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Author Topic: Consumer Cellular  (Read 818 times)


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Consumer Cellular
« on: March 12, 2017, 09:59:22 PM »
I remember reading (here?) that there are basically only 4 cell cervices, and all other providers use the towers, etc from one of these four services.  It also said that Consumer Cellular used the AT&T network.
Is this true?

I have AT&T, as it provides the best local coverage.  It has worked well for us for 20 years.

As I understand, if I switch to Consumer Cellular (CC), I will send my payments to a different company, but I can keep my current phone and current number (confirmed by CC).  I will be accessing the same network with the same coverage area, the same quality of voice and data, but paying half the price.

Before I make the move, I wanted to make sure I am not jumping from the frying pan into the fire. 

Your comments are appreciated.
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Re: Consumer Cellular
« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2017, 10:14:02 PM »
Consumer Cellular is a postpaid Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) that contracts with AT&T and T-Mobile to use their towers, so the information you've been given should be accurate.
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Re: Consumer Cellular
« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2017, 05:23:05 AM »
Not true.  I did quite a lot of research on this subject a month or so ago.  I can only speak for Verizon service, as that is what I was looking for.  Some of the other providers (MVNO) do not have the same coverage area as the big 4.  There are gaps in their coverage locations that aren't there with the big 4.  And, to add insult to injury, many times they restrict download speeds to 5 meg.  My present Verizon service (4G LTE) is 7 to 8 Times that fast (35 to 40 megs down) most of the time.  Don't confuse download speeds with data caps (the amount of data that you are allowed to use per billing period).  Throttling down your download speeds is definitely something to consider if you like for web pages to load quickly and especially if you spend time streaming for movies, TV, etc.  Their prices look attractive, and they are, as long as you are comfortable with their throttled download speeds and coverage that many times does NOT offer the same coverage as the big 4 does.  And now you know.

An example that I saw was the Bowling Green, KY area.  Verizon is rock solid in that area, the MVNO that I was looking at had absolutely ZERO coverage in an approx. 50 mile radius around Bowling Green....simply not acceptable for me.  The icing on the cake was sketchy coverage at my house.....maybe service, maybe not.  Again, Verizon is rock solid there.
« Last Edit: March 13, 2017, 05:31:01 AM by xrated »
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Re: Consumer Cellular
« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2017, 07:09:09 AM »
What's your phone usage like (i.e. do you need unlimited everything?) and what's your main goal?  Talking, texting, data, all three, how much & how fast?  Depending on your answers, I'd also suggest Tracfone.  There have been lots of previous discussions here on their prepaid service.  That's what I use on my secondary/backup cell phone for work, and I think I average around $10/month in costs... a $100 service card once per year, and I add more texts as needed ($5 for 1000) every few months.

Our primary home cell phone is prepaid through Boost Mobile, a Sprint company.   I pay $30/month for that one, unlimited talk/text and 5GB data monthly.  We never get anywhere close to using the data allowance, since the phone is almost always connected to wifi at home and Boost doesn't subtract data for streaming music services (which we use a lot).  Plus I very much dislike using phones to browse the internet.
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Larry N.

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Re: Consumer Cellular
« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2017, 08:26:17 AM »
I will be accessing the same network with the same coverage area, the same quality of voice and data,

That's true, though the data amount (max) may be less, depending on your current plan. We've had Consumer Cellular for several years, and it does, in fact, use the AT&T network -- coverage is excellent, though there are a few places (the middle of Yellowstone, for example) where there's no coverage, but that's true of all the services. So your phone(s) should work just fine. I have 4G (LTE) service a large part of the time. You do need to check on data capacity for the plan to see if it meets your needs, but the 1.5 GB/month in my plan is a lot more than I have ever used. One thousand talk minutes a month, unlimited texting, 1.5 GB data and two lines are running me (after AARP discount) $57/month, including taxes, fees, etc. There are other plans, but check the plans (both data and voice) available on their website to see if one meets your needs.

xrated's comment about Verizon doesn't apply for an AT&T phone, but I didn't know CC did Verizon-compatible phones.
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Ernie n Tara

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Re: Consumer Cellular
« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2017, 08:55:42 AM »
^^^^^^^what he said. We've had CC for several years and it entirely satisfies our minimal requirements.

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Re: Consumer Cellular
« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2017, 12:43:12 PM »
We have had Consumer Cellular for a couple of years.
We have been pretty happy with it. The only "problem" is that reception depends on ATT signal availability.
We live in an area where ATT service is pretty poor.
But we are now paying half what ATT was charging us for the same services.

CC will send you a new SIM card to replace in your ATT phone.

Their data service is somewhat limited, but call and text plans are great

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Re: Consumer Cellular
« Reply #7 on: March 13, 2017, 07:15:06 PM »
Thanks all.

X-Rated - comments on data speed are noted.  Thanks.

Larry- I have AT&T phones, not Verizon.  Mine are compatible.  Not sure about Verizon phones.

CC users - Thanks for your comments.
Preacher Gordon, DW Debbie
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Re: Consumer Cellular
« Reply #8 on: March 21, 2017, 10:39:46 PM »
The wife and I have CC for several years. CC is the most gracious, user friendly provider we have ever used. You can change your plan in the middle of the pay period, by internet of phone. No GOTCHAS, just friendly service. If AT&T works for you, then CC will work for you at a reduced rate. Go for it.

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