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Old 07-31-2017, 03:09 PM   #1
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T-Mobile vs MetroPCS vs others

We have been using the Big Red (Verizon) for the past 17 years, for its great coverage. Since last year, I noticed the phone bill has been creeping up quite a bit - just two phones with 1400 minutes and unlimited data plan we are paying $197. Insane, isn't it?

Now I am looking for alternatives. According to my research, T-Mobile has been catching up pretty fast. Unlimited data/text/calls with Canada and Mexico included, free/unlimited data and text in any other countries, $100 for two phones, tax/fees included. I feel that is a sweet deal!

Then there are many little ones, like MetroPCS, which are using T-Mobile network, but much cheaper, at $80 for two.

Now I am not sure I know all of those - How do they work? Does MetroPCS have the privilege of accessing 100% of T-M's towers? Do they throttle down the speed? Etc etc. I asked the sales in T-M and MetroPCS, either they didn't know, or they were contradicting each other.

So Gang, please shed some light and help clear these puzzles up. If you have better suggestions, throw them here, I am open!

Greatly appreciated .
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Old 07-31-2017, 03:16 PM   #2
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Thinking of the same thing myself, I checked out the magenta provider. If you go into less populated areas, poor or no service. If you stay in the metro or suburban areas, great service. If you want coverage in almost everywhere you would camp, verizon has the best service. If you don't need unlimited data, the Walmart carrier (smart talk, clear choice, something like that ) has plans that are very cheap.
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Old 07-31-2017, 03:16 PM   #3
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I moved to MetroPCS a year plus ago. From AT&T. To save money and get unlimited data on the phone. So far so good. Not as extensive coverage as Verizon or AT&T, but pretty good. Yes, uses the entire T-Mobile Network And I like the month to month with no contract. The ZTE 6" phone for just $100 is a great deal for an excellent phone.
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Old 07-31-2017, 03:23 PM   #4
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thanks to both of you, for the fast response!

Vince, glad to hear! Did you get the ZTE from MetroPCS? That is like a steal!
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Old 07-31-2017, 03:48 PM   #5
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What about folks like Ting or Consumer Cellular?
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Old 07-31-2017, 05:37 PM   #6
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thanks to both of you, for the fast response!

Vince, glad to hear! Did you get the ZTE from MetroPCS? That is like a steal!
Yes, the ZTE phone is from MetroPCS. Stop in any store and they should have it.
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Old 07-31-2017, 06:30 PM   #7
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Depending on your data usage, check out Project Fi by Google. If you are looking for all around coverage it is awesome, but not great if you use a ton of data.
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Old 07-31-2017, 07:24 PM   #8
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Project Fi's flat $20 for unlimited voice/text + $10/GB (unused data is refunded) rate makes it cost-effective for low usage but not competitive for high-usage. In terms of coverage it's really just a T-Mobile MVNO, plus Sprint where Sprint works. It also can only be used on a few models of Google-brand phones, so for all of those reasons its appeal is kind of limited.

I've done a lot of traveling with T-Mo and have made great use of free video streaming and free, unthrottled roaming in Canada and Alaska. The only catch is as described earlier, excellent coverage in urban/suburban areas but not yet the equal of Verizon or AT&T in rural areas. I used T-Mo as my primary data carrier and used a backup on an inexpensive Verizon MVNO for those times when T-Mobile didn't work (not all that often really) and that worked for us.

One good option for a T-Mobile hotspot plan at an inexpensive rate is through Millenicom, now a T-Mobile MVNO. All of the benefits of the old inexpensive T-Mo plans (free audio and video streaming, rollover, free Canada/Mexico and international roaming, no hotspot limitations, etc.) at good rates.

It should be noted that T-Mo recently purchased over $8 billion (with a 'b') worth of nationwide spectrum in the recent 600 MHz auction. It will take a few years for this to be built out but when that is complete there is no reason that they would not be easily able to match the other large carriers, anywhere. That should provide some interesting competitive pressure on Verizon and AT&T, and will probably be good for consumers.

Lastly, no cellular data thread would be complete without a mention of AT&T's Connected Car plan, an incredible $20/month for unlimited hotspot data. You must buy a 'connected car' hotspot (ZTE Mobley) but other than that minor catch the plan is simply unbeatable. AT&T is out of stock of the Mobley right now but keep checking, they should have some more soon.

https://www.att.com/devices/zte/mobl...sku=sku7700323

Not all AT&T stores/agents are aware of the plan so to avoid confusion it's best to simply order online, that usually goes very smoothly and you'll have an activated unit in your hands within a few days.
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Old 07-31-2017, 08:27 PM   #9
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And, there are a lot of adaptors on Amazon for the Mobley.......been using it here in the house, as well as camping
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Old 07-31-2017, 08:55 PM   #10
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We have T-mob and because we are all (9phones) on the same plan, each of us pays $25 a month plus whatever phone each of us might be making payments on.
All of us have unlimited data with no throttling.

Problem with T-mob is if I drive north of my house a couple miles I dont have service for 15 miles or more. I noticed when we travel there are a lot of areas we dont have data service. We can make calls but no data and if relying on google maps and if I havent saved the area for navigation offline then we cant set up a route. We have been looking at GPSs. Ive noticed that while maps can be helpful it seems that signs are scarce and not well placed.

When we start traveling more I might look into a prepaid verizon so we at least can make calls if we get into a spot with no service. Which still seems to be quite often even with their supposed expansions. Granted we live in rural NC and travel into rural VA often. Isnt that the type of area you end up when traveling the road less traveled?
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Old 07-31-2017, 10:22 PM   #11
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love this board! thank you all for the awesome info! .

smiller - the idea of using an inexpensive Verizon MVNO for backup is great! which one would you recommend?
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Old 08-01-2017, 12:24 AM   #12
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smiller - the idea of using an inexpensive Verizon MVNO for backup is great! which one would you recommend?
There are several but personally I'd go with Boom.us because they support hotspot/tethering use and VoLTE (aka HD Voice), and have US-based customer service support.
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Old 08-01-2017, 10:12 AM   #13
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Cool

Quote:
Originally Posted by CountryFit View Post
We have been using the Big Red (Verizon) for the past 17 years, for its great coverage. Since last year, I noticed the phone bill has been creeping up quite a bit - just two phones with 1400 minutes and unlimited data plan we are paying $197. Insane, isn't it?

Now I am looking for alternatives. According to my research, T-Mobile has been catching up pretty fast. Unlimited data/text/calls with Canada and Mexico included, free/unlimited data and text in any other countries, $100 for two phones, tax/fees included. I feel that is a sweet deal!

Then there are many little ones, like MetroPCS, which are using T-Mobile network, but much cheaper, at $80 for two.

Now I am not sure I know all of those - How do they work? Does MetroPCS have the privilege of accessing 100% of T-M's towers? Do they throttle down the speed? Etc etc. I asked the sales in T-M and MetroPCS, either they didn't know, or they were contradicting each other.

So Gang, please shed some light and help clear these puzzles up. If you have better suggestions, throw them here, I am open!

Greatly appreciated .
Yes, it is insane....

However, you should talk to Verizon first, especially if you like their service.

On my plan, I haven't paid for "minutes" for probably more than 5 years. They change their plans all the time and it's your responsibility to keep up with the changes and move to the newer plans. Sounds like you are on a very old plan...

I also have Verizon, unlimited talk/text/data with 2 phones...my bill is $137/month with a veterans 15% discount. If you're a veteran, that discount is easy to get.

I would advise you to go to the Verizon store (not online) and talk to them face to face. They have a lot of deals available to them and might be able to save you quite a bit of money for better service than you currently have.

Lastly, I thought I would try out the T-Mobile network, due to the lower cost. I got a hotspot and service with them. I cancelled it the first month! It was terrible service, for where I traveled. So, if you are satisfied with Verizon, you should try to stay with them if you can, financially. All of the other carriers, have their downsides too....

I have no stock in Verizon.....ha ha But I am a satisfied customer and think I'm paying a fair price for what I receive.

Good Luck in your quest!
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Old 08-01-2017, 10:21 PM   #14
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Yes, it is insane....

However, you should talk to Verizon first, especially if you like their service.

On my plan, I haven't paid for "minutes" for probably more than 5 years. They change their plans all the time and it's your responsibility to keep up with the changes and move to the newer plans. Sounds like you are on a very old plan...

I also have Verizon, unlimited talk/text/data with 2 phones...my bill is $137/month with a veterans 15% discount. If you're a veteran, that discount is easy to get.

I would advise you to go to the Verizon store (not online) and talk to them face to face. They have a lot of deals available to them and might be able to save you quite a bit of money for better service than you currently have.

Lastly, I thought I would try out the T-Mobile network, due to the lower cost. I got a hotspot and service with them. I cancelled it the first month! It was terrible service, for where I traveled. So, if you are satisfied with Verizon, you should try to stay with them if you can, financially. All of the other carriers, have their downsides too....

I have no stock in Verizon.....ha ha But I am a satisfied customer and think I'm paying a fair price for what I receive.

Good Luck in your quest!
Dr Q, first thanks for your service to our country!
I went to a Verizon store this afternoon. They wouldn't budge on the price for unlimited plan but tried to persuade me to switch to a limited plan. Guess it won't work this time.

I then stopped at a T-Mo store. The employees were very cool. They set up a temp account for me to try it tomorrow when I return they will refund the activation fee. That was very nice. My current phone Samsung Note 3 works perfectly on their network. I tried a number of places so far, the speed appears to be faster than Verizon's.
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