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Thread: The Prepaid Wireless Frequently Asked Questions (“FAQ”) (updated 3/20/2012)

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    The Prepaid Wireless Frequently Asked Questions (“FAQ”) (updated 3/20/2012)

    The Prepaid Wireless Frequently Asked Questions (“FAQ”)

    Revision Date: 3/20/2012

    This is the Prepaid Wireless FAQ. It answers the most frequently asked questions about prepaid wireless services and includes a comparison of many of the major Mobile Virtual Network Operators (“MVNO”) who offer prepaid wireless service.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Table of Contents

    [1]: What is a Prepaid Mobile Phone and What is an MVNO?
    [1.1]: What is a Prepaid Mobile Phone?
    [1.2]: What is a MVNO?

    [2]: Who has the best coverage?

    [3]: Who has the best prices?
    [3.1]: What if I want a lifeline phone that I never plan to use?
    [3.2]: What if I want something else?

    [4]: What is the difference between GSM and CDMA? Which should I choose?
    [4.1]: How do GSM and CDMA differ with respect to bringing my own phone?
    [4.2]: If I want to Bring My Own Device to a GSM MVNO, what do I need to buy?

    [5]: Who are the major MVNOs and how do they differ from one another?
    [5.1]: Ting
    [5.2]: Prepayd Wireless
    [5.3]: Red Pocket Mobile
    [5.4]: Spot Mobile
    [5.5]: Air Voice Wireless
    [5.6]: Jolt Mobile
    [5.7]: Page Plus Cellular
    [5.8]: Straight Talk
    [5.9]: Walmart Family Mobile
    [5.10]: Pure Talk USA
    [5.11]: Republic Wireless
    [5.12]: Sprint
    [5.13]: Simple Mobile
    [5.14]: H2O Wireless
    [5.15]: MVNOs with Sprint Only Coverage


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    [1]: What is a Prepaid Mobile Phone and What is an MVNO?

    [1.1]: What is a Prepaid Mobile Phone?

    A prepaid mobile phone is a phone that can be activated without a credit check, by paying for service in advance. Prepaid mobile phones offer a number of advantages over contracted mobile plans. Among other things, prepaid phones do not require a credit check and thus can be bought and activated by anyone, regardless of their age, credit score, or immigration status. In addition, prepaid phones do not require you to commit to a lengthy contract or to pay a termination fee if you choose to cancel before a certain period of time. Because you pay in advance, it is usually impossible to incur expensive roaming charges on a prepaid phone.

    Prepaid services typically offer a monthly rate for a certain amount of voice calls, text messages, and data (i.e., $45.00 per month for unlimited talk, text, and data) or they require you to apply a dollar amount to your account and then charge a per minute, per text, and/or per MB fee (i.e., ten cents per minute, five cents per text, etc.) until the balance is depleted.

    For providers that require you to submit money in advance to pay for services on a per minute basis, the money you apply to the account typically expires after a certain period of time (usually between 30 days and 1-year, depending upon the amount that you deposit). If you make an additional deposit before the period expires, your entire balance gets rolled over to the expiration date based upon the latest deposit. However, if you fail to refill before the expiration date, you usually lose any unused money.

    Refills can usually be made by purchasing refill cards at retailers or online, or by using a credit card on the provider’s web-site. Most providers have an auto-refill option that will allow your credit card to be charged automatically for monthly services or additional deposits.

    [1.2]: What is a MVNO?

    A Mobile Virtual Network Operator (“MVNO”) is a company that offers mobile telephone services by reselling the mobile services of another carrier, usually with certain limitations, but at a lower cost. In the U.S., there are MVNOs that resell AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, and Verizon services at a lower cost than you can obtain service directly from any of them. Although the MVNOs often offer services at a lower price, there are usually some differences between the services provided by an MVNO and the services provided by the major carriers.

    AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, and Verizon each have roaming agreements that allow you to use someone else’s network in areas that they don’t service. For example, if you sign up with Sprint and you roam outside of Sprint’s relatively small nationwide CDMA network, you can make calls using Verizon’s CDMA network at no extra charge. AT&T and T-Mobile have similar agreements with smaller regional GSM carriers, and with each other. Even Verizon has roaming agreements with certain rural CDMA carriers where it has no coverage itself. In addition, Verizon operates some GSM towers in certain rural areas (like Southeastern Oregon) that its CDMA customers cannot use, but which it allows AT&T and T-Mobile customers to use under a roaming agreement.

    Many of the MVNO’s do not have these same roaming agreements. Some of the MVNOs limit their customers to their underlying carrier’s towers only. Others allow roaming for voice calls, but not data.

    Some MVNO’s have questionable advertising practices, including advertising “unlimited” plans when there are undisclosed limits which will result in the cancellation of some, or all, of your service if you exceed them. Other MVNOs include questionable claims about data speed. For example, one MVNO advertises unlimited “up to 3G data,” but limits the data speed to 119 kbs, which is actually slower than 2G speeds.

    However, if you live in an urban area where the MVNO’s underlying carrier has good coverage, and you don’t mind the possibility of slower data, an MVNO might be a good idea, and might save you a lot of money.

    [2]: Who has the best coverage?

    The “best coverage” depends upon who you are and where you’re going to use your phone. You can start by checking out the coverage maps for each provider, but they are not always accurate. A list of MVNOs is included in section 5 of this FAQ, along with a description of their coverage and links to their coverage map.

    The best way to find out whether a particular provider has the best coverage for you is to buy a phone and test it where you intend to use it. Also, if you have used an AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, or Verizon phone in your area in the past and you weren’t roaming, it is a good bet that an MVNO that uses the same network will have the same coverage that you are accustomed to. See section 5 of this FAQ, below, for a list of the major MVNOs and their underlying provider and coverage area.

    You can also check the coverage of the four major carriers as reported by real world users at:

    http://www.rootmetrics.com/

    Root Metrics also has an Android and Apple app that you can use to do tests and provide your own real-world reports of coverage.

    If you travel throughout the United States and want the provider who has the most coverage, you’ll find that Verizon Wireless has the most coverage nationwide.

    Sprint has very limited coverage on its own network, but if you have service from Sprint (or the Sprint’s MVNOs that allow voice roaming), you can roam on Verizon and so Sprint is just about the same as Verizon. Sprint is generally cheaper than Verizon. The trade-off is that as you move from Sprint towers to Verizon towers, any active calls will be dropped.

    T-mobile and AT&T have roughly the same coverage area, however AT&T covers a few small areas that T-mobile doesn’t (and vice versa). If you subscribe to AT&T, you can roam on T-Mobile, and vice versa.

    [3]: Who has the best prices?

    The “best price” depends upon who you are, where you want to use the phone, what phone you want to use, and how many minutes you’ll use the phone for voice calls, how many text messages you intend to send, how many picture messages you intend to send, how many megabytes of data you intend to use, and the data speed you want. Read section 5, below, and decide which one is best for you.

    [3.1]: What if I want a lifeline phone that I never plan to use?

    If you want a lifeline phone you never plan to use, you can get that for as low as $20 per year (with that amount going towards phone calls). Look at Spot Mobile, Airvoice Wireless, PagePlus, and Jolt Mobile.

    [3.2]: What if I want something else?

    Read section 5 of this FAQ below for a detailed comparison. We like Ting, Airvoice Wireless, Prepayd Wireless, and PagePlus Cellular, because they have reasonable pricing, honest advertising, and excellent customer service. Straight Talk is also a good choice because they have reasonable pricing and the same coverage as their underlying carrier, but their customer service is terrible.

    As you’ll see, you can get cheaper, but you’ll get what you pay for, and if you have a problem, you’ll regret choosing cheap over good.

    [4]: What is the difference between GSM and CDMA? Which should I choose?

    GSM and CDMA are different technologies for carrying digital mobile phone calls. In the United States, Sprint and Verizon use CDMA and AT&T and T-Mobile use GSM. The next generation version of GSM is called UMTS, and AT&T uses that technology in certain markets, particularly Montana and the surrounding states. AT&T refers to these areas as requiring a “3G phone.”

    Generally speaking, CDMA networks can use higher power levels and thus reach larger areas and penetrate buildings better than GSM. As a result, CDMA handsets have significantly shorter battery life than GSM handsets. GSM handsets tend to have better call quality than CDMA handsets. On CDMA handsets, female adults and children tend to sound muffled, especially if they are talking on a Bluetooth headset.

    GSM phones have better call management options, including the ability to add a call that you receive to a conference call, and the ability to have up to five callers conferenced together. CDMA phones generally only support 3-way calling, and only with calls placed from the handset to other users.

    GSM phones also have the ability to make a significant number of service-related changes from the handset. For example, by dialing

    *#61#

    and hitting send, a GSM phone will report the no answer call forwarding number (usually the voicemail phone number) and the delay time in seconds.

    By dialing

    *61*[phone number]*[seconds]

    and hitting send, you can change the number of seconds before your calls are forwarded to voicemail. For more information on GSM codes, follow this link:

    http://geckobeach.com/cellular/secrets/gsmcodes.php

    On a CDMA phone, you usually have to make a call to customer service in order to make more advanced changes, such as the delay before forwarding to voicemail.

    Most modern GSM phones allow the use of data services while making a telephone call. Most modern CDMA phones do not.

    In addition, it is easier to bring your own device to a GSM Network.

    Most of the major providers are making plans to migrate their nationwide networks to LTE, which is a uniform standard for carrying both voice and data, and is much more efficient than current CDMA or GSM implementations. To read more about LTE, click on this link:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/3GPP_Long_Term_Evolution

    [4.1]: How do GSM and CDMA differ with respect to bringing my own phone?

    GSM phones use a small plastic card (a SIM card) to hold your phone number and subscriber information. Generally, speaking, if you subscribe to GSM service, you can move your SIM card from one phone to another, and can easily Bring Your Own Device (“BYOD”).

    However, there are limitations: Your phone and your SIM card must be unlocked. Most MVNOs and major U.S. Mobile companies that use GSM technology use unlocked SIMs. The only exception is Tracfone and its subsidiaries (Net10 and Straight Talk). Their phones include locked SIMs which cannot be moved from phone to phone. However, you can now buy an unlocked SIM directly from Straight Talk that you can use on any unlocked phone (except Blackberry and Tracfone devices).

    Most major U.S. Mobile Companies lock the phones that they sell. Most of the major carriers will unlock the phone if you have been a customer in good standing for a certain period of time or if you paid full price for the phone, and there are many enterprising persons who will obtain the unlock codes for a fee (usually between $5.00 and $10.00). To find a reputable company that will obtain unlock codes, click on this link:

    http://www.howardforums.com/forumdis...63-Marketplace

    In addition, there is a plethora of online retailers that will sell unlocked GSM phones.

    Also, AT&T and T-Mobile use different bands for high speed data, and so if you want to bring a phone to AT&T and use 3G/4G data, it must support 850 Mhz and/or 1,900 Mhz HSDPA. If you want to use 3G on T-Mobile, your phone must support HSDPA on 1700 Mhz.

    CDMA phones do not use SIM cards. Your phone number and subscriber information are stored on the phone itself. As a result, generally speaking, you must obtain your phone from the particular provider you wish to use. The only exception is Page Plus, which will activate many phones purchased from Verizon Wireless.

    [4.2]: If I want to Bring My Own Device to a GSM prepaid provider, what do I need to buy?

    First, you’ll need to decide which prepaid provider you want to use, and determine whether they use AT&T’s towers or T-Mobile’s towers. See section 5 of this FAQ, below, for a list of MVNO providers and which towers they use.

    Second, you’ll need to buy a SIM card for the provider of your choice. You can buy a Prepaid SIM card for most of the GSM providers listed in the FAQ on amazon.com or on ebay.com. SIM Cards typically cost $3 to $5.00. Spot Mobile SIM Cards cost around $10.00 on eBay, but include $15.00 of calling credit.

    Third, you’ll need to get a compatible phone. If you want to use a GSM Phone on an MVNO that uses AT&T’s towers, consider any AT&T Prepaid Phone (i.e. any AT&T Gophone). Most AT&T GoPhones will work on an AT&T-powered MVNO’s SIM card without unlocking, and the phones will come with the correct bands for AT&T’s high-speed data services. If you want to use a GSM Phone on an MVNO that uses T-Mobile’s towers, consider a T-Mobile Prepaid Phone. Note that Spot Mobile SIM cards will only work in unlocked phones.

    Alternatively, there are a number of web-sites that sell unlocked GSM phones that will work on either AT&T or T-Mobile, including Amazon.com, expansysusa.com, and negrielectronics.com. Most of these devices are phones that were originally sold in Latin America or Europe, and so they often will not have all of the apps or features that a comparable U.S. based phone will have. Some will actually have apps and features that U.S. based phones do not have, such as sharing your data over wifi.

    If you want your phone to support high speed data, make sure that it supports the 850/1900 Mhz HSDPA band if you are going to use an AT&T-based MVNO or that it support 1700 Mhz HDSDPA if you are going to use a T-Mobile based MVNO.

    For example, today, you can purchase a Motorola Defy Android smartphone on Amazon.com for around $260. This phone is sold over the counter (with no contract) is various parts of Latin America, including at Wal-Mart in Brazil. The phone supports all GSM bands and thus can make and receive calls on both T-Mobile and AT&T.

    However, it only supports 850 Mhz and 2100 Mhz for high speed data, and so it can only get 3G data on AT&T towers in parts of the country that have high speed data on 850 Mhz (which is probably almost everywhere). It will not provide high speed data on T-Mobile’s towers at all. To ensure that you have high speed data everywhere AT&T operates, you’d want a phone that provides high speed data on both 850 Mhz *and* 1900 Mhz, however. If you wanted a phone that would work on T-mobile’s towers with high speed data, you could buy a U.S. specification Motorola Defy, which would provide 3G data on 850, 1700, and 2100 Mhz, but which would likely be locked to T-Mobile (and cost more money).

    [5]: Who are the major MVNOs and how do they differ from one another?

    [5.1]: Ting

    Customer Service #: 855-846-4389 (855-TING-FTW)
    Customer Service Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Typical Wait Time: 0 minutes
    E-mail: help@ting.com
    Web-site: ting.com
    Web-Chat: No

    Coverage: Sprint with roaming partners (including Verizon) for voice (no roaming for data)
    Link to Map: https://ting.com/coverage
    Check coverage by ZIP: Yes
    Technology: CDMA

    Plans:
    Ting charges based upon your actual usage.

    Per Line Fee: $6.00 per device

    Voice- 0 Minutes - $0.00, 1-100 Minutes - $3.00, 101-500 Minutes - $9.00, 501-1000 Minutes - $18.00, 1001-2000 Minutes - $35.00, 2001-3000 Minutes - $52.00. Minutes Over 3000 are charged at $.02 per minute

    Text- 0 Texts - $0.00, 1-100 Texts - $3.00, 101-1000 Texts - $5.00, 1001-2000 Texts - $8.00, 2001-4000 Texts - $11.00, 4001-6000 Texts - $14.00. Texts over 4,000 are charged at $.0025 (1/4 of a cent) per text

    Data- 0 MB - $0.00, 1-100 MB - $3.00, 101-500 MB - $13.00, 501-1000 MB - $24.00, 1001-2000 MB - $42.00, 2001-3000 MB - $60.00. MBs Over 3000 are charged at $02.25 (2 and 1/4 cents) per MB

    Note: You are charged only for the bracket your total usage ends in for all phones. So, if you have three lines, and the total monthly usage for all three lines is 2,975 minutes, you would pay $6.00 per line times 3 lines, and then $52.00 for voice minutes. In addition, Ting has a 5% buffer on each bracket, so that if you use 1,025 minutes, you will still be charged in the 501-1000 minutes bracket.

    Overage: Not Applicable.
    Taxes Charged: Yes
    Data Throttled: No

    Bring Your Own Device: No. You must use a device purchased from Ting.
    Voicemail: Yes
    Disable Voicemail: Yes
    Supports Conditional Call Forwarding: Yes
    Number Portability: Yes
    Outgoing calls during port: No if port is part of activation. Yes, if port is done after activation.
    Detailed Call Records on Website: Yes

    Corporate HQ Address:
    Ting/Tucows
    96 Mowat Ave.
    Toronto, Ontario M6K 3M1

    Comments: Ting shows great promise as an MVNO for just about everyone other than the ultra high volume user. Their flexible billing structure ensures that you don't have to pay for your worst month of cellular usage just to avoid the risk of punitive overage charges. Monthly rates are very reasonable for the low to mid-volume user.

    High volume users may find better pricing on providers who promise "unlimited" usage. However, many Howard Forums users have reported providers who promise "unlimited" usage often renege on their "unlimited" promises when usage becomes high. Because Ting charges based upon actual usage, there is no risk that they will cancel your service for "excessive" usage.

    Although the Sprint CDMA network is limited to major metro areas and their arterial connections, Ting allows roaming on Verizon for voice, which means that you should be able to make calls almost anywhere in the United States. This is somewhat unique, as most other Sprint MVNOs do not allow voice roaming at all. It also means that there is no reason to choose Sprint over Ting.

    Although they do not have BYOD, they have a good selection of reasonably priced Android devices, one basic flip-phone, and Hotspot/Data devices. Because they charge based upon your actual usage, their Android devices include software that allows you to create a Wifi hotspot without paying a tethering fee and without rooting your phone.

    Ting's Toronto based call center demonstrates a commitment to customer service. Calls are answered promptly, currently with no wait times. Unlike other providers, Ting does not require you to navigate through a menu system in order to reach a live person. I have found that Ting's representatives are professional, courteous, and knowledgeable. When I asked questions that my rep. was unsure of, he was more than willing to consult with the "higher ups" in order to ensure that the response that they gave was correct. Ting also follows-up on support calls with surveys to ensure that their representatives are meeting customer's needs.

    In contrast, many other MVNOs have substantial wait times (up to 30 minutes for some), use call centers outside the U.S. (with representatives who lack a full command of English), and who often make up answers without ensuring that they are correct. I have never seen another MVNO that conducts surveys to ensure the quality of their customer care.

    Ting's web-site also demonstrates a commitment to customer service. Ting's web-site includes detailed call records, a complete coverage map, and a number of helpful tips for Android users. Unlike most major carriers, you can actually cancel your service on Ting's web-site, without having to call and wait on hold. The vast majority of other MVNOs lack most of these features.

    Ting allows roaming in Canada on CDMA providers (Bell in Eastern Canada and Telus in Western Canada) for $.15 per minute (incoming and outgoing to US or Canada). Text Messaging is free. Data roaming in Canada is $.50 MB. Ting includes detailed information about international roaming on their web-site: https://ting.com/outside_usa

    [5.2]: Prepayd Wireless

    Customer Service #: 877-523-7626
    Customer Service Location: California
    Typical Wait Time: 30 seconds to 3 minutes
    E-mail: customer.service@prepaydwireless.com
    Web-site: prepaydwireless.com
    Web-Chat: No

    Coverage: Sprint with roaming partners for voice, Sprint without roaming partners for 3G data
    Link to Map:http://www.prepaydwireless.com/coverage.html
    Check coverage by ZIP: No
    Technology: CDMA

    Plans:
    $35 per month for unlimited talk and text
    $40 per month for unlimited talk, text, and data (non-smartphones)
    $45 per month for unlimited talk, text, and data (smartphones)

    411 calls are free on all plans

    Overage: None

    Taxes Charged: No

    Data Throttled: No.

    Bring Your Own Device: No. You must purchase a phone directly from Prepayd.
    Data Configuration Instructions: N/A
    Voicemail: Yes
    Disable Voicemail: Yes.
    Supports Conditional Call Forwarding: Yes
    Number Portability: Yes
    Unused SIM required for port: N/A
    Outgoing calls during port: No if you activate with a ported number. Yes, if you activate with a number provided by Prepayd and then port your number in later.
    Detailed Call Records on Website: Yes

    Corporate HQ Address:
    17595 Harvard, Suite C #3250
    Irvine, CA 92614

    Note: Prepayd Wireless is a relatively new MVNO. However, they are backed by a financial services company that specializes in prepaid debit cards. Their plans and phone offering are a great choice if you want CDMA phones, voice coverage that is equivalent to Verizon’s network, and 3G data coverage equal to Sprint’s network.

    [5.3]: Red Pocket Mobile

    Customer Service #: 888-993-3888
    Customer Service Location: Texas and the Phillipines
    Typical Wait Time: 1-8 minutes

    E-mail: cs@redpocketmobile.com
    Web-site: goredpocket.com
    Red Pocket maintains several other web-sites, but they are historical and are being phased out.
    Web-Chat: Yes
    Coverage: AT&T GoPhone
    Link to Map: The map currently on Red Pocket’s web-site is not accurate.
    Check coverage by ZIP: Yes (via AT&T web-site)
    Technology: GSM
    Default PINs: PIN1 = 1111 PIN2 = 2222

    Plans:
    $59.99/month for unlimited talk, text, and 2Gb of data
    $49.99/month for unlimited talk, text, and 250 MB of data
    $39.99/month for unlimited talk and text, 10MB data
    $29.99/month for 250 minutes talk, unlimited text, 10 MMS, and 10MB of Mobile Web
    $19.99/month for 250 minutes talk, and 500 texts
    Note: The rumor that Red Pocket customers cannot dial 800 numbers has proven false.
    Overage: None. When data cap reached, data stops. Can purchase additional data for $10/10MB or $25/25MB at http://goredpocket.com/unlimited-refills.html
    Taxes Charged: No

    Data Throttled: Reports indicate that AT&T throttles MVNO data speeds to 500 kb/s in markets where AT&T offers 3G and 1,500 kbs in areas where AT&T offers 4G. It is possible that these reports are incorrect, or that AT&T is throttling data for MVNO customers. Reports on Howard Forums indicates that the throttle can be avoided by using proxy settings. Red Pocket’s instructions on configuring data include the use of the proxies that are reported to avoid the throttle. Red Pocket’s President denies throttling, or even having the ability to throttle data.

    References:
    http://www.phonenews.com/simple-mobi...fallout-17704/
    Bring Your Own Device: Available. Programming instructions and compatible phones on web-site. Supports unlocked GSM phones and locked AT&T phones. T-mobile phones with data on 1700/2100 WILL NOT SUPPORT HIGH SPEED DATA.

    Data Configuration Instructions: http://goredpocket.com/skin/frontend...vation-en.html
    Note:
    MMS URL on configuration page = MMSC on Android
    MMS APN on configuration page = MMS Proxy on Android

    Voicemail: Yes. Uses AT&T’s Voicemail System.
    Supports Conditional Call Forwarding: Yes (using AT&T procedures)
    Disable Voicemail: Yes
    Number Portability: Yes
    Blank SIM required for port: Yes
    Outgoing calls during port: No
    Detailed Call Records on Website: No
    Corporate HQ Address:
    Red Pocket, Inc.
    2060D Avenida De Los Arboles, Suite 288
    Thousand Oaks, CA 91362

    Notes:

    We currently recommend Red Pocket because they have competitive plans and better customer service than many of the other MVNOs. Hold times are usually short. Also, they recently established a profile on Howard Forums and have responded when customers posted concerns.

    The best way to get customer care is by sending an e-mail. E-mails can be answered quickly, or can take several days. However, the responses tend to come from higher level customer service reps.

    Red Pocket's telephone support and web chat is hit and miss. Red Pocket has several representatives in a call center in Texas who handle calls and web chats for English speakers. You are far more likely to get decent help from them. When they are busy or not available, calls and web chats are routed to call centers in the Phillipines. Those reps are least likely to provide helpful service or accurate information.

    Multiple calls to RP customer service asking the same question have yielded different answers. For example, I called Red Pocket repeatedly to ask whether I could change my account password, and received three different answers: (1) Yes, (2) No, and (3) Yes, but only to another random number. When I called Red Pocket to ask what the SIM PIN1 and PIN2 were programmed to, two representatives had no idea. One told me that those numbers were set by the maker of the phone (they aren't). Ultimately, a web-chat representative told me that PIN1 was 1111 and PIN2 was 2222 (that information turned out to be correct). Another web-chat/telephone rep. didn't know what conditional call forwarding was, and so it took 30 minutes to get conditional call forwarding enabled on my account.

    RP's CSRs who are asked about issues that they cannot resolve sometimes report that they have no means to escalate the issue to someone who can resolve them. In fact, RP's CSRs appear to have access to a web-chat system when they need assistance, and can also escalate calls by sending an e-mail to a special e-mail address. This is NOT the same web chat system that is available to customers.

    Customer web chats go through to the same call center reps who handle the phone, and they sometimes attempt to handle phone calls and webchats at the same time. On at least two occasions, I got nowhere with a web chat and so I called in while typing and ended up speaking to the same person.

    RP's CSRs sometimes place customers on hold for long periods of time and then disconnect the call. When asked for a corporate office telephone number, customer service representatives give a phone number (888-992-6888) which merely rings again to the same customer service department.

    [5.4]: Spot Mobile

    Customer Service #: 866-450-2353
    Customer Service Location: Miami, FL
    Typical Wait Time: 2-5 minutes
    E-mail: support@spotmobile.com
    Web-site: http://www.spotmobile.com
    Web-Chat: No.

    Coverage: T-Mobile, PCM, and several small regional GSM carriers. See http://www.spotmobile.com/Corporate_Profile.aspx
    Link to Map: Spot makes no map available showing its coverage area.
    Check coverage by ZIP: Yes, but only by calling or e-mailing customer service.
    Technology: GSM
    Default PIN1/PIN2: PIN1 1234 - PIN2 (varies by SIM - the only way to find out is to call customer service and ask them)

    Plans:
    $.10 per minute, $.05 per domestic text, $.25 per outgoing international text, $1.65 for 411
    No Data. No MMS.
    $.20 per minute for "roaming.”
    Top-up in $5, $10, $20, $30 or $50 increments. All expire in 90 days. Re-fill within 90 days preserves balance.
    Overage: None.
    Taxes Charged: No

    Data Throttled: No Data.
    Bring Your Own Device: Yes, but the GSM device must be an unlocked GSM device.
    Voicemail: Yes. Uses their own voicemail system.
    Disable Voicemail: Yes
    Supports Conditional Call Forwarding: Yes
    Number Portability: Yes
    Unused SIM required for port: Yes
    Outgoing calls during port: No
    Detailed Call Records on Website: No
    Corporate HQ Address:
    Spot Mobile Corporation
    P.O. Box 414629
    Miami Beach, FL 33141

    Note: Spot Mobile is one of the cheapest options if you intend to make limited use of a phone. You can get service for as little as $20 per year by making a $5.00 payment every 90 days, and the money you pay goes towards calls at ten cents per minute. Spot Mobile’s U.S. based customer service is very good. Spot Mobile used to offer coverage on both AT&T and T-Mobile, but they recently discontinued AT&T coverage.

    [5.5]: Air Voice Wireless

    Customer Service #: 888-944-2355
    Customer Service Location: USA
    Web-site: http://www.airvoicewireless.com/
    Typical Wait Time: Short
    Coverage: AT&T without roaming partners
    Link to Map: http://www.airvoicewireless.com/coverage.aspx
    Check coverage by ZIP: Yes
    Note: Map duplicates AT&T Prepaid map and may incorrectly show some roaming partners as covered when they are not
    Technology: GSM
    Monthly Plans:
    $10 plan: $10 paid each month to keep service active. Each payment is applied towards an account balance, and is carried over as long as an additional $10 payment is made each month. Usage charged against account balance at $.04 per minute, $.02 per text, $.33 per megabyte, and $.10 per MMS.
    $35.00 plan: 5,000 minutes and 10,000 texts, NO DATA.
    $40.00 plan: 5,000 minutes and 10,000 texts, NO DATA, but $10 international calling.
    $50.00 plan: $50/month for 5,000 minutes and 10,000 texts, 100MB of data.
    $60 plan: 5,000 minutes and 10,000 texts, 500MB of data.

    Pay As You Go Plans:
    $10 for 100 minutes, 90 day expiration; $100 for 1,200 minutes, 365 days. $20, $30, and $50 options available also (see web-site)
    $1.00 Monthly fee charged
    Pay as you go minutes rollover if refilled. Minimum: $40 per year.
    Overage: Data overage not allowed. If you use up your allotted data, you can choose to begin a new cycle early or wait until the next period.
    Data Throttled: **Unknown
    Taxes Charged: On Pay as you go, but not on monthly plans
    Bring Your Own Device: Available. Programming instructions and compatible phones on web-site. Supports unlocked GSM phones and locked AT&T phones.
    T-mobile phones with data on 1700/2100 WILL NOT SUPPORT HIGH SPEED DATA.
    Voicemail: Yes.
    Disable Voicemail: **Unknown
    Number Portability: Yes
    Blank SIM required for port: Yes
    Outgoing calls during port: **Unknown
    Detailed Call Records on Website: **Unknown

    Note: Airvoice Wireless is widely reported as having excellent customer service. Their decision to advertise 5,000 minutes and 10,000 texts (instead of “unlimited”) indicates a commitment to truth in advertising. Many other MVNOs have advertised “unlimited” only to shut down users who exceed an unadvertised limit. Airvoice’s latest plans avoid that problem, by truthfully revealing a limit that most users will never exceed.

    [5.6]: Jolt Mobile

    Customer Service #: 888-833-3110
    Customer Service Location: “Offshore”
    Typical Wait Time: Very Short
    E-mail: **Unknown
    Web-site: http://www.joltmobile.com/
    Web-Chat: **Unknown

    Coverage: AT&T
    Link to Map: http://www.joltmobile.com/map.aspx
    Note: Coverage map may be old. It is likely (but not confirmed) that this AT&T MVNO has the same coverage as AT&T GoPhone.
    Check coverage by ZIP: Yes
    Technology: GSM

    Plans:
    $60.00/month for unlimited talk, text, and 2GB of data
    $49.99/month for unlimited talk, text, and 250 MB of data
    $40.00/month for unlimited talk and text, no data and no MMS
    Pay as you go- .10 per minute; refill $10-$200; last 90-360 days. Minimum: $40 per year.
    Overage: None. When data cap reached, data stops.
    Taxes Charged: **Unknown

    Data Throttled: Reports indicate that AT&T throttles MVNO data speeds to 500 kb/s in markets where AT&T offers 3G and 1,500 kbs in areas where AT&T offers 4G. It is possible that these reports are incorrect, or that AT&T is throttling data for MVNO customers. Reports on Howard Forums indicates that the throttle can be avoided by using proxy settings. Red Pocket’s instructions on configuring data include the use of the proxies that are reported to avoid the throttle. Red Pocket’s President denies throttling, or even having the ability to throttle data.

    References:
    http://www.phonenews.com/simple-mobi...fallout-17704/

    Bring Your Own Device: Available. Programming instructions and compatible phones on web-site. Supports unlocked GSM phones and locked AT&T phones. T-mobile phones with data on 1700/2100 WILL NOT SUPPORT HIGH SPEED DATA.
    Data Configuration Instructions: http://www.joltmobile.com/PhoneSetupRP.aspx
    Voicemail: Yes.
    Disable Voicemail: **Unknown
    Supports Conditional Call Forwarding: **Probably
    Number Portability: Yes
    Unused SIM required for port: Yes
    Outgoing calls during port: **Unknown
    Detailed Call Records on Website: **Unknown
    Corporate HQ Address:
    JOLT Mobile Corporate Office
    P.O. Box 811160
    Los Angeles, CA 90081.

    [5.7]: Page Plus Cellular

    Customer Service #: 800-550-2436
    Customer Service Location: Holland, Ohio
    Typical Wait Time: Short
    E-mail: or customerservice@pagepluscellular.com
    Web-site: pagepluscellular.com
    Web-Chat: **Unknown
    Howard Forums Rep: DennyScher

    Coverage: Verizon (with roaming charged extra at 29 cents a minute.)
    Link to Map: http://www.pagepluscellular.com/Why%...age%20Map.aspx
    Check coverage by ZIP: Yes
    Technology: CDMA

    Plans:
    $12.00: 250 Minutes, 250 Text/MMS, and 10MB of Data
    $29.95 1,200 minutes, 3,000 text, and 100MB Data
    $39.95 Unlimited Talk and Text, and 20MB of Data
    $55 unlimited talk, text, and 1GB Data
    Overage: 5 cents per minute, 5 cents per text, 10-25 cents per megabyte (depending upon plan – see website)
    Pay as you go- $10 for 100 minutes, $25 for 416, $50 for 1,000: All last 120 days, roll-over if account replenished. Minimum: $30 per year. $80 for 2,000 minutes with a 365 day expiration.

    Note: PagePlus’s unlimited plans are probably not really unlimited. PagePlus has been known to discontinue service for customers whose usage exceeds an unstated “cap”
    http://www.phonenews.com/on-eve-of-c...al-mass-10565/
    Taxes Charged: No

    Data Throttled: **Unknown

    Bring Your Own Device: Yes, with some Verizon Wireless phones. Call customer service to ask and provide ESN.
    Voicemail: Yes.
    Disable Voicemail: Yes
    Supports Conditional Call Forwarding: Yes
    Number Portability: Yes
    Blank SIM required for port: N/A - No SIMS on CDMA.
    Outgoing calls during port: Yes.
    Detailed Call Records on Website: Yes
    Corporate HQ Address:
    Page Plus Cellular
    1615 Timberwolf Dr.
    Holland, OH 43528

    Notes:

    PagePlus has a very limited selection of phones. PagePlus is reported to have fairly good customer service. PagePlus is the only Verizon CDMA-based carrier that allows you to bring your own device. PagePlus’s plan offerings change frequently and have very little coherence.

    PagePlus defaults your account PIN to the last four digits of your phone #. The only way to change it is to call customer service. For security purposes, we highly recommend that you do so. Otherwise, anyone could initiate a port and take your number.

    [5.8]: Straight Talk

    Customer Service #: 877-430-2355
    Customer Service Location: Philippines
    Executive Resolutions Department: 800-876-5753
    ERD Location: Miami, Florida (sometimes)
    Typical Wait Time: 5 to 10 minutes
    E-mail: ST.CorpResolutionTeam@straighttalk.com or TF.CorpResolutionTeam@tracfone.com.
    Web-site: http://www.straighttalk.com/
    Phones and refills can also be purchased at Walmart and walmart.com
    Web-Chat: No
    Forums: http://www.straighttalkwirelessforum.com/

    Coverage: Can use AT&T (with roaming partners), T-mobile (with roaming partners), Verizon (with roaming partners), or Sprint (no roaming), depending upon the ZIP code entered before you shop for a phone and the specific model phone that you select.

    At present, all Android smartphones operate on the Sprint network (with no roaming partners). All Nokia Symbian Smartphones (Nokia E71, Nokia 6790, and Nokia E5) operate on the AT&T network. All phones whose model number ends in "C" (other than Android phones) will operate on the Verizon CDMA network. Phones whose model number ends in "G" will operate on either AT&T (GSM4) or T-Mobile (GSM5), depending upon Zip Code entered before the phone is purchased on StraightTalk.com.

    To find out which phones are available in your area, shop for a phone on their web-site. After entering your ZIP code, look in the URL (http:/) address in your browser. Look for the letters after "market=".

    If "GSM4" appears in URL, your list of phones will include GSM phones (model #s ending in G and Nokia Symbian Smartphones) that will operate on AT&T's network. If "GSM5" appears, your list will include GSM phones (model #s ending in G) that will operate on T-Mobile's network. If "CO" appears, your list will include CDMA phones (model #s ending in C) that will operate on Verizon's CDMA network. If you see "SPR", your list will include Android smartphones that operate on the Sprint network. If you see "AT", your list will include Nokia Symbian phones that operate on the AT&T network.

    You may also see a combination of these letters. For example, GSM5ATSPRCO would mean a combination of T-Mobile (Model #s ending in G), Verizon (model #s ending in C), AT&T (Nokia Symbian Smartphones), and Sprint (Android) phones. COGSM4 means that you'll see Verizon CDMA phones (model #s ending in C) and AT&T GSM phones (model #s ending in G AND Nokia Symbian Smartphones).

    You can force a particular type of phone by clicking shop, phones, and then entering one of these ZIP Codes.

    AT&T- 95521 or 95221
    T-mobile- 90024
    Verizon- 97720 or 59802

    If you already own a GSM phone, you can determine which network your phone uses by looking at the SIM card, which is usually located underneath the battery. If the numbers on the SIM card begin with 890126, your phone uses T-Mobile’s network. If the numbers on the SIM card begin with 890141, your phone users AT&T’s network.

    Technology: GSM and CDMA. See above.
    Default PINs:
    For AT&T based phones PIN1 = 1111 PIN2 = 2222
    For T-Mobile based phones PIN1 = 1234 PIN2 = 5678

    Link to Map: http://www.straighttalk.com/Coverage

    Note: Map currently shown shows a combination of AT&T and T-Mobile coverage for non-android devices. The map will not be accurate for Verizon Phones. CDMA Verizon devices will have different (usually more) coverage. Android device map shows Sprint with no roaming partners.
    Check coverage by ZIP: Yes

    Plans:
    $45/month for unlimited talk, text, and data
    $30/month for 1,000 minutes, 1,000 texts, and 30MB data (not available on smart phones or BYOD)
    3-month, 6-month, and annual options reduce cost to about $42 per month for unlimited plan.

    Note: ST is widely reported to have implemented an unadvertised cap on usage. It is unclear what the amount is, but a consensus has developed that you are safe using 2GB of data per month.

    Overage: **Unknown

    Taxes Charged: Yes.
    Universal Service Charge: 1.5 percent of the amount charged
    Regulatory Cost Recovery Fee: .2 percent of the amount charge)
    Sales Tax based upon billing address of credit card
    E911 Fee based upon billing address of credit card. Per Straight Talk: “A fee, charge, or surcharge to fund state and/or local E911 programs imposed by law on prepaid wireless users or assessed by TracFone to recover its cost of complying with E911 laws and regulations for the following: Alabama “911 CMRS Service Charge”, Arkansas “Wireless 911 Charge”, California “911 Surcharge”, Colorado "Prepaid Wireless E911 Charge", Connecticut “E911 Fee”, District of Columbia "Prepaid Wireless E911 Charge", Georgia “911 Charge”, Indiana “E911 Fee”, Iowa “E911 Surcharge”, Kansas “E911 Fee”, Kentucky “911 CRMS Service Charge”, Louisiana "911 Service Charge", Maine “E911 Surcharge”, Maryland “911 Emergency Telephone Service Fee”, Massachusetts “9-1-1 Service Charge”, Michigan “911 Surcharge”, Minnesota “911/TAM Fee”, Mississippi ”Prepaid Wireless E911 Charge”, Montana “Emergency Telephone (911) Service Fee” & “TDD”, Nebraska “Enhanced Wireless 911 Surcharge”, Ohio “State/Local Wireless-E911 Costs”, Oklahoma "Prepaid Wireless Charge", Pennsylvania "Wireless E-911 Surcharge", Rhode Island “E911”, South Carolina "911 Charge", South Dakota “911 Surcharge”, Tennessee “Wireless 911 Charge”, Texas “9-1-1 Emergency Service Fee”, Utah “Prepaid Wireless 911 Service Charge”, Virginia “Wireless E-911 Surcharge”, Washington “Prepaid Wireless E911 Charge”, Wisconsin “Police and Fire Protection Fee”.”

    Data Throttled: No.

    Bring Your Own Device: Yes ($45 unlimited plan only)
    http://www.straighttalksim.com/support.php

    ST offers an AT&T SIM, an AT&T Micro-SIM or a T-Mobile SIM for $14.99.

    Data Settings:
    AT&T
    Name: straight talk
    APN: att.mvno
    Proxy: proxy.mvno.tracfone.com
    Port: 80
    MMSC: http://mmsc.cingular.com
    MMS Proxy: 66.209.11.33
    MMS Port: 80

    T-Mobile- Smartphone

    Name: straight talk
    APN: wap.tracfone
    Proxy: leave blank
    Port: 8080
    MMSC: http://mms.tracfone.com
    MMS Proxy: leave blank
    MMS Port: leave blank

    T-Mobile Non-Smartphone

    Name: straight talk
    APN: wap.tracfone
    Proxy: 216.155.165.40
    Port: 8080
    MMSC: http://mms.tracfone.com
    MMS Proxy: 216.155.165.40
    MMS Port: 8080

    Voicemail: Yes.
    Supports Conditional Call Forwarding: Yes on AT&T based phones. Unknown for others.
    Disable Voicemail: Yes on AT&T based phones. Unknown for others.
    Number Portability: Yes.
    Unused SIM required for port: Yes, if you use a GSM phone.
    Outgoing calls during port: No. If you have an existing SIM, ST will disconnect the SIM, mail you a new SIM, and then commence the port once you receive it. Your phone will not work from the day you request a new SIM until the port completes. If you wish to port a number, you may want to transfer your service to another device first, and then initiate the port to an unactivated device.

    Detailed Call Records on Website: No. However, they can reportedly be obtained by calling 877-430-2355 and asking for extension 2468, or by sending a fax request to 866-809-7134.

    Corporate HQ Address:
    Straight Talk, Inc
    Attention: Executive Resolution Department
    9700 NW 112th Avenue
    Miami, FL 33178

    Note:

    From time to time, Straight Talk has promotional offers on its web-site that allow the purchase of a free phone, along with an airtime card for face value or an amount less than face value. Resist the urge to “stock-up” on backup phones by purchasing free phones and then using the service card on your existing account. ST has a policy of blacklisting customers when it determines that they have purchased too many phones using StraightTalk.com. Once you are blacklisted, you will unable to make any additional handset purchases, and you may not be able to purchase airtime, or to automatically refill your service using a credit card. Any effort to place such transactions will result in an error message indicating that your credit card has been declined, even though it has not.

    In addition, although Straighttalk.com has a feature that allows you to transfer your service from one phone to another, do not attempt to transfer a phone more than once every week. If you do, you risk receiving a phone call from Straighttalk threatening to cancel your service.

    Before you transfer service, print-out a page from Straighttalk’s web-site showing your service end date. Some customers have reported losing days of service and/or minutes when moving a phone number from one phone to another.

    Straight Talk’s customer service is worse than awful, and if you have a complex issue, you could spend hours on the phone getting it straightened out. Many customers who purchased refurbished phones report nightmares getting them activated because ST fails to correctly input the SIM Card # into their system.

    If you can’t get help anywhere else, try using the e-mail address listed in this FAQ, which appears to go to a special department or write to them at the Miami, Florida address or file a complaint with the Public Utilities Commission in your State, and your complaint will be routed to someone with the authority to resolve it.

    Net10.com, Tracfone and Straight Talk are all operated by the same company. Much of the details above apply to Tracfone and Net10, however, their plans are different and they offer some different phones. Net10 has one of the cheapest pay as you go options available, but Net10 and Tracfone’s unlimited plan is more expensive than Straight Talk ($50 a month).

    [5.9]: Walmart Family Mobile

    Customer Service #: 877-440-9758
    Customer Service Location: Chicago
    Typical Wait Time: Short
    E-mail: **
    Web-site: https://www.myfamilymobile.com/
    Web-Chat: **

    Coverage: T-mobile with Roaming Partners (full post-paid T-Mobile)
    Link to Map: https://www.myfamilymobile.com/support/PCC.aspx
    Check coverage by ZIP: Yes
    Technology: GSM

    Plans:
    $45 for unlimited talk and text
    $35 for each additional unlimited talk and text line
    250MB of combined data for all lines at 3G speeds, additional data at 2G speeds
    Overage: None
    Taxes Charged: Sales taxes charged on purchases

    Data Throttled: After 250MB per month combined for all phones, data is throttled to 2G speeds
    Bring Your Own Device: Allowed, but you must buy a phone from Walmart, walmart.com, or myfamilymobile.com in order to obtain a SIM card and open an account. Supports unlocked GSM phones and locked T-mobile phones. T-mobile phone supporting data on 1700/2100 required for high speed data.
    Data Configuration Instructions:

    MMSC: http://wirelessfour.mmsmvno.com/mms/wapenc
    APN: web.omwtoday.com
    SMSC: +12063130004

    See this link for more details:
    https://www.myfamilymobile.com/Suppo...ralFAQ-Answer3

    Voicemail: Yes.
    Disable Voicemail: **Unknown
    Supports Conditional Call Forwarding: **Unknown
    Number Portability: Yes
    Unused SIM required for port: No
    Outgoing calls during port: Yes
    Detailed Call Records on Website: Yes
    Corporate HQ Address:
    Family Mobile Customer Relations
    P.O. Box 3220
    Albuquerque, NM 87190

    Note: Walmart Family Mobile’s U.S. Based customer service representatives are very polite and knowledgeable.

    [5.10]: Pure Talk USA

    Customer Service #: 877-820-7873
    Customer Service Location: USA
    Typical Wait Time: **Unknown
    E-mail: support@puretalkusa.com
    Web-site: http://puretalkusa.com
    Web-Chat: **Unknown

    Coverage: AT&T without roaming partners
    Link to Map: http://www.puretalkusa.com/coverage.php
    Check coverage by ZIP: Yes
    Technology: GSM
    Plans:
    $37.95/month for unlimited talk and text, NO DATA
    $43.95/month for unlimited talk and text, 100MB of data. Overage: $10.00 per extra 100MB. No way to disable overage.
    Pay as you go- $10 per month for $101 minutes , $20 for the next level, and so on; minutes rollover from month to month. Minimum $120 per year.
    Data Throttled: **Unknown
    Taxes Charged: No
    Bring Your Own Device: Available. Programming instructions and compatible phones on web-site. Supports unlocked GSM phones and locked AT&T phones. T-mobile phones with data on 1700/2100 WILL NOT SUPPORT HIGH SPEED DATA.
    Voicemail: Yes.
    Disable Voicemail: **Unknown
    Number Portability: Yes
    Blank SIM required for port: Yes
    Outgoing calls during port: **Unknown
    Detailed Call Records on Website: **Unknown

    [5.11]: Republic Wireless
    Currently in closed BETA
    See: http://republicwireless.com/beta-milestones

    Customer Service #: None (all customer care is handled by e-mail and through forums at this time)
    Customer Service Location: Unknown
    Typical Wait Time: Not applicable
    E-mail: orders@republicwireless.com
    Web-site: http://republicwireless.com/contact-us
    Web-Chat: No.

    Coverage: Sprint for voice and data, Verizon for voice roaming, Wifi for voice, data, and text
    Link to Map: None.
    Check coverage by ZIP: No.
    Technology: CDMA and VOIP for Wifi
    Plans:
    $19/month for unlimited talk, text, and data
    Overage: None.
    Taxes Charged: Unknown.
    Bring Your Own Device: No
    Voicemail: Yes.
    Disable Voicemail: Yes
    Supports Conditional Call Forwarding: Yes
    Number Portability: Yes
    Unused SIM required for port: Not applicable – CDMA does not use SIMs
    Outgoing calls during port: Yes
    Detailed Call Records on Website: No
    Corporate HQ Address:
    Bandwidth.com
    4001 Weston Parkway
    Cary, NC 27513

    Note: Republic Wireless is a subsidiary of Bandwidth.com, which is one of the largest players in the Voice Over IP business. Republic Wireless is currently in a closed Beta. They offer a single phone, a Sprint-branded LG Optimus One, sold for $199. When the phone is connected to a Wifi connection, calls are routed over Wifi using Voice Over IP. When the phone is not connected to a Wifi connection, calls are routed over Sprint’s CDMA network, but Republic handles the backhaul using a VOIP network. Voice roaming is permitted on Verizon. Republic’s business model depends upon its users utilizing Wifi whenever possible, and it strongly encourages its users to do so.

    As sold, the phone is rooted and has a custom version of Android based on CyanogenMod. Users can obtain root access merely by installing Super User from the Android Market. The dialer appears to be a modified version of CSipSimple.

    Republic initially had a complicated formula to encourage users to make use of Wifi calling instead of CDMA calling whenever possible. However, Republic has abandoned that model and now currently advertises that usage is unlimited, but encourages users to make use of Wifi calling whenever possible.

    [5.12]: Sprint

    Customer Service #: 888-211-4727
    Customer Service Location: U.S. and Canada
    Typical Wait Time: Short
    E-mail: sprintcares@sprint.com
    Web-site: sprintpcs.com
    Web-chat: Yes

    Coverage: Sprint with Roaming Partners (including Verizon)
    Link to Map: http://coverage.sprint.com/IMPACT.jsp (note that this map includes roaming partners)
    Check coverage by ZIP: Yes
    Technology: CDMA

    Plans:
    This is not a prepaid service. However, we include it because Sprint has a somewhat well-known discount plan that offers 25% off of most of Sprint’s plans called the Sprint Everything Plus Referral Program. The Program gives you the same discount as offered to Sprint’s very best corporate accounts. Public access to the plan was given by Russ S. McGuire, who is Sprint’s Director of Marketing, when he posted instructions on his blog. See www.mcguireslaw.com and follow "Sprint Special Offer" on right hand column to take advantage of this offer.

    Discount Link: http://delivery.sprint.com/m/p/nxt/epc/epclanding.asp

    Employee E-mail address: Russ.S.McGuire@Sprint.com
    Employee Number: 383

    With Sprint's various rate increases, including $10 per month per smartphone, this plan is no longer as competitive as it once was.

    Overage: Depends. See web-site
    Data Throttled: No.

    Taxes Charged: Yes.
    Bring Your Own Device: No
    Voicemail: Yes.
    Disable Voicemail: Yes.
    Number Portability: Yes
    Blank SIM required for port: N/A - No SIMS on CDMA.
    Outgoing calls during port: Yes.
    Detailed Call Records on Website: Yes.

    [5.13]: Simple Mobile

    Customer Service #: 877-878-7908
    Customer Service Location: Florida
    Typical Wait Time: 20-30 minutes
    E-mail: crazytalk@mysimplemobile.com
    Note: Simple Mobile did not respond to multiple e-mails asking about their service.
    Web-site: mysimplemobile.com
    Web-chat: **Unknown

    Coverage: T-mobile without roaming partners (smaller than T-Mobile Prepaid)
    Link to Map: http://www.mysimplemobile.com/Simple...-Coverage.aspx
    Check coverage by ZIP: Yes
    Technology: GSM

    Plans:
    $60/month for unlimited talk, text, and "4G" data
    $40/month for unlimited talk, text, and "3G" data

    Note: Simple Mobile is well known to have an unstated cap on unlimited plans. Customers whose usage exceeds the unstated cap have reported that their data and/or phones have been turned off. “3G Data” is throttled to approx. 120 kbps, which is slower than speeds you can achieve with 2G. See

    http://consumerist.com/2010/07/simpl...y-limited.html

    Taxes Charged: No.

    Bring Your Own Device: Required. Programming instructions and compatible phones on web-site. Supports unlocked GSM phones and locked T-mobile phones. T-mobile phone supporting data on 1700/2100 required for high speed data. However, if you’re on the $40 per month “3G” plan, the throttle makes getting a compatible phone unnecessary. Non-1700/2100 phones will use 2G/Edge, which is just as fast and sometimes faster.

    Data Configuration Instructions: Yes, on web-site.
    Voicemail: Yes. Uses T-Mobile’s voicemail system.
    Disable Voicemail: Yes (on web-site)
    Supports Conditional Call Forwarding: No
    Number Portability: Yes
    Unused SIM required for port: Yes
    Outgoing calls during port: Yes
    Detailed Call Records on Website: No.
    Corporate HQ Address:
    Simple Mobile Corporate Office
    Attn: Rich Wong
    111 Pacifica Street, Suite 160
    Irvine, CA 92618

    Alternate:
    PO Box 147
    East Irvine, CA 92650-0147

    Note: It takes a very long time to reach Simple Mobile Customer Service. Simple Mobile failed to respond to multiple e-mails inquiring about their service. Simple Mobile heavily promotes its $40 plan as “3G,” but in reality, it limits the speeds to 120 kbs, which is slower than 2G. Simple Mobile advertises “unlimited” plans, but has been reported to cut-off users who exceed an unadvertised cap (which they disclose in their Terms of Service only as a “reasonable” amount of unlimited use).

    Also, Simple Mobile’s Terms of Service require arbitration for all disputes, but contain no registered agent to initiate the arbitration. Simple Mobile's Terms of Service have an option for new customers to opt-out of their arbitration clause within 30 days of activation using a web-page, but that web-page (mysimplemobile.com/optout) leads to a dead link.

    For these reasons, we do not recommend Simple Mobile

    [5.14]: H2O Wireless

    Customer Service #: 800-643-4926
    Customer Service Location: **Unknown
    Typical Wait Time: 20-30 minutes
    E-mail: customercare@h2owirelessnow.com
    Note: H2O Wireless took more than a week to respond to emails inquiring about their service
    Web-site: https://www.h2owirelessnow.com/
    Web-Chat: Yes.

    Coverage: AT&T GoPhone
    Link to Map: https://www.h2owirelessnow.com/pageC...?page=coverage
    Check coverage by ZIP: No on H2O's web-site. Yes on AT&T GoPhone web-site.
    Technology: GSM
    Plans:
    $60/month for unlimited talk, text, and 1 gigabyte of data
    $50/month for unlimited talk, text, and 250 MB of data
    $40/month for unlimited talk and text, NO DATA
    Overage: None. When data cap reached, data stops.
    Taxes Charged: No

    Data Throttled: Reports indicate that AT&T throttles MVNO data speeds to 500 kb/s in markets where AT&T offers 3G and 1,500 kbs in areas where AT&T offers 4G. It is possible that these reports are incorrect, or that AT&T is throttling data for MVNO customers. Reports on Howard Forums indicates that the throttle can be avoided by using proxy settings. H20’s instructions on configuring data include the use of the proxies that are reported to avoid the throttle.
    References:
    http://www.phonenews.com/simple-mobi...fallout-17704/

    Bring Your Own Device: Available. Programming instructions and compatible phones on web-site. Supports unlocked GSM phones and locked AT&T phones. T-mobile phones with data on 1700/2100 WILL NOT SUPPORT HIGH SPEED DATA.
    Data Configuration Instructions:
    https://www.h2owirelessnow.com/pageC...taManualConfig
    Note:
    MMS URL on configuration page = MMSC on Android
    MMS APN on configuration page = MMS Proxy on Android
    Voicemail: Yes.
    Disable Voicemail: **Unknown
    Supports Conditional Call Forwarding: **Unknown
    Number Portability: Yes
    Unused SIM required for port: Yes
    Outgoing calls during port: No
    Detailed Call Records on Website: **Unknown
    Corporate HQ Address:
    Locus Telecomm
    2200 Fletcher Avenue, 6th Floor
    Fort Lee, NJ 07024

    Note: We do not recommend H2O Wireless. It takes 20-30 minutes to reach customer care. When you finally do reach someone, you may be given incorrect information or be disconnected. The CSRs speak very quickly, and seem to want to get you off the line as quickly as possible. H2O Wireless CSRs have made representations that were not accurate, such as one representative promising that he had added a special code to their system to shorten the future wait time to "no more than 10 minutes."

    E-mails are not responded to in a timely fashion.

    H2O Wireless has been known to play the "reasonable use" game, where they promise unlimited talk or unlimited data, and then terminate service before the end of the monthly period for users who exceed an unstated cap. H2O recently changed their $60 "unlimited" data plan to a 3 gigabyte plan, and then to a 2 gigabyte plan, and now a 1 gigabyte plan, presumably in response to these kinds of criticisms.

    There are many other AT&T MVNOs with better customer service, and so I recommend against H2O Wireless.

    [5.15]: MVNOs with Sprint Only Coverage

    There are a few MVNOs that have Sprint only coverage for voice and data, and no roaming. Because Sprint’s Network is very limited and does not allow you to Bring Your Own Device and because there are other providers that offer Sprint + Roaming for the same or better pricing, I have not prepared a detailed listing for them. Instead, I merely list them here, along with their web-sites so that you can do more investigation.

    PlatinumTel – www.platinumtel.com
    iWireless – iwirelesshome.com
    Virgin Mobile – www.virginmobile.com
    Boost Mobile – www.boostmobile.com
    Last edited by Endeavor; 03-21-2012 at 01:52 PM.

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    Why didn't you put this in the howardforums wiki so it could be easily edited or amended? Your huge article is awkward and if someone really wanted information they'd have a hard time finding what they wanted. If you really want to make something useful adapt it to a wiki.
    Moderator yahoogroups forum T-Mobile-US http://groups.yahoo.com/group/T-Mobile-US

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    I did! I even had Howard create a whole separate wiki section just for this subject. But people have now filled it with irrelevant messages, and since I have no moderator abilities, I can't fix it.

    http://www.howardforums.com/forumdis...l-Prepaid-Wiki

    Quote Originally Posted by Telekom View Post
    Why didn't you put this in the howardforums wiki so it could be easily edited or amended? Your huge article is awkward and if someone really wanted information they'd have a hard time finding what they wanted. If you really want to make something useful adapt it to a wiki.
    Last edited by Endeavor; 03-22-2012 at 11:38 AM.
    Questions?? Read the FAQs: The Prepaid FAQ . The Straight Talk FAQ
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    Report posts that violate the rules by clicking the dark triangle at the bottom, left of the post.


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    Quote Originally Posted by EndeavorOR View Post
    I did! I even had Howard create a whole separate wiki section just for this subject. But people have now filled it with irrelevant messages, and since I have no moderator abilities, I can't fix it.

    http://www.howardforums.com/forumdis...l-Prepaid-Wiki
    If you have registered you certainly can edit the wiki. That's the way wiki works which sometimes makes for problems, but that's the good thing about wiki's that they can be edited by anyone.

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    But, I don't want to edit the posts, I want to delete them. Most of them are irrelevant to the point of a Wiki and are more suited as forum posts.

    I think you should follow the link that I posted so you can see what I am talking about.

    Quote Originally Posted by Telekom View Post
    If you have registered you certainly can edit the wiki. That's the way wiki works which sometimes makes for problems, but that's the good thing about wiki's that they can be edited by anyone.

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    Quote Originally Posted by EndeavorOR View Post
    But, I don't want to edit the posts, I want to delete them. Most of them are irrelevant to the point of a Wiki and are more suited as forum posts.

    I think you should follow the link that I posted so you can see what I am talking about.
    Editing is deleting them. If you are registered you can add or delete. Being a wiki though anyone who's registered can also add or delete or you can work against each other

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    No, editing is editing them. I can certainly edit the posts to remove all context, but the posts will remain.

    I am convinced that you still have not bothered to follow the link that I posted to the Wiki that Howard created. Until you do so, there is no point continuing this discussion.

    Quote Originally Posted by Telekom View Post
    Editing is deleting them. If you are registered you can add or delete. Being a wiki though anyone who's registered can also add or delete or you can work against each other

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    Quote Originally Posted by EndeavorOR View Post
    No, editing is editing them. I can certainly edit the posts to remove all context, but the posts will remain.

    I am convinced that you still have not bothered to follow the link that I posted to the Wiki that Howard created. Until you do so, there is no point continuing this discussion.
    Do as you wish. However, I don't think anyone is going to use your FAQ the way you have it laid out. It's ponderous.

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    Were you around when Usenet was all the rage? This FAQ is short by comparison.

    You still haven't responded to my other point. Have you followed the link that I provided? Do you see the problem?

    Quote Originally Posted by Telekom View Post
    Do as you wish. However, I don't think anyone is going to use your FAQ the way you have it laid out. It's ponderous.

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    Quote Originally Posted by EndeavorOR View Post
    Were you around when Usenet was all the rage? This FAQ is short by comparison.

    You still haven't responded to my other point. Have you followed the link that I provided? Do you see the problem?
    I told you to do as you wish. I'm not going to fight with you.

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    Faq

    I read all of it-----Thank you for all time and effort you put in to it ---sour grapes

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    I'm glad you found it helpful. I just need to figure out which moderator made it a sticky so that I can pull it down when I release the next revision.

    Quote Originally Posted by 0228956 View Post
    I read all of it-----Thank you for all time and effort you put in to it ---sour grapes

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    I too found it extremely useful! A million thanks.
    J

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    Dude......great job!!
    I'm going to put this pages URL in to emails? I know people who have big questions about PrePaid cell service and I could use this to answer 99% of their question. Already have the page bookmarked so I can get back to it easily for just that.
    Keep the good stuff coming.

    ST to IPhone http://howardforums.com/bYd8e
    ST to Android http://howardforums.com/Xael3
    ST to Windows Phone http://howardforums.com/MMuZH
    Tracfone CS at 800-876-5753 or 800-626-4883
    Phone Number for Google Customer Service. 18558363987

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    Would just like to point one omission.

    In the post you say that the ST sims can be used in any unlocked GSM phone except BlackBerry. You forget to mention that they will also work in any locked phone so long as you are using a ST/ATT sim on a ATT phone and a ST/TM sim on a TM phone.
    The paragraph written as it is may lead people to believe that the ST/SIMs will only work in unlocked phones and not locked phones when they will work in locked phones just fine.
    It is only the ST/ATT sims in a TM phone or the other way around that you need to have the phones unlocked.

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