John wants to know if an Alcatel tablet will be good for streaming video. He can get one for cheap from T-Mobile. Leo says the price may indicate a subsidized two-year contract. And if he's going to do that, AT&T is currently offering a free tablet with a two-year commitment. Stream it from the store to see. If he can get it out the door for that price, it'll also work with MINT, an MVNO that offers T-Mobile service for less.
Tracey's husband has retired and they've bought a travel trailer to see the sights. But they quickly surpass their data caps on their mobile devices and is looking for an alternative. Leo says that you can buy a larger data plan. It really comes down to how much data you need from month to month. Part of Tracey's problem is she has three kids who are also on the plan. So they blow through 22 GB is days. Using a satellite dish is possible, but you have to aim it every time you stop, the gear is expensive, and the caps are small and slow. But Exceed by Wild Blue is the best.
Pete still has the unlimited data plan with AT&T and they're trying to get him to give it up. He uses about 60GB a month and he doesn't want to give it up because they watch a lot of video. AT&T has a cheaper unlimited data plan now, and he's thinking of moving to it.
Wes's laptop died after he dropped it last week and he got a Windows Surface tablet. He got it with LTE and found out within a few days that he had used all of his data. Leo says there's got to be an app that is phoning home and eating up data. It could be that his tablet tried to download all of his mail at once. When he first set it up, it likely downloaded updates as well. Windows Threshold is a 3GB update all by itself. And then toss in other apps, and it's likely that's what happened.
Jack is getting his first smartphone with a data plan. Which plan should he get? Leo says that rule of thumb is, unless he's watching a lot of video, he's probably only going to go through 3-4 GB a month. Is 40GB too much of a plan? Leo says he doesn't know of such a plan and it could be that he's confusing throughput with data caps. He should check the website for their available plans.
Dennis has a really old dial telephone that he still uses and needs to upgrade to a new phone. Leo says don't! It's so old that it's new again. Leo bought one and converted it to a cell phone. But Dennis needs to move to a cell phone anyway. He doesn't want to spend a lot, though. Leo says that if he's willing to sign up for two years, he can get a free phone. The real cost is in the data plan.
Rene wants to cancel her wireless service and just use Wi-Fi to make phone calls. She also wants to just buy a data plan and use VOIP to make calls, but she can't seem to do that. Leo says one way is with Skype. She can Skype out/In. She even get a regular phone number through that. Tango, Viber and Line can also do it.
Matt says that he had his unlimited data plan saved by a guy at the Verizon store by adding a line for $10 a month. Then he'd have a "dummy phone" associated with it.
Mark has a FLIR attachment for an iPhone 5 that does thermal imaging. Can he use it on a phone without a data plan? Leo says it should work, unless it requires data in the app. But it's worth a try. Gazelle sells used iPhones. He'll probably have to have an iPhone 5 or later though.
(Disclaimer: Gazelle is a sponsor)
Mark still has the AT&T Unlimited data plan, but it's so expensive. Should he just keep it or downgrade to a smaller, more limited plan. Leo says that the CEO of AT&T is on record sharing his regret that he ever offered that option. But they've now incentivized enough to get people to give it up. It may be you can save money by giving it up, but they don't want to make it easy to give you the best deal. Leo advises going to the AT&T store and asking a salesmen to walk you through the options because you're thinking of jumping ship.