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Thread: Why is Virgin Mobile better than T-Mobile?

  1. #1
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    Why is Virgin Mobile better than T-Mobile?

    Every thread that starts here about a particular phone seems to end up with someone mentioning T-Mobile and something like the Galaxy Note II as a better option.

    I must admit, the idea of buying any phone I want and putting it on a pre-paid like T-Mobile sounds great.

    So, I think it's fair to ask the question straight out in this thread for an honest comparison and the reasons why you think Virgin Mobile is the better choice.

    I currently use Virgin Mobile and would like to continue. However, I may be upgrading my phone soon... which has me considering T-Mobile.

    Please don't argue in this thread, only give your honest opinions.

    Thanks!

    Sent from my Motorola Triumph on Virgin Mobile.

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    Re: Why is Virgin Mobile better than T-Mobile?

    Virgin Mobile just sucks, their data is slow as hell and almost never works, trying to compare virgin Mobile to tmobile is like night and day.

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    Re: Why is Virgin Mobile better than T-Mobile?

    In all depends on where you are. For example, in Chicagoland area, both networks are solid and you can't go wrong with either, however data tends to be much faster on Tmo (at least from my experience).

    Sent from my Nexus S using HowardForums

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    I thought about going to T-Mobile but they don't allow visual voice mail on Prepaid (conditional call forwarding is disabled on purpose) and I like that feature too much to switch.

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    Re: Why is Virgin Mobile better than T-Mobile?

    I am considering the Galaxy S II on Virgin... but it's tempting to buy a newer phone like the Nexus 4 or even the Galaxy Note 2 and go over to T-Mobile. I'd just hate to spend a lot of money on a phone, switch providers and then find out that T-Mobile sucks.

    Are there restrictions at T-Mobile that are not on Virgin? Roaming? Data caps? How do those stack up and why should I stay with Virgin?

    Sent from my Motorola Triumph on Virgin Mobile

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    Quote Originally Posted by Antiochus View Post
    I thought about going to T-Mobile but they don't allow visual voice mail on Prepaid (conditional call forwarding is disabled on purpose) and I like that feature too much to switch.
    True, but when I switched from VM to TMO, I ported my number to Google Voice. Going with the $30 100 min 5gb 4g no contract plan, I have my phone setup to disable the cell radio and switch to voip trunked with Google Voice when on wifi. Since I use GV for SMS as well, this works pretty well, and saves me some battery life at home. So far, I haven't passed 100 minutes of airtime yet, and am logging 300+ free voip minutes.

    Quote Originally Posted by cellphone-guy View Post
    I am considering the Galaxy S II on Virgin... but it's tempting to buy a newer phone like the Nexus 4 or even the Galaxy Note 2 and go over to T-Mobile. I'd just hate to spend a lot of money on a phone, switch providers and then find out that T-Mobile sucks.

    Are there restrictions at T-Mobile that are not on Virgin? Roaming? Data caps? How do those stack up and why should I stay with Virgin?

    Sent from my Motorola Triumph on Virgin Mobile
    Virgin doesn't have roaming. Not an issue usually for me since I'm in metropolitan areas. Driving crosscountry on I80 and I90 though, it's standard to not see reception all day. On I90, I made it into the central time zone, and my phone was still pacific.

    Data caps depends on the plan you go with. The hot ticket is the $30 100 min 5gb 4g plan, if you can suffice on 100 min or are willing to explore voip solutions. Depending on your coverage / mobile talking habits, you may very well be able to use voip over "4g"

    This plan gives you 5gb of full unthrottled speed, after which you'll still have data, but not fast enough to do anything unless you are really in a bind.

    A lot of the other plans only give you some megabytes and then you're throttled for the rest of the month.

    The $30 is a TMO website / Walmart special. You can buy prepaid SIM activation kits online for $0.99 each, shipped. They sell micro-SIMs as well for newer phones like the N4.

    I'm not all too familiar with TMO prepaid roaming, but my understanding is that there may be selected roaming partners, but you'll only get voice (and SMS?) but no data. That's already better than VM... Of course, it'd help to check out both providers' native coverage maps to see if it'd work for you.

    You shouldn't stay with Virgin. A few years ago when I switched from TMO to VM, it was the best deal in town. $25/mo with an Android phone and decent data speeds? Hell yes.

    In the end, VM data became completely useless, especially with me moving to Brooklyn (pretty much meant forget about data at all), and the plan was no longer competitive.

    I picked up a used HTC Sensation (perhaps one of the last well designed phones-- battery cover wraps around the sides, so get a new one and you have a new phone. removable battery, microsd storage) for cheap on Craigslist, and dumped my Triumph. In the end, I used the Triumph for close to a year and ended up completely breaking even on the phone (hedged it with a Cyber Monday Triumph purchase that I flipped...)


    A lot of phones tanked in price in the used market now that the N4 is out, so you have a lot of options there if you're willing. Otherwise, the N4, while I'm not fond of how it's made, can't be beat for the price and the associated specs.. There are too many things I hate about it, but for $300, I'll bitterly buy it and use it.

    If you're in a 3g ("4g") area, you can expect to see FAR faster speeds on TMO than VM. I have a dinky hspa14 device and I see 2-4mbps in my neighborhood, and up to 8mbps in others (about the max of hspa14..)

    The N4 is an hspa+42 device, so you should expect to see an average of no worse than say 6-8mbps, seeing up to 20mbps depending on location and congestion.

    With VM, I was ecstatic if I saw 1mbps. Towards the end, I would have been happy to even see a stable 100kbps.

    Of course, if you'll be frequenting areas that are still on 2g EDGE or worse, TMO may not be the best bet for you. I will say that in my area of Brooklyn when I moved here, TMO EDGE would have been better than VM's 3G. Hopefully, that's not the case anymore, and most likely, that's not the case with you, or I'd feel really bad that you're still with VM.

    As far as not wanting to be burned by bad coverage after dropping dough on a phone, you may want to check what the return policy is on prepaid phones for your local stores-- Walmart, BBY, Radioshack, etc. Perhaps you could pick up an Exhibit II and do some tests on it. I think that phone is also only HSPA14, so you can expect faster speeds with an hspa+21/42 device. Or if you're planning on testing and returning anyway, assuming there's no restocking fee etc, just grab the SGSII. It's hspa+42.
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    Re: Why is Virgin Mobile better than T-Mobile?

    In my personal experience, T-Mobile's edge was faster than Sprint's 3G. In fact, if I tried to use data from 12 - 3pm when I had Sprint, it didn't work at all! Everything would just time out. My friends with Sprint complain about how slow their internet is too. T-Mobile has a significant advantage over virgin mobile in my opinion. You can also unlock phones too and use it on T-Mobile, unlike Virgin.

    Sent from my SGH-T989 using HowardForums

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    I have been a T-Mobile Prepaid Customer (1500 minute $30 plan) and Virgin Mobile Customer ($25 Beyond Talk Plan) for the past two years on my unlocked Blackberry 9300 and Blackberry 8530 so I think I'm in a position to compare the 2 services in NYC.

    There is no question that T-Mobile has the faster 3G service. Virgin Mobile's 3G service is erratic.

    Both are good for phone calls in NYC. However, at Yankee Stadium and Citifield, Virgin Mobile's 3G service goes away, while T-Mobile's 3G data service is still strong.

    Virgin Mobile service is not that good inside some buildings. In my house, Virgin Mobile is fine. I get good signal there. My Kyocera Rise gets a consistent 4 bars of 3G in my home.

    I have 2 phones and 2 plans. I will not put all my oats in one basket so I will keep T-Mobile prepaid and Virgin Mobile.

    T-Mobile has its disadvantages. For one, T-Mobile does not like me using Operamini on its 3G network. They constantly try to disable operamini (to no avail) every week for the past 2 years. Secondly, they send mindless emails each month, starting 3 days before my monthly billing period begins, telling me that I do not have enough money in my account and are discontinuing my service, right after they have auto charged my credit card.

    T-Mobile is not a very reliable company. They are a fly by night outfit, who will sell out (in an instant) to the highest bidder, if they can get away with it. Fortunately, the AT&T buyout was blocked. But who knows what the future will hold. It is hard for T-Mobile USA to turn a profit so be careful and have an exit strategy readily available.

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    Tmobile has worse coverage over here on the daytona beach coast. Also it uses high frequencies which have a tougher time penetrating walls. Took em forever to get 3g where I lived. They had coverage, just no 3g.

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    Frankly, Virgin's EV does not work in NYC and WiMax isn't really unlimited. At least now T-Mobile HSPA is unlimited with smartphone and the speed is usuable most of the time.



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    For me, T-mobile is the better choice. This is from experience with both.

    The Sprint/VM WiMax 4G coverage is inadequate to my needs - it is very spotty in my area. The EV-DO coverage is perfectly adequate but the data speeds are generally very slow. When I had VM, I was really happy to see 500kbps, and more often than not the data speed was about 200kbps. By comparison, I have T-mobile HSPA coverage almost everywhere I go, and the data speeds are generally in the 2-5Mbps range.

    The other thing that makes T-mobile make more sense for me is that the $30/month 100 min/5GB high speed data plan fits my usage pattern better than the VM plans. My voice usage is generally around 20 mins/month. VM has a smaller soft data cap on EV-DO (2.5GB) and is $35/month for a larger bucket of voice that I'll never use.

    Phone selection may also be a compelling reason, especially with the ongoing T-mobile PCS spectrum refarm. Sort of depends on what you want. It is definitely a factor for me.

    I'm in the Seattle area, but really this all depends on particulars of coverage and my usage patterns. I don't think T-mobile is a better choice for everyone.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mch View Post
    For me, T-mobile is the better choice. This is from experience with both.

    The Sprint/VM WiMax 4G coverage is inadequate to my needs - it is very spotty in my area. The EV-DO coverage is perfectly adequate but the data speeds are generally very slow. When I had VM, I was really happy to see 500kbps, and more often than not the data speed was about 200kbps. By comparison, I have T-mobile HSPA coverage almost everywhere I go, and the data speeds are generally in the 2-5Mbps range.

    The other thing that makes T-mobile make more sense for me is that the $30/month 100 min/5GB high speed data plan fits my usage pattern better than the VM plans. My voice usage is generally around 20 mins/month. VM has a smaller soft data cap on EV-DO (2.5GB) and is $35/month for a larger bucket of voice that I'll never use.

    Phone selection may also be a compelling reason, especially with the ongoing T-mobile PCS spectrum refarm. Sort of depends on what you want. It is definitely a factor for me.

    I'm in the Seattle area, but really this all depends on particulars of coverage and my usage patterns. I don't think T-mobile is a better choice for everyone.
    The data speed is the T-Mobile advantage, maybe that will change once the Sprint 4G LTE service is available on Virgin Mobile later this quarter. Is the iPhone already available on T-Mobile, maybe later this quarter too, yes?
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    Re: Why is Virgin Mobile better than T-Mobile?

    Both carriers left a lot to be desired for me, especially on my across state road trips.

    I've had VM 3 times now and the data speed is just as bad every time. How I could still be getting 0.07mb down with a 1000 ping in 2013 is insane.
    It's to be expected from VM though.

    With T-Mobile (same area) I usually got around 3mb down, with bursts as high as 12mb.
    Hitting the smaller rural towns, T-Mobile still has a lot of GPRS out there.
    Sprint, even though it had a 3G signal, still felt like GPRS anyway.
    Just checking my email would time our the data was so slow.

    If I had to choose between VM and T-Mobile, I'd go with T-Mobile just because their data coverage has been more reliable.
    Glad I don't have to choose though!

    Sent from my HTC PH39100 using Tapatalk 2



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    Re: Why is Virgin Mobile better than T-Mobile?

    Tmobile is the best speed for the money.

    While they have no 4g yet, their HSPA+ is plenty fast.

    Virgin runs off of sprint which means their signal is great but data is stupid slow!

    Tmobile has the worst signal but when you get one it's the best.

    sent from the best smart phone (not phablet) on the worst network- the galaxy S III unfortunately on T-Mobile

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    Re: Why is Virgin Mobile better than T-Mobile?

    Quote Originally Posted by the_hustleman View Post
    Tmobile is the best speed for the money.

    While they have no 4g yet, their HSPA+ is plenty fast.

    Virgin runs off of sprint which means their signal is great but data is stupid slow!

    Tmobile has the worst signal but when you get one it's the best.

    sent from the best smart phone (not phablet) on the worst network- the galaxy S III unfortunately on T-Mobile
    T-Mobile considers there HSPA 14.4 and up 4G. Signal strength and data speed are location dependent on both carriers.

    Sent from my LG-C800 using Tapatalk 2

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