Author Topic: AirVoice Coverage  (Read 7299 times)

whatnot

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AirVoice Coverage
« on: December 28, 2012, 01:39:40 PM »
I would love to switch to AirVoice. As I understand it, I would have the same coverage as I would have on AT&T since they use the same towers and AirVoice has free roaming. If that is true, why do their coverage maps differ?
Here is the AirVoice coverage map - http://www.airvoicewireless.com/support/coverage-map/
Here is the AT&T coverage map - http://www.wireless.att.com/coverageviewer/#?type=voice

Unfortunately, I'm in that black hole in the middle called Nebraska. AT&T map says I'm covered, AirVoice says I'm not.

What gives?

Daley

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Re: AirVoice Coverage
« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2012, 02:07:32 PM »
As I understand it, I would have the same coverage as I would have on AT&T since they use the same towers and AirVoice has free roaming. If that is true, why do their coverage maps differ?

You understand wrong, my friend. Airvoice does use AT&T towers, but they do not have off-network roaming. The coverage area is smaller than AT&T postpaid, because AT&T provides roaming onto other GSM networks through peer agreements with other MNOs with that much larger monthly bill.

The roaming you're getting confused over is the roaming you're allowed on Airvoice inside the AT&T network across the nation. That's why Airvoice won't cover you when AT&T postpaid will.

Look into other providers, like Platinumtel or Ting. Platinumtel is a T-Mobile MVNO, which might have coverage for you where AT&T does not, and Ting has the advantage of allowing roaming off the Sprint network onto the Verizon one. Also, if you haven't already, take a look at the superguide. There's a few more options out there than just AT&T MVNOs. AT&T has to be peering with someone to get coverage out there, find out who it is and try to find prepaid service on their network instead.

whatnot

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Re: AirVoice Coverage
« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2012, 02:38:31 PM »
Thanks, IP. I was hoping you'd see my question over here :). I have read the superguide - good stuff.

This switching providers business is tricky. We're currently on Verizon half-way through a contract. I would gladly pay the termination fee, but finding out who to switch to is giving me fits.

  • Airvoice is out due to lack of coverage. As is Virgin and H20.
  • PagePlus seems like the obvious choice. But making our existing phones work with PP seems like an adventure.
  • Platinumtel seems great but Sprint coverage without roaming won't cut it.
  • Ting may win out. But it chaps my hide that we have to buy new phones.

Sigh. I'll keep doing my research as this stuff seems to change daily. Thanks for your help!

Daley

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Re: AirVoice Coverage
« Reply #3 on: December 28, 2012, 03:36:26 PM »
  • Airvoice is out due to lack of coverage. As is Virgin and H20.
  • PagePlus seems like the obvious choice. But making our existing phones work with PP seems like an adventure.
  • Platinumtel seems great but Sprint coverage without roaming won't cut it.
  • Ting may win out. But it chaps my hide that we have to buy new phones.

It sounds like the weak networks in your area are AT&T and Sprint, and at minimum Verizon has strong coverage. Ting might be an option as they do allow Verizon roaming, but they are primarily a Sprint MVNO, which means they'll want you to primarily use your minutes on the native network. Since Sprint is right out due to your statements about Virgin and P'tel, Ting probably wouldn't be a good choice anyway.

Re-check P'tel's coverage map. The thing to understand is that yes, they were a Sprint MVNO the past 12+ years, but they're actually transitioning over to T-Mobile RIGHT NOW. They're selling SIM cards and the whole nine, and will be phasing out their Sprint users by March-April 2013. This means their network coverage map is drastically changing, and from what I know of T-Mobile, they have pretty decent coverage there in Husker territory. Like I said, AT&T has to be getting their roaming coverage from somebody... that somebody appears to be T-Mo.

As for Page Plus, what phones do you currently have? Yes, there's models that Page Plus doesn't officialy support, and models that aren't supposed to be brought over at all... but if they're in the MSL code unlock, change and go territory, you're golden. It's downright trivial to get set up, too, and you should be walked through it. Several non-technical people in the community here have easily transitioned over from Verizon to Page Plus with no difficulty. If you're really concerned, get in touch with the folks over at Kitty Wireless and give this amongst other things a read from their documentation. TheDude here on the forums is a pretty ardent supporter of P+ as well, maybe give him a poke. You're going to have to buy out your contract anyway, might as well do so before you port your number out so you can still potentially use or even sell your handsets if you want.

whatnot

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Re: AirVoice Coverage
« Reply #4 on: December 28, 2012, 04:16:24 PM »
Thanks for the opinions, IP. I appreciate it! I was trying to stay out of the boring details, but will delve into them a little deeper. Feel free to stop replying if I'm taking up too much of your time :)

We live in the eastern part of Nebraska where there are more people than cows. Pretty much any carrier has decent coverage here. The problem is grandparents and relatives live all over the state. Inevitably we drive through horrible weather getting places for holidays. When driving through a foot of snow 50 miles from any sort of civilization, I want coverage, and that usually has to come from Verizon. That's where Ting seemed perfect. Sprint where we live. Verizon for the odd times we need it.

PP seems great but some of the wording about bringing your own phone seems a little worrisome. For example, "NONE of the new 4G SMARTPHONES, of any type, will work on Page Plus Cellular". I know I won't get 4G, I'm fine with 3G, but I do have a 4G phone (Samsung Galaxy Nexus). Or, "Neither Page Plus, nor Kitty Wireless, will assist with technical support on a device that is not Page Plus Approved/Authorized, or that we did not sell to you.". Probably not a big deal, but it makes me feel a little uneasy.

For our usage, it looks like the cost would be pretty equal for both services.

At least I'm getting it narrowed down. I may hit up TheDude for some PP advice. Thanks for all your help!