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Thread: CDMA Tracfone PRL questions

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    CDMA Tracfone PRL questions

    Hi all. I have a CDMA LG 290c, showing PRL 59179. It's running on Verizon.

    However, when I look up Verizon PRL information, from a website like this one:

    http://www.roamingzone.com/prl/

    ...and I scroll down to the Verizon section, I see the latest PRLs start with "52", with older ones starting with "51". I see no information about "59" PRL numbers.

    So what exactly is the PRL that CDMA Tracfones get? What is PRL 59179? What does it contain? Is it good? Is it Verizon's "America's Choice I" or "America's Choice II", or something else entirely? How good is its coverage, and how many systems can it roam on? Is it better than ACI and/or ACII, worse, or what?

    Also, what's the difference between Verizon's ACI and ACII anyway? I THINK I heard that ACI is better, but is used on legacy nationwide Verizon phones where roaming charges can occur, and that ACII is not as good, but applies to all recent Verizon phones that have a "no roaming charges" feature.

    But I'm not sure. Anyone know? I'm just wondering what exactly I have with 59179, here, and just HOW GOOD Tracfone CDMA coverage really is, compared to postpaid Verizon plan(s).

    Thanks!

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    Tracfone coverage (Verizon-based) is actually better than what Verizon gives their direct customers. Tracfone has agreements with almost all of the little cell phone companies out west and in Alaska that Verizon proper does not. The same is true for AT&T based phones, but for some reason not true with the T-Mobile based phones.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mharris127 View Post
    Tracfone coverage (Verizon-based) is actually better than what Verizon gives their direct customers. Tracfone has agreements with almost all of the little cell phone companies out west and in Alaska that Verizon proper does not. The same is true for AT&T based phones, but for some reason not true with the T-Mobile based phones.
    Do you mean Verizon-based CDMA Tracfone coverage is better than Verizon's own prepaid, or actually better than Verizon's postpaid (which would be quite a feat)? Sounds like you mean better than their postpaid, which would be awesome.

    Then the question would arise: better than Verizon's ACI, or only better than the slightly-inferior ACII?

    Sounds like you're saying Tracfone has roaming agreements signed with little CDMA carriers that Verizon does not have agreements with for ANY of their plans/options at all. That'd be extra-awesome, and would explain the odd "59"-prefix PRL that looks nothing like a Verizon PRL.

    And AT&T-based Tracfones have MORE coverage than real AT&T customers do? Again, do you mean more than AT&T prepaid customers get, or also more than AT&T postpaid customers get?

    Is GSM Tracfone coverage better than (i.e. a superset of) the coverage provided by the best AT&T plans, and CDMA Tracfone better than (a superset of) the best possible coverage provided by the best Verizon plans, then? That would be very good indeed!

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    Over in the Verizon forum, people had posted when they received a new PRL from Verizon. When I had a CDMA TracFone, the PRL it received, was always in the same range as the other PRL numbers posted to the Verizon forum, so it sounds like you should have a 52xxx PRL instead.

    The 59xxx could actually be something else, could it be the ERI version perhaps (extended roaming indicator)?

    As far as better roaming coverage, that phone actually roamed on Sprint in my home area, just once. I was inside a supermarket and when the phone lost the Verizon signal, it picked up Sprint. Shortly after that, with the next PRL update, it did not contain the local Sprint SID.
    America Movil/Straight Talk/TracFone customer since 2004.
    verizon customer since 2012.
    T-Mobile customer from 2005-2014.

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    The 59xxx could actually be something else, could it be the ERI version perhaps (extended roaming indicator)?
    The phone shows it as the PRL. Anyone else with a CDMA Tracfone out there? Can you share your current PRL number?

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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainColeslaw View Post
    Do you mean Verizon-based CDMA Tracfone coverage is better than Verizon's own prepaid, or actually better than Verizon's postpaid (which would be quite a feat)? Sounds like you mean better than their postpaid, which would be awesome.

    Then the question would arise: better than Verizon's ACI, or only better than the slightly-inferior ACII?

    Sounds like you're saying Tracfone has roaming agreements signed with little CDMA carriers that Verizon does not have agreements with for ANY of their plans/options at all. That'd be extra-awesome, and would explain the odd "59"-prefix PRL that looks nothing like a Verizon PRL.

    And AT&T-based Tracfones have MORE coverage than real AT&T customers do? Again, do you mean more than AT&T prepaid customers get, or also more than AT&T postpaid customers get?

    Is GSM Tracfone coverage better than (i.e. a superset of) the coverage provided by the best AT&T plans, and CDMA Tracfone better than (a superset of) the best possible coverage provided by the best Verizon plans, then? That would be very good indeed!

    It is hard to believe, I know -- but I mean it is better than what the postpaid customers get. Note that is only true for Verizon and AT&T based Tracfones/Net10s. I don't know what happened with T-Mo where the agreements aren't there on that version of the service. It is also not true for Straight Talk. I only know of one company that does not have an agreement with Tracfone and that is a little company in Dutch Harbor, AK that doesn't have agreements with anyone (you will get a message to enter your CC number to call at 25cpm if you ever use a cell phone there).

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    It is hard to believe, I know -- but I mean it is better than what the postpaid customers get.
    Wow.

    Note that is only true for Verizon and AT&T based Tracfones/Net10s
    That's all I have, so no problem there.

    I only know of one company that does not have an agreement with Tracfone and that is a little company in Dutch Harbor, AK that doesn't have agreements with anyone (you will get a message to enter your CC number to call at 25cpm if you ever use a cell phone there).
    It's safe to say I'll never be in Alaska. So that one Alaska company aside, you mean a pair of CDMA and AT&T-SIM GSM Tracfones can use every single CDMA and GSM tower in America, with only exceptions that don't really impact coverage (e.g. a Verizon tower is used instead of the Sprint tower right next to it, etc.)?

    That's beyond awesome. I'll bet AT&T and Verizon are really glad that Tracfone doesn't advertise this fact, otherwise (especially given Tracfone's many other advantages) they'd lose all their low-usage customers to Tracfone very, very quickly.

    Awesome to know, though, since I have a CDMA and AT&T-SIM GSM Trac, and both are excellent signal-pullers (LG 290c, Mot W376G).

    Sounds like such a pair of phones is the closest thing you can get to achieving "universal cellular coverage" in America today (aside from carrying around a third, Nextel iDEN phone too, but that'd probably be completely pointless since one of the other two will have coverage basically everywhere it does).

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    How did you find your PRL?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lisme View Post
    How did you find your PRL?
    On the LG 290c, it's the last item in the main menu ("Settings"), then the last item in the next menu ("Phone Settings" or something?) then the last item in the next menu ("Software Version" I think).

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    I have a nokia 2126i and it is nowhere to be found.

    Edit: I found it by entering *#HELP#

    PRL 59181

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    Immediately after a PRL update my CDMA phone shows PRL #59179.

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    Interesting. I wonder what the details are on these two different 59xxx CDMA Tracfone PRLs. I can't find anything on Google, just information about 52xxx and 51xxx Verizon PRLs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainColeslaw View Post
    That's beyond awesome. I'll bet AT&T and Verizon are really glad that Tracfone doesn't advertise this fact, otherwise (especially given Tracfone's many other advantages) they'd lose all their low-usage customers to Tracfone very, very quickly.
    I believe that it's more of a case of att, tmo and VZ not allowing carlos to advertise that he uses their networks. So it would be of no value for carlos to advertise the other remaining carriers that he has agreements with. Somewhat similar to what Pageplus has going with VZ. They too cannot mention that they use the VZ network.
    Having to wait even an hour to get a prepaid wireless plan pin from an online dealer or pin seller is NOT great, good or even mediocre customer service when you consider this instant internet age we live in. Why let anyone convince you otherwise? Understaffed is what it's called.(Two is not a team)

    I recently tested the "don't mention a PP Dealer by name" rule here on PP Hofo......trust me, it is still in effect - got me a 7 day ban.


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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainColeslaw View Post
    Sounds like such a pair of phones is the closest thing you can get to achieving "universal cellular coverage" in America today (aside from carrying around a third, Nextel iDEN phone too, but that'd probably be completely pointless since one of the other two will have coverage basically everywhere it does).
    There are a few rural areas where Nextel placed a tower and no one else did, but not many. My brother happens to live in one of those areas, population 10 people in the whole area that tower serves (and four live in his home). For 99.999% of cases, a Tracfone Verizon and AT&T based set of phones (preferably the ones that pull signal the best) will serve you as well as possible. There are also a few large areas out west that no cell phone company serves -- again, few live in those areas.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tracnet View Post
    I believe that it's more of a case of att, tmo and VZ not allowing carlos to advertise that he uses their networks. So it would be of no value for carlos to advertise the other remaining carriers that he has agreements with. Somewhat similar to what Pageplus has going with VZ. They too cannot mention that they use the VZ network.
    Hmm, then there's something I don't understand.

    All Tracfone ever advertises is the vague phrase "nationwide" to describe their coverage, and they never get more detailed than that.

    VZ postpaid and ATT postpaid coverage can certainly be called "nationwide", and costs $X to maintain.

    VZ postpaid and ATT postpaid coverage plus coverage from additional smaller carriers can also obviously be called "nationwide", but costs significantly more than $X to maintain.

    So if you're never going to mention anything other than the word "nationwide" to describe your coverage, why on earth would you shell out the extra money for extra coverage you're never going to tell anyone about?

    Think about it. Tracfone CDMA coverage is superior to any other CDMA service out there, including VZ itself! Ditto their GSM service (at least with an AT&T SIM), even better than AT&T itself! Yet almost nobody in the country KNOWS that, except for us Trac geeks here!

    That's kind of crazy. Huge industry-leading coverage advantage over any other company, but they can't or won't breathe a word about it! Yet they still spend extra money to maintain it!

    Yeah, forum info like this helps get the word out a LITTLE, but I can't imagine it's too significant. And word-of-mouth from customers? How often is a typical customer going to notice that Tracfone's coverage beats the VZ or ATT postpaid equivalent? Rarely, which means word-of-mouth about the advantage should be insignificant too.

    What gives? I don't have an MBA, but it doesn't make sense to me.
    Last edited by CaptainColeslaw; 09-28-2010 at 02:09 AM.

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