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Thread: A bit confused about coverage/roaming

  1. #1
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    A bit confused about coverage/roaming

    Ok I'm actually pretty tech savvy but metropcs has me really confused.. So here we go.

    First - (except for the 4g phones) do all phones on metro run on the same/whole network? Can I buy the $20 phone and have the same coverage as let's day the more expensive samsung so I can give metro a test run? (a bit confused because they used to have dual and tri mode phones, aws .. Etc etc ) and now their site doesn't say that anymore

    Second - I currently use the virgin mobile Optimus v , and the sprint 3g/2g network has been great .. Now I know on metro it's either 2G or 4G, but do they offer any 3G/evdo at all?

    Third- Do they also use/roam or extended roam on the sprint network ever since the metroUSA thing started? The service seems comparable in some areas ... In some areas there's more coverage than sprint And in others where sprint has service , metro doesn't ..

    Last question i swear - let's say I get the cheap $20 huwi for a test run, if I put it in "home area only" will I still get service in their "partner/extended home areas" or is it strictly for "home" .. Reason I'm asking is because I want the max coverage , without slipping into "traveltalk roaming" and getting charged for a call ...

    Pretty much I want something better than virgin ( and I want the indulge for the 4g since I'm covered in ny) an d I want the same or better coverage .. Data won't matter much as northern NJ is covered in 4g and if I choose to switch over I'm getting the indulge ( after my test run)

    Thanks alot in advance , I hope to join the family soon!!!!

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by jpapa1086 View Post
    First - (except for the 4g phones) do all phones on metro run on the same/whole network? Can I buy the $20 phone and have the same coverage as let's day the more expensive samsung so I can give metro a test run? (a bit confused because they used to have dual and tri mode phones, aws .. Etc etc ) and now their site doesn't say that anymore
    All phones MetroPCS currently sells run on Metro's all the various modes of Metro's network -- with the exception of course of LTE as you mentioned. LTE is a different type of network and currently they only have two phones that also cover that -- the Samsung Craft (Crap) and the Samsung Indulge.

    But your question is valid. If you FLASH a phone to Metro's network, not all modes may work because the carryover phone may not have all the chipsets necessary to work on all the bands/modes. Also, older MetroPCS phones -- say bought off eBay? -- may not run on all modes, as MetroPCS network changes were made since those phones were manufactured, like the AWS stuff. New phones bought from MetroPCS, yes.

    And your question helps illuminate the LTE plan of Metro. The LTE Samsung Indulge and Craft are the two phones that will access ALL of Metro's network capability. They have the chipsets and circuitry that will seamlessly find the MetroPCS signal.

    In the future, all Metro's phones will be LTE capable and will run on all parts of Metro's network.

    Quote Originally Posted by jpapa1086 View Post
    Second - I currently use the virgin mobile Optimus v , and the sprint 3g/2g network has been great .. Now I know on metro it's either 2G or 4G, but do they offer any 3G/evdo at all?
    No.

    They had 2G (1x) and were starting a 3G upgrade, but skipped that and went on to LTE. They had 3G in Dallas and Detrot, and some said also LA, but from my understanding that is gone now and it's only 2G and LTE in all markets (except Tampa which is still just 2G until the McDill AFB situation is resolved).

    Quote Originally Posted by jpapa1086 View Post
    Third- Do they also use/roam or extended roam on the sprint network ever since the metroUSA thing started? The service seems comparable in some areas ... In some areas there's more coverage than sprint And in others where sprint has service , metro doesn't ..
    Sprint is the un-named network with which Metro has a "nationwide" roaming agreement. However when roaming on Sprint, speeds are throttled to 1x (2G) speed, to match Metro's speed non-LTE speed.

    Metro does not want to tout Sprint is their roaming partner because people get confused and would think Metro does not have their own network, that they are just re-branded Sprint -- like Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile and countless others (Total Call, Platinum Tel, Common Cents, Kroger's i-wirless, Trumpet Mobile, Xtreme Mobile, etc.). Those companies are MVNOs of Sprint. They are not real cell phone networks. They buy wholesale Sprint service and re-sell it under a different brand name. But it's Sprint towers, Sprint signals entirely. (Even Cricket/Leap has become a Sprint MVNO just recently, which puts them in a precarious situation, in my opinion. More on Cricket in a minute.)

    In fact, Boost, Common Cents and Virgin go one step further in the MVNO land and are actually Sprint Nextel-owned companies. So, they can't really "compete" with Sprint because they ARE Sprint. Sprint is not going to let those puppet companies have better phones than the Sprint mothership brand. Think of it like the Proctor and Gamble detergents -- do you like Tide or Gain? Do you like Dawn dishwashing liquid or Joy? Doesn't matter, they are all P&G, and P&G gets your money. If one is better or cheaper, it's either in your mind or because P&G positioned it that way, crippling one product to make the other look better.

    MetroPCS does not want to get lumped in with all the other Sprint MNVO's. Metro has their own CDMA network, they have their own LTE network. Metro is the 5th largest cell phone network in the USA.

    As an aside, Simple Mobile is merely an MNVO of T-Mobile. PureTalk USA is merely an MNVO of AT&T.


    * Cricket/Leap is in no-man's land. They are still the 7th largest cell phone network while also being an MNVO of Sprint for Sprint's nationwide 3G network. "As part of the agreement, Cricket made commitments to deliver minimum levels of revenues to Sprint. Cricket will offer products and services using Sprint's 3G network coverage throughout August 2015." See, that is getting dangerous. If they can't deliver the revenue, then Sprint will own them. Because who would buy Cricket with a multi-year financial partnership contract with Sprint hanging over their heads? Metro has been the likely merger partner with Cricket -- but not now with this Sprint contract like that. (unless the contract can be cancelled if Cricket/Leap ownership changes) If Cricket can't deliver the promised revenue, then they will have to sell themselves to Sprint to make good on the deal.

    All this is why Metro is willing to have a throttle 1x roaming agreement with Sprint -- not a financial partnership -- but does not want to muddy the waters by bragging it's with Sprint.

    Quote Originally Posted by jpapa1086 View Post
    Last question i swear - let's say I get the cheap $20 huwi for a test run, if I put it in "home area only" will I still get service in their "partner/extended home areas" or is it strictly for "home" .. Reason I'm asking is because I want the max coverage , without slipping into "traveltalk roaming" and getting charged for a call ...
    I have this question myself. I have my Optimus on "automatic" instead of Metro-only -- and a few times I have seen "Travel Talk" displayed at my house instead of "MetroPCS". If I try to make a call I get Verizon (which is Metro's Travel Talk partner) voice prompts and it says I am not authorized to make a call.
    Last edited by ChazzMatt; 02-24-2011 at 10:51 AM.
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  3. #3
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    To answer that last question, you don't need to have your phone on "automatic" signal to use their extended coverage area and I can tell you this with confidence. I had a layover in Minneapolis last month which is one of their news area after the MetroUSA deal started. I was curious about the same thing so I out my phone in "home only" and still got signal while everything worked as it should.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChazzMatt View Post
    Sprint is the un-named network with which Metro has a "nationwide" roaming agreement. However when roaming on Sprint, speeds are throttled to 1x (2G) speed, to match Metro's speed non-LTE speed.
    I just started with metroPCS last night, coming from T-Mobile postpaid (thanks, AT&T!).

    When roaming on Sprint (It sounds Sprint is the preferred roaming partner), is metroWEB (mobile Internet) also available, or does the web only work when on the native metroPCS network?

    Today, I had the roaming selection on "Automatic" and noticed periodically that it also picked up signals from both Verizon (displayed as Roaming/TravelTalk, with flashing "R" indicator) and Sprint (displayed as Roaming/Roaming, with solid "R" indicator). When I tried to make a call while it was on Sprint, there were two beeps and a recording that to make a free call to 411, press this key, for Spanish, press that key and if the caller was a TracFone/Straight Talk/Net10 customer, to press another key for assistance.

    Should I have heard those beeps and recording while the phone was on Sprint? Note that based on a response in a thread I started in this forum, I have since switched the roaming selection back to "MetroPCS Only", as it appears that using that setting, it will automaticallly switch to Sprint if necessary.

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    that's odd that it works like that for you. i keep mine on automatic with no issues. very odd...
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    I have not yet physically traveled outside of a metroPCS service area, so I do not know yet what will happen once I do.

    With the phone set to "MetroPCS Only", today in work, the phone either displayed "MetroPCS" in the display, or "Searching..." Because of the building's construction, most providers' signals are too weak to make it inside the building.

    With the phone set to Automatic, it picked up signals from MetroPCS, Roaming/TravelTalk (Verizon) and Roaming/Roaming (Sprint). Like yesterday, if I tried to make a call while it was on Sprint, I heard the same two beeps with the recording for the same options (collect call, 411, Spanish and TracFone/Net10/StraightTalk.) And I still have no idea what those two beeps are for.

    Should all this be occurring when the phone is set to Automatic??

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by EdwardP View Post
    I have not yet physically traveled outside of a metroPCS service area, so I do not know yet what will happen once I do.

    With the phone set to "MetroPCS Only", today in work, the phone either displayed "MetroPCS" in the display, or "Searching..." Because of the building's construction, most providers' signals are too weak to make it inside the building.

    With the phone set to Automatic, it picked up signals from MetroPCS, Roaming/TravelTalk (Verizon) and Roaming/Roaming (Sprint). Like yesterday, if I tried to make a call while it was on Sprint, I heard the same two beeps with the recording for the same options (collect call, 411, Spanish and TracFone/Net10/StraightTalk.) And I still have no idea what those two beeps are for.

    Should all this be occurring when the phone is set to Automatic??
    i have mine set to automatic and have made calls utilizing sprint's network. i'm surprised you're having issues. have you issued a trouble ticket or anything?

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    I spoke to someone at metroPCS tonight and this was explained in full, in fact, I was very happy with the level of service.

    If you are in the same home area where the phone was activated, you cannot roam on the roaming partner. With the phone set to Automatic in this instance, the recording I heard on Sprint (two beeps, etc.) should have been heard.

    The phone should be set to MetroPCS Only, when you are in your home area.

    If travelling outside a metroPCS service area, then the phone should be on Automatic. In this event, I will be able to take advantage of the roaming coverage. The customer service representative indicated two hours before leaving, dial *228 to update the roaming list.

    I will update the thread I started earlier with the above information.

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