Post by Peter Lawrence Post by Steve Pope Post by Peter Lawrence
Currently the best value, IMHO, is to get a unlocked smartphone and then
sign up for Consumer Cellular service (they use the AT&T network and allow
full functionality, like call forwarding and voice mail forwarding) unlike
some other MVNOs.
As I have probably rambled on about before, my partner has Consumer
Cellular on an unlocked (obviously) HTC Windows phone.
It might be the phone. I've been able to create hotspots with my
Consumer Cellular phone (an unlocked Amazon Fire Phone) without any issues.
Post by Steve Pope
We haven't been able to get it to become a hotspot. And on a recent
trip to Canada, we could not, with reasonable effort, get it to
function at all. We gave up and stuck a Worldsim SIM card into
it (which fortunately we have on hand from past travel).
Consumer Cellular states clearly it's a domestic U.S. Only service. No
international roaming capabilities using their SIM cards.
Well actually CC is quite unclear about its international capabilities.
"Outside of the U.S., your phone will work in parts of Canada and
Mexico, but you will be charged a roaming rate."
"And their Consumer Cellular phone will not work beyond the U.S.
borders, thus protecting them from any outrageous international roaming
fees, which are mostly unregulated and can vary widely."
If you call and ask you get an incoherent answer. I was told that my
phone would work in Canada and Mexico if I was close enough to the
border to connect to a U.S. tower. But that makes no sense either
because then I would not be charged a roaming rate.
What about cruise ships? Is it:
"Our service is not designed to be used outside of the U.S. (including
cruise ship travel). If your device does work while you are abroad, it
will fall under the regulation of the country in which you are located.
This will cost you at least $1 per minute and possibly much more."
126.96.36.199 Cruise Ship Roaming
Cruise ship roaming rates apply for calls placed or data used while on
And if there is no international roaming why would they put this in?:
1.6 Billing of usage for calls, messages, data or other Services (such
as usage when roaming on other carriers’ networks, including
internationally) may occasionally be delayed.
4.5 Billing for domestic and international roaming usage may be delayed
up to three billing cycles due to reporting between carriers.
Substantial charges may be incurred if your phone is taken out of the
U.S. even if no Services are intentionally used.
The following is probably what is really true:
188.8.131.52 International Roaming
Consumer Cellular’s Service is intended for use within the United
States, Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands. Generally, your Service
will not work when outside of these areas. However, there may be times
when the Service does work internationally. If the Service works when
roaming internationally, you will be charged international roaming
airtime rates including when incoming calls are routed to voicemail,
even if no message is left. Taxes are additional.
I ported out of CC because we are planning a trip to several countries
outside the U.S. and I did not want to deal with multiple prepaid SIM
cards per phone or use a multi-country prepaid SIM card which tend to be
So <gulp> I went to T-Mobile for at least a few months since the
child-unit will be staying in Europe for two months. T-Mobile includes
texting and low speed data outside the U.S.. Calls are 20¢/minute.
Apparently the low speed data is throttled 3G data, not 2G data but VOIP
calling will work, kind-of, and PTT apps (half-duplex walkie-talkie)
will work over the slow data connection.
T-Mo is a little more expensive than CC but it includes a lot more data,
not that I need a lot more data. I was paying $85.50 for four lines with
1500 minutes, unlimited texting, and 3GB of shared data. Now I'm paying
$100 for unlimited minutes and texts and 2.5GB of high-speed data per
person plus unlimited throttled data.