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Thread: Prepaid Coverage Vs Postpaid

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    Prepaid Coverage Vs Postpaid

    Just curious a little has anyone gone from postpaid to prepaid and vice versa and is the coverage about the same or not really? I was told you don't get full roaming

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    Prepaid coverage is less than postpaid coverage. I haven't switched (I'm not a US resident so I can't get postpaid) but when I went to Hogansburg (NY) at Mohawk Casino, there is absolutely no coverage with T-Mobile prepaid whereas my friend on postpaid had coverage (roaming).
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    It all depends on where you're located. I've always been able to roam on prepaid, but with voice and text roaming only with no data.

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    Most MVNOs don't allow roaming, so you need to check the TMO map for 'native' coverage for voice. Data roaming is generally not supported by any MVNO. Some do, but you'd need to check. HOWEVER, if you stay with TMO and switch to their prepaid service, you do get full coverage and roaming. Same with their subsidiary, Metro.

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    Between the T-Mobile brands the difference is only roaming. Postpaid gets off network roaming while prepaid does not.

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    This is not explicitly true. I have roamed many times on prepaid, again, it was talk and text only and no data service.

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    Quote Originally Posted by clonehappy View Post
    This is not explicitly true. I have roamed many times on prepaid, again, it was talk and text only and no data service.
    Yes, this is typically the big difference -- as a general rule: prepaid only roams with talk and text, postpaid gets about 200 MB of roaming data in the US.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mogelijk View Post
    Yes, this is typically the big difference -- as a general rule: prepaid only roams with talk and text, postpaid gets about 200 MB of roaming data in the US.
    Alright awesome thanks guy for the info. Just was asking in case one day I need to go to T-Mobile prepaid. The talk and text roaming I'm fine with data not so much I do use google maps but I download the offline maps so in case I lose signal I'm not out of luck

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    Prepaid is supposed to roam, but only in areas where TMobile has agreed to roaming, the one area I needed T-mobile to roam to send like one text a day, and in case I got a voicemail was a no-go even though my actual T-mobile phone said Verizon, at&t , us cellular were available. Called T-mobile engineering Dept? And they clearly explained it, I couldn't even get paid roaming. Had to switch to Verizon.

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    I've never understood why paid roaming became a thing of the past. Sure, I wouldn't offer it by default or even list it on a coverage map, but if someone wants to pay some exorbitant rate like $0.69/min for voice and $0.10 a piece for texts, they should be allowed to opt-in.

    I'd definitely opt-into paid roaming on a T-Mo prepaid line and carry a balance if it was an option.

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    Quote Originally Posted by clonehappy View Post
    I've never understood why paid roaming became a thing of the past. Sure, I wouldn't offer it by default or even list it on a coverage map, but if someone wants to pay some exorbitant rate like $0.69/min for voice and $0.10 a piece for texts, they should be allowed to opt-in.

    I'd definitely opt-into paid roaming on a T-Mo prepaid line and carry a balance if it was an option.
    My guess is that people found it is much cheaper to use a cheap phone with prepaid service on the network they'd like to roam on, rather than paying what their carrier charges to roam.

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    Roaming unable to be billed on prepaid

    Quote Originally Posted by clonehappy View Post
    I've never understood why paid roaming became a thing of the past. Sure, I wouldn't offer it by default or even list it on a coverage map, but if someone wants to pay some exorbitant rate like $0.69/min for voice and $0.10 a piece for texts, they should be allowed to opt-in.

    I'd definitely opt-into paid roaming on a T-Mo prepaid line and carry a balance if it was an option.
    The issue with roaming on a prepaid line is that the roaming service is not always billed instantly. There are some roaming carriers who can bill in real-time, but for others it can be delayed by days or even weeks.

    In the case of a postpaid account, I remember sometimes getting Roaming charges 2 months after the roaming occurred. It didn't matter to my own carrier because they already knew my credit and could come after me if I didn't pay.

    In the case of prepaid, there needs to be a real-time billing connection to allow roaming. If there is not, someone could run up the roaming charges in a significant way, and by the time the billing made it back there might be no money left in the prepaid account to take from. And the whole point of prepaid is that you can't spend more than you already have.

    In the CDMA world, there seems to be a significant amount of real-time billing arrangements, which is why MVNO's such as PagePlus, and even Sprint (Boost), can offer prepaid roaming at a price. In the GSM and LTE worlds, there does not seem to be as many such agreements. (I don't know the history why or have factual numbers, these are just observations.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by planwm View Post
    The issue with roaming on a prepaid line is that the roaming service is not always billed instantly. There are some roaming carriers who can bill in real-time, but for others it can be delayed by days or even weeks.

    In the case of a postpaid account, I remember sometimes getting Roaming charges 2 months after the roaming occurred. It didn't matter to my own carrier because they already knew my credit and could come after me if I didn't pay.

    In the case of prepaid, there needs to be a real-time billing connection to allow roaming. If there is not, someone could run up the roaming charges in a significant way, and by the time the billing made it back there might be no money left in the prepaid account to take from. And the whole point of prepaid is that you can't spend more than you already have.

    In the CDMA world, there seems to be a significant amount of real-time billing arrangements, which is why MVNO's such as PagePlus, and even Sprint (Boost), can offer prepaid roaming at a price. In the GSM and LTE worlds, there does not seem to be as many such agreements. (I don't know the history why or have factual numbers, these are just observations.)
    Excellent point, I never considered GSM & CDMA being the dubbing redefining factor.

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