phone into a wifi hot spot and tether other things to it like my laptop or iPad. Not a big deal but it has been helpful while traveling.
posted by kat518 at 4:37 PM on March 5, 2016 [1 favorite]

I switched to Tmobile and am currently on a 10 gb data, unlimited everything else plan for $50/month. Signal sucks in some big cities but is tolerable for the price.
posted by k8t at 5:06 PM on March 5, 2016

Love T-mobile. Unlimited everything, 3 lines, $85/month. After 1GB the data slows down BUT streaming Spotify/Pandora/many other music services doesn't count toward your data usage! (You can buy more high-speed data, my family just never uses more than 1GB per month).
posted by rabbitrabbit at 5:53 PM on March 5, 2016 [1 favorite]

Happy T-Mobile customer of 14 years here. Your travel plans make a strong case too. TMo gives you free texting and 3G data everywhere you're going. It depends where you live though. I have zero issues with TMo's network on the east coast but it has spottier coverage than the others in more rural areas for sure. (Ironically, it roams in bush Alaska for me, however, where there is GCI.) No data overages. Still good customer service (not what it used to be, but better than the others).
posted by spitbull at 5:54 PM on March 5, 2016

T-mobile it is!

Thanks, folks. And hey, they don't do contracts, so if it sucks I can try out Cricket or whatever.
posted by namesarehard at 6:15 PM on March 5, 2016

T-Mobile also doesn't charge data fees for music streaming!
posted by mkb at 8:06 PM on March 5, 2016

T-Mobile iPhones are sold unlocked so you can pick up a prepaid sim overseas, I believe.
posted by devinemissk at 9:33 AM on March 6, 2016

I have Cricket and really like it. I pay $35 per month (including taxes) for 2.5 GB with unlimited talk and text. It's AT&Ts network so you already know what reception you'll be getting. I believe they limit the speed to something like 8 Mb/sec but it's plenty fast for me.

I can probably give you an affiliate code for a discount if you want one.
posted by unus sum at 5:17 PM on March 6, 2016

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