After Hours



What Is, The Elusive Data Plan Free Smartphones?

By John Fantel ·
Tags: Off Topic
So having been notified by VZ wireless that I am eligible for an upgrade, naturally I searched for a smart phone. Unfortunately, every single smart phone they sell REQUIRES a data plan.
I have no need for a cellular data plan since I don't hold a mission critical position, and with the advent of WIFI, I'll have coverage when I need it.

Does anybody else wish they could have a smart phone w/out a data plan? I do have an iPod Touch, but only having to carry one device would be easier.
I wanted to make this a poll question, but don't see how to on techrepublic, so what does everybody think?
Is this a just and fair move on cellular providers, or a totalitarian regime at work?

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All Answers

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Well if you don't want/need a data plan

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to What Is, The Elusive Data ...

Why do you want a Smart Phone?

It seems pointless to have one without the other.


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by John Fantel In reply to What Is, The Elusive Data ...

Not pointless at all from my perspective. Why would I need cellular access to remote devices? Where would I be when I need to use cellular access? The only time it would really be handy for me is while I'm driving, and that's a little difficult to configure a router while driving I would think.

Now when I'm in the city, hot spots, campuses, work, home, etc, these are all places I spend the majority of my time, and all have wifi access. I can generate alerts on my devices to email my cell phone using a txt message if something happens that needs my attention. Then I would be able to ssh from anywhere using the wifi.
So instead of multiple devices to carry around, I could just have my smart phone which can have apps for ssh, RDP, VNC or whatever.
Also I could use a bluetooth headset to make voip calls, currently apple didn't let 2g iTouch devices have BT voice capability.
Basically it would be a time saving thing to not have to switch among devices and more convenient.

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Prepaid FTW

by clavius In reply to What Is, The Elusive Data ...

I've had the same conundrum, and the only solution I've found is to a) buy an unlocked GSM smartphone, and b) a SIM card for a prepaid wireless plan, like AT&T GoPhone or T-Mobile. Both of them sell bare SIM cards you can put into your own unlocked phone. It saves you from having to sign up for an exhorbitant monthly plan with data, and for those rare instances when you need data access you can get it on a per-MB basis.

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Also another thing to consider is that

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to What Is, The Elusive Data ...

The Phone companies are not going to give you a Smart Phone Handset as a Upgrade unless you take on a Data Plan.

If you want to use a Smart phone without a Data Plan you'll have to buy your own at Retail Price and then buy one that uses a SIM Card and slip in your SIM Card.

The idea of Phone Companies offering Upgrades is not to give you the newest and fastest but to make more money from you as they give you a new contract generally for 2 years and the Handset you are told is free but actually you are paying it off over the period of the contract. Look at the penalty Clauses if you cancel the contract before it expires.


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I feel your pain

by SethRK In reply to What Is, The Elusive Data ...

Yeah. I work from home and rarely travel, so, like you, I have access to wifi pretty much all the time except when I am on a long bicycle trip. I recently solved that problem by purchasing a VirginMobile mifi through Walmart, which provides me the ability to purchase a month of data for as little as $20 during periods when I need on-the-go connectivity. Having said that, however, I find that the new t-mobile $10 data plans are just barely acceptable and the 200MB they provide is more than enough for me the rest of the year when I am not on an extended bike trip. Next month my contract with ATT is finally up and I will switch to t-mobile and a nice android phone (G2, probably).

Currently I use an LG Incite (Windows Mobile) on ATT, which I got before data plans were mandatory, at least on this phone purchased as a refurb. I used to be able to add data temporarily when traveling, but now they tell me if I turn it on, they won't let me turn it off, so I have been paying the per MB charge and using data very sparingly when away from wifi.

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My third year with a Smart Phone & no data plan

by sully2 In reply to What Is, The Elusive Data ...

I bought a Nokia N97 unlocked phone and a T-Mobile pay as you go Sim card. I then bought the Garmin XT GPS package in Micro SD card format and installed it in the N97. It is now a stand alone Garmin GPS, stand alone 5 MP camera, stand alone MP3 player, stand alone PDA, stand alone FM radio, and stand alone cell phone. It is also my alarm clock, calculator, books on tape reader, and comes with both a Bluetooth radio and FM transmitter. It also has a web cam facing me in addition to the 5 MP camera. It is also a stand alone video camera. My only complaints are in regards to the number of apps being developed for it. I get iPhone and Android envy when I see the neat things I could have. But, my cell phone provider does not tell me what I can and cannot do with my device. By the way, it also has a full physical keyboard and the device comes with a wired remote control for the MP3 player that makes muting the music when a phone call comes in possible. Yes, you can listen to MP3 music while the GPS is active, and the cell phone is also active. This may not be for everyone, but I am retired and have no use for the constant, always on-line "requirement" the world seems to think I need.

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