This article tells about some option for low cost cellular service without contracts and no credit check needed. All the major carriers have no contract options they always had no contract options but did not openly disclose that because the money was getting customers to sign contracts.
All the major carriers have prepaid options like Cricket for AT&T or Boost for Sprint and these services are of much better quality than the ones from the article.
FCC chairman Tom Wheeler is calling on the mobile industry to set theft prevention features — such as remote-locking, remote-data-wiping and the ability to call 911 on locked phones — to default on all devices.
California passed a law requiring phone manufacturers to install a kill switch in smartphones making the phone a useless brick thus preventing theft.
Apple has this option built into the newer iPhone models and this feature has lowered theft rates of the iPhone.