data plans

Should I give up my unlimited data plan?

Episode 1147

Mark from Malibu, CA

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.

How can I get GPS data on my laptop?


Episode 1140

Jason from Auburn, ME

Jason uses a logging app that will automatically add GPS data when he creates an entry. It would take something from an external GPS through a com port, which is obviously something his laptop doesn't have. He found an app that allows for GPS over Bluetooth so he can use the app on his laptop. Most laptops have Bluetooth built-in, but the app is looking for that data from a com port. The chatroom recommends the GlobalSat GPS receiver for $35, and it works via USB. They also make USB to Serial port adapters.

Can I buy a new phone and keep my unlimited data plan?

Blackberry Bold

Episode 1106

Alan from Rancho Palos Verdes, CA

Alan still uses a Blackberry Bold and he's keeping it because of his unlimited data. Leo says that if he pays the full price for the phone and it's not being subsidized, chances are he won't lose his data plan. The carrier will try hard to get him to transition off the unlimited plan to a family share plan, but Leo says they'll get him on overage charges. So he should keep it as long as he can. The chatroom says Verizon doesn't consider the Blackberry Bold a smartphone, so he may not be able to keep that unlimited data plan no matter what he does. He also wants to tether to his laptop.

How can I keep my unlimted data plan?

Episode 1003

Tricia from San Diego, CA

Tricia has an iPhone 4S and she wants to keep her unlimited data plan with Verizon. She wants to upgrade to the iPhone 5S, but can she still keep her data plan? Leo says that according to Verizon, she may need to pay full price on the phone in order to keep the unlimited data plan. However if she's really nice and asks them politely, then they may waive the requirement.

Sebastian Harrison

Episode 989

Sebastian Harrison of Cellular Abroad joins Leo to talk about using a smartphone abroad. Most of Leo's friends are geeks and care more about data than making phone calls. Sebastian says that carriers have more solutions that involve not using your service, than using it! Everyone has different needs, but for a smartphone, it makes sense to take out your SIM and use a local SIM which will give you $10 a GB. Leo asks if international roaming is the issue? Sebastian says yes, it is, and it's expensive.

Should I get the Blackberry Z10?

Blackberry Z10

Episode 962

Ron from Israel

Ron wants to know about the Blackberry Z10, but he's concerned about data because his current plan comes with BIS and 5GB. He's concerned that the Z10 will cost him more in data when he travels. Leo says that the Z10 is a good option for those who have to live in the Blackberry universe. Blackberry is moving away from BIS, though, and that's because Blackberry will be moving towards the standard pay for data service.

Is my smart phone using data when I'm listening to FM radio on it?

Samsung Galaxy Note II

Episode 935

Bill from Portsmith, VA

No. A built-in radio uses the headphones as an antenna. He's thinking about upgrading to a Galaxy Note II, but is wondering if that has an FM radio in it. Leo says no, but there are some smart phones that have it.

He's also wondering about using a MiFi to reduce his data costs with a smart phone. Leo says it would be cheaper to just use the data with the Galaxy Note II, but the MiFi would be a handy thing to have for Wi-Fi only devices. The MiFi requires a monthly plan similar to smart phones though as well.