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Cheapest Unlimited Data Plan (4G!)

Updated on January 5, 2013

Deciding What I Needed

My quest for the cheapest unlimited data plan started in May. I had decided I needed a new phone after my last one had ceased to work a couple months earlier. I started out by making a list of everything I would need in a phone, and I ended up searching for an Android smartphone because it seemed to fit my needs. I also realized that I use only 25-50 minutes/month on my cell, but I sent hundreds of text messages. Now, with a smartphone, I knew I was going to use a LOT of mobile data - for Facebook, Netflix, YouTube, Spotify, e-mail, IM, and everything else. I could, in a worst case scenario, also supplement the voice minutes with VoIP or supplement the text messaging with IM/Facebook messages. So after considering all of this, I figured I needed a plan with at least 50 minutes, 500 text messages, and unlimited data.

And let me tell you, those requirements were EXTREMELY hard to meet.

The Prepaid card
The Prepaid card | Source

Looking Around

I checked out all of the websites of major carriers - AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-mobile, and even a few others. They had huge discounts on powerful phones - HTC One X, the newer Samsung models - but the plans, in my opinion, were far too expensive. One of the cheapest plans with unlimited data was $70/mo with 500 minutes and unlimited texting. The next plan down by a different carrier was $60/mo - and had 2GB data, unlimited voice, and charged 20 cents/text - and that simply wouldn’t do. After almost giving up, I decided to go into the small unexplored corner of the websites - the Prepaid plans. I had originally avoided this section because I had considered it to be a small section of pay-per-minute flip phones - and man, was I wrong.

The phone I chose
The phone I chose | Source

What I Ended Up With

I found a plan that completely met my needs, that started as a deal between Wal-Mart and T-Mobile; if you bought an android smartphone from the prepaid section of either store (at full price), you could get a plan with 100 minutes, unlimited texting, and UNLIMITED DATA (with 4G) for only $30/mo. The catch - you have to get a phone marked “Prepaid” from either T-Mobile or Wal-Mart (although I heard from numerous sources you can later put the sim in any phone) and you have to get the $30/mo T-Mobile prepaid card with Email Delivery from the Wal-Mart site, available here. Also, the 4G data is capped at 5gb before it throttles you down to 3G - but that’s HARD to go over and at the beginning of the 30-day pay cycle you get put back up to 4G. The phone I got was the Samsung Exhibit II 4G (called the Samsung Galaxy Exhibit at other places because they put out a firmware update renaming it) on sale for $180. (It’s still only $190.) So, anyway, I thought I would just share this incredible deal with some other folks as my first Hub - hope it helps!

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    • profile image

      Bread 4 years ago

      Can anyone confirm that this deal is still available?

    • ScipioWarrior profile image
      Author

      RJ Duane 4 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina, USA

      Tethering works very well, even with multiple devices, but you get throttled if you use more than 5GB, so this plan might not be the best for you.

    • profile image

      Kevin 4 years ago

      I am a data pig. Tether my phone to my router and all devices connect. Last month I used 20Gig on my unlimited Verizon plan. Have you tested high data usage?

    • profile image

      Mike 4 years ago

      I won't argue with you, your choice to go with the Samsung Exhibit II 4G is a good decision.

      But in time don't you think with growing market in techs and the growing needs in easier and faster technology you will be looking out for mobiles such as the htc One X. Especially if you consider their great deals.

      http://trondome.com/articles/htc-one-x-deals.

      Besides the fact that it is not as expensive as the Galaxy and iPhone versions, and yet it provides you with great options and features, i would consider going for it.

      This is my opinion, but you're free to make you're choice. In the end each person knows best what they need.

    • profile image

      stephen 4 years ago

      can i get this plan on my metro pcs coolpad

    • profile image

      omidmark 5 years ago

      Make it simple

      Buy the sim from t-mobile sim either from eBay or t-mobile website.

      Go to t-mobile.com and activate your $30 plan. That's the best way to avoid Walmart :)

    • profile image

      LJ 5 years ago

      yes u can use any GSM phone..

    • ScipioWarrior profile image
      Author

      RJ Duane 5 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina, USA

      Unfortunately, no I haven't :( If I can can get my hands on an unlocked GSM phone soon, I'll definitely get back to you.

    • profile image

      Ricardo 5 years ago

      Did you ever comfirm, that you can just buy the cheapest phone and later swap the sim to a new phone. The phone I wan't is not available at their store.