Author Topic: AirVoice vs Platinumtel?  (Read 8593 times)

oldtoyota

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AirVoice vs Platinumtel?
« on: June 01, 2013, 07:46:43 PM »
Anyone else considered (or considering) the difference between the two choices above?

Here's my deal:

I have T-mobile now. I just got a newish phone. I plan to pay out $400 to break the contract. After doing the calculations, I could go with a Ptel plan for $40 and come out ahead in a number of months.

However...

the AirVoice plan offers the same as Ptel for a cheaper price, but AirVoice runs on AT&T, I believe.

Is it even possible for me to switch to AirVoice with my current phone given that I am on the T-mobile network now?

Is what I am asking even making sense?


Daley

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Re: AirVoice vs Platinumtel?
« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2013, 09:31:48 PM »
There is a difference between the Airvoice and P'tel packages. The P'tel $40 package has 250MB of data at 3G HSPA+ speeds, with continued data access at 2G EDGE speeds after that point. The cheaper than $40 Airvoice plans have very little and limited to no data access. If you don't care about data, and you insist on "unlimited" talk and text, and would like to go with a T-Mobile MVNO anyway, go with GoSmart instead, just talk and text is $30/month just like Airvoice and their $35 plan has mostly unmetered 2G EDGE data speeds. Platinumtel's sweet spot is in their pay as you go packages.

If you're still willing to do Platinumtel and $40/month, however, maybe give their more charitable sister company Giv Mobile a look. Same service, same customer support, same price, 8% of your bill to the charities of your choice (on their list).

oldtoyota

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Re: AirVoice vs Platinumtel?
« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2013, 06:15:00 AM »
Thanks! I thought GoSmart's coverage was not as great as Ptel, but I looked again and see it's the same for the areas I would use the most.

I am also reconsidering Republic Wireless since they have a $19/mo plan. I'd have to buy the one phone they support, but I could sell my current one most likely.

Daley

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Re: AirVoice vs Platinumtel?
« Reply #3 on: June 02, 2013, 07:00:33 AM »
Thanks! I thought GoSmart's coverage was not as great as Ptel, but I looked again and see it's the same for the areas I would use the most.

I am also reconsidering Republic Wireless since they have a $19/mo plan. I'd have to buy the one phone they support, but I could sell my current one most likely.

P'tel and GoSmart's coverage is identical (I've mentioned this to you before), P'tel just has the wrong map up.

As for Republic? Start by reading this post from last year, then chase that info down with what I posted last night. Then ask yourself why if I already knew about them, why it was never discussed as a serious option for your usage habits.

But, if you're still gung-ho on the idea? Be my guest!

This isn't like the iPhone/Airvoice things in the past, where I'm trying to help people recover from past expensive choices. The tools are here, the info is here, the math is inescapable. I'm not gonna repeatedly play Jiminy Cricket on this one.

oldtoyota

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Re: AirVoice vs Platinumtel?
« Reply #4 on: June 02, 2013, 07:13:00 AM »
Thanks! I thought GoSmart's coverage was not as great as Ptel, but I looked again and see it's the same for the areas I would use the most.

I am also reconsidering Republic Wireless since they have a $19/mo plan. I'd have to buy the one phone they support, but I could sell my current one most likely.

P'tel and GoSmart's coverage is identical (I've mentioned this to you before), P'tel just has the wrong map up.

As for Republic? Start by reading this post from last year, then chase that info down with what I posted last night. Then ask yourself why if I already knew about them, why it was never discussed as a serious option for your usage habits.

But, if you're still gung-ho on the idea? Be my guest!

This isn't like the iPhone/Airvoice things in the past, where I'm trying to help people recover from past expensive choices. The tools are here, the info is here, the math is inescapable. I'm not gonna repeatedly play Jiminy Cricket on this one.

You sound mad. MMM wrote about Republic Wireless just the other day. I'm looking into it because I research things. I'm guessing his post has you steamed because you do not like RW. Please do not take it out on me.

I know Ptel has the wrong map, but I chose Ptel over GoSmart at one point and could not recall why. I should have taken notes on this! I am cutting items left and right, and it's a lot to handle at the moment.
« Last Edit: June 02, 2013, 07:31:01 AM by oldtoyota »

kevin78

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Re: AirVoice vs Platinumtel?
« Reply #5 on: June 02, 2013, 07:23:27 AM »
I think veteran prepaid users are more jaded about Sprint based offerings given the lack of BYOD traditionally and the slow data speeds.  Those items are why I wouldn't go with RW, assuming my assumptions about RW are correct (sprint network, lack of BYOD)  I think there is alot of hype around the RW since MMM posted about it and his posts attract alot of attention.  IP Daley, I think I remember you had a more realistic attitude about it in the comments if I remember correctly.

On topic, another issue that I haven't seen mentioned is that it appears that the smartphone is question is probably locked to t-mobile so it would have to be unlocked to be on Airvoice.

oldtoyota

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Re: AirVoice vs Platinumtel?
« Reply #6 on: June 02, 2013, 07:32:07 AM »
I think veteran prepaid users are more jaded about Sprint based offerings given the lack of BYOD traditionally and the slow data speeds.  Those items are why I wouldn't go with RW, assuming my assumptions about RW are correct (sprint network, lack of BYOD)  I think there is alot of hype around the RW since MMM posted about it and his posts attract alot of attention.  IP Daley, I think I remember you had a more realistic attitude about it in the comments if I remember correctly.

On topic, another issue that I haven't seen mentioned is that it appears that the smartphone is question is probably locked to t-mobile so it would have to be unlocked to be on Airvoice.

True. I can unlock it for $400. I'll make that back within several months of not paying outrageous monthly fees.

kevin78

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Re: AirVoice vs Platinumtel?
« Reply #7 on: June 02, 2013, 07:38:13 AM »
I'd seriously consider keeping the phone you have... people that are paying $250 for a Defy XT with Android 2.3 are suckers, imo.  You can buy an unlocked Nexus 4 which is a screaming fast phone with support for all GSM frequencies for 299 + tax as a comparison.

If the t-mobile coverage works for you, you can get more service for less money on t-mobile over att.

Daley

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Re: AirVoice vs Platinumtel?
« Reply #8 on: June 02, 2013, 07:44:32 AM »
You sound mad. MMM wrote about Republic Wireless just the other day. Sounds like things have changed with RW since you last mentioned it, so I think it's at least worth looking into it.

Actually, no. I'm not mad. Also, nothing has changed about their service or my opinion of RW post MMM post other than a fancier phone. I thought it was a bad idea before, and I still think it's a bad idea. I'm just taking a much harder line on it out of necessity because so many more people are asking about it now and a more subtle approach is clearly no longer effective.

Let me give you a list of five major failure points for so many MVNOs in this country to chew on:

1) They take a proprietary approach.
2) They have to carry inventory.
3) They charge less than is sustainable long-term.
4) They're relatively short-lived on the market.
5) The service is built around a gimmick.

As for your other points?

Yes, I agree that you have other people that you must take consideration with.
Yes, if you're going to fall for the idea that you actually need "unlimited" service, the T-Mobile plan would be equally priced for a two phone household to regular "unlimited" MVNO packages set up the same way.
No, even if you work from home, you shouldn't let your employer leash you and make you pay for the collar and leash. If you work from home anyway, why use a cellphone at all? Use a VoIP account instead. Less radiation exposure, cheaper, just as reliable. If you're stuck footing the bill telecommuting, just set up a VOIPo account on month-to-month or something and take the tax break.

Daley

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Re: AirVoice vs Platinumtel?
« Reply #9 on: June 02, 2013, 08:12:16 AM »
IP Daley, I think I remember you had a more realistic attitude about it in the comments if I remember correctly.

Yup, that was me. I was being polite there, but I took the gloves off about RW in the forums here last year... albeit more subtly than I feel I can get away with now for reasons that I shouldn't have to explain.

My problem isn't with the Sprint MVNO aspect: I like Ting, I was happily with P'tel during the Sprint MVNO era (in one of the lousier Sprint service areas in the nation), I don't try to dissuade people from using Virgin. My problem is with the business model and their approach to service and support specifically. It's a VoIP service tethered to an overpriced proprietary handset sold as a "mobile phone" surrounded by Silicon Valley marketing buzzwords and using overcomplicated sledgehammer approaches to service with a requirement to do what you should be doing anyway to keep your costs low - using your pre-existing internet service at home to make phone calls. It's not magic, it can be replicated for less, and even that cheaper approach has never been in my suggested book of tricks as a reliable approach to wireless service. I've detailed how to replicate it, and others here have replicated it going their own way as well with better results.

I've been a broken record for the most part for the past year with about 80% of my advice. Normally I don't mind it, rehashing for new folks what I've said several times before and is already there. I'm cool with that. I'm actually helping people to make smart decisions with existing bad purchases to help cut the financial hemorrhaging. This isn't that, though. This is something that takes deliberate, conscious spending to participate in after making the leap to a frugal lifestyle.

kevin78

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Re: AirVoice vs Platinumtel?
« Reply #10 on: June 02, 2013, 09:43:16 AM »
I use groove ip at home with google voice, so I have a VOIP setup.  However, the thing that people will find out the hard way is that

a) wireless routers can be unstable and lots of latency can lead to choppy phone calls especially on an access point with alot of traffic

b) the 2.4 ghz band which is what your average router resides in is getting quite congested in some places which I've found leads to some signal drops at times (especially in my neighborhood, the isp hands out cheap routers to everyone which leads to the signal congestion, I counted 45 wi-fi networks that my laptop picked up) I would not want to have all my calls be subject to that. 

Its better to make some calls through the regular cell network simply so you don't annoy whoever you are calling.  I would think that if you turn off wi-fi with the RW phone it would fall back to the cell network but I don't know cuz I've never used their phone. 

It seems disingenuous  of republic wireless to offer an unlimited connection when you already have one if you have wi-fi at home.  What if you got a RW phone and never ever connected it to a wi-fi network? Is that even possible?  Do you think they would kick you off their service?

Daley

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Re: AirVoice vs Platinumtel?
« Reply #11 on: June 02, 2013, 10:29:00 AM »
Completely agree, Kevin.

There are ways to help improve WiFi VoIP calling, like using the Speex codec, keeping your 2.4GHz WiFi configuration off channels 1, 6 and 11 (aiming for 3/4 or 8/9 depending on spectrum congestion in your area - example: I'm in an area that has heavy channel 1 and 6 usage, low-moderate 11 usage - my best throughput and reception is on channel 9 with minimal interference), that sort of thing (but a lot of that requires using a proper SIP based, open standards solution). There's also considerations to factor with microwave radiation exposure, battery life of the phone, and heating issues. VoIP on a cellphone, even going SIP methods, is still more of a convenience factor in my book than the way you should default for usage... though I won't deny it's functional usage in a pinch. Ultimately though, it works best on a wired connection. It's why I recommend bringing back a home phone instead of wedging both services into one device.

As to your question:

What if you got a RW phone and never ever connected it to a wi-fi network? Is that even possible?  Do you think they would kick you off their service?

Yes, if they don't also bill you at least $500 first. (ToS sections 10 & 19.)

Quote
Republic Wireless reserves the right, at any time and with as much advance written notice as commercially reasonable and without liability to Republic Wireless, to charge a minimum inappropriate use fee of $500 and/or $0.05 per minute for all calls made in contravention of these Terms of Service and/or Republic Wirelessí Acceptable Use Policy, whichever is higher, charge $0.04 for all SMSí made in contravention of these Terms of Service and/or Republic Wirelessí Acceptable Use Policy, and charge $0.09 per MB of Data Content for Usage in contravention of these Terms of Service and/or Republic Wirelessí Acceptable Use Policy.

Just reinforces my whole "unlimited" is for suckers philosophy.

kevin78

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Re: AirVoice vs Platinumtel?
« Reply #12 on: June 02, 2013, 10:35:14 AM »
Interesting. Thanks. I'll look into the VOIP tweaks. And "wow" to the TOS of Republic Wireless.