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Appalachian Wireless

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LAST UPDATED: September 9th, 2023

Appalachian Wireless has been a provider of telecommunications products and services in Eastern Kentucky and Western Virginia since 1991. Locally owned and operated in Ivel, KY, the company operates an advanced 4G LTE cellular telephone and data network with CDMA technology. Appalachian Wireless has nearly 160 cell sites and serves 29 counties. 

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The Good

  • Plans and Devices
  • Remote Data Services
  • Customer Support
  • Auto-Pay Discount
  • Customer Scholarships

Plans and Devices 

Contracts are not required for a cell phone plan with this carrier, but you can save a significant amount of money long-term by purchasing a two-year service agreement (assuming you plan to ride out the agreement. Otherwise, you'll need to pay termination fees). 

One option that Appalachian offers that other carriers do not is the ability to mix and match device types in a single plan. In many other carriers' plan options, purchasing data is an all-or-nothing option that applies across devices regardless. The Mix & Match Plan works especially well for family and friends. Appalachian's approach makes purchasing a basic phone for a teen, for example, just as cost-effective as purchasing a smartphone because you pay half the cost for a basic phone line than for a smartphone line. You purchase data in bulk and that data can be used on any device on the plan. 

Appalachian Wireless offers a number of combinations of different plans with different lengths, contracts, and prepaid plans, but here is a sampling of the options you can consider:

  • Unlimited Data Plan (starting at $60/month for a smartphone)
  • Mix & Match Plan (starting at $20/month for a basic phone) 
  • Appalachian Advantage Plan (starting at $10/month for a basic phone) 
  • Remote Data Services (starting at $5/month to connect to the network with an M2M modem)
  • Prepaid Plan (starting at $29.99/month for 1GB data and unlimited talk and text) 

Monthly Text messages can be purchased in quantities of 200, 500, 1000, Unlimited, or Shared Unlimited. 

Appalachian Wireless plans are compatible with most basic phones, smartphones, and tablets and the company carries devices from these brands:

  • Apple (up to 512 GB storage) 
  • Kyocera
  • LG
  • Samsung
  • Sonim

Appalachian Wireless lets you trade in your current cell phone and get a credit towards your upgrade. You can request an estimate prior to the trade-in to see if that avenue is worth it for you. 

The carrier operates with CDMA technology, the same technology that Verizon and US Cellular use. 

Remote Data Services 

For remote data services, devices share existing plan data with other phones and tablets on a Mix and Match plan. You can use the carrier's network with an M2M modem for $5/month per device for data-only devices and also use a USB modem or MiFi personal WiFi hotspot for $20/month per device. 

Mobile security is another option available with Appalachian's remote data services: use a mobile HD security camera on your home or business property anywhere on the 4G LTE network. 

Customer Support

The company has a thorough website with an easy account management service, helpful FAQs and a strong support center. In addition, Appalachian offers data saving tips for both Android and Apple devices. 

Auto-Pay Discount 

Plan enrollees receive a $5 discount on every monthly bill when they enroll in Auto-Pay and paperless billing. 

Customer Scholarships

It's impressive that the carrier provides a scholarship program that assists students residing in its 24-county home coverage area with higher education expenses. This is a unique way to give back to customers (the applicant's parents must be a current Appalachian Wireless customer), easing the burden of multiple customers each year that are supporting a college-aged child. Plus, this effort demonstrates that the company actually stands behind its stated purpose of supporting local communities. 


The Bad

  • Limited Locations
  • Early-Termination Fees

Limited Locations

Appalachian Wireless is only offered in Eastern Kentucky and Western Virginia.

Early-Termination Fees

If you purchase a two-year plan, you are subject to early-termination fees if you cancel, so only sign a two-year agreement if you're ready to commit to at least that amount of time with Appalachian. The company does have the termination fee maxed at $30 per month remaining on the service agreement so that condition does protect the user from exorbitant fees to some extent. Also, if you would like to purchase a new phone, you must pay update fees.

As always, read all terms and conditions before signing with a cell phone provider. 


The Bottom Line

Appalachian Wireless is a sound option for a local telecommunication company. It offers great service to customers for a low price. Appalachian plans work with iPhones and other popular devices, and, unlike most other small state wireless services, the provider runs on CDMA technology, which is the best in the business.

Plus, the company recently announced the launch of KeeperData, a feature that allows unused data at the end of the month to transfer to the following month's total. 

Kentucky and Virginia residents in the coverage area should definitely consider Appalachian Wireless. But all other U.S. residents need to select a different provider. 

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Angel Booneville, KY

When I first switched to appalachian wireless I loved it, I had great service all the time.. now it shows I have service but I can receive phone calls. The company tried telling me its my phone but nope, I used my husband's AT&T sim card and my phone worked just fine but soon as I went back to my sim junk again 🙄 please fix it soon or I'm done with y'all

10 months ago

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B VanHoose Tomahawk, KY

Garbage, absolute garbage. First they are a subsidiary of Verizon....ROAMING everywhere means bottle-necked speeds thanks to Verizon. Wouldn't even give these crooks the benefit of being called a business. All you can do at any physical location is sign up for service or pay your phone bill. You cannot get insurance assistance, they refer you out to a third party. You can't even get an honest opinion on which phone is the BEST....all they want to do is shove APPLE products down our throats. When my service contract is up this November I am leaving this crap of a network. They shouldn't even offer cell service in Eastern KY, not enough towers to provide coverage down into the hollows.

5 years ago

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Vance Kermit, WV

Very poor cell service. Even with signal bars full it’s very very slow. Dropped calls is a everyday occurrence. Get used to airplane mode to reset service and at times completely powering phone off. Early upgrades are not an option and if you offer to extend 2yr contract for a newer phone they want to charge you $300 for termination fees just to give you a newer contract. Customer service is the best part about the company. You cannot beat the people. I wish the Appalachian would atleast try to compete with other carriers but Verizon is our next option and it’s the best hands down. Make Appalachian your last choice and that’s if you can’t get a go phone or dollar store phones. No joke.

6 years ago

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Lori Blair Staffordsville, KY

Don't sign up for 2 yrs of very limited coverage and excuses for poor service. Very limited access. I even drove up through Johnson, Floyd & Pike Counties monitoring our phones and the ONLY place we got all the bars to make a call was going past Appalachian Wireless!!! In Pikeville, next to UPike and downtown had limited service and that is just down the road from this provider! Definitely, not worth it!

6 years ago

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Leary Walker

I bought a prepaid phone for $77.00 was not given any warning that my minutes expired. Would not recommend this to anyone

7 years ago