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Thread: Ting: The Little Cell Phone Company that Cried "No Service"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lisme View Post
    AT&T is the one causing chaos with their proprietary VoLTE that excludes many phones that can't use it.
    Don't let them hoodwink you. There is nothing proprietary about the AT&T implementation -- it's standard GSMA IR.92 exposed over the "IMS well-known APN" -- and the whole phone model whitelist is a sham.

    They're also not the only provider playing these brain-dead games. Verizon is also guilty. At this point, I have managed to get VoLTE from all 3 national providers (ATT, VZ, T-M) working on non-whitelisted handsets, with some models going as far back as 2015...thus proving VoLTE interoperability between these networks and handsets is a non-issue. So whatever the carriers' reasons for imposing these new draconian whitelists, it has nothing to do with "compatibility".

    Most of the phone manufacturers are also complicit...many/most phone models that would otherwise work just fine with these carriers' networks have VoLTE carrier whitelists baked into the firmware! So if you stick a SIM card from a carrier into your phone that doesn't have an agreement with the manufacturer to be in the whitelist for that phone model, the phone won't even try to make a VoLTE connection on the network. But if you root your phone and neutralize or override the carrier feature whitelist, oh look whaddya know: VoLTE works just freakin' fine.

    I will grant there there is a small subset of implementation details that can vary from carrier to carrier. But they are the kinds of things that only require small config tweaks. There is absolutely no reason why smartphone vendors couldn't make such settings changeable by the users of the unlocked and unbranded phones that they sell, in much the same way that you can manually configure APN settings on such phones. Instead, both the manufacturers and carriers have agreed for some reason to make VoLTE (and WiFi Calling) typically available only when you use a given carrier's SIM in a carrier-branded version of the phone (with a few notable exceptions, like iPhones and Pixels). But this is a completely artificial limitation that has absolutely no roots in that carrier's IMS implementation being "proprietary".

    This effectively kills off any semblance of an "unlocked" handset market moving forward. Sure, there might be some handsets out there that you can buy unlocked and direct from manufacturers that will be on the whitelists, but the handset manufacturer and the carrier you want to use it with had to reach some sort of back-room deal for that handset to be allowed on that network.

    T-Mobile in the U.S. is the one national carrier that has the most reasonable and common-sense policy on this: if you can get an unsupported handset working on their network, it's still "unsupported" by definition, but...good for you. They won't stand in your way.

    T-M unfortunately doesn't have great coverage in rural areas, which is why I have resisted switching to them up to this point, but this nonsense is likely going to push me over the edge.

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    @NathanA: Good points and well-stated. This whole carrier-specific handset thing has got to go!

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    Ok, I'm not really intending to defend Ting, but... in defense of Ting.....

    Ting's made it clear several times when pressed on this issue is that their intent is to be proactive, in order to insure that their customers aren't suddenly without service, or with service that has degraded too far to be useful. (In other words, they will move faster than the networks.) Ting judges that this is a customer satisfaction issue, and they've built their business on keeping their customers satisfied, if not always thrilled.

    At least early on, Ting was also, I believe, actually correlating info from T-Mobile about when specific areas were seeing non-LTE shutdowns-- and those customers would get progressive warnings that customers in other areas might not. I'm unaware of any other MVNO that did this, and I don't know if Ting still does it.

    T-Mobile's gone back and forth on 'deadlines' for shutting down 2G/3G-- so a company being proactive to stay ahead of the schedule can easily end up looking like they're making the schedule up.....

    (Disclaimer: I am not currently, or recently, a Ting customer. I am a fan of at least some, although not all, of the ways Ting conducts business.)
    My Tello referral code is P3BSR5HV, and gets both of us 10 Tello Dollars to pay for a plan.
    https://tello.com/account/register?_referral=P3BSR5HV

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    Quote Originally Posted by offthegrid View Post
    They are likely moving all their customers to AT&T as the primary carrier, are they saying that is a problem? I know AT&T is shutting down 3G this February, 2022.
    I thought Ting mostly had service on Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint (obviously being merged into T-Mobile's network)?

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    Quote Originally Posted by compuguy View Post
    I thought Ting mostly had service on Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint (obviously being merged into T-Mobile's network)?
    Currently, this is true. What some people in this thread are referring to is the fact that Dish now owns both Boost and Ting & is also constructing a 5G-NR-native nationwide network of their own, and Dish's relationship with T-Mobile is on the rocks allegedly due to how T-M is handling the Sprint network sunset (which in turn impacts their Boost and Ting businesses). So, Dish turned around and signed a 10-year deal with AT&T, and has been signalling that it will be moving the subscribers it serves through its MVNO businesses over to AT&T.

    Whether Ting is included in this deal, or what the timetable for any of this really is, I don't think has been made public yet.

    Good article on the sitch here: https://bestmvno.com/boost-mobile/bo...n-att-network/

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    Quote Originally Posted by NathanA View Post
    Currently, this is true. What some people in this thread are referring to is the fact that Dish now owns both Boost and Ting & is also constructing a 5G-NR-native nationwide network of their own, and Dish's relationship with T-Mobile is on the rocks allegedly due to how T-M is handling the Sprint network sunset (which in turn impacts their Boost and Ting businesses). So, Dish turned around and signed a 10-year deal with AT&T, and has been signalling that it will be moving the subscribers it serves through its MVNO businesses over to AT&T.

    Whether Ting is included in this deal, or what the timetable for any of this really is, I don't think has been made public yet.

    Good article on the sitch here: https://bestmvno.com/boost-mobile/bo...n-att-network/
    Ah ok. I didn't know that Dish signed an agreement with AT&T. Thanks for the link. With the way that AT&T selectively whitelists unlocked smartphones, this is going to be a dumpster fire of a migration. T-Mobile is the most flexible with VoLTE with unlocked phones, Verizon second (which is surprising).

    In my honest opinion the Sprint network was hobbled because of the need to support CDMA. The whitelist and the hardware requirements limited what could be used on their network.

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    Quote Originally Posted by compuguy View Post
    With the way that AT&T selectively whitelists unlocked smartphones, this is going to be a dumpster fire of a migration.
    What's interesting is that AT&T -- at least so far -- seems to give their MVNOs some leniency when it comes to this. I'm on RP GSMA for my daily driver and have the SIM in a very-much-unapproved device (with both VoLTE and WiFi Calling working just fine, thank-you-very-much), and nobody has said a thing, it just continues to work, etc. Was on Boom! Blue for 9 months prior to that (before that went belly-up) & same story. Yet when I was on the ATT-side of TF/ST and tried the same thing it would always work for a few days before they would disable VoLTE for my account on *their* end...and then I'd have to get a new SIM, re-activate in a whitelisted device, move it over to my device of choice, have it work for a few days, it would get disabled, wash/rinse/repeat...

    So it's possible that Dish/Boost/Ting will have some autonomy granted to them when it comes to this.

    Quote Originally Posted by compuguy View Post
    T-Mobile is the most flexible with VoLTE with unlocked phones
    Yes, they are for sure the most "enlightened" of the national mobile carriers.

    Quote Originally Posted by compuguy View Post
    Verizon second (which is surprising).
    Indeed, though it is a very DISTANT second.

    They are almost the mirror-opposite of AT&T: while AT&T direct (postpaid and prepaid) customers are the ones getting "the business" while a large percentage of their MVNO subs are remaining un-harassed, Verizon won't complain too much if you are a direct (postpaid or prepaid) customer of theirs using a "non-VZW" phone, but will throw the book at you if you are an MVNO sub and try to use your SIM in what they euphemistically call a "bad device".

    I have an active line on Boom! Red, moved my SIM over to a not-whitelisted-by-Verizon device, and was threatened with termination of service if I left it in there. To say I'm unimpressed would be understatement of the century.

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    Quote Originally Posted by greenhandle View Post
    Ok, I'm not really intending to defend Ting, but... in defense of Ting.....

    Ting's made it clear several times when pressed on this issue is that their intent is to be proactive, in order to insure that their customers aren't suddenly without service, or with service that has degraded too far to be useful. (In other words, they will move faster than the networks.) Ting judges that this is a customer satisfaction issue, and they've built their business on keeping their customers satisfied, if not always thrilled....
    ^^^This

    Ting management posted a while ago that their reason for warning about impending phone incompatibility was to prevent customers from suddenly being without service. Another point was that it was and would cost them too much to provide support for antiquated phones. When someone's phone doesn't work well on Ting they don't blame it on technological changes at the facilities-based carrier, they blame Ting. Ting does not want dissatisfied customers.

    It's along the same lines as Verizon whitelisting phone that they will allow on their network. They don't want their brand name tarnished by poorly performing junky phones or the cost of trying to support them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bobdevnul View Post
    Ting management posted a while ago that their reason for warning about impending phone incompatibility was to prevent customers from suddenly being without service.
    I believe it and that totally makes sense. MVNOs are obviously dependent upon the networks that they resell service on. If the parent carrier makes a change -- either technological or policy-wise -- and sets a date on the calendar for that change, naturally the MVNOs are going to want to be well ahead of that. And when the parent carrier ends up pushing out the deadline beyond the one that they initially published, well...the people running the MVNOs aren't mind-readers. They can only work with the information that they've been given.

    Not that you are necessarily even directing this part of your response at me here, but I never posted to this thread with the intention of getting on Ting's back. I only jumped in when the speculation that this was maybe related to the (still rumored and not at all confirmed) migration of Ting to AT&T was somehow playing a part in this October deadline. And then flowing out of that were claims about AT&T's "proprietary" VoLTE implementation causing problems. I specifically wanted to set the record straight on that: though AT&T maintains a VoLTE-compatible-phones whitelist, it's NOT because their VoLTE implementation is somehow "special". 'cause it's totally not.

    And related to that, I do think that quite often in these discussions people are conflating the "technological" changes that carriers are making with "policy" changes. Not everything that's happening is directly related to changes in the fundamental technology. The 3G shut-off is an example of a technological change, and I'm sure that's what you were referring to when you used that phrase. But VoLTE becoming a requirement as a result of the 3G shut-off does not necessitate user equipment whitelists. Whitelists were never a thing before with AT&T prior to recent events. And there is nothing about VoLTE architecture that now makes whitelists inevitable or unavoidable...in the old world of circuit-switched voice this was never an issue (at least on the GSM side), and given how standards-based VoLTE works, this could STILL be true of 4G (and beyond) voice delivery. So contrary to seemingly popular belief, it's not "by definition" required in a VoLTE world, but rather, the carriers and the handset manufacturers have CHOSEN to make this into a thing when it comes to VoLTE. It's a POLICY choice, NOT a TECHNOLOGY one. BIG difference. (Can changing tech drive policy choices? Of course! But nobody has managed to demonstrate so far that that's the case with THIS choice.)

    That said, at the end of the day, that doesn't make the plight of the MVNO caught in the middle of this any less real, or change the substance of the action that they're forced to take as a result. To them, whether it's a policy-driven decision or a tech one makes no difference. But that truth ALSO doesn't make the real distinction between tech and policy any less important, either.

    Quote Originally Posted by bobdevnul View Post
    It's along the same lines as Verizon whitelisting phone that they will allow on their network. They don't want their brand name tarnished by poorly performing junky phones or the cost of trying to support them.
    This is where I have to take issue, especially as there is a lot of missing context here.

    First, let's just say briefly for the sake of argument that this claim is true...or, at least, that this is what Verizon likes to *tell itself* is the reason for maintaining a whitelist. If so, it's really kind of laughable, given how many times in the past Verizon has come under fire (especially in the pre-iPhone days) for the crap experience that their customers have had with first-party Verizon-branded handsets that had their logo tastelessly and gaudily plastered all over the firmware, were loaded to the gills with VZ crapware/bloatware that could not be removed, and often had key features of that particular phone model disabled (tethering being a big one back in the day). Clearly the VZ versions of these phones were worse than the unbranded versions of the same phones, and arguably all of the changes were completely self-serving, and as a result they did more than their fare share of tarnishing their OWN brand. So, yeah: I personally don't buy it.

    But that was the past, and in the specific instance of Verizon (...we'll get to the other carriers in a minute...), ignores where we are in the story today. Because today we live in a world where Verizon won the majority of Upper 700MHz "C Blocks" available across the nation in the FCC's auction 73 back in 2008, and so agreed to abide by the "open access" rules that came attached to that particular chunk of spectrum. They've gotten into a few scuffles with the FCC related to this over the past few years and have apparently backed down a bit, so as a result, it seems that it is fairly well-known at this point that if you are a direct Verizon customer on either the postpaid or prepaid side, you can move your SIM over to a non-whitelisted phone, and though their billing & provisioning system will flag it as a "non-VZW" device, you're generally not going to either get your account suspended nor get a lecture from them. So what your response implies about how Verizon currently handles whitelists isn't even accurate, from what I can gather.

    My experience so far with having a Verizon MVNO line, though, is that this same courtesy for some reason does not extend to me: if I put my SIM in a "bad phone", Verizon threatens me (through my MVNO) with service suspension. Now, how exactly does that make sense? The "cost of support" and "brand name protection" arguments don't factor in here, because 1) Verizon doesn't have to bear the support burden for MVNO lines, and 2) their agreements with their MVNOs typically prevent the MVNOs from using the name "Verizon" in their marketing.

    If we contrast the Verizon story with the AT&T one, well...so far it seems like AT&T couldn't care less what is happening on the MVNO side. Put the SIM in whatever phone you want & whether it works or not...who gives a crap? After all, it's the MVNO that has to support that customer, not our CS department, sooo, no skin off our backs. (Holy crap, sanity and common-sense actually reigns someplace?)

    Direct AT&T customers, on the other hand, are getting treated terribly, and understandably, they're not at all happy about it (read the comments). So, first, they're told that they have until February to get a "compatible" phone. Then AT&T starts preemptively shipping out free bottom-of-the-barrel phones (which, spoiler-alert: they're junk...kinda blows the "quality of experience" argument out of the water) out to customers who still have their SIMs in non-whitelisted phones, and those phones also have new SIMs preloaded in them. If the customer doesn't activate the new phone with the new SIM within 30 days after it ships out, it auto-activates, and their SIM in their old phone dies. Some people are never receiving the phone that was dispatched (lost in shipping? who knows), and so they wake up one day to a phone with no service, and no easy way to get it back, 6 months before the 3G shut-off date. It's a total cluster.

    Furthermore, those who take a SIM that's currently in a compatible phone and move it (for whatever reason) over to a non-whitelisted phone are finding that AT&T is suspending the service on their line within minutes after doing so...and simply moving the SIM back over to a whitelisted model after this happens does NOT restore their service! Once this occurs, you HAVE to contact AT&T customer support to have them re-activate your line!! So, okay: we can debate the (de)merits of whitelists all day long, but THIS is bone-freaking-headed. If a SIM that's tied to an account that is otherwise in good standing is put (back) into a whitelisted phone, then the network should just let it connect back up at that point. Requiring people to contact CS because they made the faux-pas of putting it in an unsupported phone for 5 minutes is just ASKING for extra support load on AT&T's part! Duh.

    So, maybe you could argue that AT&T is doing all of this because -- again -- they both want to get ahead of the 3G shut-off deadline, and also want to "stagger" their interactions with their customers rather than face an onslaught of complaints all at once on D-Day in February. That theory & argument makes sense. But implementing equipment whitelists seems like the face-palmiest way out of all the different possible ways that you could possibly choose to accomplish this, and the thing it has been most successful at doing so far is engendering resentment.
    Last edited by NathanA; 09-14-2021 at 05:31 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NathanA View Post
    I believe it and that totally makes sense. MVNOs are obviously dependent upon the networks that they resell service on. If the parent carrier makes a change -- either technological or policy-wise -- and sets a date on the calendar for that change, naturally the MVNOs are going to want to be well ahead of that. And when the parent carrier ends up pushing out the deadline beyond the one that they initially published, well...the people running the MVNOs aren't mind-readers. They can only work with the information that they've been given.

    Not that you are necessarily even directing this part of your response at me here, but I never posted to this thread with the intention of getting on Ting's back. I only jumped in when the speculation that this was maybe related to the (still rumored and not at all confirmed) migration of Ting to AT&T was somehow playing a part in this October deadline. And then flowing out of that were claims about AT&T's "proprietary" VoLTE implementation causing problems. I specifically wanted to set the record straight on that: though AT&T maintains a VoLTE-compatible-phones whitelist, it's NOT because their VoLTE implementation is somehow "special". 'cause it's totally not.

    And related to that, I do think that quite often in these discussions people are conflating the "technological" changes that carriers are making with "policy" changes. Not everything that's happening is directly related to changes in the fundamental technology. The 3G shut-off is an example of a technological change, and I'm sure that's what you were referring to when you used that phrase. But VoLTE becoming a requirement as a result of the 3G shut-off does not necessitate user equipment whitelists. Whitelists were never a thing before with AT&T prior to recent events. And there is nothing about VoLTE architecture that now makes whitelists inevitable or unavoidable...in the old world of circuit-switched voice this was never an issue (at least on the GSM side), and given how standards-based VoLTE works, this could STILL be true of 4G (and beyond) voice delivery. So contrary to seemingly popular belief, it's not "by definition" required in a VoLTE world, but rather, the carriers and the handset manufacturers have CHOSEN to make this into a thing when it comes to VoLTE. It's a POLICY choice, NOT a TECHNOLOGY one. BIG difference. (Can changing tech drive policy choices? Of course! But nobody has managed to demonstrate so far that that's the case with THIS choice.)

    That said, at the end of the day, that doesn't make the plight of the MVNO caught in the middle of this any less real, or change the substance of the action that they're forced to take as a result. To them, whether it's a policy-driven decision or a tech one makes no difference. But that truth ALSO doesn't make the real distinction between tech and policy any less important, either.



    This is where I have to take issue, especially as there is a lot of missing context here.

    First, let's just say briefly for the sake of argument that this claim is true...or, at least, that this is what Verizon likes to *tell itself* is the reason for maintaining a whitelist. If so, it's really kind of laughable, given how many times in the past Verizon has come under fire (especially in the pre-iPhone days) for the crap experience that their customers have had with first-party Verizon-branded handsets that had their logo tastelessly and gaudily plastered all over the firmware, were loaded to the gills with VZ crapware/bloatware that could not be removed, and often had key features of that particular phone model disabled (tethering being a big one back in the day). Clearly the VZ versions of these phones were worse than the unbranded versions of the same phones, and arguably all of the changes were completely self-serving, and as a result they did more than their fare share of tarnishing their OWN brand. So, yeah: I personally don't buy it.

    But that was the past, and in the specific instance of Verizon (...we'll get to the other carriers in a minute...), ignores where we are in the story today. Because today we live in a world where Verizon won the majority of Upper 700MHz "C Blocks" available across the nation in the FCC's auction 73 back in 2008, and so agreed to abide by the "open access" rules that came attached to that particular chunk of spectrum. They've gotten into a few scuffles with the FCC related to this over the past few years and have apparently backed down a bit, so as a result, it seems that it is fairly well-known at this point that if you are a direct Verizon customer on either the postpaid or prepaid side, you can move your SIM over to a non-whitelisted phone, and though their billing & provisioning system will flag it as a "non-VZW" device, you're generally not going to either get your account suspended nor get a lecture from them. So what your response implies about how Verizon currently handles whitelists isn't even accurate, from what I can gather.

    My experience so far with having a Verizon MVNO line, though, is that this same courtesy for some reason does not extend to me: if I put my SIM in a "bad phone", Verizon threatens me (through my MVNO) with service suspension. Now, how exactly does that make sense? The "cost of support" and "brand name protection" arguments don't factor in here, because 1) Verizon doesn't have to bear the support burden for MVNO lines, and 2) their agreements with their MVNOs typically prevent the MVNOs from using the name "Verizon" in their marketing.

    If we contrast the Verizon story with the AT&T one, well...so far it seems like AT&T couldn't care less what is happening on the MVNO side. Put the SIM in whatever phone you want & whether it works or not...who gives a crap? After all, it's the MVNO that has to support that customer, not our CS department, sooo, no skin off our backs. (Holy crap, sanity and common-sense actually reigns someplace?)

    Direct AT&T customers, on the other hand, are getting treated terribly, and understandably, they're not at all happy about it (read the comments). So, first, they're told that they have until February to get a "compatible" phone. Then AT&T starts preemptively shipping out free bottom-of-the-barrel phones (which, spoiler-alert: they're junk...kinda blows the "quality of experience" argument out of the water) out to customers who still have their SIMs in non-whitelisted phones, and those phones also have new SIMs preloaded in them. If the customer doesn't activate the new phone with the new SIM within 30 days after it ships out, it auto-activates, and their SIM in their old phone dies. Some people are never receiving the phone that was dispatched (lost in shipping? who knows), and so they wake up one day to a phone with no service, and no easy way to get it back, 6 months before the 3G shut-off date. It's a total cluster.

    Furthermore, those who take a SIM that's currently in a compatible phone and move it (for whatever reason) over to a non-whitelisted phone are finding that AT&T is suspending the service on their line within minutes after doing so...and simply moving the SIM back over to a whitelisted model after this happens does NOT restore their service! Once this occurs, you HAVE to contact AT&T customer support to have them re-activate your line!! So, okay: we can debate the (de)merits of whitelists all day long, but THIS is bone-freaking-headed. If a SIM that's tied to an account that is otherwise in good standing is put (back) into a whitelisted phone, then the network should just let it connect back up at that point. Requiring people to contact CS because they made the faux-pas of putting it in an unsupported phone for 5 minutes is just ASKING for extra support load on AT&T's part! Duh.

    So, maybe you could argue that AT&T is doing all of this because -- again -- they both want to get ahead of the 3G shut-off deadline, and also want to "stagger" their interactions with their customers rather than face an onslaught of complaints all at once on D-Day in February. That theory & argument makes sense. But implementing equipment whitelists seems like the face-palmiest way out of all the different possible ways that you could possibly choose to accomplish this, and the thing it has been most successful at doing so far is engendering resentment.
    Whew, that's a lot of info. No nothing was directed at you. My Verizon whitelist analogy was just quick off-the-cuff. As you say, there a lot more to it than what I mentioned. There are a whole lot of machinations by the carriers with whitelisting, VoLTE compatibility, bloatware, etc. It is all to maximize market share and profit and nothing to do with benefiting customers - even at T-Mo with their carefully crafted Uncarrier persona. If you follow their earnings calls rather than the advertising and T-Mo fanboy blatherings, they are very much about gaining market share and profit - as it should be. T-Mo has made great progress since the days when they were a distant third to Sprint. They remain a third rate network in large parts of the country, but are becoming a competitive force in the market which is good to keep Verizon and AT&T in check.

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    Some of this goes back to the old Bellhead thought process when only Western Electric phones could be used on their network and no network interconnection with 'foreign equipment'. I believe it was the carter phone decision which forced them to open up but still with standards.

    I know when the local Bells started taking RFPs for equipment in the 90's companies were not getting any of their business and there was a lot of whining from companies like Cisco. The Bells called them out and said their equipment wasn't meeting the 5 nines standard they use - 99.999% uptime under the worst possible operating conditions. Companies met the standard and started winning bids.

    Verizon tests a manufacturers phones and if they meet their testing standards the phone is allowed - the way I understand it. I'm not sure how AT&T does things in that regard.

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    Quote Originally Posted by offthegrid View Post
    ...Verizon tests a manufacturers phones and if they meet their testing standards the phone is allowed - the way I understand it. I'm not sure how AT&T does things in that regard.
    Yes, with one major additional detail. Verizon does not test manufacturers phones for free. The manufacturer pays Verizon to test and certify/whitelist phones. The test and certification isn't cheap. IIRC, it was in the six to seven figure range. That led to many phone manufacturers and models never being whitelisted to use on Verizon.

    Verizon and the other carriers also used to make deals with the manufacturers to produce carrier specific models with features disabled, bloatware added, and frequencies/protocols/bands that wouldn't work with other carriers to keep people from changing carriers, along with other sleazy shenanigans. Changing carriers used to mean having to buy an expensive new phone. Things are better now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bobdevnul View Post
    It is all to maximize market share and profit and nothing to do with benefiting customers - even at T-Mo with their carefully crafted Uncarrier persona. If you follow their earnings calls rather than the advertising and T-Mo fanboy blatherings, they are very much about gaining market share and profit - as it should be.
    Sooo, here's a radical idea: you can gain marketshare and (thus) profits precisely BY benefiting customers. It's not like these are mutually-exclusive concepts. Turns out!: if you do things that your actual and potential customers LIKE, they reward you by switching to you and then continuing to do business with you, instead of switching away and/or hating your guts! NOVEL CONCEPT, I KNOW! WHO'D'A THUNK IT?

    Quote Originally Posted by offthegrid View Post
    Some of this goes back to the old Bellhead thought process when only Western Electric phones could be used on their network and no network interconnection with 'foreign equipment'. I believe it was the carter phone decision which forced them to open up but still with standards.
    Nailed it.

    Quote Originally Posted by offthegrid View Post
    Verizon tests a manufacturers phones and if they meet their testing standards the phone is allowed
    Again, my understanding is that at this point, if an FCC-certified phone supports LTE Band 13, Verizon HAS to "allow" it, whether they've tested and subsequently approved it or not. What I'm still puzzling over is the discrepancy between how they apply this to their direct customers, vs. how they apply this to MVNO lines.

    Quote Originally Posted by bobdevnul View Post
    Changing carriers used to mean having to buy an expensive new phone. Things are better now.
    ...are they?
    Last edited by NathanA; 09-15-2021 at 07:55 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NathanA View Post
    Sooo, here's a radical idea: you can gain marketshare and (thus) profits precisely BY benefiting customers. It's not like these are mutually-exclusive concepts. Turns out!: if you do things that your actual and potential customers LIKE, they reward you by switching to you and then continuing to do business with you, instead of switching away and/or hating your guts! NOVEL CONCEPT, I KNOW! WHO'D'A THUNK IT?
    You have quoted me out of context. Are you being deliberately pedantic to be argumentative?

    The context was that whitelisting, etc. are all about maximizing profit and does nothing to benefit customers. Of course benefitting customers, or at least giving them the perception of benefit and value, is part of good business. Aunt Minnie in Minneapolis probably does not follow carrier financial reports or earnings calls where the context is all about, "Look at what we did to extract more money out of our customer base." Aunt Minnie sees the advertising about More Bars in More Places!, Now With 5G!, We Have the Best 5G Network!, etc." Aunt Minnie sees that and thinks, "Oh, X carrier must be the best." And goes to the carrier store and buys what the sales-slime upsells her to."

    Aunt Minnie is not an educated consumer with a well honed sense of caveat emptor, like most sheeple, about purchasing cellphones and cell service. I am no socialist. Corporate management has a fiduciary responsibility to maximize shareholder value by maximizing profit. Part of maximizing profit is convincing customers to buy your product based on perceived and actual benefit and value.

    ...are they?
    Reply with quote did not work correctly. The context was my statement: "Changing carriers used to mean having to buy an expensive new phone. Things are better now."

    It certainly seem better to me. I have not had to buy carrier specific phones that couldn't be used on another carrier for years now. Many mainstream phones are carrier agnostic now. I've been buying Moto phones for several years. They are not locked to a particular carrier or crippled so they only work well with one carrier.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bobdevnul View Post
    You have quoted me out of context. Are you being deliberately pedantic to be argumentative?

    The context was that whitelisting, etc. are all about maximizing profit and does nothing to benefit customers.


    I didn't intentionally try to quote you out of context (& re-reading my own response back, I still fail to see it...), but I think what I very obviously did fail to do was to clearly communicate the intent behind my own response. When I was reading your response, I was nodding my head along in agreement with you. And my follow-up response wasn't directed at you, but was rather me trying to argue "yes, and" to the carriers. (Obviously they aren't reading my blather and couldn't care less what I have to say about anything, but I'm trying to write as if they are reading and do care. )

    That is to say, yes: I agree with you that their own intentions seem to be to pit profits up against customer benefit. So my argument to them in the face of that is, (as the meme goes) "why not both?" Ditch the dumb whitelists and instead treat your customers with respect, and by doing so I'm willing to bet them that they can be *both* customer-focused *and* profitable...a virtuous feedback-loop of sorts. Win-win. To insist on doing otherwise is just short-sighted on their part.

    Quote Originally Posted by bobdevnul View Post
    Reply with quote did not work correctly.
    Yeah, unfortunately the HF forum software doesn't automatically nest quotes from prior responses, so if you want to beef up your response's context, you have to manually copy the additional text that you want to include and then nest it manually, which I'm pretty sure does actually work as I'm 99% certain I've done it before myself (I'll test it below), but requires more work on the part of the poster.

    Quote Originally Posted by nathana
    Quote Originally Posted by nathana
    Testing, testing.
    Testing, 1 2 3...
    Yup, sweet; works.

    Quote Originally Posted by bobdevnul View Post
    It certainly seem better to me. I have not had to buy carrier specific phones that couldn't be used on another carrier for years now. Many mainstream phones are carrier agnostic now. I've been buying Moto phones for several years. They are not locked to a particular carrier or crippled so they only work well with one carrier.
    It's not so much that carrier-specific phones are really as much of a thing anymore these days, but rather that there are so many different variants of what at a first glance to the average consumer appears to be the same model, but which actually has some subtle under-the-hood hardware difference (such as supported radio bands) despite the software itself being virtually identical between them...just because I see "Galaxy S20" on AT&T's VoLTE whitelist does not mean the phone I might own bearing that identifier is actually whitelisted, because maybe I have the unlocked International version instead of the U.S. one or whatever. Thus why the AT&T PDF goes into great detail on the specific model numbers. If phones were just being rejected on account of not-compatible radio bands, I could understand that a bit more, but even when the band support is exactly the same (or even a superset of the whitelisted variant) and so could technically work, tough luck 'cause not on the whitelist. So in such a scenario, I already own a perfectly capable phone, but will still be forced to buy a new phone if I'm coming over to AT&T from a carrier that my phone was working just fine on.

    Even to take Motorola as an example, who I agree has generally done a fine job of releasing non-carrier-specific phones, there are people who are being turned away because their phone isn't the exact sub-model, and sometimes even when it is.

    So I'd argue it's not conclusively that much better now than it was in the past. Different, to be sure, but not necessarily better. It's just a slight twist on the same old game that the mobile carriers (at least in the U.S.) have been playing for years.

    I doubt it would be controversial to claim that the one smartphone that has been the most insulated from these shenanigans is the iPhone, and this is likely due to just how aggressively Apple has pursued their nobody-pushes-US-around, thank-you-very-much attitude & policies (helped along, naturally, by how popular it is as a handset amongst consumers). For those of us that can't or won't use Apple products for whatever reason, though, there are very few guarantees vis-a-vis the universality of smartphones outside of the iOS ecosystem from a carrier-acceptability standpoint.

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