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Old 09-28-2012, 03:19 PM   #31
luvmy3
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Originally Posted by SpecialK View Post
I thought Straight Talk also used the Verizon network. Does coverage vary by carrier even on the same network?

I''ve been looking into PagePlus. Where did you get your phones? The only stores I find around here are convenience stores or gas stations, and that makes me nervous about making the switch.
You can use a Verizon phone, but there are some exceptions like iPhones and Blackberries. Also you can't purchase a pre-paid VZ phone in a blister pack and activate it on Page Plus. I picked up a non contract phone (not a pre-paid) online. I have good luck on ebay find refurbished ones. I don't have a super fancy one or a current year phone but it works for me. I can't beat $12 a month.

I think Straight Talk does use Verizon in some areas. If you have a Straight Talk CDMA phone it uses Verizon.
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Old 09-28-2012, 04:40 PM   #32
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[QUOTE=JB2K;46293625]Ummmmmm...

...in many cases, these carriers offer identical services as the companies you're signing 2 years of your life away to...
[QUOTE]

The major carriers roam, generally at no extra charge, to fill in holes in their coverage. The other companies don't roam. No coverage from Sprint in that area means you don't get to make the call. Looks like 4G LTE coverage isn't being offered.

Plans offered by companies like Virgin won't work if there are holes in coverage in areas you travel. They won't work if you want to be the first on your block to get the newest iPhone.
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Old 09-28-2012, 05:18 PM   #33
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Looks like 4G LTE coverage isn't being offered.
No, not yet -- but rumor already has it 4G LTE will be making its' way to the prepaid world sometime in 2013...
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Old 09-28-2012, 05:37 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by SaraJayne View Post
Most people don't use discount cell providers because they stink. Coverage is terrible, dropped calls, texts don't go through, etc. so how good a deal is that phone when you can't use it?
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Cheaper phones and plans just don't seem to work, so in actuality, you may be spending more money in the long run. Tiger
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unfortunately, none of those are available in my little, rural community. even AT&T barely gets decent service out here. sure, you can buy their phones and minutes cards at wal-mart, but there's no signal for any of them out here.

a couple years ago, DD15 had a kajeet prepaid phone, which is on the sprint network, and she could NEVER find a signal to make a call or send a text. it was horrible.
Sorry you all had such bad experiences with the cheaper phones and plans. I have had the opposite experience in my small, rural community in No. Calif. I bought a TracFone about 10 years ago, and never had a problem with it. The phone was about $20, and it cost me anywhere from $15 - $35 (if I needed to make/receive a lot of calls) for service. Never a dropped call or text. I use it when I travel and have never had a problem getting a signal. The only reason I bought a new phone this year is because I realized that the phones they sell now offer double or triple minutes, so I paid $10 for another phone in April. Still never a dropped call or text (data is available on this phone but I don't have it), and no roaming charges!! Extra bonus. I couldn't be happier, but I don't do major amounts of texting or calling, so I don't need an unlimited plan.
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Old 09-28-2012, 07:09 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by luvmy3 View Post
You can use a Verizon phone, but there are some exceptions like iPhones and Blackberries. Also you can't purchase a pre-paid VZ phone in a blister pack and activate it on Page Plus. I picked up a non contract phone (not a pre-paid) online. I have good luck on ebay find refurbished ones. I don't have a super fancy one or a current year phone but it works for me. I can't beat $12 a month.

I think Straight Talk does use Verizon in some areas. If you have a Straight Talk CDMA phone it uses Verizon.
I believe the Blackberry restriction has been removed. For our phones I ended up getting 2 Droid Incredibles off Ebay. Nice phone , decent size, and has all the useful features - gps, wifi, bluetooth, etc. I use one of the online Page Plus providers/resellers and have been happy - I set up the account with them to auto refill and then I don't have to worry about it. Just like having a contract phone without the contract price.
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Old 10-01-2012, 11:11 AM   #36
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I live in Western Montana and think Straight Talk is through Verizon towers. My daughter wants to know if her friends will have unlimited texting with her (if with ST) if they are with Verizon? (some plans are unltd txting between Verizon plans). I guess it wouldn't be?
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Old 10-01-2012, 01:02 PM   #37
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No since you aren't technically a Verizon customer.


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I live in Western Montana and think Straight Talk is through Verizon towers. My daughter wants to know if her friends will have unlimited texting with her (if with ST) if they are with Verizon? (some plans are unltd txting between Verizon plans). I guess it wouldn't be?
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Old 10-01-2012, 01:13 PM   #38
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No since you aren't technically a Verizon customer.
Thanks that would have been too good to be true.
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Old 10-01-2012, 01:39 PM   #39
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Most people don't use discount cell providers because they stink. Coverage is terrible, dropped calls, texts don't go through, etc. so how good a deal is that phone when you can't use it?
And you base this on what???

I've used Virgin Mobile for 10+ years, never had a significant problem with coverage, dropped calls or lost texts. Either here in our home area, or while travelling. My daughter has been on PlatinumTel for almost a year now and has never had a problem either.

But now for those poor soles on AT&T plans around my area, well, you can hear them swearing daily in the hallways here at work about not being able to get a signal, dropped calls, etc.

Discount carriers are no better or worse than the big boys. It just all depends on whose network you are on, and how good the coverage is in the area you are in.
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Old 10-01-2012, 06:00 PM   #40
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Discount carriers are no better or worse than the big boys. It just all depends on whose network you are on, and how good the coverage is in the area you are in.
Yep. Coverage issues usually boil down to location - some carriers are better than others in one place but far worse in others. I do think you have to use a little more caution in buying cheaper phones, though, because they tend to offer bottom-of-the-line options that aren't up to the quality offered by contract carriers.

We've had both good and bad experiences with our discount carrier (MetroPCS); I love my service but paid the price for not doing my homework on a phone purchase, and DH ended up changing carriers because his new job has him spending too much time in areas without coverage. But we had bad experiences with Sprint too to the point of dumping them as soon as we could. I'm much happier with MetroPCS - if you're looking for reliable service that will be used only/mostly in a major metro area they're great, and at $110 for 4 lines of unlimited talk/text/web it is a great deal. I'm hoping Straight Talk works out to be a good middle ground for DH, with the better coverage area but at a still affordable price.
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Old 10-02-2012, 08:19 AM   #41
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And you base this on what???

I've used Virgin Mobile for 10+ years, never had a significant problem with coverage, dropped calls or lost texts. Either here in our home area, or while travelling. My daughter has been on PlatinumTel for almost a year now and has never had a problem either.

But now for those poor soles (sic) on AT&T plans around my area, well, you can hear them swearing daily in the hallways here at work about not being able to get a signal, dropped calls, etc.

Discount carriers are no better or worse than the big boys. It just all depends on whose network you are on, and how good the coverage is in the area you are in.
I'm basing it on personal experience, in my geographic area, just like everyone else.

I've never heard of PlatinumTel.
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Old 10-02-2012, 08:20 AM   #42
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How do you get the free wifi hotspot? Ive got VM and have never seen that as an option.
It's not an "option" on Virgin Mobile. It is an option with Android 2.2. I picked up an app called "Quick Settings" which allowed me to then adjust settings on my Optimus V to turn on Wi-Fi. You just have to be aware that VM doesn't "allow" this so could become an issue if they catch you (throttling, etc...).

I agree with other posters in that my wife and I have been on Virgin Mobile for 10 years or so now and we've never had any real issues and actually the customer service has been fantastic the couple of times I called with questions.
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Old 10-02-2012, 10:02 AM   #43
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Discount carriers are no better or worse than the big boys. It just all depends on whose network you are on, and how good the coverage is in the area you are in.
You are absolutely correct -- it's all about the network and where you call home -- not the logo on the handset that will cost a user a couple thousand over a 2-year period.
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Old 10-02-2012, 10:05 AM   #44
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I've never heard of PlatinumTel.
PlatinumTel isn't as widely-known as some of the rest, but they are a legit carrier which has been around 11-12 years and uses the Sprint network.
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Old 10-02-2012, 12:04 PM   #45
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PlatinumTel isn't as widely-known as some of the rest, but they are a legit carrier which has been around 11-12 years and uses the Sprint network.
I found PlantinumTel when I was looking for a pay-as-you-go plan for DD12. I had certain criteria (cheap, online call log I could monitor, phones with certain features like a way to prevent accidental connections to the Internet) and they were the only plan that checked all of the boxes. I've been very happy with their service, and DD hasn't had any complaints. As JB2K said, they use the Sprint network, which is the stronger network in my area (which was also one of my criteria when looking for a plan).

I'm even debating switching myself over to them, but I have a few diffferent considerations for my plan, and so far I think my Virgin Mobile plan fits me just a tad better. But I have a feeling Virgin Mobile is going to discontinue my ancient, grandfathered rate plan in the near future, and at that point it will probably make sense for me to switch.

If you do your research, there are lots of "lesser known" options out there. Just because they aren't widely know doesn't mean they can't be the right choice for you.
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