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Thread: Older 3G Smartphones and Flip phones and MVNOs

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    Older 3G Smartphones and Flip phones and MVNOs

    Is anyone using older style 3G Smartphones or flip phones with MVNOs such as H2O, Lycamobile, GoSmart, Red Pocket, or Tracfone? With 3G service shutting down how are these MVNOs delivering any 3G service?

    Sent from my LM-X212(G) using HoFo mobile app

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    Quote Originally Posted by thiagosantiro View Post
    Is anyone using older style 3G Smartphones or flip phones with MVNOs such as H2O, Lycamobile, GoSmart, Red Pocket, or Tracfone? With 3G service shutting down how are these MVNOs delivering any 3G service?

    Sent from my LM-X212(G) using HoFo mobile app
    AT&T is not shutting down 3G anytime soon. Same most likely for T-Mobile especially edge.


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    Quote Originally Posted by hyelton View Post
    AT&T is not shutting down 3G anytime soon. Same most likely for T-Mobile especially edge. \
    T-Mobile's EDGE is basically dead already. There's just some 1900 left in some areas.

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    Quote Originally Posted by barryspar View Post
    T-Mobile's EDGE is basically dead already. There's just some 1900 left in some areas.
    It’s slow. But saving haha. A lot of areas I go to there’s no HSPA. Only EGDE and LTE. So non VoLTE devices wouldn’t even be able to make calls if it wasn’t for edge.


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    Quote Originally Posted by hyelton View Post
    It’s slow. But saving haha. A lot of areas I go to there’s no HSPA. Only EGDE and LTE. So non VoLTE devices wouldn’t even be able to make calls if it wasn’t for edge.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    I have swapped a T-Mobile prepaid SIM into a 2016 Nokia 3310 3G phone and the phone calls take a few attempts to connect and after connecting the clarity of the phone call diminishes into a garbled sound before disconnecting after several minutes. The 3G data signal on the phone can be 4 bars and then 0 bars all from the same location and the switch from 4 bars to 0 bars repeats with the 4 bars holding for a maximum of 10 minutes. On my LG 3G flip phone the same result from T-Mobile prepaid SIM swap. Since many MVNOs run on T-Mobile are they on different bands that still work for their 3G customers? The MVNO GoSmart mobile sells 3G plans on T-Mobile network how can their service be used if not for separate type of network T-Mobile allows them to use?

    Sent from my LM-X212(G) using HoFo mobile app

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    On the Sprint side, I have a car phone emergency line on Tello currently using a Boost Kona/Coast flip phone. Voice is ok, not great, data is only used for PRL updating. There's a strangely dead spot at my office. Lots of tall buildings. Shows bars but cannot make calls, then one or no bars while the software tries to sort it out and finally the call fails.

    I also have a drawer with several spare Kona/Coast devices that I need to either sell or give away while they can be of some use.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vertabrae View Post
    On the Sprint side, I have a car phone emergency line on Tello currently using a Boost Kona/Coast flip phone. Voice is ok, not great, data is only used for PRL updating. There's a strangely dead spot at my office. Lots of tall buildings. Shows bars but cannot make calls, then one or no bars while the software tries to sort it out and finally the call fails.

    I also have a drawer with several spare Kona/Coast devices that I need to either sell or give away while they can be of some use.
    I've had a pair of Konas kickin on Tello for my Elderly Rents for over 2 years. Really nice flippers for the elderly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hyelton View Post
    It’s slow. But saving haha. A lot of areas I go to there’s no HSPA. Only EGDE and LTE. So non VoLTE devices wouldn’t even be able to make calls if it wasn’t for edge.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    In most urban areas T-Mobile has either 2G Edge or 3G coverage or both, in addition for LTE. So, you will be able to use old flip phone if it has 2G band 1900 MHz and 3G band 4 (1700MHz). You will not be able to use your phone in "VoLTE only low band areas" of LTE Bands 12, 66 and 71, but within large urban areas it will be still usable on 2G ot 3G T-Mobile network..

    Internet most likely will not work on 2G of T-Mobile, but voice and text work.

    The problem with T-Mobile is that 99% (if not 100%) of all new non-smartphones (from abroad or unlocked AT&T phones) do not have T-Mobile's 3G Band 4, so, most likely you will be limited to 2G unless you but flip phone from T-mobile (which also has VoLTE support).
    At least, I am not aware of existence of non-smartphone that support 3G Band 4 (except T-Mobile branded phones).


    AT&T's 3G coverage is very robust and cover almost entire US. Actually, you do not need VoLTE enabled phone on AT&T network.

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    Quote Originally Posted by thiagosantiro View Post
    I have swapped a T-Mobile prepaid SIM into a 2016 Nokia 3310 3G phone and the phone calls take a few attempts to connect and after connecting the clarity of the phone call diminishes into a garbled sound before disconnecting after several minutes....
    It's because 2016 Nokia 3310 3G does not have T-Mobile 3G band 4 1700 MHz.

    T-Mobile network behaves weird in following situation:

    1. Your phone has 2G band 1900 MHz
    2. You phone does not have 3G Band 4 (1700 MHz) and does not have LTE support
    3. You live in area where T-Mobile has both 2G and 3G coverage.

    In this case the phone can not lock on T-Mobile 2G network by itself. It happens to many old phones. I described this situation 2 years ago on HF. If you can switch your phone to 2G mode only (assuming T-Mobile has 2G coverage in your area), the phone will work.

    You can try it with your 2016 Nokia 3310 3G if it has such option (I think it has).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fishx65 View Post
    I've had a pair of Konas kickin on Tello for my Elderly Rents for over 2 years. Really nice flippers for the elderly.
    Great to hear from a fellow Kona fan!

    The dead spot worries me that refarming will catch up with it eventually as smartphones can get LTE band 25, 26, and 41 in the same spot.

    My other ancient tech that keeps kicking is a Gen One iPad with a FDFL sim from TMO that is still going great. There's no 3G in town but EDGE is actually ok, and I did get some 3G in Arizona last February. For email and light web use, the cell service is still fine and it can actually do video on wifi. Sometimes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by thiagosantiro View Post
    Is anyone using older style 3G Smartphones or flip phones with MVNOs such as H2O, Lycamobile, GoSmart, Red Pocket, or Tracfone? With 3G service shutting down how are these MVNOs delivering any 3G service?

    Sent from my LM-X212(G) using HoFo mobile app
    I have an old Galaxy Ace 2 (my first smartphone) that is 3G. It works ok for voice and hspa data with Tracfone-AT&T and Freedomopop-AT&T.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RFK View Post
    In most urban areas T-Mobile has either 2G Edge or 3G coverage or both, in addition for LTE. So, you will be able to use old flip phone if it has 2G band 1900 MHz and 3G band 4 (1700MHz). You will not be able to use your phone in "VoLTE only low band areas" of LTE Bands 12, 66 and 71, but within large urban areas it will be still usable on 2G ot 3G T-Mobile network..

    Internet most likely will not work on 2G of T-Mobile, but voice and text work.

    The problem with T-Mobile is that 99% (if not 100%) of all new non-smartphones (from abroad or unlocked AT&T phones) do not have T-Mobile's 3G Band 4, so, most likely you will be limited to 2G unless you but flip phone from T-mobile (which also has VoLTE support).
    At least, I am not aware of existence of non-smartphone that support 3G Band 4 (except T-Mobile branded phones).


    AT&T's 3G coverage is very robust and cover almost entire US. Actually, you do not need VoLTE enabled phone on AT&T network.
    The T-Mobile 2G band 1900 MHz and 3G band 4 at 1700Mhz are the exact bands that T-Mobile has service where the 2G voice is garbled and takes several times to connect and then disconnects after several minutes and the 3G is on and off repeating service so T-Mobile is allowing only limited service on those bands and neither are useful. How does ATT carry voice over 3G if they shut down their 2G voice last year?

    Sent from my LM-X212(G) using HoFo mobile app

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    Quote Originally Posted by thiagosantiro View Post
    How does ATT carry voice over 3G if they shut down their 2G voice last year?
    UMTS. Getting off 2G allowed them to make better use of their spectrum.

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    Plus, AT&T puts UMTS on Band 5 (where they have it), which gets better range and building penetration.

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    Quote Originally Posted by thiagosantiro View Post
    Is anyone using older style 3G Smartphones or flip phones with MVNOs such as H2O, Lycamobile, GoSmart, Red Pocket, or Tracfone? With 3G service shutting down how are these MVNOs delivering any 3G service?

    Sent from my LM-X212(G) using HoFo mobile app
    Yes, the Nokia 3310 3G on H2O Wireless. ATT will likely support it for at least a few more years.
    iPhone X is my current primary phone. I have older model iPhones and Moto phones available on other lines. Currently prepaid, though would consider postpaid on right plan.

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