The Best Prepaid Unlimited Smart Phone Plans
For the longest time, two-year contracts ruled the wireless cellphone world. However, one of the biggest carriers, T-Mobile, has begun pushing for the "un-contract", it helps break the ice on making prepaid smartphones a commonplace occurrence instead of an uncommon sight. Many smaller wireless carriers offer unlimited plans, piggybacking off of existing networks, such as T-Mobile and Sprint. When you're selecting the prepaid plan that works best for you, focus on the coverage area, any fees associated with the unlimited plans, your data caps and the devices available on the network.
Straight Talk, a Wal-Mart service, runs on the T-Mobile network and provides unlimited talk, text and Internet for $45 or $60 if you need international calling. This plan does offer discounts if you pay in three-, six- or 12-month increments. Straight Talk allows you to purchase smartphones, flip phones and messenger phones through the service, as well as providing SIM cards for compatible phones that you bring to the service. Your payments are made in advance. While the phones are more expensive to account for the fact that they aren't being subsidized through the service via a contract, the fact that you have the option to bring your own phone gives you flexibility on where you make your hardware purchase. Straight Talk supports 3G and 4G speeds.
GoSmart provides a $30 per month unlimited talk and texting plan, a $35 per month unlimited talk, text and web plan and a $45 per month unlimited talk, text and 4G web speed. This service doesn't charge fees for paying, roaming or any other hidden fees. It provides extensive coverage throughout the United States, and bringing your own phone is supported as long as it's a GSM-compatible phone. It also supports the iPhone 5. In addition, you may also purchase one of three smartphones directly through GoSmart: the Alcatel OT-838, ZTE V768 and the Coolpad Flo.
Republic Wireless sets itself apart from other companies by offering only one smartphone, the Moto X, as well as offering a unique hybrid plan that supports WiFi calling automatically, so the phone only uses minutes while it's on a network. This doesn't particularly matter when you have unlimited plans, but it is an interesting feature that other service providers don't offer. The unlimited plans start off at $25 per month, which includes unlimited text, voice and data. If you want unlimited 4G, you pay $40. You also have the flexibility to switch your plan without losing your number or service if you end up not needing a particular plan tier.
T-Mobile is one of the big name wireless carriers, and they have plenty of prepaid plans to suit your needs, as well as support for the latest handsets hitting the market. Individual unlimited plans start at $50 per month, which caps you at high-speed mobile data after 500 MB. You pay $60 if you want 2.5 GB of high-speed access and fully unlimited access without speed caps for $70 per month. You have the option of buying your own phone through T-Mobile, and they do allow you to partially or fully spread the cost of the phone over a two-year timespan, while giving you the option to purchase your phone in full at any time you desire. If you already have a compatible smartphone, it's easy to bring to T-Mobile. Some phones that T-Mobile supports includes the Apple iPhone 5, LG Optimus F3 and Samsung Galaxy S4.
Virgin Mobile runs off of the Sprint network and provides unlimited plans for 3G and 4G smartphones. It costs $55 per month for fully unlimited access at 3G and 4G speeds, although you are capped at 2.5 GB of data before your speeds get throttled.
More and more companies are realizing the value of no-contract plans for smartphones, especially when they offer a unique value for going with their service. Before signing up for another two-year contract with one of the big name wireless providers, take a look and see whether you get a better deal and service through one of the up and comers.