As I've mentioned in the previous blog post, I use that AT&T GoPhone service for my voice calls and texts. I don't talk a lot on my cell phone since I can use Google Voice to direct all calls to my landline when I am at home or in the office, and when I am on the road, I either rarely make calls or can use Google Voice using my laptop or ipad from a wifi network or even (now) a 3G cellular network.
So, if you don't make a ton of calls every month, and just need a phone for voice calls and texts, I recommend the AT&T GoPhone prepaid service. You can buy a phone from them or department stores like Walmart or Fred Meyer for $15.
You then pay $25 per month, and use your
phone for 10 cents per minute for calls. Your credit on your account
lasts 3 months; if you put in another $25 before the credit expires, the
credit rolls over. I have about $60 on my phone now. Basically I pay
$100 per year and always have a cell phone on the AT&T network. I can
get text packages at 200 texts for $4.99 per month. This comes out of
my credit. I can forward my emails as texts, and I can also reply to
people using texts which go to their emails, which is awesome. See more
info in the previous blog post.
A friend sent me a link to Republic Wireless and asked me about it. Here's what I wrote him: "The link you sent me is for a phone that normally uses Wifi. If there
is no Wifi, then the phone automatically switches to the Sprint Network.
Big deal. Nearly all phones can do that -- use wifi as a default to avoid cellular data charges, then switch to a cellular network if there is no wifi network available. The problem is that the
Sprint Network is very limited. Its reach is limited to large
metropolitan areas. For instance, I can't get a Sprint (or Virgin
Mobile, or Republic, or Datajack) signal when I recently stayed with a friend in Washington State unless I walked up the
hill or walked down by the water.