Author Topic: Airvoice Wireless and an AT&T 3G Microcell  (Read 4376 times)

Koala0924

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 45
Airvoice Wireless and an AT&T 3G Microcell
« on: June 09, 2013, 07:28:21 PM »
Hello Mustachians, I would like to dump my expensive AT&T phone plan in favor of Airvoice. I have searched and researched extensively, but I have a couple of questions I can't find the answer to.

1) Will an Airvoice sim card connect to my AT&T microcell?  I live in a rural area and don't have any cell towers near enough for consistent, strong service. AT&T coverage is the best. The microcell was given to us by AT&T and currently works great to provide great service for us.

2) I've read that AT&T post-paid and pre-paid coverage maps differ, with the post-paid being much larger. Does Airvoice utilize the post-paid map or the pre-paid map? Also, will Airvoice work off other providers' cell towers like AT&T does?

And finally, would it be better to port my current number to Google Voice or to Airvoice?  Could someone go over the pros / cons of each porting scenario?

Thank you so much. I have found loads of info in the Superguide, but I'm nervous about possibly messing this up.

KWH

Daley

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3942
  • Location: Cow country. Moo.
  • Got that mustache feeling.
Re: Airvoice Wireless and an AT&T 3G Microcell
« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2013, 09:14:43 PM »
Hello Mustachians, I would like to dump my expensive AT&T phone plan in favor of Airvoice. I have searched and researched extensively, but I have a couple of questions I can't find the answer to.

1) Will an Airvoice sim card connect to my AT&T microcell?  I live in a rural area and don't have any cell towers near enough for consistent, strong service. AT&T coverage is the best. The microcell was given to us by AT&T and currently works great to provide great service for us.

2) I've read that AT&T post-paid and pre-paid coverage maps differ, with the post-paid being much larger. Does Airvoice utilize the post-paid map or the pre-paid map? Also, will Airvoice work off other providers' cell towers like AT&T does?

And finally, would it be better to port my current number to Google Voice or to Airvoice?  Could someone go over the pros / cons of each porting scenario?

Thank you so much. I have found loads of info in the Superguide, but I'm nervous about possibly messing this up.

KWH

1) AT&T femtocells require active AT&T accounts attached in order to work. People have had some limited luck adding AT&T MVNO numbers to the access list, but the solution is simply no go for 100% MVNO as a primary AT&T account has to be active and associated with the device.

2) Post-paid is bigger because of network peering agreements with other GSM network providers (T-Mobile, Cincinnati Bell, Plateau Wireless, CTC, i wireless, etc.). All MVNOs will utilize the prepaid map unless they specifically state that roaming is possible. Airvoice's coverage map is here.

You're talking to a guy who's been with Google Voice since the Grand Central days, and the only thing keeping me from porting my numbers out of GV is inertia and having to give Google a credit card number. Other folks love the service, but there's folk who will always eat up anything "free" and sing praises about it, no matter how cruddy. Take that for what it's worth, but remember that you always get what you pay for, and a poor man can't afford to buy garbage. If someone else want to address the pros/cons of the service, go for it. For me, it's only cons, and my thoughts on the subject as to why are numerous throughout the guide follow-up posts.

Koala0924

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 45
Re: Airvoice Wireless and an AT&T 3G Microcell
« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2013, 09:37:31 PM »
Daley,

Thank you for your expertise.  I have learned a lot from you (and others).  My fear was that the cell tower wouldn't allow my Airvoice sim to connect.  It was also my fear that I would be restricted to the pre-paid coverage area.  Honestly though, I am angered / ashamed enough by our cell bill I want to work this out.

Regarding GV I am aware of the cons you listed in the superguide; the main reason I was looking into it was due to the Talkatone app.  I have excellent wifi coverage at home and at several other places I am throughout the day; however, I do day travel for my job so I need something that isn't just internet based.  I am currently trying Republic Wireless; but am not happy with the signal strength available when I am out of wifi range. 

I'm sorry to keep using your time but I appreciate your input.  As I understand it, I have 3 options.

1) Keep my post paid AT&T coverage with an insane bill

2) Port my number to Airvoice and utilize a Google Voice number for Talkatone which means I have 2 numbers. The Airvoice number would be utilized when I don't have internet service and the GV number utilized when I do--so people wouldn't know what number to reach me on?

3) Port my number to Google Voice and have an Airvoice number I use to call out when I have no internet option for GV.

I apologize for my lack of tech knowledge, and I do appreciate your time.

KWH

Daley

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3942
  • Location: Cow country. Moo.
  • Got that mustache feeling.
Re: Airvoice Wireless and an AT&T 3G Microcell
« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2013, 10:06:18 PM »
If you've got good enough bandwidth at home for a femtocell and to consider doing something like GV/Talkatone, why not just use a VoIP home phone like with VOIPo? If you go with a per minute Airvoice account, you can set it up to forward calls to another number (still billed per minute). Have a home phone number and a cell phone number, and just tell people not to call you on your cell unless they know they can't reach you at home. You'll still catch calls to your cell at home even without reception, and you won't have to deal with Google Voice.

Koala0924

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 45
Re: Airvoice Wireless and an AT&T 3G Microcell
« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2013, 10:27:45 PM »
Currently we don't have a home phone, and I'm more than fine with that. I'm more of a texter than a talker, unless it involves my parents / inlaws / actual gab fests with old friends that I do at home where wifi is available.

I guess I want to optimize my texting / talking capabilities for the cheapest route possible. I thought the Airvoice plan that I only utilized when not in wifi range paired with GV / Talkatone would be the best way to do that. There are times that I need to be reachable for work when I may not be in wifi range.

I'm trying to work all this out so that hopefully I can painlessly switch then get my DH to switch later. Even if he went with an unlimited Airvoice plan it would still save us money.

KWH