Wifi Only!

December, 2015 / By Seen Green
Wifi Only! My Life In Airplane Mode
How I ditched my cell phone provider and went wifi only

In January 2015 after returning from a month long holiday abroad using only wifi to communicate, via iMessage and FaceTime (I am an iOS user), I thought, how could I do this back in the United States?

Sure it was easy to interact with other iOS users with my apple id, but how could I text and talk with my friends who were using Android phones? After plenty of research, I realized that Google Hangouts would be my solution.

Enter Google Voice

I began the process by getting a free Google Voice number and downloading Hangouts to my iOS device.

At first, I text my sister explaining that I was using a different phone number and see if she could reply, it worked! Then I called her from the Hangouts app, it worked as well.

So I searched endlessly trying to find a data only sim card for my factory unlocked iOS device. That is the tricky part. Thankfully I stumbled upon a comment in an article about data only sim cards, the person had mentioned a company called Red Pocket.

Knowing that I have always logged onto wifi rather than using my data when I had a cell plan before my trip abroad, I realized that I barely used data, in fact I only consumed about 250mb of data a month. Why would anyone choose data over wifi when watching streaming video on their smart device?

So I went on Red Pocket's website to view their mobile broadband data plans. I found the perfect plan, 500mb of data a month for $5.00! Then I ordered their starter sim kit, after a couple of days it arrived in the mail and I was good to go.

Inserted the sim, signed up for the plan and began using my new Google Voice number. I wanted to test this new idea for awhile before porting the phone number which I have had for my entire mobile life, which all of my friends had-had me in their address book as.

So after a couple of weeks testing with my free Google number, I then took the big step of porting my number of many years to Google Voice. I did this so that I wouldn't have to ask all of my friends to update their address book with my new number. It cost $20 to port your existing number to Google by the way, if you were curious.

Red Pocket fail

After three months of Red Pocket a total of $15 ($5/month), my idea failed. The Red Pocket service discontinued that plan. Somebody must have caught on and the only plan available was a $30/month plan which I could easily get at any of the leading cell phone providers.

I was accustomed to paying $5 a month, I wasn't about to go back to the old ways... so I didn't. I was going to see if I could survive with wifi only!

At first I was nervous, what if I need to make a call or text someone if I wasn't connected to wifi? It's a huge fear as being connected via mobile device for so many years, it's scary to imagine not being able to get in touch with people.

Where I find wifi

You'd be amazed where free wifi is available. Of course at home, work and my friend's homes, but what if I have to go to the mall or run errands?

I found wifi at Starbucks, McDonalds, Target, Dick's and of course Apple. Some parts of my city offered free wifi as well. Nearly every restaurant which I have visited has wifi, just ask for the password and you are good to go. I was also fortunate that a couple of my friends had their own hotspots which I would log into while on the golf course or at the beach.


Using Wifi as your cell service is not for everyone, I know this, but it is possible and I have been doing it, and it is only becoming more available in more places as I am finding out.

Final note

I currently use an iPod Touch, iPad Mini and iPhone 6. All of which can call, text and receive calls either with Hangouts, iMessage or FaceTime over wifi. When someone asked me which carrier I use, my reply is: Google and Apple.

In reality I do not need a phone number, I could communicate with my email address using my Apple id and gmail account. Most people would not understand this understandably, so I keep my phone number.

If you have suggestions, questions or comments let me know.


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