Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 1 2
Results 16 to 19 of 19

Thread: Recommended interim cell service before moving to TMo

  1. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Silicon Valley
    Posts
    2,063
    Device(s)
    Samsung Galaxy Note 9, iPhone 7 Plus
    Carrier(s)
    Verizon, T-Mobile, AT&T
    Feedback Score
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by varaonaid View Post
    Hi,

    I’m not sure if this is the best place to post this. If not, please let me know where would be best.

    We’re currently w/Google Fi and have been for nearly 3 years. I’ll include a little more info on this below. But suffice it to say that we’re planning to switch to TMo (the 55+ since my spouse is eligible) but want to wait unit there’s a phone we’re really excited about since they offer the best deals by far for new subs. However, we don’t really want to stay with Fi in the meantime. So, I’m wondering, what options might you recommend for an interim provider? Here’s a little info:

    2 phone lines. We could do a few things. We could have a good priced unlimited plan for both lines, or just one line with the other a lower data usage. We could also have both on a lower (metered) usage with the possibility of moving up to an unlimited plan when needed (more info below). When we need the higher data usage, we also need some hotspot data for GPS navigation on our tablet when traveling. For now, we’ll just BYOD. We currently have universal devices (while I may get a used iPhone at point, I’ll try to get that universal as well).

    My concern is partially coverage. When I’ve contacted TMo’s support team, they helpfully (and openly) informed me that postpaid accounts had full access to all their roaming contracts w/ AT&T, etc but their prepaid, Metro by TMo, and all MVNOs have no access to the roaming partners so the coverage isn’t as good. Our area can be spotty w/ native TMo in N New England so TMo w/o roaming agreements are a bit concerning. I also have some health issues and do need to have at least decently reliable coverage (w/o going to VZW’s prices, tho). I may like the option to add a wearable but this isn’t a dealbreaker, if it’s impossible. I’m wanting to keep the pricing affordable and reasonable close to the TMo 55+ deal of $70, though I’m willing to pay a little more. I’ve heard pretty negative things about all the Trac Fone companies. I thought Cricket would be impossible due to the hotspot restrictions but it appears they now allow 10gb w/ the unlimited plans. I even considered Xfinity Mobile but their restricted speeds after 20gb sounds like it might be difficult (I don’t know how 1.5Mbps would be in practice). I haven’t been using that much but I’d like the option of some mobile streaming, at least when traveling.

    Anyway, I’d love any thoughts, advice, or suggestions. I’d so appreciate hearing your ideas and recommendations. Thanks so much in advance!

    Extra info:
    While Fi was incredibly disruptive to the cell industry’s pricing initially and had top notch support, now let’s just say they aren’t as great deal for more data usage in the US (w/o Intl travel) and support has slipped, in my experience. We have to travel 3-4x a year for me to have multiple recurring rare surgeries (4K+ mile road trip because I cannot fly for medical reasons). When we’re at home, we generally keep usage under 2GB for me (sometimes less) and my spouse can often come in under 1GB. But when we travel, I always hit the Fi Bill Protection on my plan (we’re still on separate plans as there weren’t group plans when we joined and had device payments that couldn’t be moved over) and my spouse ends up around 5-6GB. In addition, we also have had the trip fall across two billing cycles several times causing the costs to rise even more. So, even with our regular usage, the TMo 55+ will keep prices similar to our home use with it being a significant savings during travel. And, it would be nice to not to have to worry about keeping usage so low. Hoping we can find something similar until we actually move over to TMo. Please let me know if you need any more info. Oh, just in case you need to know, our phones are currently a 1st Gen Pixel XL and a Moto x4 (Android One), though I’m likely to try out a used iPhone in the near future. Please let me know if you need any additional info. Thanks again!
    I have Total Wireless, a Tracfone company on Verizon and it's been fine. Good customer service via on-line chat. As an interim carrier it's probably your best bet with the most data, the best coverage, and the lowest cost.

    Your phones appear to be compatible--as you stated, you have "universal phones." I have three of the X4 models, one for wife and daughter who didn't want large phones, and one I used when traveling internationally.

    If you port out to Total Wireless you'll get two lines with 22.5GB shared data for $57 per month (plus tax, so about $60 or so). Total Wireless allows tethering. Cricket doesn't allow tethering on the lower cost plans, only the unlimited plans (one reason I left) but they do have pretty good coverage (though only a small amount of off-network roaming).

    If you occasionally need more than 22.5GB shared data on Total Wireless then they sell extra data at $2/GB ($10 for 5GB).

    When ready, you could port out to the T-Mobile 55+ plan. However it would be a big mistake to move to T-Mobile and to rely on AT&T roaming to obtain coverage because roaming has been being removed due to cost considerations. Google-Fi has the problem of using the two networks with the least native coverage and no roaming.

    Advantages of the T-Mobile 55+ plan include unlimited data, Canada and Mexico roaming, taxes included, international roaming, and one free taco every Tuesday at Taco Bell. It also includes one hour per flight of in-flight data on GoGo but since you don't fly that would be no benefit. The 55+ plan does not include free Netflix. $70 is a good deal if you really are going to use very large amounts of data, but it sounds like you aren't using huge amounts, even when traveling.

    In short, Total Wireless would probably be your best bet for an interim carrier because a) they have very good coverage, b) they include a lot of data, c) they are inexpensive, d) they are one of the few MVNOs with family plans on Verizon, and e) they're the only Verizon MVNO with a family plan where data is shared instead of per line. If you find that the 22.5GB data is sufficient than you could stay with them, save a little money, and have better coverage, at least domestically.

    Total Wireless doesn't have great deals on phones though, nothing like buy-one-get-one-free deals offered by some carriers. I bought a Samsung Note 9 for $200 off. To my surprise it was unlocked so I can use it internationally with a foreign SIM card when traveling. That's what I miss about being on T-Mobile, the international roaming, but I couldn't continue on T-Mobile because the domestic coverage had too many gaps for my needs, but your mileage may vary. If you don't travel much, and stick to areas with native T-Mobile coverage, you'll be fine.

    For tablet GPS navigation, assuming you have tablet with a GPS (not a Wi-Fi only iPad), I suggest using OSMAND or CoPilot, both of which store maps on the device and do not use any data. However, unlike with Waze, that doesn't give you traffic information or route you based on congestion. Waze is extremely useful in areas with lots of traffic congestion (Los Angeles, Bay Area, etc.). iPads with LTE have a GPS chip, as do most Android tablets other than the el-cheapo $50 tablets.

    RedPocket on AT&T or Sprint would be $50 for two lines with 5GB high-speed data per line (3GB on T-Mobile or Verizon). Unlimited low-speed data is included. Might be a good way to test out T-Mobile before committing. Extra data is $10/GB. https://www.redpocket.com/plans/family
    Last edited by smsgator; 03-05-2019 at 01:01 PM.

  2. #17
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Posts
    3,143
    Feedback Score
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by james4209 View Post
    Do not switch to T-Mobile if you are planning on relying on AT&T roaming.
    I second this. I relied on TMO roaming onto ATT until last summer when TMO took it away in my area. At the time I did research and found they were yanking the roaming in other areas across the country too. So I would not use this as a consideration at all.

    Anyway, as I said elsewhere, roaming coverage is not real coverage. So make your coverage-related decisions based on T-Mobile's actual non-roaming coverage footprint.

  3. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    IL
    Posts
    2,127
    Device(s)
    iPhone XS
    Carrier(s)
    Verizon
    Feedback Score
    0
    Maybe you want to try out Visible by Verizon.. its 45 all in unlimited everything. Initially they had issues with their servers which would lead to no service, but I have heard that they have vastly improved. Its LTE only service with no roaming... not that you would need it.

    www.visible.com
    Verizon LTE

  4. #19
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Posts
    3,143
    Feedback Score
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by T-MOBILE GSM View Post
    Maybe you want to try out Visible by Verizon.. its 45 all in unlimited everything. Initially they had issues with their servers which would lead to no service, but I have heard that they have vastly improved. Its LTE only service with no roaming... not that you would need it.

    www.visible.com
    Isn't there still a large part of the US that has Verizon but not LTE?

Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 1 2

Similar Threads

  1. Moving to TMo from Straight Talk
    By Lilac in forum Straight Talk
    Replies: 17
    Last Post: 11-25-2014, 08:17 PM
  2. Cell Phone Amplifier - Moving to Inductive Cradle
    By Boondocker in forum General Mobile Questions and Discussion
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 07-28-2014, 09:49 PM
  3. Replies: 13
    Last Post: 03-06-2008, 10:37 PM
  4. a few more questions before moving to TMobile
    By _-^Snow^-_ in forum T-Mobile
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 10-17-2006, 05:18 PM
  5. Replies: 3
    Last Post: 11-18-2003, 04:46 PM

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks