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Thread: GoSmart, PlatinumTel, or Solavei - which one and why? Please help me decide!

  1. #1
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    GoSmart, PlatinumTel, or Solavei - which one and why? Please help me decide!

    I am currently with Virgin Mobile (have been for only about 3 months) and I am looking to switch carriers to a provider with a comparable rate plan and better Data speeds. From the somewhat-limited research I have done, it seems as though these 3 providers (GoSmart, P-Tel, Solavei) are fairly similar to each other and will all have signifigantly better Data speeds than Virgin Mobile.

    For the record, I am currently on the $55 Beyond Talk Unlimited Talk/Text/Data with Virgin Mobile and I currently have 3 lines of service with them. I plan on switching all 3 of my current lines over to a new carrier, and I will likely be adding a 4th line of service within the next 2-3 months; so if there is any sort of discount possibility for having 3-4 lines of service with one provider, it's definitely something I am interested in and will have to consider when choosing a new carrier.

    I will also say that I am not a data hog, but I probably use around 2-3 GB of data per month (the amount of that via WiFi, I'm not sure, though). I do know that I have gotten frustrated many times when using the Internet on my Samsung Galaxy Reverb with Virgin Mobile while waiting for a webpage to open, because the data speeds are typically so slow. I am not going to be watching videos on YouTube every day (if at all), but I do like to listen to iHeart Radio (which, I believe, actually does not use a lot of bandwidth) without frequent delays from not having a strong signal, and I also like to browse Craigslist using their app, and I would like to be able to view webpages without it taking so long that it irritates me.

    I have been pondering this for several days now and I am seriously torn when it comes to making a choice of a new carrier to switch to. If it might matters, I am not concerned with having the newest and baddest phone at all times. When I switch to a GSM carrier, I am hoping to be able to get myself a used HTC One S for around $200; which, for me, will be a high-range phone.


    So, is there something/some things that anyone thinks will make one of these 3 carriers (or even another carrier) markedly better than the others? I plan on having to spend $40-$50 per line of service, and being that I am going to have 3, possibly 4 lines of service, any potential discounts of $5-$10 or more will definitely be of interest to me. I am sure that Solavei and their suggested potential of getting discounts/cash deposits will be mentioned, and I have certainly taken note of that *possibility*, but even without considering that part of it, their Unlimited Talk/Text/Data with 4GB of 4G Data monthly service for $49/month seems to be a great deal.

    I don't mean to get carried away, but I do want to be thorough with my questions; I hope I'm not too annoying with my lengthy posts. Also, I believe that all 3 of the carriers I mentioned are T-Mobile MNVOs (I hope those are the right abbreviations, and that they do use T-Mobile's towers), and from looking at the coverage map, it appears that I will/should have great service coverage where I live. Which is Mesa, Az 85207, in case anyone would like to make sure I am right about this.

    Thanks in advance for anyone who replies!
    - AzAssassin, a.k.a. BillyJackAz

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    Quote Originally Posted by AzAssassin View Post
    I am currently with Virgin Mobile (have been for only about 3 months) and I am looking to switch carriers to a provider with a comparable rate plan and better Data speeds. From the somewhat-limited research I have done, it seems as though these 3 providers (GoSmart, P-Tel, Solavei) are fairly similar to each other and will all have signifigantly better Data speeds than Virgin Mobile.

    For the record, I am currently on the $55 Beyond Talk Unlimited Talk/Text/Data with Virgin Mobile and I currently have 3 lines of service with them. I plan on switching all 3 of my current lines over to a new carrier, and I will likely be adding a 4th line of service within the next 2-3 months; so if there is any sort of discount possibility for having 3-4 lines of service with one provider, it's definitely something I am interested in and will have to consider when choosing a new carrier.

    I will also say that I am not a data hog, but I probably use around 2-3 GB of data per month (the amount of that via WiFi, I'm not sure, though). I do know that I have gotten frustrated many times when using the Internet on my Samsung Galaxy Reverb with Virgin Mobile while waiting for a webpage to open, because the data speeds are typically so slow. I am not going to be watching videos on YouTube every day (if at all), but I do like to listen to iHeart Radio (which, I believe, actually does not use a lot of bandwidth) without frequent delays from not having a strong signal, and I also like to browse Craigslist using their app, and I would like to be able to view webpages without it taking so long that it irritates me.

    I have been pondering this for several days now and I am seriously torn when it comes to making a choice of a new carrier to switch to. If it might matters, I am not concerned with having the newest and baddest phone at all times. When I switch to a GSM carrier, I am hoping to be able to get myself a used HTC One S for around $200; which, for me, will be a high-range phone.


    So, is there something/some things that anyone thinks will make one of these 3 carriers (or even another carrier) markedly better than the others? I plan on having to spend $40-$50 per line of service, and being that I am going to have 3, possibly 4 lines of service, any potential discounts of $5-$10 or more will definitely be of interest to me. I am sure that Solavei and their suggested potential of getting discounts/cash deposits will be mentioned, and I have certainly taken note of that *possibility*, but even without considering that part of it, their Unlimited Talk/Text/Data with 4GB of 4G Data monthly service for $49/month seems to be a great deal.

    I don't mean to get carried away, but I do want to be thorough with my questions; I hope I'm not too annoying with my lengthy posts. Also, I believe that all 3 of the carriers I mentioned are T-Mobile MNVOs (I hope those are the right abbreviations, and that they do use T-Mobile's towers), and from looking at the coverage map, it appears that I will/should have great service coverage where I live. Which is Mesa, Az 85207, in case anyone would like to make sure I am right about this.

    Thanks in advance for anyone who replies!
    This is easy. Ptel only gives 2Gig at high speed so no. Gosmart gives 5 gigs but only 3G speeds so it's MUCH slower then 4G at its peak. So no. As much as I don't like mlmvnos, it's going to be Solavei in this case. Based on strictly their specs and price, they win.

  3. #3
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    if use alot a data solavei is the answer

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    You didn't say how much you call. If it's seldom, a limited minutes plan like the T-Mobile own brand $30 could make sense.

    Investigate T-Mobile coverage closely, as it is less than Virgin's. And there are many areas that are only 2G, especially if you don't have a 1700 MHz capable phone. Platimum Tel and Solavei both use T-Mobile. I don't know about GoSmart.

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    yes all the carrier he named are t-mobile... out of all those solavei is the only one with roaming agreements aswell.. no other t-mobile prepaid has the t-mobile roaming agreements too.. so u will have better coverage in non t-mobile area's!!... solavei also give u 4gb of unthrottle 4g data speeds for $50.. most t-mobile mvnos for $50 will give u just 2gb or 1gb before throttle..

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    T-Mobile prepaid* SIM/activation fee: $0-1
    Throttle: 500MB @ 4G speeds, then unlimited 2G speeds (60-110 Kbps)
    3-4 lines: $150-200

    Ultra Mobile SIM/activation fee: $1-10
    Throttle: 1GB @ 4G speeds, then unlimited 2G speeds (128 Kbps)
    3-4 lines: $147-196

    Spot Mobile SIM/activation fee: $1-15
    Throttle: 500MB @ 4G speeds, then unlimited 2G speeds (128 Kbps)
    3-4 lines: $120-160

    PlatinumTel SIM/activation fee: $1-5
    Throttle: 250MB @ 4G speeds, then unlimited 2G speeds (128 Kbps)
    3-4 lines: $120-160

    Simple Mobile SIM/activation fee: $1-13
    Throttle: 250MB @ 4G speeds, then 3-6GB @ 3G speeds (300 Kbps)
    3-4 lines: $120-160 before discounts (5-6% off)

    NET10 Wireless* SIM/activation fee: $1-10
    3-4 lines: $130-170 before discounts (5-8% off)
    Auto-refill: $125-165 before taxes (85207 = 10.75%)

    GoSmart Mobile SIM/activation fee: $11-12
    Throttle: 5GB @ 3G speeds^ (900 Kbps), then unlimited 2G speeds (120 Kbps)
    3-4 lines: $135-180

    Walmart Family Mobile* SIM/activation fee: $25
    Throttle: 1GB (shared) @ 3G speeds (900 Kbps), then unlimited 2G speeds (119 Kbps)
    3-4 lines: $110-145 before taxes

    Solavei* SIM/activation fee: $29 / Enrollment fee: $49
    Throttle: 4GB @ 4G speeds, then unlimited 2G speeds (60-? Kbps)
    3-4 lines: $147-176 before taxes

    * Extended coverage (voice roaming).
    ^ http://www.phonescoop.com/articles/article.php?a=11956

    I'm partial towards Simple Mobile and NET10, but I'd be willing to try GoSmart once their SIM charge is under $10. PTel gets props for great PAYGo, but their $40 plan throttle is bested by both Simple Mobile and Spot. T-Mobile and Ultra were almost not even worth mentioning, if it were only for your particular case. That is, 3 lines on $55 Beyond Talk, none on $35? When Virgin Mobile first announced their 256 Kbps throttle, I thought they were promising my speeds would go up.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by kecel View Post
    T-Mobile prepaid* SIM/activation fee: $0-1
    Throttle: 500MB @ 4G speeds, then unlimited 2G speeds (60-110 Kbps)
    3-4 lines: $150-200

    Ultra Mobile SIM/activation fee: $1-10
    Throttle: 1GB @ 4G speeds, then unlimited 2G speeds (128 Kbps)
    3-4 lines: $147-196

    Spot Mobile SIM/activation fee: $1-15
    Throttle: 500MB @ 4G speeds, then unlimited 2G speeds (128 Kbps)
    3-4 lines: $120-160

    PlatinumTel SIM/activation fee: $1-5
    Throttle: 250MB @ 4G speeds, then unlimited 2G speeds (128 Kbps)
    3-4 lines: $120-160

    Simple Mobile SIM/activation fee: $1-13
    Throttle: 250MB @ 4G speeds, then 3-6GB @ 3G speeds (300 Kbps)
    3-4 lines: $120-160 before discounts (5-6% off)

    NET10 Wireless* SIM/activation fee: $1-10
    3-4 lines: $130-170 before discounts (5-8% off)
    Auto-refill: $125-165 before taxes (85207 = 10.75%)

    GoSmart Mobile SIM/activation fee: $11-12
    Throttle: 5GB @ 3G speeds^ (900 Kbps), then unlimited 2G speeds (120 Kbps)
    3-4 lines: $135-180

    Walmart Family Mobile* SIM/activation fee: $25
    Throttle: 1GB (shared) @ 3G speeds (900 Kbps), then unlimited 2G speeds (119 Kbps)
    3-4 lines: $110-145 before taxes

    Solavei* SIM/activation fee: $29 / Enrollment fee: $49
    Throttle: 4GB @ 4G speeds, then unlimited 2G speeds (60-? Kbps)
    3-4 lines: $147-176 before taxes

    * Extended coverage (voice roaming).
    ^ http://www.phonescoop.com/articles/article.php?a=11956

    I'm partial towards Simple Mobile and NET10, but I'd be willing to try GoSmart once their SIM charge is under $10. PTel gets props for great PAYGo, but their $40 plan throttle is bested by both Simple Mobile and Spot. T-Mobile and Ultra were almost not even worth mentioning, if it were only for your particular case. That is, 3 lines on $55 Beyond Talk, none on $35? When Virgin Mobile first announced their 256 Kbps throttle, I thought they were promising my speeds would go up.
    solavei only $9 for the sim and $49 for the first month.. no activation fee

  8. #8
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    Re: GoSmart, PlatinumTel, or Solavei - which one and why? Please help me decide!

    Once you go past 3 lines, your best bet might be tmobile's value plan.

    Sent from my SGH-T769 using HowardForums

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    https://support.solavei.com/communit...ter-edition-17
    Effective January 1, 2013, a Solavei SIM card now costs new enrolling members only $9 (previously $29.)
    https://support.solavei.com/communit...ter-edition-21
    To start the march to a million members, we have removed a cost barrier to enroll new members. The $49 enrollment fee has been WAIVED
    Thanks for the update.

  10. #10
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    Solavei is the best option for a few reason
    1. roaming agreements- equal more coverage
    2. lte agreements - equals faster data speed
    3. 4gb of 4g speed- equals lots of fast data
    4. only option to get your service free- refer 9 people by sharing on facebook. twitter, and email

  11. #11
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    Hey, y'all. Thanks very much for the replies!! I actually hadn't even realized that anyone had replied, so I'm sorry for not getting in here and responding and at least saying thanks sooner.

    To answer one question/topic that was mentioned, about how much I talk, I did state that I was specifically looking for plans with Unlimited Talk/Text/Data. But to clarify/elaborate a little more, the 3 lines of service I currently have with Virgin Mobile, one is for myself, one is for my kids' mother, one is for my 13 year-old son, and the 4th line I am going to be looking to add some time within the next month or two is going to be for my 15 year-old daughter.

    Out of the 3 lines I currently have and will be looking to switch to another carrier, I would specifically need two of them to have Unlimited Talk + Text and a reasonable amount of fast Data speeds. The 3rd line, that is for my son, could probably be on a plan with a limited amount of talk minutes per month (he is currently on the $45 Beyond Talk plan with 1,200 minutes and that has been more than enough monthly minutes for him); but I would want him to have more than the popular 100- or 300-minute plans that many people seem to be fans of. Being that this 3rd line is for my son, who is only 13, I want to make sure that he does not have to worry about running out of minutes; because being able to communciate with his mother and me is the most important reason for him having his own phone. And the 4th line that will be for my daughter, will probably also need to be an Unlimted Talk + Text plan, being that she is a female and will likely end up talking on her phone a lot.

    Here is my situation as of today: My own personal Virgin Mobile phone bill is due on March 1st, so I have got to make a decision about at least switching this one line to another carrier within the next 5-6 days; but my two other VM lines are not due until the 9th and the 12th (I believe), so I can switch them over after I have switched my own line to another provider. I am not sure if this will make any difference as far as any sort of family plan or discount that I may be eligible for with a specific company, but I wanted to clarify that I do need to figure out which carrier to at least switch one of my lines over to within the next 5-6 days.


    Before I forget, I specifically wanted to mention that there was (and hopefully still is) a great deal for PlatinumTel posted on here, where you could get a free SIM card and $20 off a month of service. Which would mean that I could get me a P-Tel SIM card and my first month of service on their $50 plan for $30 total. I would have to think that this is a great deal; especially for someone who is possibly wanting to switch carriers and might be considering jumping to PlatinumTel.

    I have really been thinking a lot about Solavei, but if the P-Tel discount code for that deal is still valid, I would have to strongly consider that when making my decision. Especially being that I am likely going to be switching 3 lines of service. Any thoughts, differing opinions, or possible better options? Or is this P-Tel deal simply too good to pass up right now?

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by kecel View Post
    PlatinumTel SIM/activation fee: $1-5
    Throttle: 250MB @ 4G speeds, then unlimited 2G speeds (128 Kbps)
    3-4 lines: $120-160

    GoSmart Mobile SIM/activation fee: $11-12
    Throttle: 5GB @ 3G speeds^ (900 Kbps), then unlimited 2G speeds (120 Kbps)
    3-4 lines: $135-180

    Solavei* SIM/activation fee: $29 / Enrollment fee: $49
    Throttle: 4GB @ 4G speeds, then unlimited 2G speeds (60-? Kbps)
    3-4 lines: $147-176 before taxes

    * Extended coverage (voice roaming).
    ^ http://www.phonescoop.com/articles/article.php?a=11956

    I'm partial towards Simple Mobile and NET10, but I'd be willing to try GoSmart once their SIM charge is under $10. PTel gets props for great PAYGo, but their $40 plan throttle is bested by both Simple Mobile and Spot. T-Mobile and Ultra were almost not even worth mentioning, if it were only for your particular case. That is, 3 lines on $55 Beyond Talk, none on $35? When Virgin Mobile first announced their 256 Kbps throttle, I thought they were promising my speeds would go up.
    I didn't want to quote this entire post, as it was so extensive, so I just highlighted the 3 carriers I had been considering, but I wanted to say thank you very much for going out of your way to reply to my questions and for sharing so much information with me!!!! That was really nice of you and I sincerely appreciate the effort you put in to trying to help me out by giving me pertinent and detailed information.

    I also wanted to thank you for sharing the details on the throttled speeds for 2G and 3G. I had no idea what 2G and 3G actually equaled, so that was a really nice and helpful bit of information to have.

    Thank you very much for going out of your way to offer so much helpful information. Please know your efforts are genuinely appreciated!

    And, much thanks to each and every one of you who took the time to post a reply! I am really eager to learn about this stuff, and getting specific and personal responses from people who are more-educated and well-informed than myself is of great help. So please know that I sincerely appreciate the responses!!!!

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    I've had solavei for a few months now, but up until a few days ago, I only had 3G on a crappy phone (tmo/huawei comet). The 3g speeds were decent, but the latency was crap (especially on the comet). I just got an htc amaze 4g and speeds are great! I regularly get 7-11 mbs down and .5-1.5 mbs up and latency is no longer an issue. If you live in a good tmo area with plenty of 4g data, after taxes and fees, 4gb on solavei is $10 or $15 cheaper than unlimited on tmo (I pay about $6 in taxes on solavei). There is data roaming, but on a recent trip through the south, I found mostly grps and older slower edge. It worked for email, but at half dial up speeds, it wasn't good enough for real browsing, or even for navigation. Voice roaming worked flawlessly in all the areas I expected it to based on the tmo postpaid map. It's possible there is better edge roaming in other cities, but if you travel a lot, don't count on a good data roaming experience from tmo.

    As for the others, I understand that gosmart only has 3g data with native tmo coverage and no voice roaming. It's been a few months since I checked out ptel's coverage, but the ptel maps were misleading at best. Aside from confusing partner roaming that doesn't exist, ptel showed the tmo postpaid voice map even though its rep on hofo said that it was only native tmo coverage for the time being. tmo postpaid has voice roaming but no data roaming. tmo prepaid also has terrible customer service. solavei isn't great (at least for tech support), but at least it's located in the US and its reps are pleasant and speak English well.

    As for the mlm thing, I don't participate in it and I haven't found it intrusive. However, if you have a whole bunch of lines, you might be able to creatively get $20 back per month for every three lines after your first. I'd read the tos to make sure you don't violate it, but through careful referrals, you might be able to save a few bucks.

    I tried boost for awhile, so I know how slow data can be on the sprint network. If you have the coverage, I think you'll be pleased at how well a decent phone works on tmo.

    Good luck!

  14. #14
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    Hey, joeschmeaux. Thanks for the reply! I always like to hear directly from someone with direct, personal experience with something, so I appreciate your comments.

    I want to specifically add, I really do not travel much at all; so roaming is likely not going to be of great importance to me. I now live in Mesa, Arizona 85207, which is a city of about 250,000 or so, and is in/close to a major metropolitan area (I'm about 30 miles east of Phoenix), so I would expect my coverage to be at least good, if not great. I keep reading comments from people stating that the coverage maps are often misleading, so I can't help but be skeptical; but according to the GoSmart, PlatinumTel and Solavei coverage maps, it looks like I should have great coverage at my home and in the general area where I live.

    Also, for the record, I just checked the PlatinumTel website before posting this and the discount code is still valid as of this morning. I was able to get the discount applied to My Cart for an order for a PTel SIM 2FF and their $50 Unlimited Plan for a total of $30 (down from $54.99 without discount), before any potential taxes.

    I have to say that this P-Tel discount seems to be a fantastic deal. Maybe too good to pass up right now. Assuming I could use the discount code to place 3 orders, this would mean that I could get 3 PTel SIM cards and a month of service for each card (with their $50 Unlimited Everything Plans) for $90 plus tax. Some people have talked about placing multiple orders with this discount and then using them for future monthly service payments, but I am not really in a position right now to do that. Although, I sure wish I was!

    And one more thing: If I order a PTel SIM card and pay for a month of service, is it fair to assume that I will be able to use the PlatinumTel SIM card in any used T-Mobile-branded phone? And/or with basically any Unlocked GSM phone? Because one thing I haven't addressed is the cost of having to get 3 new phones for my new service provider. But if I have to lower my standards and not get myself the HTC One S that I have wanted to get, it will be nice if I can just try to find a good deal on a used phone via the local Craigslist or on Bay.

    Also, is an iPhone 3Gs or 3G a decent phone? Because I can probably get one for under $100.

    As long as it is an Unlocked iPhone 3Gs/3G, should it be compatible with the PTel SIM card?

    Will an iPhone 3Gs/3G be able to access 4G speeds with a PTel SIM?

    Will an iPhone 3Gs/3G be able to send and receive picture messages with a PTel SIM?

    As always, thanks for any replies!
    Last edited by AzAssassin; 02-22-2013 at 09:09 AM. Reason: To remove image

  15. #15
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    Here's a screenshot of the PTel discount after being applied in my cart. For anyone interested, the code is PTELSLICK20

    This code will get you a free PTel SIM and $20 off of the $40 or the $50 Unlimited Everything Plan.


    Name:  2013-02-22_060719.png
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