Don’t Like Talking? Save Money By Ditching Voice Service For Your T-Mobile Smartphone

Image courtesy of Asher Isbrucker

Depending on your habits and personality, you may not need to make a lot of actual phone calls using your smartphone. If you find that you don’t use your phone as a phone all that much, you can save quite a bit of money by taking advantage of a set of mobile plans originally designed for people who are deaf or hard of hearing.

The roots of this plan were in the first pseudo-smartphone available to consumers, Danger’s Hiptop (later called the Sidekick) which was a popular device for texting, instant messaging, and calling relay services for deaf or hard of hearing people. T-Mobile sold them in this country.

The carrier developed special text and data plans without voice minutes for their large population of customers who had no need for them. Other carriers introduced these plans, too, but T-Mobile did something that other carriers haven’t: they removed the restriction that only people who are deaf or hard of hearing can actually sign up for the plan. T-Mobile doesn’t really advertise the plans, but anyone can sign up for what they currently call the Simple Choice data only plan.

Would you cut out voice service and turn your phone into a tiny tablet equipped with mobile data to save 20 bucks a month? If you’re comfortable with using apps to make any voice calls that you do make, the data-only plans cost as little as $20 per month for 2 GB of LTE data. You would still have the ability to call 911 by voice in an emergency if needed.

T-Mobile quietly introduces data-only wireless plans without voice call inclusions [TMoNews]

The History of the Sidekick: The Coolest Smartphone of All Time [Complex]

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.