Popular options for cheap cellphone plans include prepaid options from major carriers and third parties that lease service on their towers. Republic Wireless is a popular provider that offers discounted plans by routing voice and text data through Internet connections whenever possible.
Typically, cell service plans in the United States require users to sign a contract, which generally lasts two years. However, the major providers also offer plans that don't require contracts, and these plans are often significantly cheaper. In exchange for two-year contracts, providers offer customers discounts on phones, and most prepaid plans require customers to buy phones outright or purchase slightly discounted models locked to a network.
Another cheap option is third-party plans from smaller providers. Page Plus Cellular, Net10, Consumer Cellular and Freedom Pop are a few of the companies that offer service by leasing access to cell towers built by the main four cell companies. The details of the plans vary significantly, and most offer limited options for new phones.
Republic Wireless is a popular alternative. Its phones can access Sprint towers, but it uses special firmware designed to use wireless Internet access as much as possible instead of using mobile data. For people who do most of their calling in range of a wireless access point, Republic Wireless can be a viable means to save money.