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How To Get Around Data Plan Requirement?

#1 User is offline   PaulCopsey9nf5 

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Posted 02 September 2011 - 05:56 PM

Im an at&t customer and want to get a "smart" phone, but don't want the stupid data plan. Everywhere I go I have access to wireless and don't feel that I need the data plan to compliment that. I don't have it now with my old junk cell phone and do just fine. But I do want a "smart" phone for some of those nice apps and games and such that I can't get on an older phone.

So how to get around the data plan requirement. Well as I read and reread At&t's customer agreement I noticed something.

In section 6.3 about their data plan it says that Iphones and "designated" smart phones require the data plan. Now att doesn't sell any phones from their stores or website that do not require the data plan, and calling them they do confirm that all smart phones they sell require it.

So can you buy a phone from another carrier outright that at&t doesn't sell, swap carriers over and not require a data plan?
It wouldn't be a designated smart phone...
As I see it with plain english "designated" means any phone they have listed as needing the data plan or they have a list that you should be able to compare to. Well they don't have a list, and a non att phone isn't listed on their website or in their store so it wouldn't be a designated phone.

What do you think? Am I crazy, just reading what I want into it? Or could it be possible?
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#2 User is offline   Evildave 

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Posted 02 September 2011 - 06:05 PM

Well, here's my recommendation:

Buy yourself a $20 'Tracfone' (prepaid) phone. This is the 'backup' and travel and emergency phone. It has a month long standby runtime.

Tablets are shrinking, while 'smart phones' are getting bigger. So get a tiny tablet and put VOIP software on it.
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#3 User is offline   waldojim 

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Posted 02 September 2011 - 06:17 PM

View PostPaulCopsey9nf5, on 02 September 2011 - 05:56 PM, said:

Im an at&t customer and want to get a "smart" phone, but don't want the stupid data plan. Everywhere I go I have access to wireless and don't feel that I need the data plan to compliment that. I don't have it now with my old junk cell phone and do just fine. But I do want a "smart" phone for some of those nice apps and games and such that I can't get on an older phone.

So how to get around the data plan requirement. Well as I read and reread At&t's customer agreement I noticed something.

In section 6.3 about their data plan it says that Iphones and "designated" smart phones require the data plan. Now att doesn't sell any phones from their stores or website that do not require the data plan, and calling them they do confirm that all smart phones they sell require it.

So can you buy a phone from another carrier outright that at&t doesn't sell, swap carriers over and not require a data plan?
It wouldn't be a designated smart phone...
As I see it with plain english "designated" means any phone they have listed as needing the data plan or they have a list that you should be able to compare to. Well they don't have a list, and a non att phone isn't listed on their website or in their store so it wouldn't be a designated phone.

What do you think? Am I crazy, just reading what I want into it? Or could it be possible?


They require that data plan for a reason. Those phones hit up the internet randomly for updates, status, gps, or any number of other things. It is nearly impossible to keep them off the internet. Rather than you get charged $1 per kilobyte, they require you to be on a plan. Could they charge less per KB? Sure, but they aren't going to.
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#4 User is offline   LiveBrianD 

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Posted 02 September 2011 - 07:02 PM

I understand what you're talking about. Basically, a device like an ipod touch that ONLY has VOICE cellular connectivity? Unfortunately, that doesn't exist. Your best plan would be to get, idk, kinda like evildave said, a 7" tablet and maybe keep your existing dumbphone.
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#5 User is offline   PaulCopsey9nf5 

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Posted 02 September 2011 - 08:57 PM

With the phone randomly connecting to the internet for updates... have to say... not my problem, they could disable my ability to access their internet network. I actually had to call att to completely shut internet off on my current pos phone because it was randomly trying to startup the limited brower on it. It could be done... would they with a smart phone... "probably not, that way you either have to have the data plan or no smart phone."
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#6 User is offline   Evildave 

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Posted 02 September 2011 - 09:19 PM

Another possibility would be get a notebook or netbook with a good, long battery runtime. That's pretty easy to configure VOIP on. Even FREE VOIP (at least for now) through Google Voice. Super handy. If rings other phones if you want it to.

All kinds of things can be done to a rooted Android phone. If you always have access to Wifi. You might be able to change the phone's model number, etc. and 'trick' AT&T into thinking it's a 'dumb phone'. But you might need a serious black belt in haxxor to do that.

But why all of this AT&T loyalty, anyway? You could get a voice+data plan that doesn't cram a phone pole up your bottom, top-first.

There is such a thing as 'prepaid' data plans. So as long as you don't use the cellular network for the data, you don't get charged.
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#7 User is offline   PaulCopsey9nf5 

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Posted 03 September 2011 - 08:05 AM

More than anything, I just want at&t to stop acting like people don't have a choice. We don't need their data plan. Sure it makes things more convenient for people, but cell companies need to stop lying to their customers about how we NEED these data plans to make our phones work. It also simply bothers me that per their own terms of service I should be able to find a phone that is not a "designated" smart phone and therefore would not the required to get their data plan. At&t simply gets around this by not offering one that doesn't state in the phone description that it does require the data plan.
If you call At&t and ask them... doesn't even matter what department you talk to, they either have no clue what your talking about or just tell you that you need another department, or in one case... I was told to get a lawyer and discuss this with them.

Anytime someone has an issue with At&t, if they can't solve your problem your simply told "Im sorry, but your in a contract, read your terms of service if you have an issue" Well I did read it! Every freakin word... Per your own "Terms of Service" There should be smart phones that don't require your stupid overpriced slow as hell data plan.
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#8 User is offline   smax013 

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Posted 03 September 2011 - 01:39 PM

View PostPaulCopsey9nf5, on 02 September 2011 - 05:56 PM, said:

Im an at&t customer and want to get a "smart" phone, but don't want the stupid data plan. Everywhere I go I have access to wireless and don't feel that I need the data plan to compliment that. I don't have it now with my old junk cell phone and do just fine. But I do want a "smart" phone for some of those nice apps and games and such that I can't get on an older phone.

So how to get around the data plan requirement. Well as I read and reread At&t's customer agreement I noticed something.

In section 6.3 about their data plan it says that Iphones and "designated" smart phones require the data plan. Now att doesn't sell any phones from their stores or website that do not require the data plan, and calling them they do confirm that all smart phones they sell require it.

So can you buy a phone from another carrier outright that at&t doesn't sell, swap carriers over and not require a data plan?
It wouldn't be a designated smart phone...
As I see it with plain english "designated" means any phone they have listed as needing the data plan or they have a list that you should be able to compare to. Well they don't have a list, and a non att phone isn't listed on their website or in their store so it wouldn't be a designated phone.

What do you think? Am I crazy, just reading what I want into it? Or could it be possible?


Nope, not possible.

http://mobile.engadg...-smartphone-da/

AT&T policy is that if you have a smartphone, you have to have a data plan...no matter where you got the smartphone...whether it is unlocked or a subsidized AT&T phone.

I believe that all the major carriers now have similar requirements, but I could be wrong.

The end result is that you are SOL with AT&T. If you want an AT&T phone, your only option would be to keep your "dumb" phone and then carry around a second device such as an iPod Touch (if you want a phone sized device), a tablet (iPad or Android tablet), or maybe an UNACTIVATED smartphone (i.e. an unlocked phone that does not have the phone part activated...this would be if you want an Android device the size of a phone).

BTW, plain English for "designated Smartphone" can also mean a phone that is designated as a Smartphone. Under that definition, you going and getting a unlocked smartphone would still be designated smartphone...just because it is a smartphone.

This post has been edited by smax013: 03 September 2011 - 01:44 PM

Good riddance PCWorld.
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#9 User is offline   Aladar 

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 08:50 AM

View Postsmax013, on 03 September 2011 - 01:39 PM, said:

View PostPaulCopsey9nf5, on 02 September 2011 - 05:56 PM, said:

Im an at&t customer and want to get a "smart" phone, but don't want the stupid data plan. Everywhere I go I have access to wireless and don't feel that I need the data plan to compliment that. I don't have it now with my old junk cell phone and do just fine. But I do want a "smart" phone for some of those nice apps and games and such that I can't get on an older phone.

So how to get around the data plan requirement. Well as I read and reread At&t's customer agreement I noticed something.

In section 6.3 about their data plan it says that Iphones and "designated" smart phones require the data plan. Now att doesn't sell any phones from their stores or website that do not require the data plan, and calling them they do confirm that all smart phones they sell require it.

So can you buy a phone from another carrier outright that at&t doesn't sell, swap carriers over and not require a data plan?
It wouldn't be a designated smart phone...
As I see it with plain english "designated" means any phone they have listed as needing the data plan or they have a list that you should be able to compare to. Well they don't have a list, and a non att phone isn't listed on their website or in their store so it wouldn't be a designated phone.

What do you think? Am I crazy, just reading what I want into it? Or could it be possible?


Nope, not possible.

http://mobile.engadg...-smartphone-da/

AT&T policy is that if you have a smartphone, you have to have a data plan...no matter where you got the smartphone...whether it is unlocked or a subsidized AT&T phone.

I believe that all the major carriers now have similar requirements, but I could be wrong.

The end result is that you are SOL with AT&T. If you want an AT&T phone, your only option would be to keep your "dumb" phone and then carry around a second device such as an iPod Touch (if you want a phone sized device), a tablet (iPad or Android tablet), or maybe an UNACTIVATED smartphone (i.e. an unlocked phone that does not have the phone part activated...this would be if you want an Android device the size of a phone).

BTW, plain English for "designated Smartphone" can also mean a phone that is designated as a Smartphone. Under that definition, you going and getting a unlocked smartphone would still be designated smartphone...just because it is a smartphone.


I'm not sure about this, but I believe (at least here in Canada) you can buy a smartphone at the unlocked price, and put it on a $15/month voice plan...
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#10 User is offline   LiveBrianD 

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 02:25 PM

I don't know about Canadian carriers. I've actually been looking into android PMPs like the Samsung Galaxy Player - a smartphone, Android, and all that, but it's not a phone, so there's no data plan. That particular one is $230 (4") and $270 (5"). Then, get a dumbphone for everything else. It's much cheaper.
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#11 User is offline   Aladar 

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Posted 06 November 2011 - 07:26 PM

View PostLiveBrianD, on 03 November 2011 - 02:25 PM, said:

I don't know about Canadian carriers. I've actually been looking into android PMPs like the Samsung Galaxy Player - a smartphone, Android, and all that, but it's not a phone, so there's no data plan. That particular one is $230 (4") and $270 (5"). Then, get a dumbphone for everything else. It's much cheaper.


Ah, yes, I've heard of that. But is it worth it, in your opinion? For $200 I could get a Kindle Fire, or the upcoming BN Nook Color...

And what about the iPod touch?
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#12 User is offline   LiveBrianD 

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Posted 07 November 2011 - 03:54 PM

The Kindle Fire, by default, is locked into amazon's interface (I think you can put regular android on it though). I think that 7" is ok for a tablet, but 10" is too big. I dislike the ipod touch because you're locked into itunes and such. Also, as I said the galaxy thing has an fm tuner and gps (might come in handy sometimes), which the ipod touch lacks. The Nook Color is meant to be an ereader, so I'm not sure about the power and such. Second, remember that, since those Android PMPs don't require data plans or anything, they are a HELL OF A LOT CHEAPER than a smartphone, even if you, say, get a cheap netbook and leave it at hope and use it as a secured VPN tunnel while you use unsecured wifi networks from the PMP. And with more and more stories about wireless carriers acting like assholes (first ATT, then Verizon), this option is just looking more and more appealing all the time.
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