This forum began with someone wanting to know how to "get around that stupid data plan"-- specificly the $30 one that VERIZON requires on new "smart phones".
Granted, AT&T has a similar requirement and can thus similarly frustrate those using their service. But the diffences between these two companies just in regard to hardware(CDMA/GSM) and coverage area(extensive/limited) is so great that those who are looking for solutions pertaining to AT&T would do well to look into an AT&T specific forum.
However for those of you who live in areas where you need the coverage that only VERIZON supplies, don't need "data", and want to use a sophisticated phone, you may want to take a look at a company called Page Plus. Page Plus is a company that offers prepaid service on Verizon's network and lets you use ANY Verizon phone(or Alltel). At first you may think, "Prepaid won't work for me. I use too many minutes." Granted this may be true. However Page Plus's cost per minute is drasticly less than what you might be assuming. Before you dismiss prepaid service as an option, you should calculate how many minutes you actually need each month.
Here's a little math based on a standard Page Plus plan of 6 cents a min. and 8 cents per SMS. You can find more info at www.pagepluscellular.com/Plans If you "port" over an existing number, there's no activation fee and you get 50 free minutes.
The cheapest Verizon individual plan is $40 a month for 450 min.(not including taxes, fees, or any text messages) For that same $40 per month with Page Plus you could talk for 650 min and send 12 text messages or talk for 450 min and send 160 text messages. Of course with Verizon you have free nights and weekends and "in-calling", so you'll need to factor in how many minutes you use there.
There is a way you can cut down on the minutes you use on your cell phone if you make a lot of calls while you're at home and you have a landline. Its called Google Voice. Its a free service you can sign up for that will allow you to make free long distance phone calls anywhere in the US for FREE from your home phone.
For me, the Page Plus/Google Voice combination is a big money saver.
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