Cellphone bill too high? Try your internet company

Savings can be $50 per month or more, but you may encounter slower speeds

SAN ANTONIO – If you are looking for a way to trim your cellphone bill, look to your internet or cable provider, Consumer Reports says. The potential savings adds up, but there are some downsides to consider.

J.D. Mathewson said he was paying about $170 a month to Verizon for his mobile phone service. So, when he got an email from Spectrum advertising its cellphone service, Mathewson compared plans and prices and switched.

“I’m saving about $50 a month on my cellphone bill,” he said.

Nearly five million people now get their cellphone service from a cable or broadband company. How can they offer it cheaper?

“Cable companies lease wireless capacity from major carriers and use WiFi whenever possible to provide service, and that saves consumers money,” said Consumer Reports’ Octavio Blanco.

Spectrum, for example, uses Verizon’s cellular network.

In response to the competition, the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association said, “The wireless industry has a long history of intense competition.”

If you already get your internet from Spectrum or Xfinity or any service from Altice’s Optimum or Suddenlink brands, bundling your cellphone could lower your mobile phone bill.

“All three companies offer one phone line with unlimited talk, text, and data for just $45 a month,” Blanco said.

There are downsides, however. It’s possible your service could be slowed when network traffic is high. Taxes and fees are not always included in the advertised price. And, automatic payments may be required.

Like traditional carriers, the cable and internet companies offer 5G where available. Some let you use your current phone or offer specials on new ones.

About the Author

Marilyn Moritz is an award-winning journalist dedicated to digging up information that can make people’s lives a little bit better. As KSAT’S 12 On Your Side Consumer reporter, she focuses on exposing scams and dangerous products and helping people save money.

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