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Thread: 2018 Piranha Mobile Thread 2018

  1. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by russsell View Post
    Anyone have this scenario: UK number (to eliminate the monthly fee). Using Piranha purely for data in the US?

    From https://www.piranha-mobile.com/mobile-rates/, I see that data is 2c/MB. I also know my monthly data use is very low.
    The questions I have is for data use (primarily pure texting via GV or WhatsApp) how reliable is Piranha? I realize it's an
    MVNO - so the question is really, is it as solid as the carrier it runs on. Any glitches "locking" on to the underlying carrier
    (AT&T and T-Mobile in my area)? How accurately does it measure your data usage - e.g. is it pretty close to what your phone claims
    is being consumed as mobile data? If I need to make an occasional GV voice call what kind of quality can I expect? I have no issue
    with FreedomPop's free SIM running on AT&T for a GV call - but I was not sure if in the Piranha case the data pipe went through some
    UK gateway and added latency?

    Yes, I do realize that it's expensive for anyone to call that UK number and the alternative is for a 70c/month US number. Is it safe to assume
    that the "quality" of service (data access in my case) is not dependent on whether the number is a US or UK number?
    For full disclosure, I use an iPhone SE (2016).

    In my experience I've found Piranha Mobile's data connection to not be reliable enough to use as my sole data connection. The issue is depending on the time and/or tower I may or may not get a data connection. I've also found Piranha strongly prefers an at&t connection, I can't manually pick T-Mobile, but if I end up on T-Mobile I've never been able to get a data connection.

    I haven't really looked that closely at my data usage, but I think it's pretty accurate. To be honest I've always been surprised how little I'm charged for data when I do use it, so even if it's not 100% accurate I have no complaints. Note that because I'm using an iPhone, I disable data unless I'm using it.

  2. #47
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    Thanks @djphilosophy and @altNz for your follow-up posts.

    @altNz, I'd seen that notice from Piranha some place else which was the reason I asked "Curious when (month & year) you got your US number, if you don't mind my asking?" when you mentioned "The number will be detected as a VoIP number."

    Now, I'm confused. I'm assuming based on the Piranha notice if I get a new US number it'll support A2P: "All new USA, UK and Canadian numbers will now support A2P." I'm taking this to refer to text messages sent by an application (from some enterprise that I - hopefully - do business with) to my new Piranha number. Does A2P messaging work with VoIP numbers? Or, is it not relevant whether the number is a VoIP number for A2P messaging to work and so it shouldn't matter if the new numbers are detected as VoIP numbers?

    Russell

  3. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by russsell View Post
    Thanks @djphilosophy and @altNz for your follow-up posts.

    @altNz, I'd seen that notice from Piranha some place else which was the reason I asked "Curious when (month & year) you got your US number, if you don't mind my asking?" when you mentioned "The number will be detected as a VoIP number."

    Now, I'm confused. I'm assuming based on the Piranha notice if I get a new US number it'll support A2P: "All new USA, UK and Canadian numbers will now support A2P." I'm taking this to refer to text messages sent by an application (from some enterprise that I - hopefully - do business with) to my new Piranha number. Does A2P messaging work with VoIP numbers? Or, is it not relevant whether the number is a VoIP number for A2P messaging to work and so it shouldn't matter if the new numbers are detected as VoIP numbers?

    Russell
    If you get a US # it will be VOIP so I know of know advantage you'd have with that over your GV #, and the same limitations (some banks not accepting it for SMS verification). I don't know why you'd want to pay extra per month for a US # with Piranha when you can get it free with Truphone. You'd be saving on the data but have a fixed monthly fee of $0.70.

    Also, you're more likely to have reliability issues (e.g. texts getting through) on those secondary VOIP numbers.

  4. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by djphilosophy View Post
    If you get a US # it will be VOIP so I know of know advantage you'd have with that over your GV #, and the same limitations (some banks not accepting it for SMS verification). I don't know why you'd want to pay extra per month for a US # with Piranha when you can get it free with Truphone. You'd be saving on the data but have a fixed monthly fee of $0.70.

    Also, you're more likely to have reliability issues (e.g. texts getting through) on those secondary VOIP numbers.
    I expect my usage to be primarily data - Piranha is considerably less expensive than Truphone. Piranha has also a much lower startup cost. My plan is to start with a UK number (I realize the rates to call that number are exorbitant).

    Btw, what's the minimum top-up amount for Piranha?

    I'm still puzzled by the Piranha claim "All new USA, UK and Canadian numbers will now support A2P". I thought VoIP numbers had issues with A2P, which was the reason some banks didn't accept them. Are supporting A2P and VoIP orthogonal?

  5. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by djphilosophy View Post
    If you get a US # it will be VOIP so I know of know advantage you'd have with that over your GV #, and the same limitations (some banks not accepting it for SMS verification). I don't know why you'd want to pay extra per month for a US # with Piranha when you can get it free with Truphone. You'd be saving on the data but have a fixed monthly fee of $0.70.

    Also, you're more likely to have reliability issues (e.g. texts getting through) on those secondary VOIP numbers.
    Isn't that contradictory to "All new USA, UK and Canadian numbers will now support A2P"? Or maybe I'm misunderstanding what A2P means.

    In any case, I keep my Piranha SIM for data only as a backup.

  6. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by russsell View Post
    I expect my usage to be primarily data - Piranha is considerably less expensive than Truphone. Piranha has also a much lower startup cost. My plan is to start with a UK number (I realize the rates to call that number are exorbitant).

    Btw, what's the minimum top-up amount for Piranha?

    I'm still puzzled by the Piranha claim "All new USA, UK and Canadian numbers will now support A2P". I thought VoIP numbers had issues with A2P, which was the reason some banks didn't accept them. Are supporting A2P and VoIP orthogonal?
    I'm figuring your intent is to run the device primarily on Wi-Fi and just have a SIM for minimal data usage when out, i.e. keep it under 100MB a month, disable mobile data on all but essential apps/services or whitelist them in a firewall if rooted (sounds like Google Voice, WhatsApp for you, also don't touch Google Play Services as I think it's required for GV and other messaging services to work in the background). No voice calls (or very short ones) as they take up way more data. Up to 100MB/month ($2) it makes sense, but as soon as you add on a US # for an extra $.70/month (plus whatever minutes/texts you pay for on top of that), it doesn't make so much sense compared to getting the T-Mobile $3 plan (and know it's a reliable #) or some of the $5 budget offerings out there that come with a real # and more data (and again, more reliable).

    If you want a minimal cost setup to make/receive voice calls while out and about, that's where you should look at a Truphone SIM: receive the calls as native voice (direct or forwarded from GV), and not use data or pay for minutes (incoming calls/texts free). It could be a better setup if you mostly just want to be reachable when out, because you can leave mobile data off, and if you need to reply, turn on mobile data, send a message (or setup a callback), then turn mobile data off. Yes, you lose constant data access for WhatsApp.

    My main point is I don't think it's worth paying extra for a US # on Piranha. Go minimal data-only with Piranha, or super minimal data + real calls/texts with Truphone.

    Minimum top-up for Piranha is $10 (just checked).

  7. #52
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    Thanks @djphilosophy for taking the time for your thoughtful response.

    The phone will be primarily a back-up ... a typical use case would be going out for a walk where the phone will be on but on airplane mode. If I twist my ankle, I'll use data to call home (there's typically someone at home when I go out for a walk). I have multiple older phones which I can use for this.

    So right now "Go minimal data-only with Piranha" given the startup cost, including first top-up, and no fixed recurring cost appeals to me.

    Out of curiosity ... I understand any phone provided it talks to a cell tower can call 911 ... I'm assuming Piranha with a UK number should be able to do so as well as any other cell phone?

  8. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by russsell View Post
    Thanks @djphilosophy for taking the time for your thoughtful response.

    The phone will be primarily a back-up ... a typical use case would be going out for a walk where the phone will be on but on airplane mode. If I twist my ankle, I'll use data to call home (there's typically someone at home when I go out for a walk). I have multiple older phones which I can use for this.

    So right now "Go minimal data-only with Piranha" given the startup cost, including first top-up, and no fixed recurring cost appeals to me.

    Out of curiosity ... I understand any phone provided it talks to a cell tower can call 911 ... I'm assuming Piranha with a UK number should be able to do so as well as any other cell phone?
    First, yes, anyone phone that gets signal can call 911. It doesn't even need a SIM card installed or active service. It's a good reason to throw an old flip phone in the glove compartment for emergencies (until they shut off 2G/3G).

    For your example use case, you actually make a good argument for Truphone: you could leave the phone on (no airplane mode) but mobile data off, and people would also be able to reach *you* (at no cost) if there's an emergency. More importantly, I can tell you that, as someone who has had both SIMs for the past few years, I would 100% hands-down rather have a Truphone SIM in my phone in an emergency.

    I get the point about up-front costs. It seems wasteful to spend extra money on something you'll barely use. But if you also consider the long-term, I'm sure I wouldn't be the only one to say that if one of these services dies in the next few years it will be Piranha. You can read past posts here about their various hiccups, and at one point (I think last year) we thought they were done for.

    Now, if you want to change your use case example to "I want to go for a walk and be able to send a quick (non-urgent) message to someone while I think of it", then Piranha starts to make more sense. Also, if you travel abroad at all, I would factor how each SIM might be helpful. Truphone has proven useful to me when I needed to receive a verification SMS on a US number and my Google Voice # wasn't accepted.

  9. #54
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    @djphilosophy you've given me an additional data point about reliability of the two services that I was not aware of - I thank you for it.

    As far as foreign travel or even domestic travel away from home goes I have two Google Fi SIMs and a Google Fi data SIM in "hibernation" - the data SIM is new and untested but the two SIMs have been rock solid in past travels. As much as travel abroad costs I have no problem paying $10 a GB for something which "works" as the plane taxis to the gate. My usage is typically navigation (previously with Here preloaded), minimal email and of course WhatsApp (for voice and text communication). With Covid travel is on hold. Fwiw, the two Fi SIMs are the ones which accompanied my G6 (late 2018) and G7 (late 2019) purchases for $99 from (then) Project Fi.

  10. #55
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    Network is down for 2 days already in NYC.

    Sent from my LM-Q710.FG using HoFo mobile app

  11. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by munkala View Post
    Network is down for 2 days already in NYC.p[/URL]
    Same in Eastern Massachusetts.

    Can not connect to AT&T or T-Mobile networks.

    The message on their web site:

    Last Updated: 24/08/2020

    Kindly be informed that we are experiencing a network outage with our servers that is affecting all our services.

    All our teams are working on solving the issues with a high alert level.

    We will update as soon as we get services back functioning.

  12. #57
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    I think this supports what @djphilosophy has said about reliability :-(.

    Please post back once they're operational again.

  13. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by russsell View Post
    I think this supports what @djphilosophy has said about reliability :-(.

    Please post back once they're operational again.
    This is actually worse than usual, but not a surprise. I tried my Piranha SIM earlier today after seeing the recent posts and also didn't get service. The network outage text is still in the login page. 3 days without a solution is ominous. They had to switch providers before and it wouldn't surprise me if this will force them to do it again (or worse).

  14. #59
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    Due to the length of the outage I'm wondering if they are down for the count. This is like a shop that posts a sign "closed for renovations" but never reopens.

    When they switched from Telna to Jersey (UK) Telecom a while back, service was out for several weeks.

    Have 2 lines on Piranha. One is for my foreign travel (last used Cayman Islands in November) or domestic backup, and the other is a purse emergency phone for my mother to roam on AT&T with little upkeep cost (just charge and test call once a month).

    I'll give Piranha a little more time, but if they don't resume service soon, I'll need to shop for alternatives.

    Sent from my moto z4 using HoFo mobile app

  15. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by djphilosophy View Post
    This is actually worse than usual, but not a surprise. I tried my Piranha SIM earlier today after seeing the recent posts and also didn't get service. The network outage text is still in the login page. 3 days without a solution is ominous. They had to switch providers before and it wouldn't surprise me if this will force them to do it again (or worse).
    5 days without service

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