Author Topic: Airvoice basics  (Read 21640 times)

Pixelshot

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Airvoice basics
« on: May 15, 2013, 07:17:55 AM »
I have recently converted to the MMM philosophy and have been slashing through my finances one wasted-dollar at a time. Next up is our family's $175/mo iPhone plan. Airvoice looks like a great option to save some cash. However, having been a lifetime AT&T customer since the first iPhone I'm a little nervous about dropping my unlimited data plan. One of the main concerns is how the phone itself will work without being on an AT&T plan. Specifically I'm not sure if/how the following will work:

- voicemail (will it show who left a voicemail?)
- apps - installing apps, etc
- iCloud service ("lost my phone" saved it from being stolen once)
- iTunes match (I've paid for a year so I might as well use it)
- special devices like an app that tracks heart rate coupled with a bluetooth device and a run tracker

I'd appreciate if anyone has some thoughts on these items. Thanks.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2013, 01:51:18 PM by Pixelshot »

fiveoh

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Re: Airvoice basics
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2013, 07:25:48 AM »
No visual voicemail will not work.

Apps will be the same. 

Icloud lost phone feature....  The GPS signal will still work even with cellular data turned off but I am not sure if this feature uses cellular data or just the gps signal.

Itunes match will be the same it will just require an internet connection(wifi)

Special devices ymmv - they depend on whether or not they use cellular data or not.  You can test this by turning off your cellular data currently and seeing if the app still works. 

You can always use data on airvoice but I wouldn't recommend it because you will burn thru your $$$ quickly.

Rickk

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Re: Airvoice basics
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2013, 07:36:45 AM »
You might want to check out this thread http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/forum/share-your-badassity/communications-tech-isps-voip-cell/

You will probably lose MMS capability with the iPhone which means no picture texts (mine does not work - some people have gotten work arounds to work - I have been unable).
The "find my iPhone" will not work without an always on data plan.

For the price you are paying now - you might want to look into one of the $30-$50 a month options that gets you "some" data.
I use AirVoice because I am fine with NO data (only WiFi) and use so little usage that I fill up $10 every couple of months (on the pay as you go plan).

Pixelshot

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Re: Airvoice basics
« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2013, 07:51:54 AM »
thanks for the info and the link. Reading now.

Daley

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Re: Airvoice basics
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2013, 08:22:11 AM »
Pixelshot, if you have any MVNO shopping questions for me, don't be afraid to ask.

Given you're on an iPhone, you might want to give this a read so you know what to expect and how to best approach your MVNO and usage choices: http://www.techmeshugana.com/2013/05/how-to-save-money-with-an-iphone/

Pixelshot

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Re: Airvoice basics
« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2013, 09:22:21 AM »
Thanks I.P. Daley. I'm trying to make the switch as painless as possible. One question is whether it's somehow possible to try out the new service while still keeping my AT&T contract in place. But I assume this would require porting my number over which would nuke the account. My wife is on the account as a "family" plan so perhaps I can transfer her number and keep my phone alive for the time being. Since I work from home and use my phone for business it could be very costly if it didn't work as advertised (loss of jobs, client, etc) so I'm willing to put a little cash in to test it out before completely making the switch. I've already ordered the FreedomPop device as a first step.

Daley

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Re: Airvoice basics
« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2013, 09:48:11 AM »
Thanks I.P. Daley. I'm trying to make the switch as painless as possible. One question is whether it's somehow possible to try out the new service while still keeping my AT&T contract in place. But I assume this would require porting my number over which would nuke the account. My wife is on the account as a "family" plan so perhaps I can transfer her number and keep my phone alive for the time being. Since I work from home and use my phone for business it could be very costly if it didn't work as advertised (loss of jobs, client, etc) so I'm willing to put a little cash in to test it out before completely making the switch. I've already ordered the FreedomPop device as a first step.

Not really. With the exception of not being able to roam onto T-Mobile or other GSM towers, the Airvoice service quality should be identical to AT&T's. Exact same network, after all.

One thing you might consider if you're looking at a business phone and needing reliability in that front while still saving money, but 90+% of the usage is in your home is to possibly transfer your cellphone number over to VOIPo and have it set up for global call hunt to ring a new cellphone number. Give the VoIP writeup a read and see if it might be a good solution to your needs. This could be a path that allows you to "test" as well, as you could just set your current number up to forward to the new Airvoice number and swap SIM cards. If the coverage works, port your number to VOIPo instead of Airvoice and keep yourself on the $10 plan. Then you've got unlimited minutes at home and only paying for what you need away.

madage

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Re: Airvoice basics
« Reply #7 on: May 15, 2013, 09:56:21 AM »
One question is whether it's somehow possible to try out the new service while still keeping my AT&T contract in place.

You can try it out with a new phone number from Airvoice, then port your existing number over if you find it suits your needs. Some short-term pain involved.

foobar

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Re: Airvoice basics
« Reply #8 on: May 15, 2013, 12:36:54 PM »
How many minutes a month do you use? The MVNO's tend to work best for light users of the phone (<30mins/day). Depending on your work you might be blowing by that.  TMO has unlimited talk and messaging (and limited high speed data) for 80/month for 2 phones. Their service depends a lot on where you live.


Thanks I.P. Daley. I'm trying to make the switch as painless as possible. One question is whether it's somehow possible to try out the new service while still keeping my AT&T contract in place. But I assume this would require porting my number over which would nuke the account. My wife is on the account as a "family" plan so perhaps I can transfer her number and keep my phone alive for the time being. Since I work from home and use my phone for business it could be very costly if it didn't work as advertised (loss of jobs, client, etc) so I'm willing to put a little cash in to test it out before completely making the switch. I've already ordered the FreedomPop device as a first step.

Daley

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Re: Airvoice basics
« Reply #9 on: May 16, 2013, 07:19:34 AM »
The MVNO's tend to work best for light users of the phone (<30mins/day).[citation needed]

No, seriously. Cite sources.

Before Airvoice went "unlimited" last year, their hard usage cap was 5,000 minutes and 10,000 SMS messages a month for their Talk & Text packages, usage limits that still appear to be in line with abuse cutoff limits with themselves and other AT&T MVNO usage limits on "unlimited" plans today. That's over 83 hours a month, or 2.75 hours a day.

You also cite that T-Mobile has "unlimited" talk and messaging with limited high speed data for $80/month for two phones. That limited high speed data usage is for 500MB total between two handsets, or 250MB a handset if you split things evenly. T-Mobile's own MVNO brand GoSmart Mobile has "unlimited" talk, text and 2G data for $35 a month. Platinumtel, another T-Mobile MVNO has "unlimited" talk, text, and 250MB of high speed data with unlimited 2G  for $40 a month. T-Mobile has also been pushing hard into the MVNO market, which means that their wholesale network access pricing has to be at minimum competitive with AT&T's pricing which we've established to be able to easily support 5000 minutes at the $30 price point and still have plenty of profit left over for the MVNOs to keep their lights on. The only difference between the MVNOs and T-Mobile postpaid is network coverage as the postpaid account will let you roam free on AT&T and other partner GSM networks. Do you honestly think that when you've got pretty even pricing on "unlimited" service across the board with T-Mo and their MVNOs for the same volume of service that the cutoff will be any different?

I won't drag any CDMA MVNOs into this discussion because they don't really do the "unlimited" thing for the most part. Apples and oranges with pricing due to network division and market participants. We're talking Airvoice specifically, and competing GSM MVNOs offering supposedly unmetered minute usage.

Even if they were only as you claim at being good for about 30 minutes of talking a day, that's still 15 hours of anytime mobile airtime a month. But it's not... the going bucket rate is over five times that call volume.

If anyone is actually using that level of mobile phone usage for work daily (or leisure) and they aren't a road warrior and/or their employer isn't footing the bill, or it's simply a self-employed tax write-off and they can justify the costs, and they haven't gone to a proper VoIP home/business line for their heavy stationary office/home phone time to save on costs... they need to have their face punched, I'm going to ask how they could be productive at their job with that call volume and not be a telemarketer, and no MVNO or "unlimited" anything account (mobile or VoIP) is going to be the right solution for them and they'd likely already know that.

Please stop spreading unnecessary FUD about general MVNO usage.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2013, 07:27:26 AM by I.P. Daley »

foobar

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Re: Airvoice basics
« Reply #10 on: May 16, 2013, 11:15:47 AM »
Ok here is a source.  https://www.airvoicewireless.com/plans-2/unlimited-plans-with-data/40-unlimited-plan-with-data/ same price as Tmobile without the advantage of having the support (i.e. the original concern of the OP) for the iphone from the carrier.   MVNO are much cheaper for the low usage user because  you can get the 10/month plan that the big carriers don't offer. And I have no clue if having 500gb of 4g and unlimited 2g  is worth 5 bucks a month to the OP. And I don't know what the support for the iphone is on platinumtel is versus tmobile but for the same exact money why would I pick them? What is the plus of going with a company far more likely to go out of business(look at what happened to the first crop in the mid 2000s). 

The OP said he was using the phone for business in his house. Who knows how many minutes that is.    Maybe his job requires 2 hours a day or maybe it is just 1 15 min phone call. Who knows. Maybe VOIP is a better solution. Maybe not. We don't know. We know he wants 2 iphones that work. And that is about it. And no writing it off doesn't change the equations much. Only spending 50 bucks on a  phone instead of a 100 will put 25 bucks in the OP pocket (assuming 50% tax rate. The savings is more if your making less) each month.  And of course this is his usage. Who knows what the wife needs.



The MVNO's tend to work best for light users of the phone (<30mins/day).[citation needed]

No, seriously. Cite sources.

Before Airvoice went "unlimited" last year, their hard usage cap was 5,000 minutes and 10,000 SMS messages a month for their Talk & Text packages, usage limits that still appear to be in line with abuse cutoff limits with themselves and other AT&T MVNO usage limits on "unlimited" plans today. That's over 83 hours a month, or 2.75 hours a day.

You also cite that T-Mobile has "unlimited" talk and messaging with limited high speed data for $80/month for two phones. That limited high speed data usage is for 500MB total between two handsets, or 250MB a handset if you split things evenly. T-Mobile's own MVNO brand GoSmart Mobile has "unlimited" talk, text and 2G data for $35 a month. Platinumtel, another T-Mobile MVNO has "unlimited" talk, text, and 250MB of high speed data with unlimited 2G  for $40 a month. T-Mobile has also been pushing hard into the MVNO market, which means that their wholesale network access pricing has to be at minimum competitive with AT&T's pricing which we've established to be able to easily support 5000 minutes at the $30 price point and still have plenty of profit left over for the MVNOs to keep their lights on. The only difference between the MVNOs and T-Mobile postpaid is network coverage as the postpaid account will let you roam free on AT&T and other partner GSM networks. Do you honestly think that when you've got pretty even pricing on "unlimited" service across the board with T-Mo and their MVNOs for the same volume of service that the cutoff will be any different?

I won't drag any CDMA MVNOs into this discussion because they don't really do the "unlimited" thing for the most part. Apples and oranges with pricing due to network division and market participants. We're talking Airvoice specifically, and competing GSM MVNOs offering supposedly unmetered minute usage.

Even if they were only as you claim at being good for about 30 minutes of talking a day, that's still 15 hours of anytime mobile airtime a month. But it's not... the going bucket rate is over five times that call volume.

If anyone is actually using that level of mobile phone usage for work daily (or leisure) and they aren't a road warrior and/or their employer isn't footing the bill, or it's simply a self-employed tax write-off and they can justify the costs, and they haven't gone to a proper VoIP home/business line for their heavy stationary office/home phone time to save on costs... they need to have their face punched, I'm going to ask how they could be productive at their job with that call volume and not be a telemarketer, and no MVNO or "unlimited" anything account (mobile or VoIP) is going to be the right solution for them and they'd likely already know that.

Please stop spreading unnecessary FUD about general MVNO usage.

Pixelshot

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Re: Airvoice basics
« Reply #11 on: May 16, 2013, 12:19:56 PM »
just to clarify. I use the phone for business, but only a couple of calls a day. Reliability is what's important, not number of minutes. I have a 700 shared minute plan now and we never even come close to using them all. In fact, we have 2300 rollover minutes which are worthless to me.

Daley

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Re: Airvoice basics
« Reply #12 on: May 16, 2013, 01:05:31 PM »
Ok here is a source.  https://www.airvoicewireless.com/plans-2/unlimited-plans-with-data/40-unlimited-plan-with-data/ same price as Tmobile without the advantage of having the support (i.e. the original concern of the OP) for the iphone from the carrier.   MVNO are much cheaper for the low usage user because  you can get the 10/month plan that the big carriers don't offer. And I have no clue if having 500gb of 4g and unlimited 2g  is worth 5 bucks a month to the OP. And I don't know what the support for the iphone is on platinumtel is versus tmobile but for the same exact money why would I pick them? What is the plus of going with a company far more likely to go out of business(look at what happened to the first crop in the mid 2000s). 

The OP said he was using the phone for business in his house. Who knows how many minutes that is.    Maybe his job requires 2 hours a day or maybe it is just 1 15 min phone call. Who knows. Maybe VOIP is a better solution. Maybe not. We don't know. We know he wants 2 iphones that work. And that is about it. And no writing it off doesn't change the equations much. Only spending 50 bucks on a  phone instead of a 100 will put 25 bucks in the OP pocket (assuming 50% tax rate. The savings is more if your making less) each month.  And of course this is his usage. Who knows what the wife needs.

Where on Airvoice's site, let alone your link, does it say that "unlimited" MVNO plans are only good for about 30 minutes of use a day?

Clearly, you missed my point... that point being that MVNO prices are in line with consumer post-paid services on "unlimited" plans, proving your original point wrong about MVNO usage levels.

As for your claims towards T-Mo's support being superior to Airvoice's? I'll take Airvoice and their 3 minute hold time and people out of the Great Lakes area over T-Mo's outsourced support any day of the week. Also, way to sling mud against MVNO usage by claiming they'll just fold up and disappear when talking about Airvoice and Platinumtel, two of the oldest, largest, and most financially stable MVNOs in the United States not owned by Carlos Slim.

Clearly, you've had a bad experience with some fly-by-night MVNO, probably got burned bad even. That doesn't mean all MVNOs are like that, nor does it mean you'll always get worse service or ripped off. I've been at this for a long time, and I put my reputation and good name on the line with every recommendation I make in that Superguide and in these forums. You want to be the voice of caution dealing with MVNOs? Sure! Go for it. Some of your concerns with a lot of those carriers on the market are valid, and you aren't saying anything more than I do on a regular basis with carriers like Ultra.me, FreedomPop, Mingo, PrepaYd, and Solavei just to name a few... or Net10, TracFone and StraightTalk. It's even why I've backed off H2O Wireless this past year as their customer service slid into the gutter.

In the meantime, I'd appreciate it if you'd stop making broad accusations and claims without proof like this to dissuade others from saving money with quality, established MVNOs... or to reiterate:
Please stop spreading unnecessary FUD about general MVNO usage.

Daley

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Re: Airvoice basics
« Reply #13 on: May 16, 2013, 01:09:35 PM »
just to clarify. I use the phone for business, but only a couple of calls a day. Reliability is what's important, not number of minutes. I have a 700 shared minute plan now and we never even come close to using them all. In fact, we have 2300 rollover minutes which are worthless to me.

Reliability depends on the host MNO network more than anything else. If AT&T has good service coverage in your area and you never find yourself roaming off-network, then Airvoice is going to have good service coverage in your area. It's quite literally as simple as that. The MVNO is only as good as its host network for any one area.

foobar

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Re: Airvoice basics
« Reply #14 on: May 16, 2013, 06:44:24 PM »
I never said you were limited to 30 mins a day. I have no clue why you keep making that up that statement.  I said that above 30 mins   the advantage of mvno(i.e. price) drops pretty quick. At the <250 min/month level none of the brand name carriers can touch the MVNO plans. At the unlimited level the price is about the same and it comes down to which plan fits you best. As far as airvoice support being better than tmobile, how do MMS and Visual Voicemail work? As far as I know VVM is not supported and MMS is a crap shoot. Feel free to correct me if that is wrong. For someone asking which carrier supports his IPHONE best, you would have to be pretty biased to say airvoice. Now there are other reasons to go with airvoice (i.e. maybe coverage is better) but support of the iphone sure isn't one of them.

As far as going out of business, it is at the all things being equal stage I am going to go with the company that isn't going to fold. Yes it doesn't happen very often. I have no clue what the current MVNO's financials are. Are they burning VS money, making big profits, or somewhere in between? I can tell you that in the 2000's MVNOs were hot for about 2 years before crashing.   I have used MVNO on and off for a decade. Some times they made a lot of sense (i.e. the phone was only being used for 60 mins/month) and other times they didn't (i.e. I needed 2+gbs of data a month due to being on the road a bit). It is a simple math problem. What you don't want to do is pick a carrier and try and squeeze into their plan if it doesn't fit your needs. Figure out your needs and then find out whose plan matches them best.

With the update on voice mins, the need for unlimited voice (unless of course his wife is the talker in the family) is minimal and the question is how much data is needed (.30/mb adds up in a hurry) and how import VVM is.


Ok here is a source.  https://www.airvoicewireless.com/plans-2/unlimited-plans-with-data/40-unlimited-plan-with-data/ same price as Tmobile without the advantage of having the support (i.e. the original concern of the OP) for the iphone from the carrier.   MVNO are much cheaper for the low usage user because  you can get the 10/month plan that the big carriers don't offer. And I have no clue if having 500gb of 4g and unlimited 2g  is worth 5 bucks a month to the OP. And I don't know what the support for the iphone is on platinumtel is versus tmobile but for the same exact money why would I pick them? What is the plus of going with a company far more likely to go out of business(look at what happened to the first crop in the mid 2000s). 

The OP said he was using the phone for business in his house. Who knows how many minutes that is.    Maybe his job requires 2 hours a day or maybe it is just 1 15 min phone call. Who knows. Maybe VOIP is a better solution. Maybe not. We don't know. We know he wants 2 iphones that work. And that is about it. And no writing it off doesn't change the equations much. Only spending 50 bucks on a  phone instead of a 100 will put 25 bucks in the OP pocket (assuming 50% tax rate. The savings is more if your making less) each month.  And of course this is his usage. Who knows what the wife needs.

Where on Airvoice's site, let alone your link, does it say that "unlimited" MVNO plans are only good for about 30 minutes of use a day?

Clearly, you missed my point... that point being that MVNO prices are in line with consumer post-paid services on "unlimited" plans, proving your original point wrong about MVNO usage levels.

As for your claims towards T-Mo's support being superior to Airvoice's? I'll take Airvoice and their 3 minute hold time and people out of the Great Lakes area over T-Mo's outsourced support any day of the week. Also, way to sling mud against MVNO usage by claiming they'll just fold up and disappear when talking about Airvoice and Platinumtel, two of the oldest, largest, and most financially stable MVNOs in the United States not owned by Carlos Slim.

Clearly, you've had a bad experience with some fly-by-night MVNO, probably got burned bad even. That doesn't mean all MVNOs are like that, nor does it mean you'll always get worse service or ripped off. I've been at this for a long time, and I put my reputation and good name on the line with every recommendation I make in that Superguide and in these forums. You want to be the voice of caution dealing with MVNOs? Sure! Go for it. Some of your concerns with a lot of those carriers on the market are valid, and you aren't saying anything more than I do on a regular basis with carriers like Ultra.me, FreedomPop, Mingo, PrepaYd, and Solavei just to name a few... or Net10, TracFone and StraightTalk. It's even why I've backed off H2O Wireless this past year as their customer service slid into the gutter.

In the meantime, I'd appreciate it if you'd stop making broad accusations and claims without proof like this to dissuade others from saving money with quality, established MVNOs... or to reiterate:
Please stop spreading unnecessary FUD about general MVNO usage.

Pixelshot

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Re: Airvoice basics
« Reply #15 on: May 16, 2013, 09:23:30 PM »
Sorry, you lost me foobar. What is it that you're recommending for me?

Daley

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Re: Airvoice basics
« Reply #16 on: May 16, 2013, 09:40:29 PM »
As far as going out of business, it is at the all things being equal stage I am going to go with the company that isn't going to fold. Yes it doesn't happen very often. I have no clue what the current MVNO's financials are. Are they burning VS money, making big profits, or somewhere in between? I can tell you that in the 2000's MVNOs were hot for about 2 years before crashing.   I have used MVNO on and off for a decade.

I'm hardly frivolously recommending just any old MVNOs here. These are MVNOs that not only survived your first mentioned surge and crash, but the three-to-four subsequent since, depending on who's counting. Airvoice has been in business since 2000, Platinumtel since 2001... both are doing solid business and sustained through the tough years and the insurgencies. They are still here for a reason. GoSmart doesn't fall into this category, but is OWNED by T-Mobile making the argument moot, like Virgin Mobile and Boost being owned by Sprint and Aio belonging to AT&T. A lot of things have changed over the years, and it doesn't read like you've kept up as well as you think you have. Because of this, you're spreading fear, uncertainty, and doubt unnecessarily out of ignorance.

Some times they made a lot of sense (i.e. the phone was only being used for 60 mins/month) and other times they didn't (i.e. I needed 2+gbs of data a month due to being on the road a bit). It is a simple math problem. What you don't want to do is pick a carrier and try and squeeze into their plan if it doesn't fit your needs. Figure out your needs and then find out whose plan matches them best.

You really haven't actually read any of my posts, let alone anything I linked in this thread, have you? You're preaching to the choir here, buddy.... only I'm spreading a message of "any real data use is for road warriors and suckers". The whole point of my guide and advice is to minimize people's use and dependence upon cellphones in general. Make them rethink how much they actually need them. I don't know why or how you've become convinced that I'm somehow spewing terrible advice here, because never once did I tell Pixelshot (or anyone else for that matter) to do anything but specifically select something that fit their genuine needs.

As for iPhones on Airvoice, data and MMS work fine if your phone is carrier unlocked, you actually set the APN properly, and you don't turn data services off. T-Mo's data speeds are rubbish for everything but the Jeebusfone 5 outside of select markets. The problem is the iPhone. So many problems born out of the phone that you've latched onto being on cheaper providers is because its a money pit designed to surgically extract cash from your wallet with BS creature comforts on a $600 telephone the ad execs convinced you that you needed. If you own an iPhone and want to save money? The secret is to stop treating it the way His Steveness wants you to.



Sorry, you lost me foobar. What is it that you're recommending for me?

lol

foobar

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Re: Airvoice basics
« Reply #17 on: May 16, 2013, 10:12:13 PM »
Same thing I recommend for everyone
1) figure out your needs (voice, msg, data and VVM and how many people are the basic. International affects some people. Carrier coverage varies from region to region.  It doesn't matter how good a plan is if you don't have coverage where you need it. )
2) figure out what carrier gives you the best deal for those needs.

  You have not told us about 1 very vaguely so it is hard to recommend 2. The easiest way to do 1 is to look at your last half dozen bills.  For a fully functional iphone TMO is the cheapest option I am aware of for 2 phones.  If anyone knows of a cheaper option I would love to hear about it. As you drop requirements (VVM is the big one),  more options open up.


And IP, you do realize that the only reason I keep mentioning  the iPhone is because that is the phone that the question is about? 

Sorry, you lost me foobar. What is it that you're recommending for me?

Daley

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Re: Airvoice basics
« Reply #18 on: May 16, 2013, 10:36:33 PM »
For a fully functional iphone TMO is the cheapest option I am aware of for 2 phones.

We blew past that exit ramp yesterday.

And IP, you do realize that the only reason I keep mentioning  the iPhone is because that is the phone that the question is about?

WELL SHUCKEY DURNS, I should've linked my iPhone specific advice then from the get go! Oh, wait...

Given you're on an iPhone, you might want to give this a read so you know what to expect and how to best approach your MVNO and usage choices: http://www.techmeshugana.com/2013/05/how-to-save-money-with-an-iphone/

Pixelshot

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Re: Airvoice basics
« Reply #19 on: May 20, 2013, 06:03:08 AM »
Same thing I recommend for everyone
1) figure out your needs (voice, msg, data and VVM and how many people are the basic. International affects some people. Carrier coverage varies from region to region.  It doesn't matter how good a plan is if you don't have coverage where you need it. )
2) figure out what carrier gives you the best deal for those needs.


So, I went back through my AT&T call records over the last year and here is the usage report. This should give you an indication of what my wife (Robin) and I (Scott) use. Note that this is very cavalier usage because we have basically unlimited minutes/txt/sms/data. If we were trying to cap our usage, the averages may drop down quite a bit, but hard to tell. Data usage varies pretty widely but has trended downward in the last several months, bottoming out at about 350MB/month combined.

SUMMARY: (eyeball average over last 6 months)

per month averages - Scott/Robin (combined):
minutes - 600/300 (900)
text - 375/150 (525)
mms - 20/15 (35)
data - 300MB/130MB (430MB)  -  (Scott spiked to 2GB; Robin spiked to 1GB)
roaming - none
international - none

Coverage - almost entirely in the Washington DC area - AT&T works well - occasional travel out of town (about twice a year) - mostly to conferences in metro areas.

Usage needs - since we live in a complicated driving area, we use the GPS mapping feature often. We use the Web occasionally, once or twice a day. We never stream music or videos unless we're on wireless.  We are nearly always covered with wireless access (home/work/church, etc) except when we're in the car or when I'm out on a long bike ride.  I sometimes will use a workout tracking device on the iPhone to remember my route/time while riding.

--
I have been reading through the Superguide and other web info. If the above data suggests an obvious MVNO carrier that would work for me, I'd love to know.



foobar

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Re: Airvoice basics
« Reply #20 on: May 20, 2013, 08:12:26 AM »
Data is going to be your plan driver.  For example take the airvoice $10 dollar plan: 300mb*.33mb = 99 dollars + 130*.33 =42 for your wife. Obviously that makes zero sense.   You are going to be looking at a 35-50 dollar unlimited plan from any of the providers. Just check how the handle overages(1.5 gbs over a 500mb cap at .33 would be almost 500 bucks.). If you wanted to look at tmo or one of their MVOs there are a couple of options but you are going to be in the 30-35 dollar range(for example ultra has a 19 dollar plan where you would need to buy 5-10 bucks more of data and maybe another 5 bucks of voice.). With TMo and the iPhone, figuring out network coverage is a real pain though as TMo using AWS (instead of 1900mhz) in a lot of places. If you are in a 1900mhz city (I sort of expect parts of DC are since they did other big cities like NYC and Boston but that is a guess) this isn't an issue. I have found the coverage between the 2 is a guessing game (I used to have tmo coverage at work and not at home and vice versa for AT&T) so you definitely want to try it out before switching networks. Roaming often doesn't work as well (it is fine when their is zero coverage. The problem is when you have very weak coverage it keeps trying to connect to the weak tower instead of roaming on the strong one).

I don't know how much of your web traffic is navigation related but you might be able to reduce it by using an map app the downloads the maps ahead of time. I don't know if the latest Apple Maps does but their are definitely 3rd party apps that do it. Things like traffic and searching for places will still use up data.

Same thing I recommend for everyone
1) figure out your needs (voice, msg, data and VVM and how many people are the basic. International affects some people. Carrier coverage varies from region to region.  It doesn't matter how good a plan is if you don't have coverage where you need it. )
2) figure out what carrier gives you the best deal for those needs.


So, I went back through my AT&T call records over the last year and here is the usage report. This should give you an indication of what my wife (Robin) and I (Scott) use. Note that this is very cavalier usage because we have basically unlimited minutes/txt/sms/data. If we were trying to cap our usage, the averages may drop down quite a bit, but hard to tell. Data usage varies pretty widely but has trended downward in the last several months, bottoming out at about 350MB/month combined.

SUMMARY: (eyeball average over last 6 months)

per month averages - Scott/Robin (combined):
minutes - 600/300 (900)
text - 375/150 (525)
mms - 20/15 (35)
data - 300MB/130MB (430MB)  -  (Scott spiked to 2GB; Robin spiked to 1GB)
roaming - none
international - none

Coverage - almost entirely in the Washington DC area - AT&T works well - occasional travel out of town (about twice a year) - mostly to conferences in metro areas.

Usage needs - since we live in a complicated driving area, we use the GPS mapping feature often. We use the Web occasionally, once or twice a day. We never stream music or videos unless we're on wireless.  We are nearly always covered with wireless access (home/work/church, etc) except when we're in the car or when I'm out on a long bike ride.  I sometimes will use a workout tracking device on the iPhone to remember my route/time while riding.

--
I have been reading through the Superguide and other web info. If the above data suggests an obvious MVNO carrier that would work for me, I'd love to know.

Daley

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Re: Airvoice basics
« Reply #21 on: May 20, 2013, 08:15:03 AM »
Usage needs - since we live in a complicated driving area, we use the GPS mapping feature often. We use the Web occasionally, once or twice a day. We never stream music or videos unless we're on wireless.  We are nearly always covered with wireless access (home/work/church, etc) except when we're in the car or when I'm out on a long bike ride.  I sometimes will use a workout tracking device on the iPhone to remember my route/time while riding.

If you want to use your iPhone as a GPS unit, buy Sygic's offline GPS maps instead. That'll nip your data usage needs right in the bud. Most all that other stuff should be able to work offline as well, except for the web browsing, but that's more of a self-discipline thing. Speaking of self-discipline, the only real way you'll be able to save any real money on these devices is to ditch the heavy data habit.

Do you have a home phone? How much of that calling is done from home? If you're making a lot of calls from home and don't have one, bring back the home phone with a VoIP provider as has already been mentioned.

Guessing a fair bit of that text messaging is back and forth between the two of you and maybe one or two other people? Use an SMS text replacement that uses data instead. XMS or Kik would be simple options that would use data instead of SMS and handle most of those MMS needs if the people sending/receiving MMS messages are the same people you do your bulk of texting to. Alternately, if you'd rather go oldskool, bust out the Google Talk chat accounts and use them with Talkonaut or the official Google client. Unfortunately, those require data services to be left on with the iPhone, and the iPhone is a hungry-hungry hippo with background data usage. You're starting to see how drastic a move it takes sometimes to get the iPhone to behave like a frugal phone device now given you don't have to jump through hoops to balance as much even with Android as Apple's idea of network data control is a giant ON/OFF switch, whereas like the Android platform for example has a far more granular control over what can and cannot go online. Symbian and Java devices just won't go online except for the applications you specifically want online to begin with, like email and those SMS replacements.

There's ways around this with mobile hotspots and just carrying those instead of turning on data with the phone. MMM uses the FreedomPop hotspot as do a few others around here due to a free usage tier, and there's a plethora of other cheap Sprint data options as well from Virgin Mobile and TruConnect's Internet on the Go, but it does complicate the setup a bit. It will be needed, however, if you want to stick with an AT&T MVNO and don't want to pay upwards of $45+ a month per phone. If you were open to going T-Mobile as it appears there's pretty good coverage by them in the region, that gives you the option to do $35 a month with GoSmart per handset if you'd rather just limit your data access speeds to keep it one device, but at that point you might as well go with a T-Mobile postpaid option, which may be cheaper than what you're paying now, but still criminally priced for what you're actually using as I suspect you've long ago realized.

As I told someone else in PM just yesterday:
Quote
It's a little less convenient, but even going with Virgin's $35 plan plus the Airvoice $10 plan... is a single device convenience with ~2GB of average speedier broadband access really worth an extra $85 a month? Or is single provider service with 3G data access speed worth the extra $95 a month?
...
As you can see, with some major data discipline and the introduction of a third phone line back in the house, you could slice your average phone bill down from $170 a month to under $30. Even if you refuse to discipline your data usage, with a few convenience hacks in its usage, you could still drop your monthly costs down to between $70-100 a month which still isn't anything to sneeze at. Ultimately though, we're talking about mostly superfluous services, and the parts of it you deem necessary should be separated from the desires brought on through wussypants hedonic adaptation. Once you see how much that lazy adaptation part's really costing you in relation to what you actually need, you'll be able to better quantify if the added cost is really worth it.

The numbers don't necessarily entirely apply to you, but they're struggling to save money with two iPhones as well and the advice should still ring true in this situation as you too have the potential to hit that $30/month for everything sweet spot that they do... low minutes, light/moderate texting, and a buttload of data. It's the data that's going to eat you alive in costs, and it's the price of that data convenience you should be weighing in relation to that $30/month price point versus higher costs just to keep your iPhones and their constant hunger for data flowing. Humorously enough, with those usage numbers, Ting would be a prime candidate for you to go to as your average monthly bill would be $48+tax without you changing a single thing in usage habits... except, well... CDMA provider and no bringing even Sprint CDMA iPhones for activation. This would mean tossing the iPhones and re-investing in all new hardware and being locked into Ting/Sprint MVNOs that allow BYOD for the most part. The iPhones themselves are literally your biggest stumbling block on roping in these costs. If you're willing to do that sort of handset change, you're far better served staying GSM if you're looking to do the cost saving MVNO route.

As for your usage numbers specifically and as mentioned before, if T-Mobile coverage isn't objectionable to you and you could really rope in that data use to "only as needed" and kept to a bare minimum, Platinumtel might be a better option (at least for your wife), with or without using VoIP at home. It's an extra penny a minute, but SMS rates are the same, data's 23 a MB cheaper, and you won't have to layer multiple $10/month refills a month to ensure you have enough credits to call without you both having to hit that $30+ a month range. If you can offload a bulk of those minutes used on your phone to a VoIP provider at home, you'd be absolutely laughing on your own end and could do likewise, otherwise you're looking at something like Airvoice or GoSmart's $30+/month unlimited talk and text plans given you're pushing usage numbers that get close to break even on per minute costs with the unlimited packages.

Daley

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Re: Airvoice basics
« Reply #22 on: May 20, 2013, 08:39:25 AM »
And I don't know what the support for the iphone is on platinumtel is versus tmobile but for the same exact money why would I pick them? What is the plus of going with a company far more likely to go out of business(look at what happened to the first crop in the mid 2000s).

If you wanted to look at tmo or one of their MVOs there are a couple of options but you are going to be in the 30-35 dollar range(for example ultra has a 19 dollar plan where you would need to buy 5-10 bucks more of data and maybe another 5 bucks of voice.).

Ignoring the quotes, relatively good advice there on that last post Foobar. I still disagree because it's allowing data usage to drive budget, and mobile data is crazy expensive, but that's not why I'm quoting and replying.

Just a simple observation. For a guy who doesn't like recommending MVNOs because of how potentially risky they can be as they might dry up and blow away, you've got funny tastes in MVNO recommendations namechecking an outfit that's barely been on the market for more than six months. Your problems and past experiences with MVNOs might be in how you approach them purely from a cost perspective.
« Last Edit: May 20, 2013, 08:42:49 AM by I.P. Daley »

foobar

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Re: Airvoice basics
« Reply #23 on: May 20, 2013, 09:40:39 AM »
I don't care about my MVNO going out of business. I also don't use my phone for business and reliability really isn't important to me. But my situation and the OP are not the same. You are still misjudging that post by focusing on the going out of business part. I said if I was going to spend 40 bucks and my choices were Tmo or a TMO MVNO, I am going with TMO. Change it to 40 bucks with TMO and 20 bucks with a MVNO and I might choice the MVNO as 240/yr is enough to deal with the risk.

Ultra is the cheapest service that I am aware of  that remotely fits the OP needs. It serves as an example that you are not going save a lot more money by not going with the 40 dollar plan offered by a bunch of networks.   If you are aware of a cheaper MVNO that will give 300+mbs of data for less than 35 bucks, that would be useful info. Hopefully some day reasonable data (<.05 and really should be closer to .01) will show up but I am not holding my breath.

As far as reducing  data usage, you might want to run with something like Onavo to determine where the data is going.




And I don't know what the support for the iphone is on platinumtel is versus tmobile but for the same exact money why would I pick them? What is the plus of going with a company far more likely to go out of business(look at what happened to the first crop in the mid 2000s).

If you wanted to look at tmo or one of their MVOs there are a couple of options but you are going to be in the 30-35 dollar range(for example ultra has a 19 dollar plan where you would need to buy 5-10 bucks more of data and maybe another 5 bucks of voice.).

Ignoring the quotes, relatively good advice there on that last post Foobar. I still disagree because it's allowing data usage to drive budget, and mobile data is crazy expensive, but that's not why I'm quoting and replying.

Just a simple observation. For a guy who doesn't like recommending MVNOs because of how potentially risky they can be as they might dry up and blow away, you've got funny tastes in MVNO recommendations namechecking an outfit that's barely been on the market for more than six months. Your problems and past experiences with MVNOs might be in how you approach them purely from a cost perspective.

Pixelshot

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Re: Airvoice basics
« Reply #24 on: May 20, 2013, 10:21:42 AM »
First of all THANK YOU to everyone for taking the time to reply - especially to I.P and Foobar. Very helpful.

I understand by reading through the posts that there is a lot of common ground but the devil is in the details as they say. Not being familiar with all of the jargon, it's a bit hard to follow, so let me summarize what I do know.

- iPhones are data hogs, but with some discipline that can be trimmed
- AT&T iPhones have to stick to a certain network, although I'm not sure what that means for an MVNO carrier. I know that Airvoice will work, but I don't know what else will.
- if I want to switch hardware (which I don't at this point), I would have more options
- some of the MVNOs are associated with certain big name carriers (Airvoice to AT&T ?), but I don't know which. More research is needed. However, with AT&T phones (iPhone 4, and 3GS) I only have certain options anyway.
- roaming may or may not be a snag - not sure about this one

...you too have the potential to hit that $30/month for everything sweet spot that they do...

That's what I'm going for. We have no home phone and we have my wife's work Blackberry to use for calls when at home if we need them. We can curb our minutes and usage pretty well, since we're frugal if we need to be.  I have already ordered the FreedomPop for things like day trips and long bike rides where we'll want to search or view traffic data.

I am willing to pay a little for convenience, just not a lot. In other words, if I could get our combined cost per month to $50, I'd be happy. When my FreedomPop modem comes in the mail I'll do some tests.

One point of confusion that still seems important is that of the cell network (towers, etc) and how that works with the MVNO carriers. As it is, I just look at my phone and see if there are any bars. Does that same technique still apply or do I have to somehow know WHICH network I'm on to avoid roaming charges?



Daley

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Re: Airvoice basics
« Reply #25 on: May 20, 2013, 10:52:13 AM »
First of all THANK YOU to everyone for taking the time to reply - especially to I.P and Foobar. Very helpful.

I understand by reading through the posts that there is a lot of common ground but the devil is in the details as they say. Not being familiar with all of the jargon, it's a bit hard to follow, so let me summarize what I do know.

- iPhones are data hogs, but with some discipline that can be trimmed
- AT&T iPhones have to stick to a certain network, although I'm not sure what that means for an MVNO carrier. I know that Airvoice will work, but I don't know what else will.
- if I want to switch hardware (which I don't at this point), I would have more options
- some of the MVNOs are associated with certain big name carriers (Airvoice to AT&T ?), but I don't know which. More research is needed. However, with AT&T phones (iPhone 4, and 3GS) I only have certain options anyway.
- roaming may or may not be a snag - not sure about this one

...you too have the potential to hit that $30/month for everything sweet spot that they do...

That's what I'm going for. We have no home phone and we have my wife's work Blackberry to use for calls when at home if we need them. We can curb our minutes and usage pretty well, since we're frugal if we need to be.  I have already ordered the FreedomPop for things like day trips and long bike rides where we'll want to search or view traffic data.

I am willing to pay a little for convenience, just not a lot. In other words, if I could get our combined cost per month to $50, I'd be happy. When my FreedomPop modem comes in the mail I'll do some tests.

One point of confusion that still seems important is that of the cell network (towers, etc) and how that works with the MVNO carriers. As it is, I just look at my phone and see if there are any bars. Does that same technique still apply or do I have to somehow know WHICH network I'm on to avoid roaming charges?

A lot of those questions/confusion points are actually covered in the How to save money with an iPhone link in my first post.

Some additional questions might be answered with the following two articles that were done in response to MMM's Airvoice post last October:
Dial "S" for Savings
Dial "V" for Virtual Network

Basically, your approach remains true with reception. The only change is in the fact that you no longer can roam off-network. You either have reception or you don't for everything but 911. A good way to emulate what it would be like as far as Airvoice reception goes with your current iPhone is to turn off roaming under General Settings > Network > Roaming > Voice Roaming as that would limit service only to the AT&T towers that Airvoice would use.

As for which MVNO belongs to what network, there's always the Wikipedia entry, but I'm pretty cautious about who I recommend to fellow mustachians in the forums and in the guide. I try not to just, "Ooh! Here's a whole bunch of MVNOs - go pick one," I choose based on customer service quality, survivability of the outfit, history, and price. That's why the list is so short with me compared to other guides on the subject and advice given on sites like Howard Forums and various other MVNO blogs. I try to focus on no more than one-three carriers per MNO, and pick carriers that cover the greatest stretch of options for the money that you can get service with with at least a little confidence that you won't get burned.



I don't care about my MVNO going out of business. I also don't use my phone for business and reliability really isn't important to me. But my situation and the OP are not the same. You are still misjudging that post by focusing on the going out of business part. I said if I was going to spend 40 bucks and my choices were Tmo or a TMO MVNO, I am going with TMO. Change it to 40 bucks with TMO and 20 bucks with a MVNO and I might choice the MVNO as 240/yr is enough to deal with the risk.

And that's your problem. Your initial approach was never truly geared towards Pixelshot's needs, and by the time you were asked what you actually were saying beyond, "You have to spend at least $80 a month", you only echoed what had already been covered in the resources provided already... words I might add that were never brought up in the thread by you before that point. I only "misjudged" your advice insofar as the quality of the advice you actually posted as it stood in relation to the discussion and what you expressed in context to what was posted... I'm no Uri Gellar, and you're hardly Winston Churchill. I'm sorry there was miscommunication, but it takes two to tango.

Someone seriously looking at the $10/month Airvoice plan and FreedomPop have already reached the conclusion that they're drastically overpaying for their phone service for good reason. Further enabling their costly bad habits and/or steering them towards flimsy providers "because it best fits" without correcting the root problem is only going to lead to more spending and trouble than necessary.
« Last Edit: May 20, 2013, 10:56:57 AM by I.P. Daley »

Pixelshot

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Re: Airvoice basics
« Reply #26 on: May 20, 2013, 11:18:42 AM »
A good way to emulate what it would be like as far as Airvoice reception goes with your current iPhone is to turn off roaming under General Settings > Network > Roaming > Voice Roaming...

The only option that I can find is "Data Roaming" under General Settings > Cellular > Data Roaming, which was already set to "off."  So am I to understand that what I've been using for the last couple of years is the same as what I would experience with Airvoice?

And thanks for the links to the guides. I am indeed reading them.

Daley

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Re: Airvoice basics
« Reply #27 on: May 20, 2013, 12:09:28 PM »
A good way to emulate what it would be like as far as Airvoice reception goes with your current iPhone is to turn off roaming under General Settings > Network > Roaming > Voice Roaming...

The only option that I can find is "Data Roaming" under General Settings > Cellular > Data Roaming, which was already set to "off."  So am I to understand that what I've been using for the last couple of years is the same as what I would experience with Airvoice?

And thanks for the links to the guides. I am indeed reading them.

Eh, not really... data roaming and voice roaming are two separate things. I'm wondering if you don't have that option yet due to the phone likely still being carrier locked. I know it's an option under iOS, I've seen it, I'm just not sure why you don't have it. Being that you are where you are though, I don't think you'll have much to worry about with coverage as if you were roaming frequently already, you'd have seen it on the main screen and would already know. Typically, major metro areas either have solid coverage by carriers or they don't.

Glad to be of help!

Pixelshot

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Re: Airvoice basics
« Reply #28 on: May 20, 2013, 12:19:31 PM »
thx again. I'll be reading through the guides.

foobar

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Re: Airvoice basics
« Reply #29 on: May 20, 2013, 01:34:08 PM »
What were his needs?  Other than using voice for business and mobile data, they weren't listed. I merely pointed out once you started using more mins and data, the mvno price advantage goes away. For some reason that simple fact really offends you. Given his usage pattern, the 40 dollar plans are the clear winner. His wife might be able to get away with a cheaper plan but those spikes are a bit worrisome.  If their usage patterns change you can obviously readjust.


To disable roaming
 Settings->Carrier_>automic off and pick your carrier.

If your phone is locked you might not get that option. This also changes  from os to os version.




And that's your problem. Your initial approach was never truly geared towards Pixelshot's needs, and by the time you were asked what you actually were saying beyond, "You have to spend at least $80 a month", you only echoed what had already been covered in the resources provided already... words I might add that were never brought up in the thread by you before that point. I only "misjudged" your advice insofar as the quality of the advice you actually posted as it stood in relation to the discussion and what you expressed in context to what was posted... I'm no Uri Gellar, and you're hardly Winston Churchill. I'm sorry there was miscommunication, but it takes two to tango.

Someone seriously looking at the $10/month Airvoice plan and FreedomPop have already reached the conclusion that they're drastically overpaying for their phone service for good reason. Further enabling their costly bad habits and/or steering them towards flimsy providers "because it best fits" without correcting the root problem is only going to lead to more spending and trouble than necessary.

Pixelshot

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Re: Airvoice basics
« Reply #30 on: May 20, 2013, 02:04:02 PM »
What were his needs?  Other than using voice for business and mobile data, they weren't listed. I merely pointed out once you started using more mins and data, the mvno price advantage goes away. For some reason that simple fact really offends you. Given his usage pattern, the 40 dollar plans are the clear winner. His wife might be able to get away with a cheaper plan but those spikes are a bit worrisome.  If their usage patterns change you can obviously readjust.


To disable roaming
 Settings->Carrier_>automic off and pick your carrier.

If your phone is locked you might not get that option. This also changes  from os to os version.

Thx for the info.

Which $40 plan is  a good option for me to look into - given that I have an AT&T iPhone and live in a pretty solid AT&T coverage area? Ultra? (sorry if you already made a specific recommendation but I'm having a hard time following all of the specific info, acronyms, and all... still "stubble" as my handle states)



foobar

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Re: Airvoice basics
« Reply #31 on: May 20, 2013, 02:26:29 PM »
I would not use Ultra. I know nothing about them other than the cost might be ~30. I would go with airvoice (well I would go with tmo but I have 3g service in my hood as have non AWS HSPA service. Since you don't know about coverage in your area tmo not an option) but I would make sure they cut you off when you hit the data limit to avoid the 100+ dollar phone bill. There are a couple of other AT&T mvnos but they all charge about the same with tweaks. For example Redpocket only gives you 100mb for 40 bucks but free calling to Mexico and a couple other countries.  I would also ask if you can switch to the 10 dollar plan if it turns out that freedom pop (or changing habits ) results in you not needing mobile data with no charge.

What were his needs?  Other than using voice for business and mobile data, they weren't listed. I merely pointed out once you started using more mins and data, the mvno price advantage goes away. For some reason that simple fact really offends you. Given his usage pattern, the 40 dollar plans are the clear winner. His wife might be able to get away with a cheaper plan but those spikes are a bit worrisome.  If their usage patterns change you can obviously readjust.


To disable roaming
 Settings->Carrier_>automic off and pick your carrier.

If your phone is locked you might not get that option. This also changes  from os to os version.

Thx for the info.

Which $40 plan is  a good option for me to look into - given that I have an AT&T iPhone and live in a pretty solid AT&T coverage area? Ultra? (sorry if you already made a specific recommendation but I'm having a hard time following all of the specific info, acronyms, and all... still "stubble" as my handle states)

Pixelshot

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Re: Airvoice basics
« Reply #32 on: May 20, 2013, 02:32:35 PM »
Thx. yes, everything I've read is pointing to Airvoice for me. Since I'm allowed to switch between plans if I need to (with minor hassle), then it seems like I'll try out the $10 plus freedomPop and see if I can pull it off. Then switch up if needed. After all, I'm already bleeding $179/month to AT&T so even if I hit a pricey penalty of some kind, I'm doing ok.

Daley

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Re: Airvoice basics
« Reply #33 on: May 20, 2013, 02:57:07 PM »
Which $40 plan is  a good option for me to look into - given that I have an AT&T iPhone and live in a pretty solid AT&T coverage area? Ultra? (sorry if you already made a specific recommendation but I'm having a hard time following all of the specific info, acronyms, and all... still "stubble" as my handle states)

There really are none outside of Airvoice and H2O that are even remotely competitively priced on the AT&T end worth mentioning, and even H2O has taken a massive dip in customer service quality which concerns me. AT&T + data = expensive. Just kick the habit.

As for the "fears" of being overcharged with data that Foobar is saying... it's more FUD. It's PREPAID service. You only get what you pay for, there are no overages, and I find it interesting that someone who's had so much experience with MVNOs doesn't already know this. You run out of data on those plans? You can't use data any more for the rest of the billing cycle unless you buy more. Further, Airvoice does a 1/3rd and 2/3rd activation policy with their data plans tacked onto your unlimited calling. You have 100MB? You'll have to manually activate after 33MB then again at 66MB. It's a bit of an inconvenience, but it's how it is. Again, you're better served not letting the iPhone dictate your budget. If you needed data that bad for business, you wouldn't be targeting that $30-50 price point for everything, and you probably would have justified the cost already. It's not hard to cut the data habit.



What were his needs?  Other than using voice for business and mobile data, they weren't listed. I merely pointed out once you started using more mins and data, the mvno price advantage goes away. For some reason that simple fact really offends you.

People were trying to teach him how to determine that on his own, myself included, building off the fact that he already felt comfortable pursuing ultra-cheap solutions.

As for your "pointed out" "facts" about MVNO usage and minutes, that is decidedly not what you communicated, and even what you had communicated was still inherently skewed and inaccurate information that ignored the entire direction of this thread. I'm only thankful that Pixelshot's been able to at least learn from our back and forth, even if I find it exhausting.

My only irritation is your insistence on repeatedly sharing and perpetuating inaccurate information, and then crying foul when you're called on it.

As for deeply offended, the only person I see fitting that is yourself. You failed to keep up with the discussion and articulate your initial intent, you spread inaccuracies, and throwing your sack around and picking fights isn't going to help you save face. There was a communications error, and your knowledge isn't as complete as you might think. Get over it.

KulshanGirl

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Re: Airvoice basics
« Reply #34 on: May 20, 2013, 03:09:46 PM »
Thx. yes, everything I've read is pointing to Airvoice for me. Since I'm allowed to switch between plans if I need to (with minor hassle), then it seems like I'll try out the $10 plus freedomPop and see if I can pull it off. Then switch up if needed. After all, I'm already bleeding $179/month to AT&T so even if I hit a pricey penalty of some kind, I'm doing ok.

I made the switch to Airvoice plus Freedompop and I am a huge fan so far.  When you get the FP up and running, go and disable your automatic top-off (if you want) and then be aware that you get shut down at 400 MB, not 500.  Also, sign up for the auto renewal at Airvoice so you don't accidently lose your minutes. 

Pixelshot

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Re: Airvoice basics
« Reply #35 on: May 20, 2013, 03:13:43 PM »
I should say, it feels funny being on the sidelines of a forum discussion which, yes, I have learned from (i'm usually in the middle of them - see: Facebook). Honestly, I'm very grateful for all of your participation, even if there are some "inaccuracies," intended or not. As an un-initiated, I could hardly pick out the inaccuracies any more than I could pick spices out of a burrito (and I think I.P. is graciously trying to protect me against my own ignorance, while Foobar is similarly trying to help, not to deceive). I appreciate the commitment to accuracy, though.  I guess this is all to say - thanks... and I'm now ready to move on to more cost-cutting enterprises. :)

Friends?

Daley

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Re: Airvoice basics
« Reply #36 on: May 20, 2013, 04:32:55 PM »
Friends?

Always.

As I've said in the past, I typically don't take offense or issue with people, just the quality of the information provided. What I don't know could fill volumes, but what I do know, I know with fair certainty... and I care about the quality of the advice and guidance given on subjects that are in my wheelhouse when people ask for help. Though I have little patience for people who provide inaccurate information defended with arrogance, it's rarely ever personal, and this was never personal for me.

Best of luck with the transition, Pixelshot... and don't be afraid to hit me up for any further help or clarification.

Pixelshot

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Re: Airvoice basics
« Reply #37 on: May 20, 2013, 04:37:13 PM »
thanks. will do. I just learned that my iPhone contract is up in about 2 weeks so a bit of a delay (thought it was already out), but after that I'll be breaking the AT&T chains.

Pixelshot

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Re: Airvoice basics
« Reply #38 on: May 31, 2013, 01:50:05 PM »
ok, I'm back. Just read the new MMM article about Republic Wireless. Thoughts for me? I have an iPhone 4 and my wife has a 3GS. I was just about to pull the trigger on Airvoice/FreedomPop (in fact, got my FreedomPop device today) but concerned that it won't quite meet my needs for minutes without a lot of squirming.

I see two problems with RW for me:
- having to get a new phone (would really like to stick with an iPhone if possible... I know, I know... read the link... but call me a hold out I guess - I use it a lot for work and would like to keep it. On the other hand, the Defy XT looks pretty decent so I could be convinced)
- Sprint network - our phones are on the AT&T system - is it just that phone, or Android only?

Maybe going to Airvoice for the Mrs (with my iPhone 4) and I switch to the new plan with the Defy XT phone like MMM did.

madage

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Re: Airvoice basics
« Reply #39 on: May 31, 2013, 02:30:33 PM »
1. Read the post comments from Matt D. for a first-hand experience from a paying subscriber. Yes, this is only one person, but it's important to get as much information as you can.

2. From the Superguide:

Finally in this list, there's Republic Wireless... the little provider that could. Their gimmick is $20 a month unlimited usage with WiFi and Sprint network coverage. Theoretically, it's a great idea. A pre-configured Android phone that defaults to WiFi for calling and seamlessly integrates cell service and VoIP? Fantastic! Unfortunately, execution's left a lot to be desired. You can replicate it on your own likely for less using any cheap carrier, Android phone, Google Voice and Talkatone. Don't even consider it if you're looking at their $30 rate.

Make sure you also follow the link embedded in the quote above for more discussion.

3. Do you really want to pay $250 for a new phone? Those two iPhones are pretty sweet now that they're paid-off.

4. You do not have a network choice with Republic Wireless. The phone will use Sprint's CDMA network when it's not on wi-fi.

Daley

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Re: Airvoice basics
« Reply #40 on: May 31, 2013, 02:52:51 PM »
Maybe going to Airvoice for the Mrs (with my iPhone 4) and I switch to the new plan with the Defy XT phone like MMM did.

Pixelshot, you already know how I feel about iPhones and AT&T, right? Lock that thought in your head before you read any further...



...ready?



I'd almost rather see you keep your iPhones and current AT&T service.

Republic isn't offering anything special, and can be easily replicated with any smartphone and Google Voice service complete with the same quirks and issues... an approach to phone service, I might add, that I don't recommend under general principles for its reliability issues. You need reliable phone service for your business, remember? Read the links Madage provided plus this one.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2013, 02:55:20 PM by I.P. Daley »

neo von retorch

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Re: Airvoice basics (Voicemail Number)
« Reply #41 on: August 19, 2014, 01:27:07 PM »
My phone is now switched to Airvoice, but my voicemail has not been set up. If I call my own number from my phone, it says "it's not set up" and hangs up on me. When I press and hold 1 or try to call voicemail, it asks me to enter a phone number. I've tried to search for this on the interwebs, but the instructions are just to "press and hold 1." Well, apparently that just dials the preset voicemail number. What's that number?

Daley

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Re: Airvoice basics
« Reply #42 on: August 19, 2014, 01:59:50 PM »
My phone is now switched to Airvoice, but my voicemail has not been set up. If I call my own number from my phone, it says "it's not set up" and hangs up on me. When I press and hold 1 or try to call voicemail, it asks me to enter a phone number. I've tried to search for this on the interwebs, but the instructions are just to "press and hold 1." Well, apparently that just dials the preset voicemail number. What's that number?

You might need to call and talk with customer support to get voicemail enabled, sometimes new accounts wind up not getting it enabled during setup, but it's easy enough to fix. That should take care of it.

If you're on their $10/month plan, be aware that you'll also need to call and have them enable data and MMS support on the account if either is desired.