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Thread: Prepaid Coverage vs Contract Coverage

  1. #1
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    Prepaid Coverage vs Contract Coverage

    I live in a small town in a rural area (67058) and have used Sprint (Contract) for several years but wanted to save some money so I signed up with Page Plus which of course uses Verizon as it's carrier. I know several people in my area who use both Sprint and Verizon Postpaid who say they have good coverage and I never had problems with Sprint either.

    Since signing up up with Page Plus though I've come to realize that Page Plus's Verizon coverage is not the same or as good as Verizon Postpaid coverage.

    Here's my question is Postpaid coverage through Sprint, Verizon, etc. always going to be better than Prepaid coverage through Page Plus, Tracfone, Net 10, or Straight Talk using those same carriers?

    And if I'm not getting the coverage I need in my area with Page Plus would I have any better luck with Tracfone/Net 10 or would it basically be the same?

  2. #2
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    Verizon's map shows that area is fully covered by native coverage (Prepaid option is solid purple). I would expect Page Plus to work well. Perhaps the particular phone you are using for PP does not get good reception. There is no native Sprint there, people with contract Sprint are probably actually on Verizon towers-- unless there is another network like US Cellular in the mix.

    I think that Straight Talk CDMA still uses only Verizon, so it's equivalent to Page Plus without the option to pay more for roaming, you just have no coverage. Tracfone and Net10 have more roaming agreements.

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    Your mileage may vary.

    It depends. The rules vary from parent carrier to their prepaid division and /or mvnos.

    For Sprint, postpaid coverage is ALWAYS better then their prepaid divisions/mvnos, though Sprint lost a lot of roaming recently , mostly because of no more roaming on Verizon. http://thecellphonejunkie.com/2011/0...s-the-country/

    Tmobile prepaid has 97% of the VOICE coverage of postpaid Tmobile but their mvnos usually get native only coverage (much smaller). Native only coverage is for data and perhaps texting too.

    Att postpaid has greater coverage then their prepaid division /mvnos but have recently increased prepaid/mvno coverage through 3G overlays on areas acquired from the Alltel Divestiture when Verizon had to give up some areas of Alltel . This only works on 3G Att devices. Older 2gsm and unlocked non Att devices usually can't enjoy the extra coverage.


    Verizon offers different degrees depending on what program it offers. It offers both a prepaid and postpaid coverage mvno plan. Verizon prepaid, Page Plus, H20 cdma are all on the same prepaid coverage with different roaming rates. ACRS Wireless, Nation PCS, Mvno X red variants are on the postpaid coverage version with no extra roamng charges.


    Tracfone/Net10 and Straight Talk vary on what they offer. They offer paygo coverage with roaming on 30+ nationwide networks depending on technology. A cdma Tracfone/paygo Net10 usually has Verizon or US Cellular as its base and other cdma carriers as support. A gsm Tracfone/Paygo Net10 usually has Att or Tmobile as main and other gsm regionals as support. I don't thing this applies to their unlimited plans which are usually on one carrier.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mike2874 View Post
    I live in a small town in a rural area (67058) and have used Sprint (Contract) for several years but wanted to save some money so I signed up with Page Plus which of course uses Verizon as it's carrier. I know several people in my area who use both Sprint and Verizon Postpaid who say they have good coverage and I never had problems with Sprint either.

    Since signing up up with Page Plus though I've come to realize that Page Plus's Verizon coverage is not the same or as good as Verizon Postpaid coverage.

    Here's my question is Postpaid coverage through Sprint, Verizon, etc. always going to be better than Prepaid coverage through Page Plus, Tracfone, Net 10, or Straight Talk using those same carriers?

    And if I'm not getting the coverage I need in my area with Page Plus would I have any better luck with Tracfone/Net 10 or would it basically be the same?
    As far as I know PagePlus uses the Verizon network and only the Verizon network whereas with Verizon billed service they use any compatible network such as Sprint, etc.

    TracFone uses different networks and technologies in different parts of the country. Some places use CDMA (Sprint/Verizon) and others use GSM (AT&T/T-Mobile). Net10 uses only GSM (AT&T/T-Mobile.) Generally prepaid carriers including MVNO's use only one network. The exception is T-Mobile which also uses a limited number of AT&T roaming agreements as well as the ability to roam in Canada, Mexico and as of late about 70 other countries.
    Moderator yahoogroups forum T-Mobile-US http://groups.yahoo.com/group/T-Mobile-US

  5. #5
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    Net 10 does not only offer gsm phones. We are using a Samsung R541c with Net10 and they have several other models with 'c' that are cdma.

    It depends on the zip code what phones you can purchase.

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