Cell Phones

Does anyone have a data-only plan and just use a VoIP app for calling and texting?

  • Last Updated:
  • Oct 26th, 2020 1:09 pm

Poll: Do you still have a cell plan?

  • Total votes: 9. You have voted on this poll.
Yes, still using a full service cellular plan
 
3
33%
Yes, but plan to make the switch
 
1
11%
No, already switched to data plan + VoIP
 
5
56%
[OP]
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Jul 13, 2014
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Parry Sound

Does anyone have a data-only plan and just use a VoIP app for calling and texting?

Why do cellular plans even exist anymore?

What are the pros and cons of ditching my full service cell plan for a data only plan and using some kind of VoIP service for calls/texts?

Why hasn't VoIP made cell plans obsolete like they've done to landlines?
This message has been approved by the Office of the Mayor of Toronto.
12 replies
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2011
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Center of Universe
VoIP isn't reliable and quality is a hit or miss.
VoLTE is the way to go, but for some reason it's not fully adopted yet.
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Jun 13, 2010
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GTA
Landlines aren't obsolete. There are still places where cell service is unreliable/unavailable.
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Jun 11, 2001
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I sorta... I have the cheapest prepaid plan in from Public Mobile. I really don't talk too much on my phone and txtmsg for 95% of my communications. Plan is like $13/mth, I get unlimited txting and 250mb (YES MB haha!) data... something like really low in talk mins as well which I really don't even use besides checking voicemail. I added 1GB data for emergencies but really hardly use it. If I need to use mobile data for extended period of time I just use my corporate phone since it has unlimited data... or I use it as an access point and use my personal phone when I want to use a certain app on my phone one.
...zzz...zzz...zzz...

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Jan 9, 2011
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Vancouver
MayorOfToronto wrote: Why do cellular plans even exist anymore?

What are the pros and cons of ditching my full service cell plan for a data only plan and using some kind of VoIP service for calls/texts?

Why hasn't VoIP made cell plans obsolete like they've done to landlines?
I ask this all the time on RFD. I pay $11.67/month all in for 4GB of data with Fido, and unlimited Canada-wide calling and SMS with Fongo.

There are a few drawbacks:
1. VoIP is less reliable than plain old cell service, so sometimes incoming calls don’t ring and go straight to voice mail.
2. Calls drop when moving between Wifi and cellular data networks.
3. Short Code SMS does not work with Fongo, so many automated verifications systems do not work. I can’t register my Fongo phone number with Apple, so people can’t find me on FaceTime and iMessage if they only have my phone number.

Are these things annoying? A little, yes. Is putting up with them worth paying $11.67 compared to $55 or $60? Absolutely. I concede that plain old cell service is better than VoIP for voice calling and SMS. But it’s not five-times-the-price better.
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Nov 14, 2003
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Gotham
I think normal cellular plans do not need to exist anymore but the technology isn't totally reliable for most people to make the move with confidence. VoIP isn't perfect and it's not that convenient for many to switch. Cost is usually a driver but if it doesn't work, even free is not attractive.

I've been using a free US Google Voice Voip number for over ten years. For most of the time, it was in conjunction with a regular US cellphone number, which was required. Since 2018, the requirement of a US cell phone number was removed. Of all of the VoIP services that I've used/tested, GV is the most reliable. The issues that @Kiraly experiences with Fongo doesn't happen with GV. My phone always rings, switching between cellular and WiFi and vice versa never drops the call, short codes work with most services. I don't use iphone so can't comment about registering it with Apple. However, it works for WhatsApp and WeChat for me though. The downside is that it cannot sent text message outside of the US or Canada. It can receive text messages from outside of these countries though.

About four years ago, I got rid of my Canadian cell phone line because I felt I could rely on GV exclusively. I find the best thing is only having to remember one number and having it ring wherever I am in the world. I spent half the year outside of the country last year and I never had to worry about roaming charges or figuring out if I had received any calls or texts. This was very convenient for me and worth every penny that I pay for GV. Winking Face

The only issues that I have faced without a Canadian number are the banks and the government - because of my number, they do not think I reside in Canada. I had to get a Canadian (VoIP) number for this reason. I'm actually thinking about getting a Canadian number through a provider again because they have come down in price lately. I think mobile providers understand this competition and will continue to reduce the cost of basic service and implement services, like VoLTE, to compete and provide better service. If I could use a Canadian number/service worldwide for a reasonable cost, I would. However, this doesn't really exist at the moment.
Sr. Member
Oct 27, 2016
945 posts
476 upvotes
GTA
I used to do this for about 2yrs using fido LTE data / wifi and voipms. Its cheap and it works. But lately i got 100% discount from fido for 2yrs, so i switch to cheapest Public Mobile. In 5yrs or so, my PM plan will drop down to 8$ so i think its a good tradeoff.
Last edited by ryanrudolf on Oct 25th, 2020 5:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
______________________________________________________________________________________________

cheap phone bill = Public Mobile 13$ + 3GB data only eSIM plan 0$ + Google Pixel 3a XL
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Nov 14, 2003
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ryanrudolf wrote: I used to do this for about 2yrs using LTE data / wifi and voipms. Its cheap and it works. But lately i got 100% discount from fido for 2yrs, so i switch to cheapest Public Mobile. In 5yrs or so, my PM plan will drop down to 8$ so i think its a good tradeoff.
That's insanely awesome! How do you get free Fido?
Sr. Member
Oct 27, 2016
945 posts
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GTA
batcave wrote: That's insanely awesome! How do you get free Fido?
Forgot to mention, its 100% discount fido LTE data. I chatted them and asked nicely.
______________________________________________________________________________________________

cheap phone bill = Public Mobile 13$ + 3GB data only eSIM plan 0$ + Google Pixel 3a XL
Sr. Member
Nov 30, 2016
884 posts
1121 upvotes
Mississauga
Kiraly wrote: I ask this all the time on RFD. I pay $11.67/month all in for 4GB of data with Fido, and unlimited Canada-wide calling and SMS with Fongo.

There are a few drawbacks:
1. VoIP is less reliable than plain old cell service, so sometimes incoming calls don’t ring and go straight to voice mail.
2. Calls drop when moving between Wifi and cellular data networks.
3. Short Code SMS does not work with Fongo, so many automated verifications systems do not work. I can’t register my Fongo phone number with Apple, so people can’t find me on FaceTime and iMessage if they only have my phone number.

Are these things annoying? A little, yes. Is putting up with them worth paying $11.67 compared to $55 or $60? Absolutely. I concede that plain old cell service is better than VoIP for voice calling and SMS. But it’s not five-times-the-price better.
This covers everything. This was my setup as well, until I got a job that covers my cell plan. I had no regrets. Too bad you can't forward Fongo to GV, that would have been awesome
Sr. Member
Nov 30, 2016
884 posts
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Mississauga
BTW, if you go with the Fido data only plan, you can always use your data sim for registering with banks and other sites that require sms verification. Your VoIP number can then be listed as a backup number
Deal Addict
May 7, 2012
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Gangsta101 wrote: BTW, if you go with the Fido data only plan, you can always use your data sim for registering with banks and other sites that require sms verification. Your VoIP number can then be listed as a backup number
Careful - there's no SMS (or calling) on the newer 4GB plans. I doubt that they'll receive non-Fido codes. Mine doesn't.
Sr. Member
Nov 30, 2016
884 posts
1121 upvotes
Mississauga
gameon12 wrote: Careful - there's no SMS (or calling) on the newer 4GB plans. I doubt that they'll receive non-Fido codes. Mine doesn't.
Thanks for pointing that out. I had the older 3GB/$15 plan and made the comment based on that.

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