From: The Real Bev on
SMS wrote:

> 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?

Yes.

> 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.

You're fortunate. The old map showed my neighbors with good coverage, but a
pseudopod of 'fair' stuck out and covered my yard and house. Thanks, God. The
categories may have been 'fair' and 'poor', but the difference was certainly
there. I think AT&T is somehow at fault -- paying somebody off so I have to
keep my land line.

> 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 my son's house in the far suburbs of RTP, I could get some unknown company's
signal. He lives 20 miles from anything, I live 1/4 mile from a freeway. Feh.

> 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..

I've got 900 minutes left. In February I'll buy $10 (35 minutes) more and be
good for another year. I'll probably die with unused minutes :-( The phone
itself sucks, though.

--
Cheers, Bev
ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo
"With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine. However,
this is not necessarily a good idea...."
From: SMS on
The Real Bev wrote:

> I've got 900 minutes left. In February I'll buy $10 (35 minutes) more
> and be good for another year. I'll probably die with unused minutes
> :-( The phone itself sucks, though.

Fortunately there's almost a limitless supply of non-sucky GSM phones on
craigslist and even on freecycle.

For some unknown reason my mom dropped her T-Mobile prepaid which was
perfect for her usage when AT&T convinced her to sign up for a package
deal of TV, landline, postpaid wireless, and DSL which was far more
expensive than what she had before, or needed. Then she switched to AT&T
prepaid which was still ridiculously expensive. Now she's on PagePlus
and paying about $5 a month instead of $40 a month and using the same
number of minutes she used before. We also surreptitiously got her a DSL
modem/wireless router from AT&T to replace her DSL modem so we can at
least use her DSL when visiting. At least AT&T was kind enough to send
it at no cost.
From: The Real Bev on
SMS wrote:

> The Real Bev wrote:
>
>> I've got 900 minutes left. In February I'll buy $10 (35 minutes) more
>> and be good for another year. I'll probably die with unused minutes
>> :-( The phone itself sucks, though.
>
> Fortunately there's almost a limitless supply of non-sucky GSM phones on
> craigslist and even on freecycle.
>
> For some unknown reason my mom dropped her T-Mobile prepaid which was
> perfect for her usage when AT&T convinced her to sign up for a package
> deal of TV, landline, postpaid wireless, and DSL which was far more
> expensive than what she had before, or needed.

<sigh> They keep sending out those SIGN UP NOW bargains as if they actually
WERE bargains.

> Then she switched to AT&T
> prepaid which was still ridiculously expensive. Now she's on PagePlus
> and paying about $5 a month instead of $40 a month and using the same
> number of minutes she used before. We also surreptitiously got her a DSL
> modem/wireless router from AT&T to replace her DSL modem so we can at
> least use her DSL when visiting. At least AT&T was kind enough to send
> it at no cost.

Those are common yardsale items, although not as common as nice wired routers.
There are even wireless routers. All for $1 or $2 each. If Charter ever
stops the "special" rate, I can quit and get AT&T DSL service for a while.
Much slower, but still better than dialup.

--
Cheers, Bev
---------------------------------------------------
I have no idea what you're talking about, so here's
a bunny with a pancake on his head:
http://www.ebaumsworld.com/forumfun/misc15.jpg
From: Dennis Ferguson on
On 2009-10-15, SMS <scharf.steven(a)geemail.com> wrote:
> 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).

Do you know any place where T-Mobile roams on AT&T? I recall thinking
this was the case when I was a T-Mobile postpaid customer, quite
a few years ago, but I've not found a place where I've even been
able to force the phone onto AT&T in recent years. Most recently
I was in 54481, with no T-Mobile anywhere, but AT&T was still telling
my phone to kiss off.

There are at least 20-something GSM operators in the country other
than T-Mobile and AT&T. Maybe T-Mobile built their roaming coverage
from those alone?

Dennis Ferguson
From: SMS on
Dennis Ferguson wrote:
> On 2009-10-15, SMS <scharf.steven(a)geemail.com> wrote:
>> 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).
>
> Do you know any place where T-Mobile roams on AT&T?

I don't have a list of course, but there are a lot of reports of
instances when T-Mobile roams onto AT&T as well as a lot of reports of
when it doesn't roam onto AT&T.

> There are at least 20-something GSM operators in the country other
> than T-Mobile and AT&T. Maybe T-Mobile built their roaming coverage
> from those alone?

Judging from the T-Mobile and AT&T prepaid and postpaid maps, it's clear
that both carriers have roaming agreements with the same smaller
carriers. The difference is whether or not they let prepaid users take
advantage of that roaming. T-Mobile does. AT&T doesn't.

It's going to be very interesting to see what T-Mobile comes up with in
a week or two. From all reports it appears to be "European style
pricing" which means non-outrageously priced unlimited voice and data.
Whether people will put up with no data service outside T-Mobiles native
area remains to be seen.