US Cellular Plans & Prices

For the most recent info, see the 2011 US Cellular 3G Plans Review

US Cellular 3G Plans

<< (Page 2 of 5: 2010 US Cellular 3G Mobile Broadband Review) >>

U.S. Cellular plans include one option and one option only:

1. 5 GB (Gigabytes) for $49.95 per month

That’s not bad at all. Not only is it on par with budget carrier T-Mobile, but it also undercuts similar Verizon, AT&T and Sprint plans that usually run $60.

While the coverage area for both T-Mobile and US Cellular are definitely smaller, $10 per month is $120 a year in savings and $240 in savings over the length of a 2 year contract.

Another important aspect of their mobile broadband plan is the overage charge.

Reigning in at $0.49 per MB, that works out to be a potential $501.76 per GB if you run over your allotted 5 GB. Here’s where things get veeeeery interesting.

Mobile broadband overages for US Cellular plans are capped at $200. This could be a blessing and a curse. On one hand, you won’t end like the poor kid with a  $19,370 AT&T bill.

On the other hand, that could mean that your usage could be ‘cut’ at $200 in overages (408 MB or almost half a Gigabyte of overage). I say it’s not a bad poison. Better to lose your finger than your whole arm.

Now that I’ve raised the terror threat level to orange, here’s some relief in the form of how much you can get done with 5 Gigabytes:

As a quick primer, if you’re not familiar with base 2 computer talk, 1 GB (gigabyte) equals 1024 MB (megabytes). Unless you’re a physics professor, you’re probably not thinking in terms of GB, MB and whatever other abbreviation they might come up with.

To help out here’s some examples taken from US Cellular on what you can do with 5 GB:

Examples of data size based on various easyedge [US Cellular 3G] activities
Download Activity Approximate Size* How many to reach 20 MB** How many to reach 5 GB***
1 page email (without images) 1 KB 20,480 5,242,880
2 page Word Document (without images) 20 KB 1024 262,140
10 page Word Document (without images) 100 KB 200 51,200
Basic Web Page 300 KB 60 15,360
Digital Photo (high resolution) 500 KB 40 10,240
10 Page PowerPoint (no graphics) 500 KB 40 10,240
10 Page PowerPoint (with graphics) 5 MB 4 10,24
MP3 Audio File 4 MB 5 1,280
YouTube Video (depending on length and quality) 10 MB 2 512
Movie Download (DVD Quality) 2 GB N/A 2.5

* Indicates an estimate of the average size for a given activity
** Based on the 20 MB per month data plan ($30/month)
*** Based on the 5 GB per month data plan ($60/month)

This table on US Cellular plans is available at their site

For a more in-depth look at what you can do with 200 MB, 250 MB, 5 GB and the like, check out the free E-Course MBR ReadersMobile Broadband Buyer’s Guide. This is just one of the many lessons I cover in great detail to make sure you know what’s up before, during and after buying mobile broadband.

So what’s a US Cellular 3G plan gonna cost you?

If you take into account the $30 activation fee, your 1st month’s bill should look something like $80+ after taxes and then $50+ each month after. It’s a cut above the industry standard and has many people curious enough to then ask…

Just how fast is US Cellular 3G speed?

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