FREE Wireless from The OZ
There are several methods to get Free, or almost Free, cellular service. One of them could work for you.
You Might Qualify for Subsidized Cellular:
Most carriers offer a government-subsidized "Lifeline" or "Link-Up" service at a significantly reduced cost if you can qualify based on your income. Lifeline support lowers the cost of basic, monthly local telephone service and can be Free or just a few dollars per month. An eligible customer may receive the Lifeline discount on either a wireline or wireless connection, but the discount is available for only one account per household. Lifeline discounts do not apply to taxes or surcharges, and don't relieve the account holder from paying the monthly bill. Details on how to sign up are below.
Qualifications to receive Lifeline discounts vary by state. The qualifying programs are either determined by each state's Public Utility Commission or the federal Lifeline/Link-Up program. Some states and U.S. territories do not provide state-funded discounts. If available, an individual may be eligible if he or she participates in one of the following programs:
What Does LifeLine Cost?
Lifeline services range from Free to $20 per month. Don't confuse Lifeline plans with "Senior" plans that are offered by some companies. Lifeline (also called "LifeLink") is supported by government subsidies. Individual states have different subsidies and some states have none.
To Sign Up For LifeLine Service:
If you qualify, you can contact wired and wireless telephone companies and ask about "Lifeline" service. You can shop among the programs to see which one will give you the best offer. These programs are not limited to your local telephone company, you can call your local wireless carrier.
Or Take the Easy Way:
There are companies that provide service specifically to Lifeline customers across the nation such as Q Link Wireless and SafeLink. Not all carriers provide Lifeline service and not necessarily in their entire coverage areas. Also, not all states support subsidized wireless service and not necessarily at the same subsidy amounts. Some wireless carriers do not significantly discount LifeLine plans so shop carefully.
LifeLine May Have a Limited Life:
Watch our Wireless Noise News Page as the LifeLine program goes through some significant changes.
FREE, Emergency-Only Cellular!
Almost any digital cellular phone can call 911, sometimes even if the phone screen shows "No Service." This means even discarded or deactivated digital wireless phones can be set aside in a glove compartment or night stand and used to summon help. Don't expect a cellular company to give you one of these "free" phones. Instead, ask a friend or relative if they'll give you one of their old phones. You can call the associated carrier and ask if that particular phone model will work. Some may be missing a "SIM" which can be found on eBay or from some cellular stores. We include this option because it's possible, but we'd rather spend a few dollars for something more reliable.
Here are some important considerations for using an "old" cellular phone for this kind of emergency-only use:
There are real Prepaid wireless plans than cost about $3 a month and maybe less! Don't expect to get a lot for a buck.