WiFi is everywhere so drop your cell phone plan

It’s been about a week since I dumped my cell phone service and it hasn’t really changed anything.

The turning point was dropping a phone and cracking the screen. I discovered that the $5/month AT&T insurance plan doesn’t actually insure you for anything I can find. Fast forward through painful phone calls with AT&T, visits to stores which aren’t allowed to repair the phone… and wondering why am I paying these guys?

Free WiFi is now everywhere.

So the fact is that I spend only a tiny part of each day not around wifi. Think about everywhere you go and it’s likely the majority have free wifi. Every pub I went to in London recently had free wifi.

How do I get calls? Skype and Google Voice. Google let me send and receive text messages for free. Skype lets me make and receive calls. Both offer me voicemail. To the outside world it all looks like the same phone number. Both run nicely in the background on an old iPhone 4 I have.

Data rate has not been an issue so far. In fact at Vancouver airport with 50 people at a gate waiting for a flight it was good enough for video calls over Skype. The main downside are those access points which require you to click accept, but they’re actually fairly rare when you spend most of your time at home or at work.

Offline maps are solved with offmaps 2.

I’ve yet to run in to a situation where I needed cell phone coverage. Emergency calls will still work from the phone even without a sim card and it so happens that everyone around you has a phone on them too if you’re really that desperate.

A nice side bonus is saving a ton of cash and disconnecting a little bit, it’s good to be unreachable occasionally even if that means just when I’m driving.


8 Responses to WiFi is everywhere so drop your cell phone plan

  1. Russ Nelson (@russnelson) August 24, 2012 at 11:07 am #

    I have considered the same thing because I’m totally loving my nexus 7 tablet’and I’m totally hating my cell phone.

    • Robert December 5, 2013 at 9:16 pm #

      Russ: yea i want to dump the cell and go back to the old way which is waay cheaper, but am not sure the best way to do it, got an answer, Thanks, Robert

  2. harry_wood (@harry_wood) October 10, 2012 at 4:04 am #

    Glad I’m not the only one. I have a ipod touch instead of an iphone. I can pretend to be hip and use ios apps, at a fraction of the cost (though it’s a shame it doesn’t have GPS) For offline maps I’m trying out an app called ‘DirectU’, though I normally use ‘MapDroyd’ on my…

    android phone which also doesn’t have a network connection. I have pay as you go, but stopped paying because orange uses various underhand tricks to gobble up my data credit. There’s a really handy button which comes as standard on android phones, letting you switch on and off your data connection. Orange removes this button (a bare faced trick I find quit stunningly inconsiderate to their customers) as well failing to provide any way whatsoever of telling how much data allowance you’ve used. Now that I’ve rooted the phone to blow away orange software I might try using ‘Onavo’ app to see if can actually have some credit without accidentally spending it all.

    On the other hand, like you, I’ve found I can get by without.

  3. Priscila Olortegui July 16, 2013 at 11:05 pm #

    I’m in the process of doing this right now. Yesterday was my last day with AT&T, so I don’t have any service anymore. Doing it to save a ton of money of course. Going to do this for at least two months and then I’ll go from there.

  4. forget Att August 7, 2013 at 3:50 pm #

    Absolutely! Since the beginning of the year I have been having issues with data overages when I have wifi in my home. I kept calling tech supper who would not help me n one Rep even tried to get me to pay for help. My phone bill was always over 200. N with the issues I was having for 3 months over 300. It was a T-Mobile employee who finally told me my software was corrupted n reset my phone. Smh. I was too through. B4 that I kept trying to request a new phone under warranty n they lead u to believe u can’t get one n if there r certain. Other issues u may be responsible for the full fee id the replacement phone. N to get an insurance phone they wanted 125 bucks! Oh heck no! They are crazy. I was with att for 10 years but in this last year everything just went downhill. N you would think that with so many alternatives they would do better. So now I have a little prepaid phone I use for emergencies and still get the wifi in numerous place on my android where I text from. Best move I ever made. I was paying more for a cell phone that. For gas and electric. Even more than I pay for cable internet and home phone service! Those days r over! Don’t miss it att all!

  5. MayJbwm August 23, 2013 at 1:26 pm #

    Please help me understand! I use a prepaid phone cell plan with my Android Eris. Every time I run out of minutes, my phone will not connect to wi-fi. How can
    I use Skype, in wi-fi areas, if I have no cell phone service plan? I am willing to purchase a device that will allow it. Which devices will allow me to be on Skype in wi-fi hot spots with out requiring a cell phone service plan?

    So Russ Nelson, you say you can get on wi-fi and use your Skype account to communicate with a nexus 7 tablet? What if someone is trying to call you? Is voice mail their only option, or do you hear a ring? Can you answer with a nexus 7 tablet?

    I am a writer. If I purchase a nexus 7 tablet? Can I access my windows based Word doc.s and edit from a nexus 7 tablet?

    Harry_wood, you say that possibly there is a switch on my phone some where that will allow me to turn on the wi-fi so I can connect without an internet service provider? Is it a physical switch. In the settings I have it turned on, but it only works if I have minutes remaining.

    So What device would someone recommend for me? Is there anything I need to take note of when shopping? What is 3G and 4G all about? Will I get better signal strength with 4G? What do I need to look for to get the best signal strength.

    Please answer all or any of my questions.



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