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Dropping AT&T for Twilio

Discussion in 'Off Topic Area- Community Forum' started by Matt, Jan 9, 2017.

  1. Matt

    Matt Administrator Staff Member

    My AT&T iPhone has been bugging me, despite it having that super unlimited data plan, I was paying $80 per month for a phone that I wasn't really using (as a phone) and it was time to make some changes.

    I'd already bought a Project Fi phone, which costs $20 per month plus $10 per gig of data. I like it because (when it works) the international roaming and data is great, and there's no fussing. Basically I've been wandering around with two phones on me, paying two bills, since that move.

    Last week I ported my number from AT&T to Twilio, where I'm paying $1 per month for a number, and I pay some forwarding charges if anyone is to call me on the old number. Twilio is a pretty amazing piece of technology, and if you are techy, you can do a lot with it.

    Screen Shot 2017-01-09 at 5.02.06 PM.png

    Screen Shot 2017-01-09 at 5.04.07 PM.png

    If you see the "Red Plus" icon above, this is where you edit the reaction. It's programmable, so you could make it read a message, push the call to a new number, or any number of fancy phone like things.

    Here's a list of 'Verbs' that can execute commands, to see if there's anything interesting there:

    Screen Shot 2017-01-09 at 5.06.57 PM.png

    The syntax of the code is pretty clean and easy, for example, to forward to the new phone:

    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
    It also allows you to forward SMS messages:

    <Message to="+12065551212">{{From}}: {{Body}}</Message>
    With this sort of functionality, you could decide if you want to forward everything, making the transition to the single phone number invisible, or if you'd like to 'auto-respond' with a message like 'hey, I'm changing phones, my new number is 123-456-7890'.

    Overall, I'm really happy with this solution, it works great, keeps my old number, and gets me to take that final step I had of moving away from AT&T. I may in the future pick up a data only SIM for the iPhone I have, or drop the Fi Nexus 5x and make the iPhone my primary phone.

    I also set up click to call tech from within my CRM using this, which is also pretty cool....
  2. lochquel

    lochquel Level 2 Member

    Interesting stuff. It makes me think of Google Voice, but with obviously a lot more to tinker with under the hood. Very interesting.
  3. Andres

    Andres Level 2 Member

    Matt, you are better off with Cricket Wireless than Project Fi. I pay $30 (taxes and fees included) and I have unlimited talk/text + 8 GB of LTE data (after the 8 GB, it slows down to 2G speeds). Granted, you need to have your number in an account that has 5 lines. But that is pretty easy to join a Cricket group (PM me if you need the details).

    If you don't trust someone else with your phone number, just port it to Google Voice, and then set up a new phone number with Cricket Wireless. Forward the calls to that new phone number and you are set. No risk of losing your phone to a Cricket Group relationship gone bad, since your "real" phone number is safe with Google. It cost $20 to port to Google, but if you want to port it out later, there is no cost. I recommend parking the phone number with Google anyways. That way, you don't have to port phone numbers ever again (unless Google kills this) when you switch carriers. Just get a new phone number with the new carrier, and change the forwarding number in Google Voice. Some times porting a number out is easy, sometimes it is a pain.

    Plus, you get up to $250 in referral credits per year. Add to that that Target sells Cricket refill cards at 10% discount (14.5% with a RedCard or RedBird) regularly, and Cricket is impossible to beat.

    Cricket Wireless uses AT&T towers (not all LTE bands of course), it caps your LTE speed to 8MBps (although I'm measuring closer to 10 MBps), and some people have issues with MMS.
  4. Matt

    Matt Administrator Staff Member

    How's International talk, text and data?
  5. Andres

    Andres Level 2 Member

    Cricket doesn't offer international talk/text. I believe you can make calls in Mexico and Canada to the US, so you have roaming in those 2 countries. What my parents do is that they use Google Voice for making international calls at $0.02/minute for landlines and I believe $0.07/minute for cellphones.

    If you make a lot of international calls, then those cents can add up and you might be better off using H2O wireless, which offers international talk to 50+ countries, and also uses the AT&T towers. The tradeoff is that you get a lot less LTE data with H2O. For example, for $30 ($27 with autopay) you get 1GB LTE data, and unlimited talk/text. You can make unlimited international calls to a list of countries, but you can only call 10 phone numbers during a month (or billing cycle, not sure). Also, after 1 hour, the international call drops, and you have to redial, which is something to consider with your decision.

    Another thing is that some people have issues with MMS and data with H2O. The solution requires you edit the phone APN settings, which is easy to do in Android, as these settings are available for editing. With iOS, the problem is that you can't edit APN settings unless the phone is jailbroken. And there are no jailbreaks available for iOS 10+ as of today. So if you have an iPhone, it might be a problem. I read that apparently the "Smart SIM" kit correctly configures the APN settings for an iPhone. You can get one in Amazon for cheap. Walmart has a nice sale of these SIM that include the first month of service:

    https://www.walmart.com/search/?query=H2O smart sim
    Some people have bought multiples of these SIM because apparently they don't expire. So they activate one SIM each month, thus having H2O 1GB unlimited talk/text for ~$5/month. I should probably jump on that deal too.

    Note that I haven't tried H2O. I am considering it for my parents because they make international calls and might save money, and they don't use a lot of LTE data anyways. So H2O might be a better fit for them.
  6. Matt

    Matt Administrator Staff Member

    Not better in my case then.

    I want a phone that will allow me to go anywhere and not worry about data limits or costs. This means when I get off a plane I grab an Uber, or use google maps on a hire car, or call the hotel. Fi gives me this.

    Additionally, calling from the US is acceptable. Overall, the price is good, but the value is better.
  7. Josh000

    Josh000 Level 2 Member

    Sprint has a deal for 1 yr free service ($3.24 in taxes/month for me in TX). Unlimited everything. No contracts, can opt out if the service sucks in your area. I've heard Sprint also has a free 2g overseas ala t-mobile, but I haven't used it yet. The service so far hasn't been worse than tmobile, minus the ability to talk and surf at the same time.


    There is also a deal for 25K AA miles when switching to sprint, which may or may not stack. The terms say it won't stack, but ymmv.


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