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Thread: AT&T GoPhone vs. T-Mobile Prepaid. Which one should I choose and why?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
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    AT&T GoPhone vs. T-Mobile Prepaid. Which one should I choose and why?


    I'm looking at finding a prepaid phone for college this upcoming fall and I don't want to be locked into a contract since I'm still only a college student. I've been looking at prepaid plans and I've already ruled out Virgin Mobile and Boost Mobile because it seems that the networks aren't very reliable (lots of complaints about outages, texts delayed hours, poor service etc...) . I also don't get service for MetroPCS, US Cellular and Cricket at my school and I've looked at TracFone but I would like an android phone and they don't have any of those.

    That being said, it looks like my two remaining options are T-Mobile and AT&T. Looked at Verizon but the prepaid plans are just ridiculously expensive for what I am getting.

    What are the advantages/disadvantages between T-Mobile prepaid and AT&T prepaid and does anyone have any thoughts on my choices? I don't use a lot of minutes but I text a lot. Even though I'll be on a college wi-fi network when I am on campus, some data would be helpful if I am off-campus or if I want to use google maps navigation etc...

    Thanks in advance for any thoughts!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
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    @pierretong: Hey! Any idea how many minutes/texts/data per month you'd like? There are so many prepaid services out there to choose from. Have you looked at the following MVNO operators?

    1. PagePlus Cellular (Verizon MVNO and therefore it has the best coverage area). Most Verizon phones can be put on this service and you're allowed to Bring-Your-Own-Device (using CDMA technology). In your case, you'd have to buy an android/droid phone without contract. Check eBay or Craigslist for good deals. The best plan they offer is their "TnT1200 plan" which for $30 a month which includes: 1200 minutes talk, 2000 texts, and 100mb data. They also offer unlimited and pay-as-you-go plans.

    2. Straight Talk (AT&T MVNO). Offering one of the best Unlimited Everything (2gb data cap) plan a month for $45. The best phone to get is their Nokia e71 ($170 @ Their Nokia e71 comes with a "open" sim card that you can swap into other unlocked or AT&T phones and use. However the sim swapping violates Straight Talk's TOS (but not enforced) and you end up buying two phones (must keep the e71 to keep the service)! So it's kind of expensive

    3. PlatinumTel (Sprint MVNO). Probably the best pay-as-you-go service out there. Plans start at $10 for 90 days of service with rates being $0.02 a minute for talk; $0.05 per text; and $0.10 per MB! They also offer an Android phone for their service.

    Hope this helps and you find the prepaid service plan that works best for you :-) Boo to contracts!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Feedback Score
    Unless the merger happens, it's similar fruits but still apples and oranges.

    Att is stronger on paygo talk with a ten cent a minute rate vs. Tmobile's variable rate from 33 cents to 10 cents a minute. The larger the amount of airtime you buy, the cheaper it is on Tmobile

    On the other hand, Tmobile's unlimited messaging including texting plan is only $15 a month and they have a 10 cent a minute rate for that. Plus you can get unlimited data (throttle after 30 megs) for their Daily Webpass for 1.49 a day.

    Att comes close with a $20 unlimited messaging addon plan to their paygo 10 cpm rate. However, they have no unlimited data options for Androids. You are limited to 500 megs/$25/30 days but unused data rolls over if you renew.

    Coverage is another issue. Att has better coverage then before but they require Att 3G devices. Tmobile has roaming , Att does not and Tmobile roaming works in 2G mode on any unlocked gsm phone for talk and I believe text. There is no data roaming at this time.

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