Getting Comfortable With The Basics

Lower Your Mobile & Land Line Phone Costs

The purpose of this program is to explore some ways to lower your communication costs. You will discover several alternatives to the hi price cellular providers you may be using. I will also discuss options for very low-cost VoIP  (Voice Over IP) landline equivalent service. Many the mobile services maybe half of what you're now paying and calls using your home WiFi can be free after one time (under $50 cost).

Low-Cost Wireless Providers Low-Cost                                   Land-line Phone

Manage Cell Data Usage with this App 

  • Picking the carrier that works where you need it to work most often.
  • Match your phone with the right network.
  • You might need to get your phone unlocked.
  • Know how much data you need?
  • What happens if you use all of your data for the month?
  • Some things like tethering your phone or using your phone to call and text with someone outside of the U.S may cost extra or not be available.
  • MVNO stands for "mobile virtual network operator." It's the term used for a cell phone carrier that operates off another network.
  • MVNOs buy wholesale voice, text, and data minutes from one of the big network operators AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint or Verizon and resell to their customers.   

– – Google Fi Cell Service

  • Use this link to signup for Google FI as a new subscriber,
    Fi will credit you and Glenn $20 after you've been active for 30 days.

by Explainosphere – Published on Feb 3, 2019

Google Fi is a wireless service that Google set up to offer mobile service directly to users.

The most innovative aspect of Google Fi is its pricing. Google is charging $20 per month for talk, text, Wi-Fi tethering, and international coverage in 170+ countries, then an additional $10 per GB of data each month. Global voice calls when traveling (non-Wi-Fi) $0.20 per minute in most overseas locations. All International Rates Your phone number works in 170+ countries and calls are just a dollar for a 5-minute call ($0.20 a minute). A straightforward plan with lots of benefits and flexible pricing.

For example, a plan with 2GB of data costs $40 per month. However, if you don't use all that data, Google will partially refund the money you already paid. So if you only used 1.4 of your 2GB, Google says, you'll get $6 back.

Being a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) means Google licenses network infrastructure from other carriers. Through new technology developed with their partners, Google Fi puts you on the best available network between Wi-Fi and three 4G LTE networks. This technology means you get access to more cell towers and 4G LTE in more places. Google Fi has partnered with Sprint, T-Mobile, and US Cellular carriers in the US. You can view Fi's US coverage map. 

Phones from Google designed for Fi have your favorite features, from smart cameras to powerful batteries. All of them are built with Google Fi’s unique technology to keep you on the best signal. 

You can also bring your existing phone to Google FiCheck the compatibility of a phone you already have.

What's included in the Fi Basics?  Fi a straightforward plan starts with the Fi Basics for $20/month. It includes unlimited domestic talk and text, unlimited international texts, Wi-Fi tethering to use your phone as a hotspot, and cellular access coverage in 170+ countries. If your data usage at the end of the month is less than your data budget, you'll get a credit of one cent per MB. For example, if your data budget is 2GB and you use 1.265GB, you'll get a $7.35 credit on next months bill.  Note: My Fi bill is about $30 a month, including taxes.

Use this link to signup for Google FI as a new subscriber; Fi will credit you and Glenn $20 after you've been active for 30 days. 

– – What is Ting?

Ting is a mobile phone service that caters to people tired of dealing with complicated billing plans from carriers like AT&T or Verizon. Their slogan is ‘Mobile That Makes Sense.’

Ting plans explained video

We have been using this service for a while. It worked everywhere on our driving trip from Florida to Pennsylvania and our recent visit to Portland, Oregon. Here is the Coverage map.

It is important to note; Ting does not operate their networks. Instead, they lease the use of Sprint or T-Mobile mobile networks. If you are considering Ting, ask people you know that use Sprint or T-Mobile how their coverage is in the area, this is a crucial step in deciding if Ting is right for you. Ting is a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO). The virtual part means the use of another company's network, in this case, Sprint or T-Mobile.

If you are a huge data user, Ting may not be for you. If you are using 1-2 Gigabytes a month or more of data, the price stops being as competitive.

Tech Support: Here is another area where Ting shines. No phone trees, no overseas call centers, and seldom any wait. You call Ting with a problem, and you get a real, native English speaking human, my experience has been excellent with them. The support personnel knows the business, are not following scripts, and get things done.

Other Ting Advantages: Like most other providers, Ting provides free voice mail, caller ID, call waiting, etc. Also, one service they provide is free WiFi tethering! Most other providers charge an extra $20-$30 a month for this. Ting does not care how many devices you tether to your phone. You pay for the data you use, period.

Use this link to Ting and get $25 off your first device.   

– – Mint Mobile Cell Service

Mint Mobile took what’s wrong with wireless and made it right. Unlike the traditional Big Wireless and prepaid plans, you’re used to; Mint Mobile plans to give you more flexibility and value, plus the fast nationwide 4G LTE coverage and unlimited talk and text. You don’t need a new phone, get a new Mint Mobile GSM SIM card, and you’re ready to go!

Unlimited talk and text plans with 3Gb of data.  3 month $75 ($25/mo) – 6 month $120 ($20/mo) – 12 month $180 ($15/mo) Plus Regulatory Recovery Fee and taxes. Note: As of Sept 2019 the $180 plan tax+fees is $21 in the 19460 zip code.

Here's what you get. Your Mint Mobile plan gives you everything you need for wireless at a fraction of the usual cost.

Unlimited talk and text. 4g LTE high-speed data. Your choice of 3gb, 8gb of 12gb each month. Nationwide coverage map, coast to coast on the nation’s fastest, most-advanced 4g LTE network. Love your phone? Bring it along! Mint works on unlocked GSM devices, Check compatibility. Keep your number. New service, same phone number. Free SIM card

Not into the whole, buying a new phone? Use your existing phone with any mint mobile plans! With Mint Mobile’s bring your own phone (BYOB) program, you can bring your current unlocked GSM phone to Mint Mobile and keep your existing number, too. Just switch out the sim card.  

Control and Manage Cell Data Usage

Google has an app that will help you save money by stopping apps from wasting cellular data.

The app, called Datally, is available in the Google Play marketplace. Once installed, the app conducts an audit on the apps you're running on your smartphone to find out what kind of data they're consuming. From there, you can decide on an app-by-app basis how much data they should consume. Datally also features a Data Saver Bubble feature that shows your data usage in real-time. You can use the bubble to block an app from consuming data.

But if you're in a plan like Ting or Google Fi that charges you based on the amount of data you use, Datally could come in handy. It'll help you see which apps are running at any given time, and find out how much data they're using. The ability to turn off app data usage or ratchet it back could save you money. (Play Store)  

Low-Cost Land-line Phone

Google Voice  One number: a single phone number that rings all your phones – Google voicemail: voicemail like email – Voicemail transcription: read what your voicemail says – Custom greetings: vary voicemail greetings by caller – International calling: low-cost calls to the world – Block calls: send unwanted callers straight to voicemail – Record calls: record phone calls and store them online – Conference calls: join several people into a single call – Screen callers: hear who is calling before you pick up.

I use Google Voice with the OBi200 adaptor for a one time cost of less than $50. I do pay for GV911.COM $12 per year for E911 service. Place and Receive Calls on Regular Phones. Once you have configured Google Voice on the OBi (web access from browser required for initial set-up), you can start calling from your regular ‘house’ phone. Free Calls to US and Canada phones and 1¢ per minute from everywhere else. Check out all Google Voice Premium Features.

How It WorksGet Free Home Phone Service with an Inexpensive OBi200 VoIP Box by Review Geek – Having a telephone other than your cell phone can be handy. If you find yourself needing one, you might as well choose a solution with no monthly cost!

Step by Step Instructions: How to Switch to VoIP and Ditch Your Home Phone Bill Forever  – By Jason – You can enjoy the convenience of a whole-house phone line without shelling out your hard-earned money to your local telecommunications provider.

Setup E911 service at  GV911.COM – Enhanced E911 for Google (TM) Voice Users. GV911 designed for VoIP users who would need to be able to dial 911 and reach a live local Police / Fire Department dispatcher in case of an emergency. With address changes are free. Enable 911 for your OBI device for $12 per year!

You could also use the low-cost magicJack PLUS device. It is a stand-alone option you don't need a Google Voice number

Get magicJack PLUS with 12 months of Unlimited Local & Long Distance Calling to the U.S. and Canada.
   Renew service for $30 a year or 5 years for $100.

  • Connect Anyway You Want: There are more ways to call with magicJack – get Unlimited local & long-distance calling to the U.S. and Canada using your home phone, computer or mobile phone.
  • Keep Your Number – Now you can bring your phone number to MagicJack.
  • magicJack PLUS can be connected straight to your modem or router and is independent of your computer. You can make and receive calls, even when the computer is turned off. 
  • Use any standard home telephone with magicJack: corded or cordless.
  • If you have a cordless phone system in your home or office, plug in the base station and your additional handsets will work as usual. Think of magicJack as your new phone jack; it's that simple.

How do I activate 911 Emergency Service on my MagicJack? 

  • 911 Emergency Services are for the United States and Canadian addresses ONLY and is offered to you for a fee.

​​OBI detailed help pages.

Articles for your reference:

  • How to Switch to VoIP and Ditch Your Home Phone Bill Forever – By Jason
    You can enjoy the convenience of a whole-house phone line without shelling out your hard-earned money to your local telecommunications provider. Read on as we show you how to ditch the phone bill, keep the landline, and enjoy free local and long-distance calling in the process.
  • Get Free Home Phone Service with an Inexpensive OBi200 VoIP Box – By Russ
    Having a telephone other than your cell phone can be handy. If you find yourself needing one, you might as well choose a solution with no monthly cost!
  • How to Save $1,000 a Year on Your Cell-Phone Plan – By Jake
    It took a lost iPhone to open my eyes to how much money I was wasting just to make calls and check my email. As I resigned myself to buying a replacement and reviewed my options, I eventually discovered I could be paying just $300 a year for a cell-phone plan instead of the $1,300 AT&T was charging me.
  • What are Cell Phone Plans? by
    Understand how cell phone plans work to choose the best plan for you
    A cell phone plan is a paid agreement with a mobile carrier allowing your cell phone to use their network for phone calls, text messages, and mobile data (internet access).
  • The 9 Best Cheap Cell Phone Plans of 2019 by
    Don't pay more than you need to for your wireless phone bill
  • MVNOs—The Cheapest Cellphone Plans You've Never Heard Of – By Cheryl
    Can you imagine leaving the house without your cellphone? Neither can the 95% of Americans who now own a handheld device and will happily spend an average of 3.5 hours a day staring into one—even when they go to the bathroom. But with how much screen time we log in, cheap cellphone plans can be hard to come by. In fact, annual spending for cellular phone services increased by 58.4% per consumer from 2007 to 2014, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and they've since continued to rise every year.
  • Is a Pay-as-you-go Plan Right for You? – By Adam
    While contract-based cell phone plans are the norm in the United States, plans that allow you to "pay as you go" and prepaid service plans have been popular throughout Europe. These types of plans have grown in popularity in the U.S., however.
  • Unlocked phones vs carrier phones: What are the differences and benefits? – By
  • When smartphones were just starting to become a thing, the most obvious way to get one in the United States was simple: visit your wireless carrier of choice and buy whichever device the salesperson convinced you was the best.

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