OK, about 10 different places I could of posted this to because or I could have broke it down into each separate topics but dentist appointment in an hours so time constraints.
I've been with Metro for years now but recently their tethering policy caught up with me hard. I've had several other complaints about stuff like latency.
My last word on the topic was ~Metro policies made it necessary for me to use dial up and/or buy a buy a Wifi dongle to get my other devices like laptops, desktops, and Android Tablets hooked to the internet.
Stroke of luck, someone pulled the SIM out of an HTC 8525<AT&T phone> and dropped it in a bar where my son works. He rooted it and I stumbled on T-Mobiles SIM card deal for ~$3.15 delivered with 3 minutes of phone time. I was going to use their unlimited everything plan ~$60 but when the SIM got here none of the options for registering it worked. Web site keep giving "invalid activation code" messages, chat was broken, kept getting punted by phone personnel.
Problem with SIM finally got resolved. The 3 minute credit did not work for anything so CS would text me my new phone number, but it couldn't be delivered. I tried using the phone to call out, wasn't allowed. Got my phone number with their #ADD and *xxx system but it wouldn't allow phone calls in. Turned out I had to throw more money at them before they would actually activate the phone and the 3 minutes was just a credit towards a real plan. On the good side they gave me $3.15 towards the purchase of a plan. Only took about 3 days and 10 phone calls.
While talking to them the CS agent mentioned a special offer of 5 gigs data plus 100 minutes talk for $30/month. This is close what I was advocating in another thread. Specifically why bother selling you a $30/month USB dongle when you could just do the same thing with your cell phone. That is the plan I opted for.
When the green flag drops, the BS stops. With MetroPCS the latency was so bad I couldn't use it for browsing either on the phone or tethered. Constant "Failed DNS look up", dialing menu popping up, you are not connected to the Internet, messages were constant. On my best day I could get ~14k/sec downloads. So far T-Mobile is consistently in the range of 16k-25k/sec or half again faster, no error messages either.
Now it could be just different phones. The MetroPCS is a Samsung Code running Windows Mobile 6.5 and the T-Mobile is the HTC under Windows Mobile 6.1. I am using WMWifi Router software on both phones. The WM software allows several connection methods including USB and for the phone to act as a WiFi hot spot. For some reasons, maybe lack of trying, I have never got the Samsung to work as a Wifi hotspot. It is academic now as this is now officially banned. I have the HTC set up as a Wifi Ad Hoc password enabled network with several computers in the house able to use it. The only downside is the Android tablets can't use Ad Hoc networks w/o some modification. They work fine on open AP like McDonald's so I will have to think of another solution. It would be safest to enable them to use the Ad Hoc network so neighbors don't leech onto my 5 gigs of data. I haven't tried the HTC data rates with the USB connection but I'm pretty sure it would be at least as fast. Bottom line is doesn't make a difference to me if it is the phone or the carrier. That is maybe the HTC is superior to the Samsung but since I am locked into using the Samsung with Metro it doesn't matter.
I'm not sure what I am going to do about MetroPCS. Their plan is only $50/month but I may want to drop back to just a talk and text plan with them. Metro has a $25 deal right now so my total cost for a tethered phone<T-Mobile/HTC> and unlimited talk/text<Metro/Samsung> would only be $55/month. I also need to have visitors come by with 4g phones and check the signals here, I live 8 miles out of town and can walk to where I no longer get reception in ~20 minutes.