We all love our gadgets (mobile phones, tablets, laptops, etc) and we spend a lot of time communicating with the world trough these marvelous machines every day. Gone are the days when mobile phones were only capable of making and receiving phone calls. Nowadays it seems so mundane to receive or send huge amounts of data with these little gadgets, making a video call, checking your Facebook or watching a video in any of these gadgets, has become part of our daily schedule. How this came to be is a question that almost no one bothers to ask, but why I’m paying more for my communication services now than a few years ago is a question that comes to our heads every month when we receive our service provider statement of charges. Apparently the service providers always have the right answers whether you like it or not. They will argue that you exceeded your monthly limit (voice or data) and that they sent you a detailed report to prove it. But that’s not all. They will also suggest you change for a monthly plan that will suit your wallet or your thirst for data. At the end you will always end up paying more for those bad habits they quietly implanted in our modern society.
A little change in your habits will put a lot of money in your pocket. Yours or your provider’s bank account?
The magic word is “Wi-Fi”. Every day more and more restaurants, coffee shops and public places are providing free Internet access. Schools, universities and even most of people workplaces have a Wi-Fi connection to the Internet so why don’t we take advantage of this situation?
Also you should be aware that there are some applications available on Android’s Google Play and on Apple’s Apps Store that will allow you over Wi-Fi, 3G, 4G networks to make and receive calls, text, even some of them will provide you with your own local telephone number, voice mail, call display, conference call, call transfer and the list goes on and on and all this for free. We spend countless hours looking for the best ones up to date.
To start saving money on your mobile communications the most important thing is to make sure that your communication device gives you access to the Internet and preferably it’s OS (Operating System) by Google’s Android or Apple’s iOS. Most of us already own a Smartphone, tablet or even an iPod Touch so we are already half way there. For those of you who don’t own one yet, you can get a decent unlocked one for less than 200$ online. Once you get your communication device, go and download the applications that we recommend on our “Best Communications Apps” list.
Here are the best solutions to save money on your mobile communications:
1. The Wi-Fi only solution
See if you have Wi-Fi connection in those places where you spend most of your time (home, work, school, etc) and make a list of public places that provide free Wi-Fi connection in your surroundings (restaurants, coffee shops, libraries, etc). You will be able to place and receive calls and texts (SMS) but only once you reach one of these places mentioned above.
– No contracts or payments at all.
– You will miss your calls while you are moving from one of these places to another but you will be able to check your messages once you get a Wi-Fi connection back.
2. Wi-Fi + Pay as you go solution.
(Only for mobile phones or tablets that accept SIM cards)
Try to get the less expensive Voice Only or Pay as You Go plan. Service providers always includes a local telephone number with these plans and I have seen such plans for as low as 15$ for 200 minutes a month. Since you will use this plan only when you’ll be out of reach of a Wi-Fi connection do not make public this telephone number provided on your plan. As I mentioned before there are free applications that will include free phone numbers and free call transfer among many other services, what you need to do is to make public your application’s phone number and transfer it to the number that you got from your service provider as needed so you will be reachable all the time.
– You won’t miss any calls.
– Very affordable
– You can make an emergency call even when out of reach of a Wi-Fi connection.
– It is not 100% free
– Even if it takes a few seconds you need to transfer your calls manually on the application.
3 – The Wi-Fi + data solution.
(Only for mobile phones and tablets with 3G and 4G enabled.)
Most of today’s mobile phones come with at least the 3G network enabled but what you really want is a device that will run on the newest and fastest 4G network. Since 2012 the majority or mobile phones sold around the world are 4G enabled. Though 4G enabled devices are expensive you can still get them 2nd hand and unlocked for less than 400$ online but chances are that if you’re already in a long term contract with a major service provider your device is already 4G enabled. 1 gigabyte of data will give you about 2000 minutes of voice call, more than enough to suit your needs while you are not connected to Wi-Fi. (1 minute call = 0.5 megabytes so 1 gigabyte = 2000 minutes). Service providers will make it very difficult for you to find a data only plan for your mobile phone though they offer several data only plans for tablets. If you are lucky enough to find a service provider that will offer you a data only plan for your mobile phone, go for it, but if there is no way that you can get this option just drop the little candies that often come with your voice plan (voice mail, call waiting, call display, etc) you will get them in your application for free anyway. Remember that you will use your data only when you’re out of reach of a Wi-Fi connection. Your device will switch by itself as soon as it reaches a Wi-Fi connection that is already registered in its memory.
– Several call minutes and texts (SMS) while not connected to Wi-Fi.
– Full connection to the Internet as needed.
– It is the most expensive of them all.
Again don’t forget to visit our “Best Communications Apps” section to get detailed information on the applications that you should use in your device.
In today’s society it seems impossible or will sound like a myth if you hear of someone that doesn’t own a mobile phone or any other device to connect to the Internet. Some people might feel anguished, like been mentally tortured to agony, if they are not “online” or if they are separated from their devices for more than 24 hours. It’s like their world (Facebook, YouTube, Tweeter, e-mails…) disappeared. The big telecommunication companies know about this addiction that has become a real necessity for the new society’s proper functioning. Your service provider will always try to calm your urges and you should be ready to pay for that. It is up to us to change all that.
Remember that “A little change in your habits will put a lot of money in your pocket”.