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Best data plan?
53dville
Member

I'm trying to figure out the best data option for my cousin, who lives in the rural, western NC mountains.  Cell service is ok at best, Verizon seems to work most of the time at her house, ATT does not.  I plan on giving her a wi-fi tablet so she can get email and occasional Internet browsing, need a hotspot.  My bet is that 4G/LTE won't be available, hoping 3G is usable at her location. 

Verizon is saying the only option for data is 4GB and $50/month.  This isn't acceptable for a retiree on a fixed income just to get email.  For $50, we can do unlimited voice and she can talk all day.  

I have a spare MiFi 2200 3G I could give her, but $50/month is just too much. 

Am I the only person that thinks Verizon is squeezing the market, chasing off the low profit customers by raising the minimum $ bar, while gouging the high end by reducing the data threshold levels when speeds are increasing so that everyone will have overage fees?

Any suggestions or options?

Thanks,

MC

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Re: Best data plan?
mdram4x4
Leader

share everything? plan, put the phone and mifi on it

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Re: Best data plan?
53dville
Member

A basic phone with 700 minutes and no data is $ 30+10/month, $40 is ok.  If the phone is hotspot capable, a 2GB data plan adds $60/month, for a total of $90.  

If the phone isn't hotspot capable, then the mifi adds $20/month to the account for the mifi.  With the $60 for 2GB data, now we're up to $ 110/months.

I'm not sure how your math works but that doesn't work for retirees I know on a fixed income.  $ 110/month for phone service with a few emails? 

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Re: Best data plan?
mdram4x4
Leader

then look into a non cellular method for data

cell is expensive compared to other ways

best option for cheap data is dsl

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Re: Best data plan?
53dville
Member

That would have been the obvious first choice!  When you get 15 miles outside the town (not even a city) on a 2 lane road, you're too far from the central office for DSL, haven't found good data service on barbed wire yet.

And, being just over the ridge, no line of site towards town and/or a highway, even cellular service is spotty, just barely VZW.

If a neighbor had decent Internet service, then I'd try one of the long distance wi-fi repeater setups, like Ubiquity Networks.

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Re: Best data plan?
mdram4x4
Leader

unfortunatley, without dsl there is no cheap choice

cell and sat sound like your only options, and neither is cheap

1 line and data will be @ 100 or more

the only advantage the share plan has is you can use hotspot on the phone and not need the jetpack/mifi/ect

but then you at $40 for a smartphone and $50 for 1gb and unlimted minutes

drop to a dumbphone and your still at 50+30 +mifi, right back up there

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Re: Best data plan?
vzw_customer_support
Customer Support

53dville, we have several options for your cousin. First, review our coverage maps to check coverage in her area. http://bit.ly/ymXLCI In addition to adding that line to a Share Everything plan, you can also choose a Prepaid plan for the tablet. If this is for light usage, a 1GB plan for $20/month may work well for her. The next plan up is 2GB for $30. Check out our prepaid plans. Click View Plan Details on this page. http://bit.ly/RjnjBI

MarquiaF_VZW
Follow us on Twitter @VZWSupport

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Re: Best data plan?
53dville
Member

$ 20 or $30/month would be fine, if the tablet had cellular built in, but it doesn't. It has wifi only, which means a pre-paid jetpack which is $60/month minimum.  Too much for a senior on a fixed income to read email. 

Why doesn't V have plans for the jetpack that match the tablet pricing, especially if she would only be using a 3G MiFi?  LTE isn't available in her area, just barely cell coverage.

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Re: Best data plan?
Not applicable

53dville wrote:

$ 20 or $30/month would be fine, if the tablet had cellular built in, but it doesn't. It has wifi only, which means a pre-paid jetpack which is $60/month minimum.  Too much for a senior on a fixed income to read email. 

Why doesn't V have plans for the jetpack that match the tablet pricing, especially if she would only be using a 3G MiFi?  LTE isn't available in her area, just barely cell coverage.

Verizon is business not a charity. Living in the boonies has it's negatives one being cruddy internet access. This isn't going to change anytime soon. That's just the reality. You think Verizon is pricey go check out satellite internet which is their only other option. Very expensive also. As I said the price one pays for living out in the country. It's not fair, but that's the way it is. If all they do is read e-mail they could do that on dial-up.

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Re: Best data plan?
Ann154
Super User
Super User

Agreed. Dial-up while slow might be the best option. I know a senior who actually lives in a small town and uses dial-up to send and receive emails. The dial-up is even long distance and they spend maybe $20 per month for the dial-up provider charge plus the long distance charges.

I'm most definitely NOT a VZW employee. If a post answered your question, please mark it as the answer.

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