Texting Without a Text Plan
Samsung Fascinate Cellphone

It seems like everyone loves texting nowadays - but with the high charge of a data plan, it seemed like adding insult to injury to ALSO get a text plan for my new Samsung Fascinate. Surely using the data plan meant I didn't have to ALSO pay for a text plan as well?

The trick was how to send text messages to my friends and family in ways that used the data plan. Here are what I have come up with for options for texting without a text plan.

1) AIM / AOL Instant Messager Texting
My son and two of my nephews use AIM for all of their text conversations, both on their home PC and on their phones. I installed AIM for free on my Samsung Fascinate. Voila! I get buzzes when they "text" me (send me AIM messages). I can easily send them messages. It is the same functionality as text, just going through the AIM system. Downside - everyone you want to talk to has to have AIM installed since this uses AIM IDs and not phone numbers to talk.

2) Skype Texting
Skype is another free system that allows text, voice, and video chat between any two Skype users for free. On the Samsung Fascinate you currently get not only free "texting" (Skype chatting) but also free voice calls between any two Skype users. Again the downside is that you have to get your friends to sign up with Skype so you can talk with them for free. Your phone does buzz and alert you when you get incoming messages.

3) Verizon Email to Text
This works for you SENDING text only. Let's say the person you want to talk to has a Verizon phone with text messaging activated on it. By knowing their phone number, and using your email application, you can send an email message which turns into a text message for them.

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