Switching from Verizon to Millenicom for our data plan

In our last update we made mention that we are looking at changing the way we get access to the internet.

When we first hit the road in late 2012 we were spending right at $130 per month for internet and phone service combined with Verizon. That was an unlimited voice and text and I think 4GB of data.

And due to a few reasons such as camping at places that do not provide Wi-Fi and our increasing use of internet data we have grown to a 12GB plan and our monthly bill has grown to $165 and it just kills me to think we pay that much for a phone that we really hardy ever use and internet access.

We never thought about how much data we used in the sticks & bricks because it was all unlimited. And when we first signed up for our 4GB Wi-Fi plan I never thought we would be using as much data online as we do now but, we do LOL!!

A big part of the data we use is keeping up with this blog. Uploading pictures eats it up a little faster than I thought. Plus we are not really computer literate and I’m sure there are updates and who knows what else going on behind the scenes on our computers that we are not controlling correctly (every time my computer takes control and shuts me down because of a update I yell out how much I hate Bill Gates!) And of course every time you watch a small video clip which is everywhere online anymore you start eating away at your allotted data and before you know it- BAM- your increasing your data plan. I think we have increased ours 3 times since we have been on the road.

And it’s easy to do because you start saying hey, it’s only another $10. Then the next time you say hey, it’s only $10. And on and on and on until before you know it your spending more than you want to. At that point you either just live with it and shut up or do something about it. We have decided to do something about it.

One option is to just cut back on our computer use. But we (I) don’t want to do that so the only other option is to find a cheaper provider. And it sure wouldn’t hurt if we could get MORE for LESS. Tough to do you say? Well maybe but it IS doable.

The answer to our problem is a company called Millenicom.

Even though they won’t come right out and say it they are a reseller of Verizon data. Sort of like Expedia buying up huge blocks of rooms from hotels and then reselling them to the public.

And one thing is for sure, we want to remain on the Verizon coverage areas. In my mind they have the best coverage throughout the USA and has always served us well so it should work for us. We don’t care who we make the payment to.

verizon-4g-coverage-area-4[1]

One thing we like about Millenicom is there are no long term contracts. They only do month-to-month deals. Once you buy the device you can stop it at any time, plus you can even suspend service and place it “on vacation” for 3 months out of any year.

The current plan they offer is a 3G/4G Verizon hotspot capability with a “mifi”-like device (Pantech MiFi 291). Most commonly known as a Jetpack. It is a combination wireless router/aircard and they offer 20 gigabytes of 4G data for $69.99 per month. And NO EXTRA FEE”S. It’s just a flat $69.99 per month.

Millenicom is only an internet data supplier and has no offerings for phone service so for now we will just keep out Verizon phone service for $60 per month that will give us unlimited talk and text and 1 GB of data that can be used on our smartphone.

This change will take our combined phone and internet bill from $165 per month to $129.99 per month and we will go from 12GB of available data to 20GB (well 21 if you count the phone). A $35 per month savings. So there you have it, MORE for LESS!! You can’t do that very often now a days.

Now the downside. Even though we have a Verizon compatible hot spot devise Mellenicom requires you to buy a device from them for $99.99. Then there is a $49.99 activation fee and a $15 shipping fee. So a $164.98 startup cost.

Even with the initial cost of $164.98 we will break even with our $35 per month savings in just 5 months and then the savings can begin. It just makes sense to do.

Our Verizon contract is up in May and we will be making the switch at that time. I’m sure we will do an update on haw that goes.

We know it’s only $35 per month or $420 per year but hey,,, its 1 full tank of fuel per year in the motorhome, or 6 months’ worth of Jacks dog food, or one month’s worth of our eating in food budget, or 6 months of our Direct TV bill, or ½ of our internet access bill per month, or,,,, well you get the idea LOL!!

Here is a link for Millenicom in case you’re interested. http://millenicom.com/

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18 Responses to Switching from Verizon to Millenicom for our data plan

  1. Been thinkin’ of doing the same Dave…curious to hear how the Millinicom device ends up workin’ for ya!

  2. Dave we will be following your posts on how you like the Millinicom service. We currently have Verizon phone and unlimited data service because we got in before they changed the plans a few years ago. Our phones won’t last forever, however, so this sounds like an alternative to look into.

  3. Lar says:

    Well, eating all that free greasy food at the Lazy Day old folks park hasn’t deterriated your analytical mind one little bit. Always interesting to read your in depth calculations and research. You really save your friends a lot of time, they should be chipping in on your data cost. Had you thought of that? Just to show you I am still a little bit cheaper than you, LOL.
    Hope the new coach comes ready to hit the road. We sure have had some great ridding weather here.

    • Dave & Diane says:

      LOL!! Thanks Lar. I think I will always be the analytical type. I enjoy it to much. As far as staying sharp, well I will admit that sitting here getting fat has started to fog the brain a little. In fact Diane and I both have sworn off the Crown Club for a couple weeks along with all sugar, flour and wheat items. I will tell more about that in a update LOL!! Won’t that be exciting.

  4. Ingrid says:

    We’ve been very pleased with Millenicom and find it provides a strong signal and thus far don’t feel we need a boost. Enjoy 🙂

  5. I’ve been wondering what internet to use when we fulltime. I’ll be following your posts to see how you like Millenicon. Thank for sharing

  6. Bill and Nancy says:

    We made the switch to Millenicom in January 2013 and have been VERY pleased!! We had a problem once and called them. A real live person answered the phone, on a Sunday, and had us fixed up and running in about 5 minutes!! When the real live person answered, I was shocked…expected the “Press 1 for this or Press 2 for that” runaround. He told us someone will answer the phone 24-7 365 days per year!!! We ordered our jetpack the month before the Verizon Contract was up to be sure we were happy. We were happy and cancelled Verizon the day our contract ended:o))

    • Dave & Diane says:

      That’s good new!! We have ready many reports of happy customers. What did you end up doing for cell service?

      • Bill and Nancy says:

        We only have a “Dumb” phone so we kept our Verizon 450 minute plan which costs us $40 per month. We really don’t use our phone much;o)) We have never gone over our monthly minutes!!

  7. Kyra says:

    I’ve been a Millenicom customer since I bought my MH in April 2012. I started with the Advanced plan, 3G speed and 20G data using the USB760 aircard. Worked great, but recently I’ve been comparing the 3G footprint to the 4G footprint, and 4G is better coverage. I upgraded to the Pantech 4G mifi device about 2 or 3 months ago. I stream a lot of video so I have to be really careful to downgrade the video quality or I’ll hit my 20G limit before month’s end. It’s easy to check your usage on the device.
    I use a phone from Straightalk, unlimited talk, text, and data for $45/month plus $6 worth of taxes. Straightalk is a reseller of voice similiar to Millenicom is a reseller of data. I’m sure if you burned through alot of data Straightalk would throttle you.same as all the major carriers do. Depending which phone you pick, you’ll be on the Verizon or ATT or Sprint network. To pick a Verizon phone, check the box for the Verizon coverage map. Straightalk coverage is supposed to be identical to Verizon, but I have been in a few areas where I’ll have a screaming fast data connecion on my Millenicom device, and NO signal on the Straightalk phone. I’m guessing those areas towers belonged to other carriers’, that Straightalk didn’t have a roaming agreement with. It rarely was a problem for me. If I thought it was, I would buy a cheapo ATT pay-as-you-go phone.
    Sorry for the long response! I think you will be happy with Millenicom.

    • Dave & Diane says:

      That all sounds great!! I think we will probably stay with Verizon for our phone. I have gone back and found we normally use just over 1/2 GB of data on the phone so the 1GB and unlimited voice and text will work fine I think.
      I think I will take Bill and Nancy’s advice and order the Millenicom hardware so we receive it next month and make sure everything works well before I shut off the Verizon data mid May.
      Hope all is well!!

    • John Adams says:

      We use Straight Talk and one problem could be that Straight Talk limits you to 3G data, 2.5 gig per 30 days. The 3G could affect talk,?, but I don’t know. After 2.5 gig the speed can drop to 2G or 1X. The SIM card in our Straight Talk Samsung SIII is even stamped “3G”. If your current Verizon phone is 2years old and out of contract, my understanding is, that as of 2014, Verizon will unlock the phone. Then you can just get a SIM card from Straight Talk. If you buy a phone, in the lower left corner of the box will be CDMA-V for Verizon. As far as a SIM card, pick a zip code like Jamestown, TN, which has no AT&T service and no CDMA except Verizon. We had to buy a phone and used Walmart Site to Store to to try to order a Samsung SII. We used the zip code for the store , which only had S.Talk CDMA-V phones and we were sent an AT&T, GSM phone. Just took it from one desk to the other and got a refund. Then we just bought the SIII from the store. We rolled our number over to the new phone with no problem. Monthly price drops to $42 if you pay for 3 months at a time.

  8. Great post, Dave, as usual. As far as data is concerned, you have obviously come to the same conclusions as others regarding data. In case you haven’t seen it, here is a link to another in-depth analysis/conclusion regarding data plans. http://www.wheelingit.us/2012/11/04/internet-connectivity-on-the-road-our-new-rockin-no-contract-4g-upgrade/. Wheelin It also did a similar in-depth analysis of phone service and like some of the replies that have already been left here, as you can see from the following link they, too, decided on Straight Talk for their phone. Here is a link to their post regarding cell phone service. http://www.wheelingit.us/2013/05/12/cheap-cellphone-service-with-straight-talk-saving-severing-verizon-ties/. If you haven’t seen these sites, although we are sure you have, we hope they help. Thanks, again, for taking the time to share the results of your analysis.

    So, is everything still on track for your coach to arrive this week?

    • Dave & Diane says:

      Thanks guys! Yes, the Wheeling-it blog was a good read on the topic for sure. They always do a great job. Linda and Howard’s blog RV-dream’s was also very helpful along with a couple others I ran across. I should post links to them in our next update.
      We will to need to give switching to Straight Talk a lot of thought. We want to keep a smart phone and our phone number.
      Our coach is sitting at Tiffin just waiting for a driver, I guess they are short handed. I talked to Bob Tiffin yesterday and he thought they would have a driver by today and it could be here at Lazy Days by Thursday. Time will tell.

  9. Barbara says:

    Dave/Diane:
    When your Verizon contract ends in May I HIGHLY recommend a company called PagePlus (and specifically a rep named Reed, he is at the link below….he has been SO helpful in the whole process of switching from Verizon to PagePlus….he made it pretty darn easy) I went through a long process of learning all the ends and outs of cell vs. data and how to have more data while on the road and I also wanted to stay on the verizon network which you can with PagePlus. Check out this link and if you want more information i would be happy to help, just email me.
    http://www.pageplusdirect.com/

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