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Thinking of dumping ATT Grandfathered Unlimited Data


Smitty77_7

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Like many of you, we have multiple tools in our staying connected tool box.

>I have Verizon with Samsung S6 and for now Grandfathered UDP, with a Hotspot option. It is our primary data provider while traveling.

>My wife has a ATT iPhone 4S also with Grandfathered UDP. But with no Hotspot capability, very seldom goes over 1.5GB (And that is combined with her Mother, as they have a Family Talk Plan now, wither Mom on the account.) Both of these phones are 'off contract', and we'll be upgrading the 4S to the 7 or 7S when the 8 comes out.

 

ATT is upping the UDP by another $5 a month. And with no Hotspot option available, it really is not utilized.

 

We have DirecTV in the coach, and they have the feature that would allow UDP streaming, including with an App if the dish is blocked from connecting.

 

So that is sort of the background of where we are. I've called and talked with two different ATT Customer Support personnel reviewing plan options. And have conflicting answers to some of my questions. Was hoping some of you would have the 'Here is how it really works.' scoop for me.

 

1) If we go to say a 10GB plan for the two of them to share, to retain Mexico/Canada option. Is their anyway her iPhone 4S can be established as a Hotspot? (Back up for when Verizon is not available.)

 

(One rep said no, the other rep said yes... But the rep that said yes, I think was looking at data devices only plans when making that comment. And due to 'communication problems', kept repeating the same script now matter how I tried to ask the question:)!)

 

2) With the DirecTV UDP streaming. Is that a stream from the phone to the DVR, that would allow us to watch DirecTV when the dish is not able to lock onto a bird. They mention the App, to allow streaming without the satellite. But again, they were not clear/did not understand my question 'Can we stream that to the Genie so we can see it on the TV screen?

 

3) If the answer to question 2 is no way to stream it to the Genie to see on the TV. Is their anything that would block me from hard cabling it to the TV via USB (We have the Apple adapter cable to do this.) and display whatever is on the phone to the TV?

 

=======

 

Sort of distant possibility here, as the DW does not want to give up her phone number. But could I use the Grandfathered UDP phone number in a Hotspot device, to allow streaming and other device support. Then get a new phone number for her to use for voice and text, on a prepaid plan?

 

Any other suggestions or tips on different plan options to consider would be appreciated.

 

TIA, and best to all,

Smitty

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To get full use of AT&T, you would want a newer phone that has all the 4G bands included. For iPhone, that would probably be a 6 or later. With a complete change of cell plans you would be on the newer AT&T share plan, with the hotspot included and Mexico/Canada at 10GB or higher. AT&T has a brochure, easy to get at a store or the Wal-Mart phone section, with all the details.. The 10GB plan would be $100 + tax and fees, $80 for the plan and $20 for the smartphone. Keeping the phone number is not a problem any more, she can even move to another phone company and keep it.

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Just my thoughts, but the fact that hotspot isn't allowed right now on the ATT phone is because it's on a UDP plan. Usually once you go to a limited data plan, then hotspotting is no longer restricted since your hotspot usage counts against your data cap, so the provider doesn't care if you hot spot or not. So I think for your question #1, your phone once on a limited plan should be able to hotspot just fine. I would look at AT&T's plan details to confirm, but usually that's the way it works.

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BlueLghtning, on 03 Feb 2017 - 11:11 AM, said:

:mellow:

 

 

 

 

Just my thoughts, but the fact that hotspot isn't allowed right now on the ATT phone is because it's on a UDP plan. Usually once you go to a limited data plan, then hotspotting is no longer restricted since your hotspot usage counts against your data cap, so the provider doesn't care if you hot spot or not. So I think for your question #1, your phone once on a limited plan should be able to hotspot just fine. I would look at AT&T's plan details to confirm, but usually that's the way it works.

 

Not that I'm avocading trying to break the rules, but usually a quick and dirty way to hot spot a phone in a pinch where it's blocked by the plan is to put it in airplane mode. Next pop out the sim card (this assumes you have a phone where the sim isn't under the battery as the phone must remain on). Go to the screen where the hot spot feature is so you are ready to turn it on very quickly. Pop in the sim card and before the phone fully registers on the network, turn on the hotspot. Timing is everything to get this to work and I'm not even sure this little trick works with AT&T, but it does on my Sprint phone. Keep in mind the carrier will certainly see you are using the hot spot and you would be viloating your TOS, so you risk that.

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Suppose I'll call and see what the '2 out of 3' answers to my questions are:)!

 

We've hung onto the UDP hoping that they would allow Hot-spotting on the phone, as Verizon does, and would have been glad to pay a monthly fee, as Verizon does, to use our UDP:)!

 

I admit that I'm probably being just little more 'slow' then normal on understanding what the DirecTV/ATT UDP brings to the plate. I would have thought that simple question about 'Will the phone be able to stream to the DirecTV Genie so we can watch it on TV?' (Again, for times when the Travler can't connect to a bird.)

 

The rest I suppose I can sort out in a trial and error way. And even if something that I'd want a plan to do now is doable, sure does not mean it can't change in the future again.

 

And Bill - Yes to the newer phone for the DW (She'd still have her first iPhone if she had her way:)!) We usually skip a generation of iPhone, and up grade when the newest and greatest comes out getting the previous generation. (We skipped thus cycle of going to the iPhone 6, as she had just got a new Morphi and wanted to use her 4S for awhile longer with it.. Awhile longer, has just slipped into quite a few more months then normal. iPhone 7S, or 7 if the 7S is not that much of an improvement, is going to be a nice jump for her from the 4S.)

 

Best to all, and appreciate any more thoughts and or opinions:)!

Smitty

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I've always had much more satisfactory outcomes with ATT by going to a full service store and talking to them. We got a free tablet and extra data for the same price when we first went The second time we went they got my wife's T Mobile phone switched to ATT even after the customer service people swore that it couldn't be done!

BnB

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Well done deal now. Goodbye Grandfather UDP!!!

 

Hello 10GB data plan, with the one billing month rollover of unused data.

 

Hello Hotspot capability.

 

Hello back on contract, it's been over 10 years since she was on contract.

 

Hello iPhone 7.

 

Hello unlimited Voice/Text, and Canada and Mexico.

 

Hello DirecTV unlimited, but not all that much of a bonus for us, as it is on the device only. Though again, no one at the ATT Store knew if I tethered the phone via USB to our TV, if that would be known to ATT - so we'll do some testing to see what happens on that one.

 

Under $100 (Added the screen protection at her group 20% discount.) for sales tax, junk fees and screen protection. And the monthly bill should be within $9 of what we were paying.

 

The 7 is downloading from the iCloud account as I type - of course, over the Verizon S6 running as our Hotspot:)!

 

Now watch, we've helped everyone else that held onto a Grandfathered UDP - as ATT will allow Hotspot any day now - since we know longer have it:)!

 

Best to all,

Smitty

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Two small corrections. Not that it is really important, but I'd forgot that at the end of 2014 as the iPhone 6's were selling hard for the Holiday's, ATT had a special on the 5S - I bought her one early December 2014. So, it was not quite as ancient as the 4S:)!

 

We typically each retain our previous phone as a back up, and then donate the one prior to that to a group we know. Usually the internal batteries (Love the non replaceable batteries, and thus planned obsolescence, of many of the phone manufactures!), so as we donate the phone/charger and related gear, we also get a compatible battery pack/case so that the new owner will have a phone that will hold a charge.

 

By the way, my DW seemed more excited about the improvement in camera, then the processor and or other newer features:)!

 

The second correction, thanks to Cherie from the Technomadia 2C's, was my saying Unlimited Voice & Text while in Canada. The key word is we can make Unlimited calls 'to' Canada and Mexico. And have Text/Data/Voice while in Mexico. Still need to add extra coverage for when we're traveling in Canada.

Best,

Smitty

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I am sort of in your position but with a twist.

 

Two ATT phones on UDP with the DirecTV deal. No hotspot with this setup, nor do I want any sort of hack, jailbreak etc.

 

Purchased a grandfathered Verizon UDP from a data reseller and hotspot. This cost $1300 for the plan and $200 for the hotspot. $50/month to Verizon. Worth every penny. Before we went FT and sold our house we replaced our Comcast home setup with this. Faster speeds and cheaper.

 

If we can't get satellite we stream either via the UDP phone or UDP hotspot to the TV.

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We have the Grandfathered UDP on my phone which via my Samsung S6 on Hotspot mode, is our primary source to the internet. We have found it is a good idea to have many tools in the tool box to obtain internet connection - and just tossed in the towel of ever hoping AT&T would allow her GF UDP to be available to other devices via Hotspot mode...

 

I feel we made a reasonable move... But, always keep on the look out for changes in this arena:)!

 

Congrats on what you have working for you, and hope it continues:)!

Smitty

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  • 1 month later...

I wanted to update that since AT&T stepped up with a plan to counter Verizon's new UDP, that things changed significantly for us, and for the better. 

(I did post on the Homebase Line/250GB thread, that I tried hard to get this established of my wife and I, but just no luck at all... Frustrating, as I believe we qualified for the plan.)

Instead, we now have two lines (Wife and MIL) with the new UDP +. Doing this for my wife's phone, which also had a $20 Hotspot fee, now included as part of the UDP + was actually a savings per month. My MIL's costs are about he same, but, she now has UDP to. Vs them sharing the 10GB between them, with the one month roll over of unused data. So this was a win/win for them. 

We also added a stand alone $20 Unite Explore Hotspot. This a current technology with MIMO and two external ports for roof top antenna device. 

All of this , with the DirecTV and UDP + $25 a month discount - will costs us just about the same as we were paying before.

Each of the three devices, has 22GB of full speed LTE when available. After 22GB, Account De-prioritization could be invoked, on crowed towers/networks. 

So for us while traveling, we now have Wife's iPhone7 and the Unite Explore, for a total of 44GB before needing to worry. We also have my Grandfathered Verizon UDP on Samsung S6 Hotspot. So when it has the best coverage, which 7 times out of 10 it seems to, we'll use it as our primary Data source. But, will augment it (Doing so as I type!) with the ATT Data. 

And by the way, the Unite Explore's more sophisticated/current chips, and MIMO antennas, greatly our performed the one day of testing I did with the Home Base 250GB device. A bit more then double the download speeds on average. Without amp, and without external antennas. 

That's it for now, just wanted to share the changes since February. 

Best to all,

Smitty

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