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Is Spectrum's new cell phone service any good?

Cable provider claims big savings on cellphones
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Posted at 10:34 AM, Jun 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-29 15:05:35-04

Maybe you’ve seen ads for cellphone service from Spectrum, and other companies you don’t usually think of when it comes to mobile phones.

These days, more and more cable and broadband companies are offering cellphone plans and claim they can save you money.

JD Matthewson was looking to lower his bills, especially his rising cellphone bill.

"At the time, I was paying Verizon about $170 a month," he said.

So he switched to Spectrum Mobile. But are the savings real? And what about service and call quality?

About 5 million people now get their cellphone service from a cable or broadband company like Spectrum. WCPO's partners at Consumer Reports said there is no need to worry about coverage or if they have enough towers.

The reason: Cable companies lease wireless capacity from major carriers and use WiFi whenever possible to provide service, so you don't have to worry about losing a signal while traveling.

And by doing this, that saves consumers money — in some cases, a lot of money — according to Consumer Reports.

How much could you save?

If you already get internet service from Spectrum, adding a cellphone plan to the bundle could lower your mobile bill.

You can get one phone line with unlimited talk, text, and data for just $45 a month. Or you can get an even cheaper "by the gig" plan, at $14 per gig.

Spectrum says all data plans include 5G and 4G LTE access, with no added taxes, fees or contracts.

Major carriers start around $75, and bills often exceed $100.

And they offer flexibility, so you can sign up for customized data plans for each family member.

Consumer Reports says there are a few drawbacks to consider:

  • Your service could get slowed down if network traffic is high.
  • Fees or taxes may not always be included in the first rate you see advertised.
  • Automatic monthly payments may be required.
  • You don't get all the perks (like free streaming services) that come with AT&T or Verizon plans.

But just like with cheaper cell plans like Consumer Cellular, Mint, and Boost, Consumer Reports says if money is tight, this could be a way to afford both cell service and Spectrum high-speed internet in your house.

Matthewson said the savings work for him.

"I'm saving about $50 a month on my cellphone bill," he said.

That way, you don't waste your money.


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