Best Pre-Paid Phone Deals in the United States
Tired of your carrier’s contract restrictions on when you can upgrade a new phone or what rate plans are available? The Pre-Paid phone market is gaining huge traction, in the cellular marketplace. Gone are the days of restrictive expensive minute cards, changing separately for text messages, old phone model selection, no internet usage or picture messaging and a limited coverage area.
Four of the best Pre-Paid Wireless carriers Simple Mobile, Page Plus, Boost Mobile and Straight Talk are quickly changing how cellular service is done. All of these carriers offer Unlimited Talk, nationwide coverage, text/picture messaging, and internet access; along with a wide-ranging phone selection of “up to date” models. Also, all Pre-Paid carriers operate on the “No Contract” model, so the consumer will never have to sign an agreement for a period of time, to have cellular service,
All of the Pre-Paid carriers Mobile Network Virtual Operators, known as MNVO’s, of the major carriers of Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile . MVNO’s typically add value for the customer such as brand appeal, distribution channels, and other affinities to the resale of mobile services for the four major carriers, Mobilein.com states.
Simple Mobile (3 out of 5)
For $60.00 a month, the carrier offers nationwide unlimited talk, text, picture messages and web access coverage. In addition, the Simple Mobile offers two other nationwide coverage plans. There is a $50.00 a month unlimited talk, text, picture messages and 50 MB of web plan and a $40.00 a month unlimited talk and text plan.
Simple Mobile, runs on a large bring-your-own-phone model, reports Fierce Wireless. Customers can save money on purchasing a new phone for access to the network by bringing, over 180 unlocked GSM handsets to the network.
Page Plus Cellular (4 out of 5)
Page Plus Cellular offers nationwide service on the CDMA (Code-Division Multiple Access) based model. The carrier has the largest nationwide coverage area of all of the Pre-Paid carriers, with limited roaming areas.
For $44.95 a month, the carrier offers unlimited talk, text and 20MB of picture messaging with web access. If the user does not need unlimited talk and text, Page Plus also offers a 1200 Talk, Text and 50 MB of web access plan, for the low price of $29.95 a month.
The carrier runs off a limited BYOD, known as Bring Your Own Device, model in addition to selling phones on the company website. Customers of Page Plus Cellular report on, Howard Forums, that a number of CDMA based phones work with the network.
Boost Mobile (5 out of 5)
Boost Mobile is the nationwide Pre-Paid carrier of Spint-Nextel. The carrier operates off of both Nextel IDEN ([Integrated Digital Enhanced Network](/tools/Integrated Digital Enhanced Network)) and Sprint’s CDMA based network. Boost Mobile offers nationwide unlimited talk, text, picture messaging, 411 service and web access for $50.00. In addition, unlimited BlackBerry service with the BlackBerry 8330 for only $60.00 a month.
The carriers’ two network based coverage areas are less than Page Plus Cellular, but still are very impressive. Boost Mobile is the only one of the Pre-Paid MNVO’s to offer unlimited BlackBerry service and carry a wide variety of phone models that work with the carrier.
Straight Talk (2 out of 5)
Straight Talk runs off of the CDMA based network. The carrier is sold exclusively in the retail marketplace, at Wal-Mart stores. The carrier operates a large nationwide coverage area, using the CDMA based network.
Phone plans with Straight Talk Wireless include a unlimited talk, text, picture messaging, web access and 411 calls for $45.00 a month. The carrier also offers a “All You Need” plan with 1000 minutes of talk, 1000 text, 30 MB of web access with picture messaging for $30.00 a month. Another one of the five plans that the carrier offers includes a one year based unlimited talk, text, picture messaging and 411 calls for $540 dollars.
The phone selection of Straight Talk is limited with the carrier. Customers interested in the service must have the phone model mailed to them by the carrier or purchase from Wal-Mart locations.
Other Pre-Paid Wireless Carriers
Still the best value with the widest phone selections are offered by the carriers’ named above. Customers seeking an alternative to standard cellular service, would be wise to investigate the Pre-Paid wireless options available.