We felt the need to cover 3 carriers that all offer amazing values with the exception of “if”. These are 3 unique service providers that offer a great deal to those that can play along nicely with their rules. Some require users to utilize WiFi, others include structured guessing on what you will use. Either way, here is the first batch of great deals in wireless for 2013.
Republic Wireless – www.republicwireless.com
The folks over at RW are simply brilliant. Using WiFi as an offloading mechanism, RW offers an unlimited package for $19 a month. The $279 handset is a bit outdated by today’s standards, but for $20 a month, who’s complaining about specs.
The long and the short story of this deal is that you use WiFi for your everyday usage and roll off to the Sprint (non-roaming) network when you are out and about. Great deal, but due to the fact that many things (MMS, Short Code SMS and handoffs) are still inactive or a bit tricky, plus the lack of handset choices, made it impossible for Republic Wireless to make our top 5. The sub $750 two year cost is sure inviting to those with strong WiFi at home and the office though. Despite the aging handset and the coverage limitations.
Solavei – www.solavei.com
Yes, some will complain, others will be outraged, but Solavei’s non-trio pricing of $49 is augmented by 20% taxes in one of our markets. It brings the monthly cost to nearly $60. While this is still a great deal for an unlimited plan with 4GB of 4G data, it just can’t match up to some of the other deals out there.
With that said, for those that bring in a few people, your $20 a month paycheck makes that bill come down quickly. It only takes 9 people to cash in on free service. Of course, if you happen to be a networker, a salesperson or just an outgoing person that can talk up a deal, you can actually make some serious money with Solavei. Without the referral bonus, the two year cost of Solavei, using the ZTE Origin handset is currently $1275 for a 24 month period.
Ting – www.ting.com
Ting is an interesting monster. You can buy as little or as much as you need every month. If you rely heavily on WiFi at home, but want to check out sports scores on the road, Ting is great. If you have a family and want to just use your smartphones for emergencies, Ting has you covered. Heck, even if you want to fire up a 2GB monthly family plan for an unbelievable price, Ting has it.
The bummer deal about Ting, and it is a pretty major one, is the extremely high handset cost. Ting again runs on the Speint network. The advantage that Ting offers most users is the flexibility in plans. You can get a plan with 100 minutes of talk, 100 texts and 100MB of data for $15 a month. You can also add any number of devices to said plan for an additional $6 each. When you get to a light use 500/1000/500 plan, your cost stays at a lowly $33 a month. Heavier users won’t like the deal though, a 3000/6000/3GB plan will set users back $132 a month. Splitting this over 5 lines isn’t so bad, but overall, Ting is best suited for the lighter user and their families.
It is also a great additional form of network access for those using WiFi solutions like GrooveIP and Google Voice for primary communications. Ting and their $15 minimum plan will give you those emergency minutes when WiFi is not available and you need to get ahold of someone. Again, the handset cost is a bit prohibitive for making this a great value, with their lower end LG Optimus Elite running $193, and their highest end Samsung Note II setting users back $625. The two year cost of Ting is tough to work out, but you can get it as low as $553 for 2 years of their minimum 100 talk, 100 text, 100 data (which we consider the minimum for any smartphone user) or as much as $3793 for that Note II and that monster 3000 talk, 6000 text and 3GB of data. For this reason, Ting did not make our Top 5.