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Thread: My review of Spot Mobile

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Conan Edogawa View Post
    Roaming is supposed to be 10 cents extra per minute. Speculation that they use the AT&T network was because that is a typical AT&T prepaid rate, and because T-Mobile has so few MVNO's.

    It was mentioned in the Spot thread that fone finder listed some of their numbers as from Leap. I entered some of Spot's numbers and the results were all over the map. In addition, I emailed Spot to clarify what network they use and what is roaming. They never replied back.
    I called customer service three times and ask about coverage and roaming. I got the same CSR each time. I was told that my phone will work everywhere that it can get either T-Mobile or AT&T coverage and that there will be no roaming charges.

    However, this is what the info on the website says:

    "Thus, roaming is based on the Carrier tower receiving and transmitting the call; not your physical location at the time the call is made. Accordingly, roaming, and charges for a roaming call, may occasionally occur even in a home calling are where you expect the call not to be a roamed call. Availability, quality of coverage, and Services while roaming are not guaranteed."

    The info from the CSR and the website are not exactly the same, so I will continue to experiment. I am willing to give them a pass on this, since they are new.

    I occasionally travel to northern Wisconsin. When I am in the area of the town of Tomahawk (Zip Code 54487), my T-Mobile prepaid SIM will sometimes use Einstein, rather than AT&T. The T-Mobile SIM will allow me to choose and force it to use AT&T. The Spot SIM does not give me that option on its menu. I do not expect to be in that area until maybe June, but when I am, I will be curious to see what happens with the Spot SIM.

    In any case, I am becoming convinced that this Spot Mobile service is a good alternative for a GSM prepaid. It is true that T-Mobile prepaid has a lower annual cost, but $20/year with Spot is still a good value and it may be our best choice for a GSM prepaid after (and if) AT&T is successful with their buyout.

    .
    Last edited by Bob859; 03-29-2011 at 08:11 PM.

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    Website makes it sound like Spot calls on T-Mobile's & AT&T's have a very low priority. So if neither is available at the time for a call, you roam. That is just a guess on my part though.

    Were you charged any taxes for your calls? Their site mentions "Rates per minute does not include applicable taxes". Not sure if that sentence applies to both regular and roaming minutes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Conan Edogawa View Post
    Website makes it sound like Spot calls on T-Mobile's & AT&T's have a very low priority. So if neither is available at the time for a call, you roam. That is just a guess on my part though.

    Were you charged any taxes for your calls? Their site mentions "Rates per minute does not include applicable taxes". Not sure if that sentence applies to both regular and roaming minutes.
    No taxes have been charged. Exactly 10 cents is subtracted for each minute that I have used.

    Here's another strange thing: I have an old Nokia 2190 that was an old Voice Stream phone. Most T-Mobile SIM cards do not work in that phone. My oldest active T-Mobile SIM is one that has been on an active prepaid account since 2004. That SIM works in the 2190. I have tried other newer T-Mobile SIM's and none have worked in that phone. Just for an experiment, I got that phone out today and put the Spot SIM into it and it works fine in that phone. That was a surprise.

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    I was curious as how you got a sim for $5 since the website says $10 for the sim and $15 for sim and minimum airtime. And then they charge $5 shipping too, $20 is a bit high.

    The minimum refill of $5 is alot lower than H20 wireless ($10 every 90 days) or Puretalk ($10 a month).

    I do not think that the coverage is straight AT&T. If it was it should work in an unlocked AT&T phone.

    Also if I check availablity I do not get a local prefix, in my area code there are only two prefixes available and they are not AT&T prefixes.
    If it was AT&T coverage alone, it should have given me a local number.

    Tmobile alone does not work in my town, but it might work in the towns the prefixes are for so it's possible that it is Tmobile and it has a certain condition and that's why it worked with your older tmobile sim and not your newer one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mommusic View Post
    I was curious as how you got a sim for $5 since the website says $10 for the sim and $15 for sim and minimum airtime. And then they charge $5 shipping too, $20 is a bit high.

    The minimum refill of $5 is alot lower than H20 wireless ($10 every 90 days) or Puretalk ($10 a month).
    What I said was: "There was no airtime with the SIM card. I purchased a $5 airtime card when I ordered the SIM and the cost for shipping was also $5, so my total startup cost was $19.99. That is rather high for startup, but now it good until June 22 and then can be kept active for $20/year."

    I did not get the SIM for $5. I was required to purchase the $5 airtime card with the SIM, so the cost is $14.99 for SIM and $5 airtime and then $5. for shipping.

    Yes, it is much lower than H2O or Puretalk.

    .

  6. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by mommusic View Post
    I do not think that the coverage is straight AT&T. If it was it should work in an unlocked AT&T phone.


    No, the coverage is not "straight AT&T". Please read posts #5 and #16 in this thread. That will explain what I have found. Actually, you might want to carefully read all of the posts in this thread to see what we have learned about Spot Mobile.

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    No idea how old the website was, but the page lists some financial numbers for Spot. What I noticed was the number of employees they have. If they intend to have national distribution, then I would hope the number in the future will be higher than 20. Maybe the reason for getting the same customer rep 3 times was due to the fact they only have 1 person (or only a few) answering the phones.

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    Spot Mobile may or may not make it. Keep an eye on them.

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    Los Angeles Spot On Observation?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob859 View Post
    However, this is what the info on the website says:
    "Thus, roaming is based on the Carrier tower receiving and transmitting the call; not your physical location at the time the call is made. Accordingly, roaming, and charges for a roaming call, may occasionally occur even in a home calling are where you expect the call not to be a roamed call. Availability, quality of coverage, and Services while roaming are not guaranteed."
    The info from the CSR and the website are not exactly the same, so I will continue to experiment.
    It does not 'roam' when it uses AT&T or T-Mobile. There are about 50 other, small GSM providers in the USA. I suspect Spot Mobile does not roam on them--or perhaps they do on some and that is what constitues roaming for them. [Your Einstein might be a good test of that if you are able to manually choose your network on your phone.] {ekit's SIMple calling uses IMMIX's roaming coverage which seems to have almost all GSM providers in the USA [including, of course, AT&T and T-Mobile.}


    After having read thru this thread again and perusing their website I propose a hypothesis: Spot Mobile's coverage includes both AT&T's and T-Mobile's prepaid coverage area. Now who will test it? You would need a phone that lets you choose your network and then choose one network and then the other. If you can do that, that would say the hypothesis is right. If you can only get one of the networks, then the hypothesis is srong [as would be their website in claiming both]. And if you can only get them both in some places and not others it would mean some other, weird subset of their networks. [Which could be just misprograming on the network provieders part.]

    Anyone able to do this yet?

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    Maybe PCM is one of those 50 gsm providers. From a list on Wikipedia, I noticed that there is a company named Pine Cellular in Oklahoma. Seems unlikely that though that Spot would list somebody that small ahead of the big boys.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Conan Edogawa View Post
    Maybe PCM is one of those 50 gsm providers.
    I think that PCM is a MVNE--a mobile virtual network enabler. A company that 'enables' other companies to be MVNOs. O=operator. I can't remember where I learned this but I believe I did so I say this with some confidence<g>.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rfranzq View Post
    ...After having read thru this thread again and perusing their website I propose a hypothesis: Spot Mobile's coverage includes both AT&T's and T-Mobile's prepaid coverage area. Now who will test it? You would need a phone that lets you choose your network and then choose one network and then the other. If you can do that, that would say the hypothesis is right. If you can only get one of the networks, then the hypothesis is srong [as would be their website in claiming both]. And if you can only get them both in some places and not others it would mean some other, weird subset of their networks. [Which could be just misprograming on the network providers part.]

    Anyone able to do this yet?
    I've got an unlocked MotoMing A1600; I'll order a SIM and follow up with the results.

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    Spot Mobile, best byod gsm coverage in the nation?

    It just occured to me that the main reason Spot Mobile may not be getting any data /mms and unlimited plans is that there is NO WAY you can get 50 little networks (and two big ones) and get them to give you a uniform mvno rate. NO way.

    Tracfone does this with their coverage. They do business w/ over 30 carriers cdma and gsm and of course they have coverage that defeats even mighty Verizon . But it comes at the cost of no unlimited plans, no data and mms (at low rates).

    Talk/text is pretty universal and easier to average then an unlimited plan. Some carriers probably don't even have an unlimited option.

    Most mvnos that have an unlimited option, even America Movil, which as parent company of Tracfone, uses multi carriers uses only one carrier or so for their unlimited plans (and then branch out in differing markets). They did this with Straight Talk (originally, ONLY Verizon native coverage before adding Native Att coverage in gsm markets).

    And Tmobile was the underlying carrier for their relaunch of Net10 unlimited.

    If anyone had a unlimited plan on multi carriers at a reasonable price, the rest of the industry would be in BIG trouble. But that is not the case. The best we get right now is roaming paygo with one price in all roaming markets, like Tracfone and possibly Spot.

    But Spot has one huge edge: byod.

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    Los Angeles If coverage is your highest priority............

    If coverage is your highest priority, than IMMIX is your best bet. The linked page has their Nationwide and Unlimited coverage maps.
    Immix Wireless has partnered with virtually every GSM carrier in the nation to provide unmatched, solid coverage throughout the U.S.
    Pretty good for a company whose native coverage is 10 counties [third map on page] in Pennsylvania! The difference between the two maps is small or even tiny considering how many small carriers there are, but it would appear some carriers did not want to 'play ball' to unlimited use. Now, I did not see them having prepaid, but it is generally assumed that ekit's SIMple Calling SIM cards use this network. I think it is also safe to assume that ekit's other SIM cards use the same network. Immix has done an interesting thing and created a niche--combining a network of almost [?] all GSM carriers in the USA--including AT&T and T-Mobile. I don't think there is any HoFo member that has the time or money to check out all the GSM carriers in the USA to find which are not in this network. That would be a serious hobbyist indeed.
    Are their any other International SIM card companies using Immix? I don't know of any. Do you?

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    Got the SIM yesterday, two day ground ship via UPS from a Michigan address to New York. Spot mobile does NOT automatically notify you via email that shipping has occured and you cannot currently check order status online. That being said, I ordered on Saturday and it was shipped Monday.

    Online activation was easy; you'll need an airtime PIN to complete the process. Registration on the Spot Mobile website is done POST SIM activation.

    Loaded SIM in the Ming2; it connected to T-Mobile without any intervention on my part. Preferred networks appeared in this order:

    T-Mobile
    Suncom
    AT&T
    Cellular One DCS
    NPI Wireless
    Edge Wireless


    I manually registered with AT&T; better signal and no roam indicator just like T-Mobile. Outgoing test call over TMO successful, so far so good!

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