Author Topic: MNVO reception  (Read 4732 times)

kimmarg

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MNVO reception
« on: October 12, 2015, 10:10:08 AM »
I've been avoiding the whole paying too much for a cell phone issue for far too long. I've read the super guide and understand that what I should do is unlock my iPhone 4S on Verizon and transfer onto a MNVO, most likely PagePlus Cellular.  Part of me not doing this is laziness. Also Verizon's new plan structure lowered my cost to $38/month for 2 Gb data and unlimited talk and text (no I don't need unlimited that's just how it comes). My lingering concern is reception. Do MNVO really have the same reception as the major networks? The areas I live and frequent Verizon is king. ATT is getting better but doesn't work in some core places I spend time. Tmobile is a joke. I'm often on the edge of Verizon coverage to begin with - will MNVO really retain the same coverage?

hyla

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Re: MNVO reception
« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2015, 10:19:24 AM »
PagePlus coverage is the same as Verizon coverage.  I live in Montana (look at cell coverage maps, Verizon has the best coverage here by far) and am happy with the reception I get on my PagePlus phone.  Consistently good signal near cities and towns, patchy in rural areas but of course there are some areas that just don't have towers and it's way better than any other network. 

TheThirstyStag

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Re: MNVO reception
« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2015, 11:06:49 AM »
Although I only have MNVO experience with Cricket (AT&T), I can say the actual coverage has been identical to what I had with AT&T.

There is a slight difference in ping speeds.  Postpaid AT&T customers have much better ping speeds, which is irrelevant for most people. 

I imagine it's similar with many Verizon MVNOs.  If you are on the outskirts of Verizon coverage, you should not have to worry about MVNO coverage.

Daley

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Re: MNVO reception
« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2015, 11:11:27 AM »
In the case of the "recommended" Verizon MVNOs, yes, the reception is pretty much identical as they provide the same roaming footprint in addition to the core network. Although I recommended Page Plus in the past, they have since been bought out by America Movil (Tracfone, NET10, etc.), and now recommend Selectel, which also has off-network roaming.

You switch to Selectel or Page Plus, your coverage will be identical to what you're used to on your iPhone 4s.

Where coverage may differ is where the MVNO is network exclusive and has no roaming agreements (most of them are and roaming is rare). Normally, that's not a big deal for most folks, but it can cause problems for more rural areas for people where coverage is spotty. Puppy Wireless is an example of a Verizon MVNO that has no roaming, so the footprint might be smaller than what you're used to. However, if there is roaming (such as with Selectel), then it will be identical.

rockstache

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Re: MNVO reception
« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2015, 11:28:54 AM »

Also Verizon's new plan structure lowered my cost to $38/month for 2 Gb data and unlimited talk and text (no I don't need unlimited that's just how it comes).

Can you please provide a link to this plan? This would be exactly what my dh needs to convince him to lower his bill. I can't seem to find it online.

kimmarg

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Re: MNVO reception
« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2015, 11:49:13 AM »
Thanks for the reassurance on reception everyone. I'll look into Selectel. No more being lazy!

kimmarg

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Re: MNVO reception
« Reply #6 on: October 12, 2015, 11:54:09 AM »

Also Verizon's new plan structure lowered my cost to $38/month for 2 Gb data and unlimited talk and text (no I don't need unlimited that's just how it comes).

Can you please provide a link to this plan? This would be exactly what my dh needs to convince him to lower his bill. I can't seem to find it online.

Actually it's 3GB unlimited talk and text. New plans are by data size.

http://www.verizonwireless.com/landingpages/verizon-plan/

"Medium" plan = 3Gb $45/month
-15% employer discount (look into this I work for the federal government and get a discount I'm sure others qualify too)
= $38.25 / 2 (share plan with family member) = $19.13 + $20/month line charge = $39.13

Ok, so I guess it's more like $42/month with th fees. I switched mid month so it was a bit weird this month.

rockstache

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Re: MNVO reception
« Reply #7 on: October 12, 2015, 01:05:37 PM »
Ok great, thank you!

Thegoblinchief

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Re: MNVO reception
« Reply #8 on: October 12, 2015, 03:46:03 PM »
There is also the issue of having the lowest priority to the tower, so in situations where the networks are crunched (disasters or at major events), your service won't work at all, or very well.

I'm willing to accept that risk for the considerable cost savings but it is a relevant difference.

Daley

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Re: MNVO reception
« Reply #9 on: October 12, 2015, 04:18:27 PM »
There is also the issue of having the lowest priority to the tower, so in situations where the networks are crunched (disasters or at major events), your service won't work at all, or very well.

I'm willing to accept that risk for the considerable cost savings but it is a relevant difference.

This is very true, MVNO customers are lower on the tower traffic pecking order... however, the situations and times where one might noticeably run into this issue are usually limited to high speed data latency and during catastrophic circumstances where everyone's having problems and you're best off not relying on a mobile phone for emergency communications anyway.

I've not seen major connectivity impact with large events, though, at least not with voice. Fortunately, even MVNO voice traffic still takes precedence over native network data traffic.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2015, 04:21:49 PM by I.P. Daley »

kittenwhiskers

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Re: MNVO reception
« Reply #10 on: October 12, 2015, 10:26:23 PM »
I just switched from AT&T (coverage everywhere) to Ting and out seems to be working great so far!

m8547

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Re: MNVO reception
« Reply #11 on: October 13, 2015, 05:35:56 PM »
I use Ting because I get voice and text roaming on Verizon even though it's normally on Sprint (they added a T Mobile GSM option recently). I don't get data roaming on Verizon, so as a result I don't get data in a lot of places, like all of Alaska or most of Wyoming.

labrat

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Re: MNVO reception
« Reply #12 on: October 13, 2015, 06:51:08 PM »
I use Ting because I get voice and text roaming on Verizon even though it's normally on Sprint (they added a T Mobile GSM option recently). I don't get data roaming on Verizon, so as a result I don't get data in a lot of places, like all of Alaska or most of Wyoming.

This.  I brought my Sprint phone to Ting and haven't noticed any change in service.  Previously and still roam on Verizon without issue.  Haven't had a bill over $30 (data-heavy due to travel that month) and love that it's on auto-pilot.  Will consider switching to Google Fi if/when more device options are available.

sol

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Re: MNVO reception
« Reply #13 on: October 13, 2015, 07:06:25 PM »
There is also the issue of having the lowest priority to the tower, so in situations where the networks are crunched (disasters or at major events), your service won't work at all, or very well.

I'm willing to accept that risk for the considerable cost savings but it is a relevant difference.

This is very true, MVNO customers are lower on the tower traffic pecking order... however, the situations and times where one might noticeably run into this issue are usually limited to high speed data latency and during catastrophic circumstances where everyone's having problems and you're best off not relying on a mobile phone for emergency communications anyway.

If you're really worried about communications bottlenecks during and emergency situation, why not just spend the $100 to get a ham license and a cheap handheld radio?  If you live in any metro area you're virtually guaranteed to be within range of at least one repeater, and from there you can call anyone in the world including patching in to regular phone or email networks.  The amateur radio bands are WAY less crowded than the commercial cell bands, and have no monthly fees.

Daley

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Re: MNVO reception
« Reply #14 on: October 13, 2015, 07:58:58 PM »
There is also the issue of having the lowest priority to the tower, so in situations where the networks are crunched (disasters or at major events), your service won't work at all, or very well.

I'm willing to accept that risk for the considerable cost savings but it is a relevant difference.

This is very true, MVNO customers are lower on the tower traffic pecking order... however, the situations and times where one might noticeably run into this issue are usually limited to high speed data latency and during catastrophic circumstances where everyone's having problems and you're best off not relying on a mobile phone for emergency communications anyway.

If you're really worried about communications bottlenecks during and emergency situation, why not just spend the $100 to get a ham license and a cheap handheld radio?  If you live in any metro area you're virtually guaranteed to be within range of at least one repeater, and from there you can call anyone in the world including patching in to regular phone or email networks.  The amateur radio bands are WAY less crowded than the commercial cell bands, and have no monthly fees.

Exactly my point.

Scommm

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Re: MNVO reception
« Reply #15 on: October 13, 2015, 08:11:19 PM »
I switched to Straight Talk for their "BYOP" bring your own phone plan.  I have their "unlimited" plan, which is truly unlimited talk & text and 5gig of LTE data, then it throttles to 3g speeds, supposedly.  I have never used the entire 5gig yet in a 30 day period.  The plan allows for a "discount" if you put your credit card on file and agree to monthly "auto" billing.  Total bill for me is $42.50 a month, includes all taxes and fees. 

For a secondary job I use my personal phone and one of the company apps uses data or else I could probably get away with a lower data plan somewhere else.

Coverage wise it's the same as Verizon, and as a matter of fact the network indicator still reads Verizon in upper corner.  The phone is an iPhone 6plus I found that somebody didn't like because of the color, so I got it with virtually no minutes for about 1/3 the price of new.

kimmarg

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Re: MNVO reception
« Reply #16 on: October 14, 2015, 06:41:38 AM »
There is also the issue of having the lowest priority to the tower, so in situations where the networks are crunched (disasters or at major events), your service won't work at all, or very well.

I'm willing to accept that risk for the considerable cost savings but it is a relevant difference.

This is very true, MVNO customers are lower on the tower traffic pecking order... however, the situations and times where one might noticeably run into this issue are usually limited to high speed data latency and during catastrophic circumstances where everyone's having problems and you're best off not relying on a mobile phone for emergency communications anyway.

If you're really worried about communications bottlenecks during and emergency situation, why not just spend the $100 to get a ham license and a cheap handheld radio?  If you live in any metro area you're virtually guaranteed to be within range of at least one repeater, and from there you can call anyone in the world including patching in to regular phone or email networks.  The amateur radio bands are WAY less crowded than the commercial cell bands, and have no monthly fees.

Hmmm it's like you are reading my long standing to do list through the internet! I do have a ham license but I still need to buy my first radio. I want a handheld that can transmit on all ham bands AND 456.225 as well as receive weather radio. Suggestions? Just keeps slipping down the 'to buy' list....

sol

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Re: MNVO reception
« Reply #17 on: October 14, 2015, 08:45:44 AM »
Hmmm it's like you are reading my long standing to do list through the internet! I do have a ham license but I still need to buy my first radio. I want a handheld that can transmit on all ham bands AND 456.225 as well as receive weather radio. Suggestions? Just keeps slipping down the 'to buy' list....

"All ham bands" is kind of a nebulous term, depending on the class of your license.  Tons of sub $100 Chinese handhelds are dual-band, and will do UHF and VHF bands, but under the new rules even a Technician gets voice privileges on parts of the 10m band (top end of HF) and that generally requires a different radio.  There are quad-band handhelds, but they cost more like $300 instead of $50.

Here's a well-reviewed dual-band I'm considering buying, though it is probably fancier than what most people need.  For emergency communications purposes, I'd get a spare battery and car charging kit instead of spending the extra $30 on a fancier radio.  http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00Z52HP10

kimmarg

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Re: MNVO reception
« Reply #18 on: October 14, 2015, 09:29:31 AM »
Hmmm it's like you are reading my long standing to do list through the internet! I do have a ham license but I still need to buy my first radio. I want a handheld that can transmit on all ham bands AND 456.225 as well as receive weather radio. Suggestions? Just keeps slipping down the 'to buy' list....

"All ham bands" is kind of a nebulous term, depending on the class of your license.  Tons of sub $100 Chinese handhelds are dual-band, and will do UHF and VHF bands, but under the new rules even a Technician gets voice privileges on parts of the 10m band (top end of HF) and that generally requires a different radio.  There are quad-band handhelds, but they cost more like $300 instead of $50.

Here's a well-reviewed dual-band I'm considering buying, though it is probably fancier than what most people need.  For emergency communications purposes, I'd get a spare battery and car charging kit instead of spending the extra $30 on a fancier radio.  http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00Z52HP10

Thanks! I'm just a technician class license so probably don't need 10m. Just want something to play around with. Also work for an organization that uses 456.225 so figured I might as well be able to transmit on that as well although that would fall under the organizations license not mine.