If you're like me, you really don't like cell phone contracts. I want to be able to shop for the best deal, and use the phone I already have on the network with the best deal. We're not at this point yet, but we're slouching in that direction. Case in point: Straight Talk from Tracfone.
Tracfone is a mobile virtual network operator (MNVO), a company that buys blocks of minutes from companies like AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile, and resells them through outlets like Wal-Mart. Tracfone used to sell you a cheap phone and a monthly service contract; it's the prototypical "burner phone" popular in spy shows and mysteries on TV.
Now Tracfone is offering to sell you just a Sim card, for use in any phone compatible with AT&T, or with T-Mobile. The service is called Straight Talk. The web site is here http://www.straighttalkSIM.com/
The Sim card costs $15, and monthly service costs $45 for unlimited voice, text and data. Examples of compatible phones are iPhones, Samsung Galaxy, Google Nexus, just about any high end phone originally designed for use on AT&T or T-Mobile. The phone doesn't have to be unlocked to work. You just order a Sim appropriate for your phone.
$45 is a great deal for unlimited service. The major carriers charge close to $100 a month for similar features. Unfortunately, you can't use your Straight Talk as a mobile hotspot for your entire family.
Since Straight Talk uses a national network from a major carrier, the service area is nationwide. And used iPhones and Google Nexus phones appear on Craigslist all the time. Seems like a deal to me.
How are you reducing the cost of data use on your cell phone?