From: Mike S. on

In article <4ad3994e$0$1629$742ec2ed(a)news.sonic.net>,
SMS <scharf.steven(a)geemail.com> wrote:
>Mark Crispin wrote:
>> On Mon, 12 Oct 2009, SMS posted:
>>>> What is meant by "Limited GSM" under "roaming" for AT&T?
>>> On AT&T's prepaid GoPhone you don't get roaming as extensive as you
>>> get on their postpaid plans, and there is no way to pay extra to get
>>> that roaming back.
>>
>> AT&T GoPhone can roam in Mexico, but not in Canada.
>>
>> T-Mobile's prepaid can roam in Canada and quite a few other countries.
>> Page Plus can also roam in Canada.
>
>Surprisingly, T-Mobile has not entered the fray of unlimited prepaid.

Also surprisingly, T-Mobile still has no provisions for prepaid data
service (other than the "walled garden" you get with the ToGo version of
T-Zones).


From: SMS on
Mike S. wrote:

> Also surprisingly, T-Mobile still has no provisions for prepaid data
> service (other than the "walled garden" you get with the ToGo version of
> T-Zones).

Maybe because their 3G is at 1700 MHz, though they could at least offer
2G data to prepaid.

I heard today that T-Mobile is poised to drop the price of their
unlimited "flex" plan considerably. Whether or not they will include
messaging, or even 2G data, remains to be seen. It was also reported in
the Wall Street Journal
"http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20091014-712000.html". I think they
will have to include some data to remain competitive though AT&T's
prepaid plan doesn't include any.

The StraightTalk plan mentioned in the article is a good deal, but has
some issues. You can't use any handsets other than the non-smart phones
that they offer, and you can't roam off of Verizon's network, even at
extra cost, but if you compare the StraightTalk and PagePlus maps there
aren't all that many places with no coverage on Straight Talk other than
all of Alaska and much of Kentucky and Utah. Certainly far more
coverage than Virgin or AT&T (EIYJN).

Ironically, T-Mobile now has better prepaid coverage than Sprint or AT&T
(EIYJN) because they finally are allowing a lot more roaming on their
prepaid plans which is a change from just a couple of years ago. Compare
the T-Mobile prepaid coverage map with the AT&T and Virgin prepaid
coverage map and you can see the stark differences.

I see that MetroPCS at least now allows off network roaming for 19
cents/minute which isn't a bad deal.

Personally I think the 1200 minute/1200 MMS or text/50MB of data for $25
on PagePlus is an amazingly good deal that for most users would be as
good as unlimited voice and messaging, and the large number of minutes
eliminates the need for free off-peak or mobile to mobile. I'll probably
switch to that when my Verizon contract is over.

Links to the Prepaid Coverage Maps

T-Mobile Prepaid
----------------
"http://www.t-mobile.com/coverage/Prepaid.aspx"

AT&T GoPhone
------------
"http://www.wireless.att.com/coverageviewer/" (click GoPhone)

Verizon InPulse
---------------
"http://www.verizonwireless.com/b2c/CoverageLocatorController" (tick
prepaid then refresh)

Virgin/Boost CDMA
-----------------
"http://www.virginmobileusa.com/check-cell-phone-coverage" (should be
the same as Boost CDMA coverage map because it's basically Sprint native
coverage).

PagePlus
--------
"http://www.pagepluscellular.com/Why%20Page%20Plus/Coverage%20Map.aspx"

StraightTalk
------------
"http://www.straighttalk.com/Coverage"

MetroPCS
"http://www.metropcs.com/coverage/"
From: SMS on
Ron wrote:

> This coming from what used to be Sprints major shill when he lived in
> OHIO.

LOL. I remember that.

Seriously though, despite the accusations, I have no allegiance to any
wireless company. I would never tell anyone to sign up for Verizon
InPulse service, it's very overpriced, just as I advise people to stay
away from AT&T GoPhone and Virgin Mobile because of the price and the
coverage.

These days, for GSM prepaid the best option is T-Mobile in terms of
price and coverage, but only for relatively low usage since the lowest
per-minute price is still relatively high and their unlimited flex pay
plan sucks. For CDMA the best option, as long as you aren't in an area
with no native Verizon coverage, is clearly PagePlus.

I'd also be more careful with the word "shill" as it implies that the
person promoting a particular product will gain economically from his or
her actions. Even our favorite troll who continually reposts an
inapplicable charter into alt.cellular.attws really isn't shilling, he's
just trolling, and I for one will be more careful with how I use the
term "shill" in the future.

Steve
"http://prepaiduswireless.com"
From: The Real Bev on
John Navas wrote:

> On Wed, 14 Oct 2009 13:54:26 -0700, SMS <scharf.steven(a)geemail.com>
> wrote in <4ad63a31$0$1631$742ec2ed(a)news.sonic.net>:
>
>>I heard today that T-Mobile is poised to drop the price of their
>>unlimited "flex" plan considerably.
>
> From the homeless guy at your local Starbucks most likely.
>
>>Ironically, T-Mobile now has better prepaid coverage than Sprint or AT&T
>>(EIYJN) because they finally are allowing a lot more roaming on their
>>prepaid plans which is a change from just a couple of years ago. ...
>
> Very old "news".

And not all that reliable. I looked at the T-Mobile map, which says I have
excellent coverage. Well, no. Inside my house (ordinary one-story
single-family on a main street) I get NO signal. In my front yard I get 0-2
bars and conversations have a lot of dropouts. I'd call it 'fair' at best, not
excellent.

--
Cheers, Bev
"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""
"We're from the Government. We're here to help."
From: SMS on
The Real Bev wrote:

> And not all that reliable. I looked at the T-Mobile map, which says I
> have excellent coverage. Well, no. Inside my house (ordinary one-story
> single-family on a main street) I get NO signal. In my front yard I get
> 0-2 bars and conversations have a lot of dropouts. I'd call it 'fair'
> at best, not excellent.

Since T-Mobile operates at 1900 MHz, and has far fewer cells than AT&T
and Verizon, indoor coverage, and coverage in general, will be less than
optimal. Did you drill down to your exact address on the T-Mobile maps?
I found the T-Mobile maps very honest in coverage. Up until recently
they showed almost no coverage at my house. When they turned on a cell
four blocks away the coverage increased greatly, and their maps
reflected the change. I went from 0-1 bar to a solid three bars, the
same as I get on my AT&T service using the same model phone.

The key difference in T-Mobile prepaid is now you can get coverage on
many GSM systems throughout the country, including (but not not limited
to) AT&T, if T-Mobile has no network in that area (while AT&T prepaid
does not allow much of that coverage on the other networks). Ironically
this means that you will often get better coverage on T-Mobile prepaid
when you're in a non-T-Mobile area and are roaming onto an 850 MHz GSM
network then when you're on their own network and stuck at the less
desirable 1900 MHz (EIYJN). It's similar with Sprint and Verizon, if
you're outside Sprint's 1900 MHz coverage area roaming onto Verizon 800
MHz then you'll get usually get better coverage than you get in Sprint
areas where they don't let you roam onto Verizon (unless you force the
phone to roam or unless there's absolutely no Sprint signal at all).

AT&T doesn't want to allow its prepaid customers to roam too much
because it costs them money, and because it lessens the value of
postpaid service that does allow extensive roaming. Verizon prepaid lets
you roam and charges you for it (20�/minute), as does Verizon's MVNO
PagePlus (59�/minute), and as does even MetroPCS (19�/minute). I think
that most users would be happy to pay occasional roaming charges rather
than have no coverage at all, but there are always exceptions I suppose).

BTW, as usual our favorite troll has no idea what he's talking about
regarding what's coming from T-Mobile very soon. A lower cost unlimited
prepaid plan from T-Mobile has been widely reported on in the past week.
It's supposed to be announced on October 25th, and will include
unlimited voice, messaging, and data for $50/month. Of course you can
already get all this on Boost CDMA on Sprint's network for $50/month so
it's not some spectacularly new low price point, but on Boost CDMA a)
you can't use smart phones (though there is apparently a way to get
around this limitation) and b) you can't roam, even for voice, off of
Sprint's limited network, and c) you'll find nothing mentioned about
that plan on Sprint's web site (you have to go to a Sprint store to sign
up). With T-Mobile you'll need a new handset that supports W-CDMA 1700
in order to take advantage of 3G and presumably they'll continue with
their current roaming agreements.

Your best way to keep up with the latest development in prepaid in the
U.S. is to enter "prepaid u.s. wireless" into the Google search box and
then click on "I'm Feeling Lucky." That will take you to the premier web
site for information on prepaid in the U.S..

Steve