I know I don't post here as much anymore, but I do think this is worth it. I was casually browsing the web when I went down the rabbit hole to a phone I had many years ago. I actually found my old review for it. It wasn't my first phone or plan, but I thankfully did write down what I thought was "a good deal" at the time.
Disclaimer: I didn't know about RingPlus at the time
I was determined to get unlimited everything without contract and be able to share data. I also wanted to make unlimited "real calls" on my computer (this just translated into call cell numbers from a computer)
Clear Hotspot: Unlimited Internet (max 5mbps speed) $35/mo
ATT GoPlan: 250 mins, unlimited texting, no data $25/mo
Skype: Unlimited Calling Inbound and Outbound $5/mo
Seems like just yesterday. Makes one appreciate how technology has boomed and became cheaper over time .
Nice to see you, sovashadow! Thanks for the trip in your 'wayback machine'.
Not so long ago, I had a similar qwerty slider, and I still miss it.
My first 'proud' cellphone plan was on Aerial Communications, circa 1997-1998, on a Nokia bar phone. Aerial was a regional carrier later absorbed by VoiceStream, who was still later absorbed by T-Mobile. I think we got 20 or 30 minutes/mo for $20. (Sprint had just opened up, but their cheapest plan was $27 for 60 minutes, and Aerial was reported to have better local coverage.)
I was traveling for business at the time, and wanted my wife to have the security of a cellphone when I was out of town We spent some time figuring out what contacts might be useful in different situations, because the one person she definitely could not call was me. (I didn't have a cellphone, and neither did anyone I traveled with.)
About 2 years ago, I needed to start a temporary T-Mobile prepaid plan, and looked for a corporate store. The closest was in the same small strip-mall, just next door to where I originally signed up with Aerial. It turned out that one of the T-Mo employees there that day had started at the Aerial store.
I remember back in the 90's when I had airtouch cellular the plan i was on was the 2121 plan 21.00 per month and .21 per minute. Then in 1998 Sprint PCS was launched I got on the pioneer program, free monthly service and the calls were .35 per minute, first incoming minute free. Data and texting not yet invented.
Proud is probably not the word to apply to my first cell phone/plan though the $15 to $20 I paid for the phone and plan might be something to be proud of. My first phone was a refurbished itsy bitsy Samsung/? Lg mentally challenged phone, which "Pic n' Save", now "Big Lots", used to sell for the mentioned $15/$20 with 6 months or one year of Net 10 coverage included, if I remember correctly. So when the time period was up, it was much cheaper to buy another refurbished phone from Big Lots than to refill the old one. Years later I "upgraded" to a cheap smartphone on the T Mobile $3 paygo plan. Since then I have had a checkered history with phones/plans.
Edit: My memory was probably wrong on the 6 months or one year of service on the Net 10 phones, for it was more likely 3 or 4 months service. By buying the refurbished phones at $15/$20 that came with 300 minutes of service at .10 cent a minute, one essentially brought the cost per minute down to 5 or a little less than 7 cents per minute. Or one could just add, I think, the minutes to an existing Net 10 account. It's all vaguely coming back now. We had about 10 of those little phones stored in a drawer at one time.
For me it wasn't so much the plan as it was the devices.
Back, around 2000, there were no such things as smartphones. I had a Nokia bar phone that had an infrared port and a Palm Pilot that also had an infrared port. As far as I could tell, nobody had made those work together at that time. My cellphone provider (BellSouth Mobility, I believe) said that it was an unsupported feature and even if I did figure out how to use it, it wouldn't work with their system.
I was relentless, however, and in about a month I figured out how to enable the infrared port and how to create a dial-up connection with my Palm Pilot. In 2000 NOBODY was computing on-the-go with handheld devices, but I'd be at trade shows, hanging out with other geeks, and I'd set my Nokia and Palm on the table, line up the infrared ports, and check email, surf the 'net, and even telnet into my server at work and open multiple sessions on our HP minicomputer.
Geeks told other geeks and my phone rang a lot as I explained to each person how to do it.
So I guess the "proud plan" part was that I got free unlimited data, because my cellular provider didn't support data usage.
As soon as the PocketPC came out, in late 2001, I switched from the Palm Pilot and never looked back. I could do almost anything from my PocketPC that I could do from my desktop. And if I couldn't do it on my PocketPC I could remote into my desktop and do it that way.
When smartphones came out it finally leveled the playing field, but I was queen of the nerds for several years!
My first "smartphone" was when I got on the handspring visorphone beta program. That was pretty cool. That was back in 2000 I believe.
The phone I look back on with the fondest memories was a symbian sony p800. That was an amazing device for the time (2002 ish). Left it on a greyhound bus in Canada and they managed to find it and get it back to me a couple of days later. Excellent service.
Nokia phones used to be so good. I miss them being a powerhouse. I had several of them with keyboards. I really wanted a nokia communicator but never got one. I rememer playing the snake game way back.
I did like pdas too like palm pilots and the psion revo. Plus various pocketpcs.
Most of the time though I was on various cheap paygo plans. Had a tracfone candy bar phone and plan for several years, tmobile prepaid gold rewards $10 a year. Platinumtel until they surprisingly went out of business. And used truphone for several years getting by.
The turning point for me was ringplus. That allowed me to be free with data and paygo costs. Very thankful.for the ringplus days and miss them despite the issues. Now everything is so much cheaper and easier to manage with. I am spolit and spend too much on phones.
Aah, my first cell phone was a Virgin Mobile dumb phone. Best part – the phone was free after mail-in rebate. And – it had $10 of free calling on it. Loved that phone because it was free!
Stayed on Virgin Mobile prepaid for many years because of these freebies.
VirginMobile Prepaid was 10 cents a minute, $25 top-up every 3 months. I didn't use the minutes much so I accumulated a large balance over the years. Found it hard to use up the balance before moving to RingPlus and those wonderful, wonderful RingPlus free plans!
Edit - That free VirginMobile phone also served as a place holder on RingPlus, as I jumped from one free R+ plan to the next! Yeah, sure miss the RingPlus circus!!
LOL We happily did without a phone at all from 1985 till 2008. Between puddle jumps, while gunk-holing, we would dinghy in to the nearest island while cruising, on the 1 or 2 days a week when the island generator was on for 3 or 4 hours and wait in line with everyone else on the island to call the family. In 2008 when we returned to the USA, the kids twisted our arms to finally get our first cell phone . Usage was kept to a bare minimum cause each t-mobile prepaid minute cost $.10