1. mrpuny's Avatar
    With T-Mobile planning to get rid of corporate discounts, I decided it was time to revisit service options. Searching around, I ran across Consumer Cellular, and it looks like it may be a good fit for my wife and I; in fact, for our specific needs, it almost looks too good to be true. I was just wondering if anyone here has any experience to confirm the info I got from their customer rep. I guess I'm just a little paranoid about believing what any rep tells me :-)

    Consumer Cellular is a contract-free, postpaid AT&T MVNO, and it appears they have access to the entire AT&T postpaid network, including LTE and roaming. If true, that's a huge improvement over what we're getting with T-Mobile; I guess this is the main thing I'd like confirmed because it seems like many of the AT&T MVNOs tend to be limited to AT&T prepaid coverage. Out here in the midwest, there are areas we sometimes go where AT&T doesn't have native coverage - actually T-Mobile doesn't either - it's just a regional GSM carrier, so roaming is important. (It's why I went T-Mobile postpaid instead of their prepaid $30 plan.)

    Their max. data plan is only 2GB shared, which is light for many people, but actually should be OK for my wife and I. She tends to use ~0.5 GB per month, and I tend to use 1-1.5 GB, though occasionally go a little higher. I could try to be more careful with data, but interestingly, on the max. data plan, overages are only 1.5c/MB, and the rep claims they only charge for the actual overage amount rounded up to the next MB. So if for example we went 10 MB over the limit, we'd only be charged $0.15, not automatically charged for an extra chunk of data like 300MB or 1GB. If so I can live with that. (Oh, and according to the rep, tethering is OK as well. Granted I hardly ever do that, and there's not a lot of data to work with, but it's a nice option for occasional use.)

    So looking at their plans and our combined usage, I think we could get away with their 500 minute plan ($20/month) + 2GB data plan ($30/month) + 2nd line charge ($10/month) for a total of $60/month. That's $30/month less than we'll be paying on T-Mobile without the corporate discount with better coverage to boot. Even allowing for higher use (more minutes and/or some data overages), it looks like at worst we'd be paying close to the same as T-Mobile but with better network coverage. And better Windows Phone device compatibility since it'll be on the AT&T network.

    I'm really struggling to see a downside here; does anyone know if the above info is legit, or have any other suggestions for MVNOs I should look at?
    palandri and Guytronic like this.
    03-30-2014 10:32 PM
  2. Guytronic's Avatar
    We are on the west coast so coverage of course will be different.
    The plans you've posted up look pretty reasonable.

    As avid RVer's we know a lot of on the road people who swear by CC as an alternative to Verizon as far as cost\coverage.
    I'll say the AT&T cell network has better coverage for out and away locations.
    I say this because when our phones are no service I see others blabbing away and they're always AT&T or Verizon.
    T-Mobile is pretty much dead in the boonies where Verizon and AT&T still get service.

    Based on what other oldsters have told me Consumer is a good option all round.
    Hope this helps a bit being second hand info.
    palandri, Laura Knotek and mrpuny like this.
    03-30-2014 11:42 PM
  3. palandri's Avatar
    Give it a try and see how it works for you. The contract is 30 days and out, so no actual contract.

    I switched back to T-Mobile a year ago. I was paying AT&T $178 a month for two phones, now I pay $118 to T-Mobile for two phones. I realize the limitations of T-Mobile coverage because I've had them in the past, but their coverage is good here in Chicago and their LTE speeds are very good here.
    03-31-2014 09:26 AM
  4. mrpuny's Avatar
    Unless I find out something damning, I'm definitely going to get a CC sim to try out. Won't be immediately, though. My wife and I just took advantage of the recent T-Mobile Lumia 925 deals so it'll be another month+ before we can get them unlocked. I'm not desperate to leave T-Mobile, or even unhappy with them. Price is OK, even without the corporate discount. Funny thing is I didn't even have it that long either. My company must have added it recently because I checked a year ago, and they only had discounts with Verizon, AT&T and Sprint. Just discovered it early this year by accident, so I've only had the discount for a couple of months. :-/

    Service is OK. I live up in Rockford IL, and we get good LTE and HSPA+ service in town. Granted we don't have to go far out to drop down to 2G, but we do get at least voice/text coverage nearly everywhere we go. I wouldn't complain about better rural data coverage, though. Supposedly, T-Mobile is going to be upgrading rural areas over the next year; I'd like to believe that'll happen on schedule.

    And the main area I'm concerned about checking coverage is the southwestern Wisconsin region where both T-Mobile and AT&T rely on roaming. It's a little out of the way, ~2 hours or so, so I need to make time for a road trip. Might as well wait a bit for Spring to finally take hold anyway.
    03-31-2014 08:02 PM
  5. rmeigs's Avatar
    We use Consumer Cellular with our Nokia 520's without a hitch. Love it and half the cost of former ATT plan.
    Guytronic likes this.
    06-09-2014 11:29 PM
  6. Vic Janeway's Avatar
    we have a nokia 920 windows phone not a CC phone and have never got the Picture texting to work. It is cheaper but if you dont buy their phones, AT&T will cut you off on bandwidth for pictures. I currently use "Heywire" app for pics. If someone knows how to fix this problem please post, but Dont tell me to contact CC they tried and blame WP.
    06-26-2014 01:12 PM
  7. Vic Janeway's Avatar
    Fixed with these settings; Windows Phone 8

    Internet APN
    APN = att.mvno
    Leave everything else blank

    MMS APN
    APM = att.mvno
    WAP Gateway URL = proxy.mvno.ccmobileweb.com
    Port = 80
    MMSC URL = http://mmsc.cingular.com/
    Port = 80
    Max MMS Size = 99999
    Leave everything else blank
    mrpuny likes this.
    06-26-2014 02:01 PM
  8. trudeo's Avatar
    Have someone figured out what the settings for Windows Phone 8.1 are? I have two Lumia 620 running WP 8.1 and I can't seem to get them to send SMS using WP 8.1 on Consumer Cellular... :(
    06-27-2014 11:48 PM
  9. Jerry Rioux's Avatar
    I recently bought two Nokia 520s and my wife and I signed up with Consumer Cellular. We just use their phone service and WiFi for emails. So far, we are very happy with their service and price.

    I'd like to upgrade to 8.1. I called customer service at Consumer Cellular and was told that since they do not support Windows phones, they will not be offering any Windows upgrades.

    Has anyone on Consumer Cellular upgraded from 8 to 8.1? If so, how did you do it? Does anyone else know how to upgrade?

    Thanks for the help!
    07-02-2014 04:45 PM
  10. Jerry Rioux's Avatar
    I bought my phone directly from Microsoft and never had AAT service. How will ATT upgrade my phone to 8.1?
    07-03-2014 11:11 AM
  11. tgp's Avatar
    I bought my phone directly from Microsoft and never had AAT service. How will ATT upgrade my phone to 8.1?
    Inteller is correct. The 8.1 update will come when AT&T gets around to pushing it out. The update is based on the ROM, and your phones have AT&T's ROM on them. It makes no difference who your actual carrier is. The update would come through even if the device never had a SIM card in it and was only on WiFi.

    All that said, don't hold your breath waiting for an official WP8.1 update for AT&T's 520. The update is up to the carrier, and since the 520 is a low end phone and has been around awhile, I wouldn't be surprised if it never gets the update. If you want 8.1, you should install the developer preview.
    07-09-2014 07:27 PM
  12. mrpuny's Avatar
    Fixed with these settings; Windows Phone 8

    Internet APN
    APN = att.mvno
    Leave everything else blank

    MMS APN
    APM = att.mvno
    WAP Gateway URL = proxy.mvno.ccmobileweb.com
    Port = 80
    MMSC URL = http://mmsc.cingular.com/
    Port = 80
    Max MMS Size = 99999
    Leave everything else blank
    So I was the OP for this thread, and I finally just got around to unlocking my Lumia 925 and getting a Consumer Cellular SIM. Over the next month I'm going to be traveling into Wisconsin and areas of Michigan where I'll be roaming on T-Mobile and so this will be a perfect time for a comparison.

    Just got the SIM yesterday, and these settings were helpful to get me started. However, I was frustrated that while according to the CC coverage map I'm supposed to be in a good LTE area, I was only getting 4G service. Looked around on CC's website some more and found that they had other settings for LTE devices. (Specifically they word it for Android LTE devices). From that info, I used the following: (Only noting what I added in the access point setup, any other settings are left as defaults/blank)

    Internet APN
    APN = ccdata


    MMS APN
    APN = ccdata
    Proxy address = proxy.mobile.att.net
    Proxy Port = 80
    MMSC address = http://mmsc.mobile.att.net

    The instructions on CC's support page said that after making these changes, it's necessary to call tech support so they can make the necessary changes to the account. After doing that, LTE lit up and so far it's been good. Download speeds as good or better than I've seen with T-Mobile LTE here, and SMS and MMS appear to be working fine. Plus CC has upped their minutes and data limits a bit so for the same price as I was figuring before ($60/month) we'd get 600 minutes and 2.5 GB data, which should be comfortable for us.
    07-25-2014 04:16 PM
  13. mrpuny's Avatar
    I was in Wisconsin over the weekend, and was able to test service west of Madison, out by Dodgeville. My wife and I both had our T-Mobile Lumia 925s, mine unlocked with the CC SIM, hers with a T-Mobile SIM. Both services ended up roaming, though AT&T's network extended farther west from Madison. It does confirm, though, that Cricket/AIO wouldn't be good for us since we go out that way at least a couple of times a year, and that service doesn't offer roaming. One thing that was odd was both our 925s (running 8.1 DP) seemed extremely reluctant to switch to roaming. There was quite a long time that the phones showed "no service"; it seemed like I had to toggle airplane mode on and off and restart the phones a couple of times before they started roaming which is odd. I also had my old Lumia 710 along (with my T-Mobile SIM in it) as a backup, and it looked like it switched to roaming right away.

    One other issue I noticed is that I can't enable internet sharing on my 925 with the CC SIM. I get the message that it's not available for my account and I either need to call 611 or visit the AT&T website to add it to my account. Since CC allows tethering (and I am able to get tethering to work with the CC SIM in my old Lumia 710, albeit only 4G of course), I think this is some sort of strangeness in the access point settings.
    07-28-2014 10:37 PM
  14. fdalbor's Avatar
    AT&T has released cyan/8.1 for the 520 and 925. My wife and I upgraded our 925s and backup 520s almost two weeks ago. We have AT&T Sims in the 925s and Consumer Cellular Sims in the 520s. All of the phones are AT&T locked phones.

    Sent from my KFTT using Mobile Nations mobile app
    08-14-2014 05:51 AM
  15. RHKToo's Avatar
    The settings posted that you refer to, worked on 8.0 just fine could even send pictures via text.

    Then the GD 8.1 update occurred, and those settings broke it. Both of our Lumia 920's can only text.

    OBTW, the 8.1 update actually has broken other things, eg. my wife's phone can't access the camera AT ALL. And until we turned of Cortana, her battery only lasted a couple of hours. Once turned Cortana off, battery life returned to normal.

    OBTW, she actually tried to use Cortana, never got it to respond to any command correctly or meaningfully.

    We want our 8.0 back, 8.1 is junk.
    09-13-2014 06:21 AM
  16. fdalbor's Avatar
    The only bad thing I have found is you cannot attach pictures to your text messages. I have a 820, 925, and a Moto G lte and none of them allow texts to be sent with pictures attached. When I was on AT&T that was no problem with any of those phones. The funny thing is Consumer Cellular uses AT&T network. I spent over an hour on line and we changed the settings on the Moto G but we could never get it to work. Finally the tech gave up and said I need to buy one of their Moto G' s to get that feature. They advertise that any AT&T phone will work on their network, but that is not the case.
    10-09-2014 08:56 PM
  17. jgeorge1's Avatar
    I just bought a Nokia Lumia 920 and was also frustrated with the inability to send picture texts on Consumer Cellular.
    Luckily, I found a suggestion on another site re: the issue with Windows 8.1 and MMS setting.

    Go to Settings > Cellular + SIM > SIM settings

    Use the "internet APN" and "MMS APN" settings "Originally Posted by Vic Janeway" (above).

    Both the "internet APN" and the "MMS APN" sections have a new field at the end that didn't exist when I had 8.0 on my phone.
    It's called "IP type"

    In *both* "IP type" fields, you want to choose IPv4.
    This seems to be the missing link.
    (I also noticed that the Cellular has to be switched on to send a text with picture; I only point that out because I often turn mine off in an effort to preserve my battery.)
    Hope this is helpful,
    10-20-2014 01:49 AM

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