Cheap solutions for 2nd p2p phone

short link http://j.mp/1suyDK3
Now that Uber released their driver app for Android and Iphone, some drivers have commented that they still prefer two phones and were looking for a cost effective way to provide service to both phones.
I realize my hacker tendencies might devise solutions, while low cost, that are too cumbersome in initial setup or ongoing use to be practical or whose effort cost outweigh the dollar savings.
I explored several solutions, of varying complexity and dollar cost.

Some initial assumptions- you already have one smartphone with a sufficient plan to run nav, text, voice calls. This is your primary phone. You have a second phone with no service plan that you want to activate at minimal or no cost.

Solution 1- tether the 2nd phone to your 1st. If your primary plan and phone support tethering, you're all set. Connect Phone 2 via wifi to Phone 1.

If Phone 1 doesn't natively support tether, there may be mods you can do to enable or add support. With so many different model phones on the market, countless others have written howto guides for your specific model. This mod is beyond the scope of this post.

Beware- your carrier may put limits on tether usage and may cut you off or charge you overages. Investigate your carrier options before incurring too much cost.

Solution 2- add Phone 2 as an additional line on your current plan. Some carriers offer deals on family plans for multiple phones.

Solution 3- When researching cheap standalone plans, I found Tmobile offers a $3/day prepaid plan. It gives you 200 MB at 4G speeds then throttles the speed. Also has unlimited voice and text. Prior estimates show the Uber app used about 10 MB/hr so a 200 MB plan gets you 20 hr. That's double the Chicago ordinance daily limit. I'm guessing the Lyft app is comparable in usage. If you run both apps, you'll turn off one of them during active rides, so I'm guessing two apps will consume less than 2x data.

Where this $3/d plan shines is you only pay on the days you use the phone. This is suitable for very part time drivers. No tether complexity.

Upon further evaluation, this $3/d plan can entirely separate your driver phone from your personal. Run both p2p apps on Phone 2. Pay only for days you drive.

Of course, if you drive more often, a monthly plan (prepaid, postpaid, add on to current plan) might be more cost effective. Factor your drive frequency to determine.

Solution 4- if you drive more often than just a few days a month, Tmobile has a $30/mo prepaid plan that gives you 5 GB at 4G speeds, unlimited text, 100 minutes. The voice and text shouldn't matter because your primary plan was assumed to be sufficient. The longest months have 31 days. At 10 MB/hr, 10 hr/d, you will use 3100 MB. This will fit entirely in the 5 GB plan.

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